Best Paint for a Wrought Iron Fence

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Last updated: April 19, 2023

No one ever really thinks about this kind of stuff until it matters. You may wonder what the best paint for a wrought iron fence is? I am here to tell you, that there are several options. I am not here to pick winners and losers. I am here to give you my best thoughts on several products that can help you address a common problem but an important step. How to paint your fence.

This article isn’t an all-step guide, but it will discuss several market choices for your wrought iron fence. Metal paint is perfect for this new piece of old fencing because it is chemically formulated for metal use. There are oil-based and water-based paints but with an oil-based version, the top coat, and finish coats offer a better result because it is longer lasting. If you’re worried about putting on too much paint or removing some of it due to a mistake, have a drop cloth handy and some mineral spirits (paint thinner) to clean up the surface area.

silhouette and sunset of rusted wrought iron fence

Your prep work for the painting process is simple. Think light coats and you will be fine and end up with a great thing – an amazing look of your fence with an updated color. If you’re aiming for quality, the kind of paint matters. Always consider high-quality paint and professional painters if you’re worried about do-it-yourself jobs.

Don’t forget small details such as a rust-inhibitive primer for metal fencing to maintain the integrity of the metal. This is a good option for a base coat to protect the type of metal for your fence.

Also, you’ll see how each paint brand interacts with the metal surfaces of the fence. Whether your wrought iron railings are new or require an upgrade, you have some options. Most of these products are available from hardware stores like Home Depot, Amazon, and other fine retailers. Yes, products come and go, and there will always be new products to consider but the products below can help start with your plan.

Before you paint anything, make sure your paint brush is new and/or of good use, and consider protective gear to prevent any mishaps with your eyes or clothing (unless you have some old throwaways lying around). Do it yourself paint jobs can be fun, tiring, and exhausting but they’re messy too and you don’t want to ruin your clothes unless you have a stashed set of old painter’s clothes lying around.

Table of Contents

  1. Rust-Oleum High Heat Ultra Enamel Spray
    1. Pros
    2. Cons
    3. Performance
  2. Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel Paint
    1. Pros
    2. Cons
    3. Performance
  3. Rust-Oleum Spray Paint for Stopping Rust
    1. Pros
    2. Cons
    3. Performance
  4. Spray Paint for Metal, Krylon ColorMaster Paint, and Primer
    1. Pros
    2. Cons
    3. Performance
  5. Rust-Oleum 7215502
    1. Pros
    2. Cons
    3. Performance
  6. Modern Masters ME208-0
    1. Pros
    2. Cons
    3. Performance
  7. Frequently Asked Questions
    1. Is it necessary to sand the iron before painting?
    2. What should I do when preparing the metal surface for painting?
    3. Can I paint over an old paint job?
    4. How can I get paint to stick on the metal surface?

Rust-Oleum High Heat Ultra Enamel Spray


  • It can resist high temperatures
  • It is rust and weatherproof
  • It has a quick-dry property between two coats 
  • It is easy to use


  • It’s doesn’t work well on plastic surfaces


Aside from being high-temperature resistant, this paint is one of the best paints for wrought iron railings currently on the market. If your railings have a coating of old paint, this paint and its counterparts have got your back covered. 

Rust-Oleum Paint 241169 High Heat Ultra Enamel Spray, Black, 12-Ounce, 12 Ounce (Pack of 1)

Surprisingly, this paint is relatively easy to apply, and if you follow the best way of using it as outlined by the manufacturer, you can be sure that it will yield substantial results for your metal fence.

Not only does this paint leave your metal railings looking unique but elegant. Essentially, they get designed to withstand heat from the sun, and it will ensure the previous loose paint isn’t visible and appear as the new paint.

Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel Paint


  • Excels well in preventing rust
  • It aids with proper adherence to the finish coat
  • It renders a consistent thickness with the metal surface
  • It can cover your entire fence like magic


  • It doesn’t stick properly on a galvanized metal surface


Generally, this paint sticks well on the metal surface, plus its excellent protective enamel paint. While you might use a paint sprayer with other iron surfaces, this paint is oil-based, which makes it hard to work with, but in the end, it renders magnificent results. Notably, it’s one of the best choices at a relatively low cost.

1/2 pt Rust-Oleum Brands 7779730 Black Stops Rust Protective Enamel, Gloss

Moreover, it’s an excellent choice for getting rid of rust spots on the iron surface. So essentially, it’s a rust remover. The metal primer is weather resistant and can withstand corrosion. Ideally, you can also use this paint for your garden ornaments, galvanized iron sheets, etc., which guarantees and best results, apart from using this paint on the wrought iron fence, an iron gate, and even a wire wheel.

mediterranean house with wrought iron fence style gated doors

Rust-Oleum Spray Paint for Stopping Rust


  • It can cover a wide surface
  • Dries relatively quickly
  • It’s the bat option for any metal job
  • Halts and prevents rust entirely


  • Application on vertical surfaces can cause downward flow


As you know, the first step to transforming the visual appearance of your wrought iron railing is by selecting the best paint, and this spray paint is an ideal choice. This type of paint is oil-based, excelling in eliminating rust from the iron metal surface. 

Rust-Oleum 224284 Stops Rust Inhibitor 10.25-Ounce Spray, 10.25 Ounce (Pack of 1), Clear

Consider using a stiff wire brush to scrape off old paint for better results because of its high adhesion. The drying time, on the other, takes a bit longer. If you want this paint to last, use sandpaper to eliminate the coatings of the previous color. Notably, you should leave the fresh coat of paint for about 48 minutes to dry up. Though this paint is difficult to work with, it will make your iron fencing look glamorous with the utmost elegance. 

red and old wrought iron fenced gate

Spray Paint for Metal, Krylon ColorMaster Paint, and Primer


  • It dries very fast
  • It’s available in a wide array of color options
  • Its smell is less strong
  • It bears double coverage on the primer and paint 


  • It has a low coverage 


The paint’s coverage may be low, but still, its coverage is considerable. That’s why it’s falling under the top best color for your wrought iron railings. Notably, this paint would make a better decor far than the existing paint. Since it’s easy to use and dries up faster, it’s an easy way of transforming the appearance of your iron railings.

Krylon K05591007COLORmaxx Spray Paint and Primer for Indoor/Outdoor Use, Matte White

Suppose you choose to go with this paint as your ideal option; you won’t have to worry about regular maintenance as it’s easy to maintain. Furthermore, the paint job of this paint formula is relatively effortless, meaning you won’t struggle with applying it, especially if you are a DIY person. It sticks better on most metal surfaces, leaving a smooth surface. 

Rust-Oleum 7215502


  • It has a comprehensive coverage
  • You don’t need priming before painting
  • It’s excellent for hiding imperfect hammered finishes
  • It provides solid protection against external factors, especially since it’s oil-based


  • It takes longer to dry


Rust-Oleum is a familiar paint brand for iron surfaces. And this wrought iron paint also renders exceptional results that leave you shockingly satisfied. While the smaller version of this paint can cover about 15sqft, this one has a broad coverage at 100sqft.

Like most Rust-Oleum, if your wrought iron railings have signs of rust, this product will help. If you want a stroke of better luck with this paint, consider hiring a painter who knows their way with oil-based paints. This might be a better choice if you don’t know how to apply. Otherwise, you’ll risk ending up with clumsy results. 

Stops Rust 1-Qt. Black Hammered Rust Preventive Paint (2-Pack)-Rust-Oleum -7215502

Generally, this paint can transform the rough surface of an old metal surface into a smooth, elegant texture with a sparkly appearance. When applying this paint, pay close attention to even application so that the final results are visually appealing. Note that this paint takes relatively longer to dry, so you should be patient while waiting for exemplary results.

wrought iron metal fence railings

Modern Masters ME208-0


  • Suitable for both outdoor and indoor usage
  • It comes along with a rust activator
  • Give the metal surface a superior look
  • It consists of actual metal particles


  • It takes longer to dry


The Modern Masters ME208-0 paint has components including metal particles which gives it a superb appearance. Generally, this paint is perfect for iron surfaces. Aside from using it on the wrought iron fence, other areas you can use this paint include; iron gates and doors.

Whether your target surface is bare metal or rustic old paint, this paint will transform the look of the entire surface of your target metal. Plus, it is capable of making old metal surfaces loose rust.

1 gal Modern Masters ME208 Iron Metal Effects Reactive Metallic Paint

For better results, give the paint enough time to dry up. Bear in mind that this paint is water-based and not oil-based, as some people might expect. Though nothing beats oil-based paint in the durability department, the Modern Masters ME208-0 is reasonably durable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it necessary to sand the iron before painting?

Sanding makes your work relatively easy while applying the paint using a brush or spray painting. It makes the surface smooth so the paint can stick properly on the metal surface. Moreover, it will help make the applied paint last longer. 

What should I do when preparing the metal surface for painting?

First, scrape off the old paint and rust from the iron surface. A wire brush is the best equipment for such activities. After scraping the surface, wash it up, then wait for it to dry out. As a finisher, consider using double coats of paint and primer. 

Can I paint over an old paint job?

Yes, and options include the use of a wire brush, steel brush, or paint scraper to scrape as much rust as possible off ferrous metals such as a wrought iron fence. You might need a pressure washer or standard garden hose and warm water to clean things off after a good scrape and sand session. This preliminary effort goes a long way to making sure your new paint job is a flawless masterpiece. In addition to brushing, you can sand the surface to ensure it’s perfectly smooth before applying the paint, as previously mentioned. 

Since we’re talking about a fence, the removal of old paint may require a metal-etching primer that will help any new spray application (black paint) stay on before it peels off. Acrylic paint is can work for outside use and metal. You can also consider acrylic primers for your undercoat. The following step will ensure your new paint job stays in good condition for a long time.

Wagner 0529021 FLEXiO 890 Stationary HVLP Paint Sprayer, Sprays Unthinned Latex, Includes two Nozzles, iSpray Nozzle and Detail Finish Nozzle, Complete Adjustability for All Needs

Want to maximum bang for your buck? The Wagner Spray Cup Liner (including a Wagner Flexio spray gun) with spray cans will help you apply thin coats or a thick coat. For anything that you want to avoid painting accidentally, use tape to avoid the area.

Wagner 0529071/529071 Sprayer Cup Liners 5 Pack -OEM

The problem with iron fences is they rust a lot. You’ll find this to be a big problem in desert climates or any surrounding area near the seashore or any lakefront. Like Southern California! 😀

How can I get paint to stick on the metal surface?

It can be a frustrating experience to peel off metal furniture’s paint. Applying colored paint using a paintbrush on a metal surface requires a high level of expertise. Bear in mind that the metal type will determine whether the color will or won’t stick on its surface. 

Use medium-grit sandpaper and scrape off the metal surface if you want the paint to stick to the metal surface. If you’re going to use water-based paint, make it stick well by applying a metal-etching coat of primer first. Note that this is ideal for all types of fencing you prefer.

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