How to paint metal fences: cleaning and repainting 🖌️

Metal fences and railings and other outdoor metalwork require regular care and maintenance to prevent wear and tear. A repaint can last for years if applied correctly and following certain steps during the painting process.

Here's how to properly clean and repaint fences and other metalwork.

Why maintain metal fences?

Iron is durable and will last for years with regular maintenance. But where the paint has worn away, exposure to water and air can quickly lead to rust and decay. When iron corrodes, it expands up to ten times its original size, which can crack paint.

How to properly clean and paint

Regular maintenance of hardware such as railings and gates is essential to prevent rust and deterioration from exposure to air and water.

You will need:

  • Steel Brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint thinner as a cleaner and a cloth (important: Do not use soapy cleaners or scouring milk. (These are made from fatty acids and are therefore not suitable for dissolving grease.)
  • Masking tape, newspapers
  • Protective metal paint
  • brush, paint roller or airless spray gun
  • possibly Knee pads, goggles, dust mask and work gloves

1) Brush off old paint

Use a wire brush to remove all loose and old peeling layers of paint. This is important as the new color will not blend with the existing one. Any rusty spots should be sanded down thoroughly.

2) Remove moss and weeds

Scrape moss and lichen and remove weeds. Cut back all vegetation that comes into contact with the railing

3) Prepare for painting

Existing paintwork must be roughened with medium-hard sandpaper to ensure good adhesion for the new paint. Wet sandpaper prevents the paper from "clogging". Wet sanding is also advisable as it reduces dust. For a perfect finish, rub around the edges

4) Remove grease and dirt

Wash the railing thoroughly with a clean, damp cloth and the cleaner. This removes dust, dirt and greasy deposits. When the railings are completely clean, use a new cloth and plenty of water to rinse away the cleaner

5) Protect plants from paint splashes

To protect the plants around the fence, cover them with cardboard. Sticks that you press into the ground alternately on both sides are useful for attaching cardboard

6) Make final preparations

Take off everything that is not to be painted with masking tape. For larger areas like brickwork and pillars, use old newspaper taped with tape.

Check the weather forecast: a warm, partly cloudy day is best; do not paint when wind or rain is forecast and avoid the months of November to February as it is usually too cold and damp for the paint to set properly. Most paints should not dry below 10°C.

7) Apply new coats of paint

Spray, roll or paint a new coat of paint. Don't use too much polish at once and spread it evenly to prevent snags and drips.

Two thin coats are more effective than one thick coat. Allow the first coat to dry for 24 hours before starting the second.

You can find the tried and tested 3in1 protective metal paint and everything else that will help you achieve the best result in our Farbenlöwe shop. Your fence can look like new before long!

Please also note our helpful application instructions.