Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Repair Wrought Iron Railing

An iron stair well looks brand new when freshly painted.

Wrought iron is one of the sturdier outdoor materials and a great choice for furniture and stair railings. Wrought iron can last for decades with the proper care and maintenance. Exposure of bare metal to any type of moisture will cause the iron to rust. A simple coat of paint will prevent moisture from attacking the metal. But, painting over metal that is already rusted will result in the rust coming back quickly. Remove the rust before you paint the railing and you will have a great looking stair case for years to come. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Mix two tablespoons of dish washing soap and water in a large bucket. Dip a scrub brush into the bucket and scrub the surface of the metal to remove all dirt and grime. Rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly.

2. Brush the heavily rusted portions of the railing with a steel-bristled brush. Move the brush back and forth briskly to knock the rust loose.

3. Attach medium grit sandpaper to a palm sander. Sand the surface of the metal to remove any remaining rust. Wipe away the dust and debris with a damp rag.

4. Spray on a chemical rust remover or rust converter. An acid-based converter will turn the rust to iron phosphate. Let the chemical sit on the surface of the wrought iron for the time recommended on the package instructions. Brush away the debris with the steel-bristled brush.

5. Mix two-part epoxy according to the package directions. Choose a patch compound suitable for wrought iron. Fill small holes and cracks with the compound using a putty knife. Smooth the top of the compound so it creates a smooth surface on the iron. Let the compound cure. Sand lightly with fine grit sandpaper to smooth.

6. Apply oil-based metal primer to the railing with a good quality paintbrush. Start at the top of the rail and work toward the middle. Once you have primed the top half, start at the bottom of the rail and prime upward. Let the primer coat dry for four hours or until the primer is dry to the touch.

7. Paint the railing with a rust-inhibiting oil-based paint for metal. Apply the paint using the same techniques used to apply the primer. Apply two to three coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry to the touch before applying the next. Let the final coat dry overnight.

Tags: railing with, bucket scrub, debris with, grit sandpaper, metal remove, steel-bristled brush, surface metal