How to Repaint Metal Driveway Gates

A white metal gate across a driveway.
What You'll Need
Household cleaner
Scrub brush
Wire brush
Emery cloth
Tack cloth
Face mask
Protective eye wear
Drop cloth
Rust neutralizer
Metal primer
Paint roller (or paint sprayer)
Paint brushes

Metal driveway gates can be a beautiful addition to your home but can also deter from the look of it if the paint starts peeling or flaking. Rust can also cause problems. Fortunately, you can keep your gates looking new with a new coat of paint, some simple tools, planning, and a little time.

Step 1 - Choose the Right Weather

You'll want to choose a time when no rain is forecasted for at least a few days before repainting metal driveway gates. If it rains soon after you paint, it can damage the new finish. Avoid windy periods as well, because this can cause dirt, debris, and insects to blow against the gate and stick to the paint. Check upcoming weather conditions prior to starting the painting process.

Step 2 - Clean the Gates

Remove any caked-on dirt or mud before refinishing metal gates. Cleaning will also help identify what areas are rusted and what areas are simply dirty. Cleaning also provides a smooth surface to work on.

Using a scrub brush, water, and a mild cleanser such as dish soap, thoroughly clean the metal gates. You can also use a power washer. Allow the gates to dry.

Step 3 - Prepare the Area

Put a drop cloth beneath the metal driveway gates and over any nearby shrubs, grass, or bushes to avoid getting paint where you don't want it.

Step 4 - Remove Old Paint and Rust

Put protective eyewear and a face mask on before sanding to avoid getting dust in your eyes or lungs. Use an electric sander or a wire brush to remove old paint. An emery cloth can remove light rust, or you can use the wire brush or sander for thicker patches of rust. You may not be able to remove every speck of paint, but try to get the surface as smooth as possible.

Step 5 - Prevent Rust

Once the surface is as smooth as you can get it, use a tack cloth to remove any clinging dust. Next, apply rust neutralizer to keep any rust patches from growing larger or pushing through the new paint.

Step 6 - Prime the Metal Driveway Gates

Use the metal primer to coat the gates two or three times. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next coat. With primer and paint, use a roller, brushes, sprayer, or a combination of the three. Spraying allows for quick coating, but brushes may be necessary to thoroughly fill in crevices.

Step 7 - Paint

Apply your choice of paint to the gate. The best product for use on a wrought iron gate is a high gloss alkyd paint. While you can use a sprayer, you'll waste less paint while achieving a thicker coat by using a roller for most of the gate. Use a brush to get in tiny areas of your metal driveway gates.