One of the best things about having a porch, or arbor, or pergola, is to have beautiful things climb up the supports. I just love climbers that cover a support with beautiful blooms. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s wisteria, or clematis, or even gourds (I saw this years ago in a Martha Stewart Living magazine and had to do it, and it worked…they were awesome), I love the climbers. And both my front and back porch have great wrought iron supports in a traditional scroll pattern that are perfect to have these vines climb. The only problem is, the flowers can put some extra wear and tear on the finish. I’ll admit it, in all these years, I’ve never touched up the wrought iron with paint, but I couldn’t put it off any longer.
Because my supports have vines growing up them most of the spring, summer, and early fall, I had to get a jump-start on the painting. I also had to wait until the weather was warm enough. Lucky for me, this past weekend was perfect. The weather was in the 60s, and, while the vines are growing, they haven’t hit the supports just yet.
As you can see, the supports were looking pretty bad. There were many places where the paint had completely come off, and there were some spots that had a good bit of rust. I really shouldn’t have put off this project as long as I had, but I digress. The first thing I did was got my supplies together. I needed a good, durable paint, and, after consulting with my friends at Home Depot, decided on 1 quart of Rust-Oleum Stops Rust in flat black. This is an oil-based paint, but I needed it to be oil-based for durability and because of the rust. It’s pretty easy to deal with, but you need to use a paint thinner to clean the brushes, and yourself if you’re like me. I just used some gasoline…I put some in a metal can for the brushes and rubbed some on my hands to get the paint off. Maybe not the best idea, but it worked. As for the color, the reason I went for flat is glossy paint shows more imperfections…and I figured I might end up with some imperfections!
To begin, I took a wire brush and metal Brillo pad (without soap) and knocked as much of the old paint off as I could. The wire brush gets most of it off, and I used the pad for sections that I couldn’t quite reach. You don’t need to take all of the old paint off, just everything that’s loose or flaking. Once that was done, I wiped everything down with a damp towel and got started.
The paint was pretty easy to get on, and it covered really nicely. I did use two types of brushes, one that was about an inch wide, and another that was much smaller for those tight spots. It also dried really well. I didn’t do a full two coats, but I did spot check and touch up where needed.
I’m pretty happy with the finished result, and how well the vines are growing. As you can see, the clematis is already stretching out to reach the trellis. I just kept pushing it away until I was done the painting. Now I can be nice and redirect it.
I’m pretty happy about how well the other flowers and trees are growing too. Here are some pictures of what’s going on in the yard, outside of the climbers, so far this spring.