Monday, December 17, 2012

Repaint A Wrought Iron Door With Faux Finish

An old wrought-iron door is revived with a faux metal patina finish.

Wrought-iron doors are made to last, even if the surface gets a little rusty or a layer of paint starts to chip. Even if the surface doesn't show any signs of aging, plain black wrought iron doesn't fit with every style of building or decor. A faux finish, such as a metal patina, can make the door look new and fit in with its surroundings. Does this Spark an idea?


Remove the door from the hinges and lay it across a pair of sawhorses to make it easy to reach the top and sides. If the door is too difficult to remove, cover the hinges and any surrounding areas that won't be painted with painter's tape. Lightly sand the door to remove any rust or flaking paint, then wash it with a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water. If the door has a lot of rust or flaking paint, use a stiff wire brush to remove as much as possible prior to sanding and washing. Apply a rust inhibitor, and let it dry before painting.

Types of Paint

Select paint and primer designed for metal surfaces. You can use spray paint to speed up the process of applying the primer and base coat, then spray enough paint into a container to use a brush or sponge to apply subsequent coats; or you can use paint designed for brushing and rolling, or a combination of the two. Depending on the faux finish you plan to use, choose two to three colors of paint, including a base color, a top color, and a glaze or highlight color. To create an aged metal patina faux finish, look for colors that mimic the natural aging process of the metal you plan to re-create. For example, for an aged-bronze look choose black, metallic copper and dark bronze.


Prior to painting the door, practice the faux technique you plan to use on a piece of scrap metal or wood. Paint the base color first, then apply the top coat using a rag, sponge or stippling brush. You also can brush on a thin top coat that covers the base color, then quickly wipe it away with a brush or rag. Use a small brush or sponge to apply highlight color. Experiment with different techniques; when you get the right results and feel confident you can replicate them, start painting the door.

Prime and Paint

Apply a thin coat of primer, either by spraying or brushing it onto the door. Make sure to cover the sides and crevices of all the decorative elements. If the door is laying across a pair of sawhorses, work on one side, let it dry, then flip it over to work on the opposite side. Let the primer dry completely, usually two to three hours, then apply the base coat of paint. Repeat the faux painting technique as you practiced it, allowing each coat of paint to dry completely before proceeding with the next.

Tags: base color, faux finish, metal patina, across pair, across pair sawhorses