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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Why is Wrought Iron Usually Black?

Wrought iron fencing is an elegant form of fencing or railing. Good quality wrought iron fencing is the product of a skilled artisan. The artisans who produce wrought iron are called blacksmiths. Wrought iron is naturally colored black due to the oxide layer formed on the metal during the heating process. Since much of the process of working the iron involves hammering or smiting the iron the term blacksmith means a person who smites black iron, usually with a hammer.

Black wrought iron fencing is a durable product both because of the strength of the iron and the fact that wrought iron fencing resists rust as long as the original black coating is undisturbed. Wrought iron fencing is often found in salvage yards or other such businesses. Sometimes cast iron replicas of wrought iron can also be found and should not be confused with wrought iron. Cast iron rusts easily and is brittle and difficult to repair.

New black wrought iron fencing does not require painting unless a color change is desired. If it is desired to paint the fencing, a good quality paint designed for use on iron should be used. Always start with a good primer and use a brush to paint. Spray paint tends to not bond well and will peel. Do not sand or wire-brush wrought iron unless you are removing rust. Rust should be thoroughly removed. Directions for painting wrought iron are available on-line. Be sure to check instructions that come with your paint.

Wrought iron fencing can be relatively plain or rather elaborate. Custom made wrought iron fencing and railing can be custom made for your project and is available locally in most areas. Be sure that the style of your fencing is appropriate. Porch or stair railing should be of the same architectural style as the house. Do not use railing that would fit a New Orleans French Quarter home on an Art Deco home.

Wrought iron fences may contain cast iron or other decorative pieces in the form of cats, dogs, children, angels, hearts, or virtually any object. When painting a wrought iron fence be sure to treat these parts according to the type of metal used for them. If the pieces have detail be sure that your paint does not obscure the detail.

If you have a quiet garden with wrought iron fencing around it remember that wrought iron fencing may be vulnerable to theft. Cemeteries often have problems with wrought iron fencing being stolen. Pay attention to the security of your wrought iron. Even plain, relatively inexpensive iron fencing may be stolen for scrap iron if it is easily accessible. This is not a major problem and should not prevent you from enjoying the beauty and durability of wrought iron.                                                                                             l  


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