Krissy asked: How do I clean paint from wrought iron furniture? I bought used patio furniture that I didn’t realize had paint spots on it until I got home. Is there a quick and easy way to clean this?
Stripping paint off of iron often requires the use of harsh chemicals. For small projects, such as a small spot here and there, this can be completed at home. For larger projects, such as stripping an entire piece, it should be left to those that are experienced with the chemicals. In these cases, consider having the paint professionally sandblasted off. If you’re a DIYer, and you’d like to tackle the project yourself, here is how to go about it.
You Will Need:
- Chemical Stripper
- Soft cloths
- Wire brush/tarp
Steps to Remove the Paint:
- Protect the work area by laying a tarp or layer of newspapers down.
- Most chemical strippers are safe for metal. A good option is Citristrip, which is nontoxic and can even be used indoors if needed. These products are available at hardware stores. However, each chemical stripper will have its own unique set of application instructions. It’s important to follow these instructions carefully for the best results.
- After the stripper has been applied and removed, brush over the area with a wire brush.
- Wipe the entire area down with a soft cloth moistened with mineral spirits.
- Allow to dry completely prior to repainting, if applicable.
Additional Tips and Ideas:
- Professionals can sandblast entire pieces to remove all paint and provide you with a clean, new surface to decorate as you please.
- Since the strippers can expose the metal’s surface, it is helpful to apply a layer of rust protector to keep the iron looking great.
- A propane torch can be used as well to strip paint from wrought iron. Ensure that the piece is definitely wrought iron. If it is used on other metals, it may cause irreversible damage.
Wrought iron hand rails outside of the front door are decorative and well place. They CANNOT BE MOVED without destroying the steps and/or stoop. Can store bought strippers remove 50 years of paint? And what is the chemical you coat wrought iron with to prevent rust. Can you paint over the top of this coating?
Stripper should remove paint of any age. There are a variety of products that can be used to protect wrought iron against rust; wax is the most common, but you can also use oil or a commercial sealant product. Wax or oil cannot be painted over, a commercial sealant may be able to, but it might also prevent the paint from adhering to the surface well. However, if you’re planning no painting the iron, you don’t have to worry about it because the paint itself will protect the iron from rust. Use an oil-based paint; it will protect it for longer. Good luck!
Source: Old House Web – The Maintenance and Repair of Architectural Cast Iron
Source: This Old House – A Blacksmith Shows How to Protect Ornamental Metalwork