If you have a metal door, gate or fence outdoors, properly maintaining them is a must to avoid early deterioration and rust damage. There can be various reasons why your metal fences are covered in rust. Whether you live near the ocean and your property is exposed to high salinity levels, or your sprinklers are constantly hitting your metal fences – what’s important is you restore your rusty fences as soon as possible. If you just left the rust in your metal fences untreated, it can be severely damaged beyond repair, and you may need to have a total fence replacement.
At Ballarat Fencing, our expert team has been delivering top-quality fences that stay durable, functional and stunning for many years. However, without proper care and maintenance, metal fences are also prone to succumb to their worst enemy – rust. The reddish-brown colour and scaly appearance of rust do not only look unattractive. Rust can also damage the structural stability of metal fences. That is why our crew curated effective ways on how you can restore your metal fences and make them more long-lasting. Follow the easy steps below to save your rusty fences.
Step 1: Buff out old paint and rust.
Grab a paint scraper to remove the loose or peeling paint in your fence efficiently. You can also use a wire brush to scrub the rust and old paint away. If you notice that the rust is heavy and hard to remove, you can opt for a drill with a wire wheel. With this tool, you can get rid of stubborn stains and get into the joints and tight areas in your metal fences.
Once you are done buffing out the old paint and rust in your fence, use coarse-grit sandpaper to remove the deep rust on the most affected areas. If there is still rust left on the surface, you may have to use a drill with a sanding wheel to scrub the rust all the way down the metal. Repeat this process until there is no rust visible and you are left with a smooth surface.
After that, buff the surface of your metal fences with fine steel wool in a circular motion. Doing so can help create a blemish-free and smooth surface for painting. Lastly, rinse your metal fences with water to remove all the rust that remains.
Step 2: Neutralize the lingering rust on the surface.
A vital step in restoring your metal fence is to get rid of all the rust and not just the chunky and loose stuff that you can easily notice. If there is any rust left on your fence, there is a significant chance that it will just continue to spread and eventually ruin the structure of your fence even after you refinish it. Inspect your fences’ surface and neutralize the lingering rust or the tiny particles left.
You can use a commercial rust neutralizer. Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions and mix it properly in a bucket. After that, dip your wire brush on the neutralizer and scrub your metal fences’ surface in a circular motion.
If you don’t want to use chemicals on your fence, use a mixture of lemon juice and white vinegar to neutralize the leftover rust on your fences. Just wipe the entire surface with the solution and let it dry for one hour. Finally, you can wash off your fences’ surfaces with soapy water and allow them to dry completely.
Step 3: Prime and paint your metal fences.
Cover your entire metal fence with a smooth coat of rust-inhibiting primer. Let the surface dry based on the time recommended by the manufacturer. When the surface is completely dry, you can cover the entire surface with at least two thick coats of rust-resistant paint. Make sure that you evenly cover all areas and allow the paint to set and dry between coats.
Wash and clean your metal fences using soapy water at least two times a year.
Use oil on the latches and springs of the fence when you wash it.
Get rid of rust or surface damage using steel wool and neutralize the rust using a commercial rust neutralizer or the lemon juice and white vinegar mixture.
Retouch scratched surfaces with matching rust-resistant paint.