How to restore a rusty gate
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How to Restore a Rusty Gate

Have you ever found a beautiful old gate just calling out to be loved again? This guide shows how to restore a rusty gate to its former glory. It is an easy project anyone can do at home.

Tools Needed

  • Coarse Grit Sandpaper (Paid link)
  • Old Soft Paintbrush
  • Clean Stick (For stirring the paint)
  • Paint Lid Opener (Paid link)
  • Old Newspaper and Rag
  • Mineral Turpentine
  • 1 Litre Paint for Metal (Preferably with primer included). This is one example from Amazon (paid link). Choose the desired gloss, colour and effect.


Time needed: 2 hours.

How to Restore a Rusty Gate

  1. Prepare the Gate

    First hang the gate as it is easier to paint in this position. Then go over it with the coarse sandpaper to remove any old paint or bits of flaking rust. Wipe down with a rag to remove any remaining dust.

    Preparing an old rusty gate for restoration.

  2. Protect Your Path

    Next place a drop sheet or weighed down newspapers on the ground to prevent any paint drips landing on your pavement or path.

  3. Stir the Paint

    Stir the paint with a clean stick until well mixed then paint on the gate with an old brush if you have one or buy a cheap soft brush. The brush won’t be able to be reused as the ends of the brush tend to wear on the metal surface.

    Painting an old rusty gate with a brush.

  4. Paint the Gate

    It’s best not to overload the brush as the paint is thin and will drip. Work on one section at a time moving from one side of the gate to the other to make sure no drips form on the other side.
    Hold scrap paper between the post and the gate to prevent the paint getting on the post.

    Protecting the post from the paint by placing cardboard in between.

  5. Finish and Clean

    Once finished put up a wet paint sign if it is in a high traffic area then clean up any spills and your skin with mineral turpentine.


Another option would be to use spray paint but it doesn’t go as far as a tin of paint and you would need to have a well ventilated space to spray where it won’t get on anything else.

If the gate has a lot of rust go over it first with a wire brush before using the sandpaper. (Paid link)

To save or print this guide on how to restore a rusty gate, here is the PDF Version.

Do you love DIY projects?  Why not try making cover strips, bird baths made from scrap materials or refinishing your cutting board.

Are you interested in growing your own food, preserving or saving money at home? Try this free Homesteading guide.

For more information, try this guide on DIY Projects around the home.

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