A project for autumn - restoring an outdoor metal fence

Walk along almost any street and you will see a metal fence in a garden, on an outdoor staircase or a balcony. You will also notice that many fences have not been restored, and are poorly or not at all protected. As autumn approaches with its cooler days, it’s the perfect time for restoring or protecting a metal fence.


The proper restoration and protection of outdoor metal fences prevents faster deterioration and extends their lifespan. Proper restoration and long-term protection are achieved by properly preparing the metal surface and choosing the right coating system.

Choose a day with good weather, without rain or fog, as high humidity can prolong the paint’s drying time. We also do not recommend coating directly under a hot sun, as this may result in irregularities in the coating film during drying. If there is still dew on the items in the morning, wait for it to dry and the items to warm up to the ambient temperature, before starting the restoration. The most suitable coating temperature is somewhere between 10 and 25°C.


Preparing a metal fence for restoration

The most important thing is to prepare the surface properly before coating. This ensures the paint has good adhesion and consequently long durability.

With previously unprotected iron and steel surfaces, you must first mechanically remove rust and other impurities and degrease the surface with TESSAROL NITRO thinner.

Restoration of an older metal fence that has previously been painted, depends on the condition of the surface. Undamaged coatings should be sanded and cleaned; damaged coatings should be removed entirely. Then, as with a new metal fence, remove the rust. The most effective way to remove rust and old paint from metal fences is using wire brushes and fan grinders mounted on a hand drill or screwdriver.


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Clean the sanded metal surface with TESSAROL NITRO thinner. If removing rust with chemical agents based on acid (phosphoric), thoroughly wash the surface with water and dry it, and only then begin coating, as residues prevent the paint from drying.


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Preventing rust on a metal fence reoccurring

Metal fences and other iron items are sensitive to water and air and consequently prone to rust. Once all the rust and old paint has been removed, first apply a protective primer, which contains anti-corrosion agents, prevents rusting and improves adhesion to the surface. For long-term protection of newer metal fences, we recommend applying at least one layer of primer, and two layers on older metal fences, to protect the surface from rust and also improve adhesion of the final layers.


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Coatings for a metal fence

For outdoor metal fences that are exposed to various weather and mechanical influences, we recommend the use of enamels with gloss, as they are more resistant and require less frequent restoration. The choice of coatings depends on the surface you are protecting and desired final appearance.

Only one product can be used for iron and steel protection, namely TESSAROL DIRECT 3in1, which represents both the primer and the top coat in one. During restoration, apply it directly onto the cleaned surface.

The popular vintage wrought iron look can be achieved by using the top coat TESSAROL ANTIK 3in1.

Using classic primers such as the solvent-based TESSAROL PRIMER UNI or the water-based TESSAROL ACRYLIC PRIMER UNI  can, in addition to providing basic wood and iron protection, also protect non-ferrous metals such as copper, aluminum and zinc, where the coating’s adhesion is a bigger challenge.


Choosing the right product

The recommended coating system consists of applying one coat of TESSAROL primer followed by two coats of the selected TESSAROL top coat. You can use classic solvent-based coatings or ecological water-based coatings.

The classic enamles have excellent application properties, spread nicely on the surface and have a long open time, which means that they can be corrected for a longer period of time without leaving traces of the brush or roller on the dry coating film. The top coat has a high gloss and good weather and chemical resistance. The minor disadvantages of solvent-based coatings are a longer drying time, the odour and yellowing of white shades in dark indoor spaces.

For indoor spaces, we therefore recommend water-based enamels, which are odourless, dry quickly and do not turn yellow indoors. Thanks to their good weather resistance, they can of course also be used outdoors.

When coating with water-based products, we recommend using TESSAROL ACRYLIC PRIMER UNI and two finishing layers of TESSAROL ACRYLIC ENAMEL. Enamels also have a protective effect, as they protect metal from the sun and rain. We offer a wide range of shades.

If you choose solvent-based coatings, first coat the metal fence with TESSAROL PRIMER UNI. The choice of finishing layer depends on the desired final appearance.


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A novelty from 2021

This year’s novelty is the universal enamel TESSAROL PRO PROTECT. We have solved the shortcomings of classic solvent-based products by carefully selecting the raw materials.

The white shade does not yellow indoors, and in addition to its excellent application properties and durability, the coating also dries quickly. Although it is a classic solvent-based enamel, another layer can be applied after only 6 hours, which allows several coats to be applied in one day. This saves both time and money. With most ordinary enamels, the second layer can only be applied after 24 hours of drying.

The coating’s further advantage is its excellent weather resistance. Accelerated weather tests show that the coating lasts up to 10 years in a system with a suitable primer and properly prepared surface. Items protected with TESSAROL PRO PROTECT therefore retain their original appearance for a long time.


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To maintain good protection and a good appearance, we recommend regularly inspecting all metal surfaces. Under normal conditions, it is sufficient to do this once a year. Pay special attention to horizontal and sun-exposed surfaces that are more exposed to the weather.

Once the restoration and protection are completed, you will be able to enjoy the view of a freshly restored metal fence.