How to Restore Your Driveway Gate to Its Original Beauty
How to Restore Your Fence or Gate to its Original Luster
A fence or driveway gate is a substantial investment, and as such it is important to many home owners for their fence to last as long as possible without looking too worn from exposure to the elements. Regular maintenance does wonders for prolonging the life of a fence or driveway gate, but sometimes a fence will need something extra. This article explores the best DIY solutions for restoring your fence or driveway gate to its original shine and luster.
What you will need:
- - Bucket
- -Wire Brush (or steel wool)
- - Nylon Scrub brush
- - Cleaning sponge
- - Dish Washing Detergent (or other mild soap)
- - Acrylic Latex (or oil based) spray paint
- - Paint Primer
1. Thoroughly clean your fence or driveway gate:
Fill your bucket with warm water and dish detergent. You will want to make sure that the soap solution is not too soapy, because excess soap will leave a residue. The solution should have just enough soap to bubble on the surface.
Going section by section, use the sponge to wipe away dirt and other debris and materials. For tougher areas of dirt, use the nylon scrub brush.
Visually inspect the fence for areas of rust. If you see rust or paint bubbling, use the steel wool or wire brush to scrub away the surface layers of rust
Once your fence has been cleaned, refill your bucket with only water, and pour the water over the gate to make sure there is no residue from the soap.
2. Prepare for refinishing:
You will always want to start with the darkest color and move towards the lightest. If your driveway gate is a solid color, then you’re in luck. However, if your driveway gate has multiple colors, then taper off the lighter colors and any other areas you do not want painted, and leave open the areas with the main or base color of paint
Lay down some painter's plastic, and make sure to keep all cars, other furniture, and other items away from the gate and its immediate surroundings so that if any over spray does not damage your other property
Wearing safety goggles and painter's mask, carefully coat the clean, exposed areas of your wrought iron fence with primer. Go section by section to avoid areas of excess or drips.
Allow the fence to dry for 2-4 hours before applying paint.
Wearing proper safety materials, go section by section and completely coat the fence from both sides with a very light coat of paint. Don't worry if you do not get full coverage at first! It is better to do multiple, light coats rather than trying to correct inconsistencies and applying a thick coat which may drip
Allow paint to dry based on manufacturer's directions, Apply second coat and repeat as necessary
Once you have applied your final coat, allow the paint to dry overnight. Wait to remove tape from taped off areas until the rest of the fence is completely dry.
**Pro-Tip** Avoid painting your fence on windy days, as wind may blow dirt and debris into wet paint**
What you will need:
- -Pressure Washer (you can rent one from a local hardware store)
- - Sand paper 220 grit
- - Exterior Wood Stain
- - Exterior waterproof Sealant
- - Paint brushes
- - Painters Drop Cloth
1. Pressure wash your fence or driveway gate
Follow any and all safety recommendations for the pressure washer. Follow instructions exactly as written to pressure wash fence or driveway gate
This may be all you need to do! However, often times pressure washing will create inconsistencies in finish of wooden driveway gates which have been previously painted or sealed. If after pressure washing you are satisfied with the color which is exposed, then simply move on to the sealant step. Otherwise, continue reading.
2. Prepare the fence or gate for staining
Using sand paper, even out the surface of the wood so that it is consistent and smooth all around. Remove any remaining areas of sealant or stain to expose the wood underneath
Using a damp cloth, wipe away any remaining dust from sanding. You will need for the fence to be completely free from debris to stain and seal it!
3. Stain your fence or driveway gate
Follow manufacturer's instructions. Usually, you will use a wide brush to apply the stain in thin, even coats, making sure to paint in the direction of the grain.
Repeat adding coats until you are satisfied with the color.
Allow to dry
You will want to apply waterproof sealant to your freshly stained fence. We recommend using a waterproof sealant that is typically used for decks and patios as this will add a layer of protection and will help prevent the growth of mold, mildew and prolong the amount of time it takes for natural degradation of the wood to occur.
Make sure to follow the directions exactly as prescribed by the manufacturer. Allow to dry between coats!
For vinyl fencing you will really only need to pressure wash it. The color of the vinyl is beyond the surface, so it is unlikely you will need to paint the vinyl fence.
If you don’t want to, or cannot access a pressure washer, you can use steel wool and a soap/ detergent mixture to carefully scrub away surface stains.
We suggest purchasing a vinyl protectant or mold protectant from a local hardware store. This simple step can reduce the amount of mold, aleatory mildew that may form on vinyl driveway gates when exposed to prolonged humidity or moisture
Steel Driveway gates
Clean the Gates
You will want to remove any caked on dirt or mud before trying to refinish your gate. Cleaning will also help you identify what areas are rusted and what areas are simply dirty. Cleaning also gives you a smooth surface on which to work.
Using a scrub brush, mild cleanser such as dish soap, and water, thoroughly clean the gates. You can also use a power washer. Allow to dry.
2. Prepare the Area
Put a drop cloth down beneath the metal driveway gates and over any nearby shrubs, grass or bushes to avoid getting paint where you don't want it.
Put protective eye wear and a face mask on before sanding to avoid getting dust in your eyes or lungs. Use an electric sander and/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, so just be sure that the surface is smooth.
3. Prevent Rust
Once the surface is as smooth as you can get it, use a tack cloth to remove any clinging dust. Then use a rust neutralizer to keep any rust patches from growing larger or pushing through your new paint.
Use the metal primer to coat the gates two or three times. Allow each coat to dry before applying the next. With primer and paint you can use a roller, brushes or a sprayer or a combination of the three. Spraying allows for quick coating, but brushes may be necessary to thoroughly fill in crevices.
Apply your choice of paint to the gate. The best paint for use on a wrought iron gate is a high gloss alkyd. 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.
Your Fence or Driveway Gate May Not Need Replacing!
Surface restoration is often a much more economical option when it comes to restoring driveway gates. The best way to prolong the life of your driveway gate is with regularly schedules maintenance, and spot fixing problems as they come up.
Call us at 1-866-750-7777 or contact us to set up a free in-home estimate