Protecting wrought iron fireplace accessories from corrosion is important if you want to get a long life out of your fireplace tools, andirons, screens and log holders. Fireplaces and woodstoves used for heating as opposed to mere decoration can put your accessories through a beating, especially if you frequently burn fires in your home. Wrought iron, although very dense and seemingly impenetrable, is susceptible to oxidation, resulting in rust and decay. To protect your wrought iron fireplace accessories, there are a few steps involved, but it’s nothing you can’t do on your own.
Step 1 – Check for Signs of Oxidation
You will have to remove any rust that has appeared. Take a wire brush and give the wrought iron a good scrubbing wherever you find evidence of oxidation. This might wear the black finish down a bit, but the paint will take care of that later.
Step 2 – Prepare a Workplace
Once you have worked out the rust, prepare a work place for yourself. Outdoors is best, but if it must be indoors, make sure several windows are open. In both cases use a big enough drop to contain the paint.
Step 3 – Apply the Primer
Before you apply the anti-corrosive paint, you’ll want to apply a high temperature primer. Some primers withstand temperatures up to 1000° and are available in aerosol cans. They offer high temperature paint, good for use with fireplace accessories that have high heat exposure such as the andirons, poker tools, and screens. Spray the primer on evenly, holding the can 5 to 8 inches from the surface. Follow the directions regarding the proper number of coats. It’s a good idea to wear a facemask while you do this.
Step 4 – Apply the Anti-Corrosive, High Temperature Paint
A good product for this is Rustoleum High Heat Spray. It too will withstand temperatures up to 1200° and can be applied on metal fireplace accessories, although it is not recommended for use inside the fireplace. Whichever brand you choose, you will probably want a black matte finish. Glossy finishes just don’t go well with fireplaces, and their sheen will be covered up by ash and charcoal anyway.
Follow the same procedure as with the primer, applying at least two coats of paint. Be sure to let each coat dry thoroughly before you apply the next. In both cases, have some inexpensive foam brushes available to work the paint into the hard-to-reach spots. The clean up can be messy, so don’t bother using high quality brushes – simply dispose of them afterwards.
Step 5 – Drying and clean-up
Allow the final coat of paint to dry thoroughly. Place the newly-painted accessories on either the drop cloth or newspaper on your porch or in a well ventilated area. Properly dispose of the foam brushes, and telephone your waste management company for information regarding the disposal of the spent aerosol cans.