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How to…Restore an Iron Gate

This little project has been an on-going one since we moved in to this house about two years ago but with the help of my Mum this week, it is finally finished!

My priority has always been to get the inside of the house looking good with the front and back garden a kind of afterthought that we just about keep on top of with the occasional bit of lawn mowing and weeding. The front of your house however is obviously the first thing that people see when they come over so I wanted to smarten ours up to make a good first impression and all that!

We inherited a rather worn and rusty iron gate when we moved in, which I assume was once painted black. As you have probably gleaned, I am a fan of all things white so set about researching how to transform our gates. I should point out that I first started this project in April 2012 so it has taken me a good two years to finish it…sounds about right for me, although I am clearly going to blame it on the lack of good sunny outside-painting weather!


The basic kit you will need:

  • Wire brushes (a thick one for the gate posts and a thin one for getting into the fiddly ornate bits)gate3
  • Paintbrush (use an old one as unless you want to buy the specialist thinner, this paint is pretty impossible to clean off!)
  • Specialist metal paint in the colour of your choice (I chose one that didn’t need a primer or top coat)gate13
  • Hot soapy water and an old rag/ cloth

Try and choose a day or weekend when you have fairly decent weather as rain can interfere with the paint drying and wind can cause dust and debris to stick to your newly painted gates.

Begin by using your wire brushes to thoroughly scrub the gate to remove all traces of rust. With a gate of this size, it did feel like a rather painstaking process but it ensures the paint has a good surface to adhere to and gets rid of all the old paint as well.

gate6gate7 gate8

You can see where I used the wire brushes here:


Next, using hot soapy water and a rag, clean down the iron to ensure all traces of rust and dust are gone.gate9 gate10

Finish off with a spray of clean water but mind your toes…I got soaked!

IMG_1354 IMG_1356 IMG_1357

Once the gate has dried off, then you can start painting. You can lay down old sheets if you want to avoid getting paint on the surrounding floor or plants but I didn’t bother.

gate15 gate18 gate19

We needed two layers of paint for full coverage and if your gate is ornate like ours then you really do need to take care and make sure every twist and curl is painted.

gate23 gate24 gate25

Once the gates dried and I admired our handiwork, I added the finishing touch which was a number 7 sign I bought when we first moved and can FINALLY put up now!

gate26 gate27 gate28

I hope you’ll agree the gates now look 100 times better and make our drive look so much nicer! x



About hannahhotcakes

My name is Hannah. I live near Bath in a lovely village in the Cotswolds with my husband Ian, the love of my life for the past 10 years, in our dream cottage. I have landed my dream job as a primary school teacher and I can’t think of anything else I would rather be doing. I am a self-confessed foodie and I love to cook, bake, and eat out as much as possible. Here are some things I love: My friends and family, travelling, fresh flowers, good books, having breakfast on my balcony, horror films, Christmas, tea, Las Vegas, lie-ins, red wine, Liverpool FC, music, sausage dogs, Spain, rare steak, fashion, cheese, American TV series and camping. And here are my pet hates: People dressed as animals, whistling, being rushed, being made to wait, girls who act stupid to impress a man, spiders, sunburn and rocket (it comes with EVERYTHING!)

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  1. Pingback: 2014 | hannahhotcakes

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