My outdoor wrought iron railings have been painted more than 10 times over 40 years. I now want to remove the old paint and apply high quality glossy black paint to last multiple decades, if possible, with minimal (or zero) maintenance.

When hiring a professional painter, how should I specify the steps and materials involved in this project?

  • Any rust? Dealing with rust is the hardest part.
    – Mattman944
    Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 3:02
  • @Mattman944. Yes, there is a small amount of rust. Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 3:04
  • Remove, strip paint and rust, hot-dip galvanize, powder coat, replace. Not overly practical in most cases, but approaching best practice. Porcelain enamel might be a step up from powder coating with a yet-hotter oven.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 15:38

2 Answers 2


You have the same goal as every refinery tank farm and every other steel structure ( Your fence is very likely low carbon steel, not wrought iron). What they do to try to get long life is 1- white metal blast ( per SSPC or Swedish standard), 2 -zinc rich primer ( two or three component coating - not a can of Rustoleum). 3- Top coat ,various options, often two component; Urethane will likely give the best gloss. 4- perform touch-up maintenance every couple years. My 30 page, 50year old memo says the same with many more words. Many suppliers have changed but pretty much the same story. UV protection is probably the biggest improvement, but is not needed for black.

  • That is pretty expensive ; I just paint my old steel lawn furniture about every four years. Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 0:58

So If they have multiple coatings of paint and an intricate design then check out getting them sand-blasted or dipped.

Once properly cleaned then you can apply a suitable primer and top coats.

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