How to Properly Care for Your Wrought Iron Door
When used for furniture or gating, wrought iron offers any property a classic, rustic appearance befitting of almost any home and almost any style. However, when used for front doors, it is often cast with other materials, namely steel and wood.
The result is a classic, elegant appearance that can turn the typical facade into something stately. Additionally, wrought iron is used in the construction of security doors and the result is an imposing door that dissuades potential burglars.
Because of its versatility in both appearance and function, it is a popular component among many doors. Another popular feature of wrought iron is that it is easy to maintain.
Just Use Soap and Water
Wrought iron is made in a process that turns pig iron into a purer form of pig iron, called wrought iron. During the purification process, slag is introduced into it, making the wrought iron malleable and durable. As such, it resists corrosion due to rain and sunlight. Many times, all you need to do to care for your wrought iron door is wipe it clean with a sponge soaked with soap and water.
In terms of type of soap, it is best to use a so-called green soap. Green soaps are made from natural vegetation rather than from animal fat. As such, they are alkaline instead of acid. Soaps with an acidic pH can further erode the iron.
Dry It Well
Although wrought iron can withstand the elements much better than many other types of metal, it is still metal. As such, it is vulnerable to rusting as a result of rain or cleaning. As such, you should dry the metal with a rag. After wiping it clean with a rag, you can help dry droplets caught in crevices by blowing the door with a leaf blower. Doing so will prevent the water from contributing to rust.
Touch It Up with Paint
Painting is one of the best ways to care for or protect a wrought iron door. To do so, you should first apply an exterior primer of the same color as the final paint. Once the primer is dry, you can apply an exterior paint to the metal and allow it to dry. Painting wrought iron black is one of the best ways to maintain the overall natural appearance of your door while also making it near impervious to the elements.
Wax It Regularly
If you do not want to paint your door or wash and blow dry it, you can apply a thin coating of clear car wax to the surface. Doing so will allow water to bead up and roll off the door. Of course, wax will eventually dry and dissipate, but with one coating, you can achieve months of protection for your door.
When waxing the door, make sure you use a lint-free rag to buff the door. Doing so will keep tiny flecks of lint from accumulating in the wax. If you do not have a lint-free rag, you can use a sponge.
Alternatively, you can spray wax onto the wrought iron and wipe it smooth with a lint-free rag. However, if the wrought iron is used in conjunction with other materials, such as wood or steel, you will want to mask these other materials with blue painter's tape in order to keep them from becoming stained.
Try Linseed Oil
In a pinch, linseed oil will serve much the same purpose as wax. It will also give the wrought iron a shiny glow when wiped into the metal. Linseed oil will not last as long as wax, but it is often something you already have around the house.
Inspect It Often
Wrought iron contracts when it freezes and it expands again when it warms. Because wrought iron is often used in the making of exterior doors, it is certainly subject to winter freezing and summer heating. Eventually, this process can crack the wrought iron and these cracks are subject to collecting rainwater. Over time, these cracks will rust and lead to more cracking.
Inspecting the door is the only real way to identify if your door has suffered any cracking due to heating and cooling. If it has, you should either paint it or apply a protective coating of wax. If you do not, it will continue to deteriorate in both appearance and strength.
Remove Rust with Kerosene
Often, inspecting wrought iron will reveal rust in process. This must be cleaned and protected. To clean rust off of a door, use a wire brush and carefully scrub the iron until it is free of rust. For hard-to-reach areas, you can apply kerosene to a cotton swab and dab at the rust. Doing so will help erode the rust. With the rust softened, you can continue scrubbing with the wire brush. Once the door is clean and the kerosene has evaporated, you can apply wax or paint.