wrought iron railing

Hello all. I apologize for the painting topic as I am sure its been dealt with many times, but I could not find clear instructions searching archives with google for what I need to do.
I have wrought iron raliing leading up to my front door. Not very much, maybe 20 feet in all. I think it needs a paint job as the old paint is starting to peel. If its not too hard its something I'd like to tackle myself. But I a quite a newbie when it coes to these things. So here are my questions:
1) What are the exact steps I need to take? Can I just take a brush and some paint and start painting? Any prepatory steps?
2) What kind of equipment would I need? Is there a special kind of brush?
3) What kind of paint do I need?
4) Is this something I should try myself having no experience?
I am not looking to do anything fancy. I am happy with the current color (black) and would be fine keeping it that way if its easier (is it harder to change colors out of curiousity?).
Thanks a lot for everyone's help.
Yoel Spotts
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Scrape off all loose paint and rust, even chipping off the rust with a putty knife , screwdriver, and wood chisel, wire brush it good. Remove all loose paint and rust to metal. Wash it real , real , clean with TSP, prime bare metal with something like Rustolieum Rusty Metal primer. Paint it or spray it 2 coats with oil paint for metal . The prep job is what will make it last. Dont paint when damp or hot or in the sun.
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m Ransley wrote:

Thanks for the response! Sorry for being so ignorant, but what is TSP?
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Yoel Spotts wrote:

No problem -- it's "trisodium phosphate" and should be available at a home improvement store.
-- Vinnie
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Several years ago, I bought some water based metal primer at a True Value store in Tucson. It said after cleaning, wet the metal with a damp rag and then paint with a brush. It was a reddish brown color, dried with no brush marks. Then I followed with a water base flat black (for metal) brushed on. I did the railings and two steel security doors. The paint was still like new several years later. I wish I had written down the name of the stuff. I asked about it at the True Value store here and they didn't know what I was talking about. It was easy to use and cleanup was with soap and water.
Bob

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<< 1) What are the exact steps I need to take? >>
Follow this scenario:
1) Buy a spray can of bleck Rustoleum.
2) Read the label instructions.
3) Prepare to follow instructions; go back to the store for a wire brush or other things you may not have.
4) Apply paint. Admire results.
HTH
Joe
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You should know that some railings are garbage. The one on my stoop was hollow metal with spot welds which let water get in. Rusts from the inside and no amount of paint will save it. Replacing it with a solid material welded all the way around.

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wrote:

Get the peeling paint and anything else loose (dirt, rust, bird poop, etc) off with a wire brush.

A metal brush to get the peeling paint and big chunks of rust off.

Black Rustoleum spray paint, in either matte or satin. I like the satin better because it's easier to wash off with the hose. It also doesn't look as lumpy if the old paint came off unevenly.

Sure. No problem. I can do it, so it doesn't take experience. Don't try to paint the elaborate, curlicue wrought-iron lamps from Mexico first, though. They need a little more experience.
Oh, yeah, don't try to spray one perfect coat on. Be prepared to go over it a couple of times, spraying lightly. Spray with little puffs on the curves and with long sweeps on the straighter parts. Use plastic drop cloths and cover more than you think spray could ever reach. Don't do this on a windy day unless you like having satin black freckles.

I happen to really like non-shiny black wrought iron, so I'm not inclined to color. We have pinkish-beige painted gates at our winter house and I think it looks wrong. That's just my opinion, of course.
Mary
--
Mary Shafer Retired aerospace research engineer
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wrote:

should be done right. All the loose material should be removed. If there is rust present, use a "rusty metal primer" (Rustoleum makes this).

brushes, primer, paint, tarp, solvent, rags, etc.

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