Hello.. Could someone recommend the best way for me to paint this metal
railing by my front door ? I have a picture of it here -
As you can see the paint is already crumbling off from last year's
coating... Yes, I actually had it looking good last year.
I asked my dad and other friends...and most people seem to have the same
problem... Its so hard to keep a good coating of paint on these types of
railing.. Its such a pain in the butt to paint too. I used a brush last
Any recommendations on types of paint and methods to use would be much
Get rid of any loose paint. Best to strip it right down to bare metal as
the existing paint is probably going to peel soon and make a new mess. .
Use a good metal primer.
Then paint with a good metal enamel.
It is tedious to paint with a brush, but with a spray can you get a lot of
overspray. I had similar rails and fence in my last house and could get 8
to 10 years before needed re-painting.
I used a wire bruch angle grinder attachement to get rid of all the old
paint and rust off of mine. Then several coats of oil based primer,
enough so that I could not see through. Then several coats of oil
based paint, enough so that you can't see through to the primer. I
used Rustoleum products for the paint and primer. Did this over 3
years ago and it still looks great (used gloss black paint) and does
not appear to be failing in any way. Railing is original vintage 1950
that came with the house.
Whaddever you do, don't make the mistake of getting one of those fleece
"painting mitts" and trying to use it for applying oil based paint to
I bought one a few years ago thinking using it it would make a quick and
neat job of painting my similar looking wrought iron railings. I tried
applying black RustOleum with it and the "fur" pulled out and stuck to
the wet paint on the very first swipes.
I cleaned the mess off and finished the job using a brush.
I pinged the mitt's manufacturer about that and they admitted they
weren't intended for use with oil paints. I suggested they make that
fact plainer on their package instructions, for dummies like me who'd
never tried one before. <G>
Yes. It looks like the paint just isn't sticking
to the metal. I suggest that you spray paint with
Krylon, Rustoleum would be an alternative. But
you must use a rust resistant undercoat; use the
rust colored undercoat not the gray color. Spray
painting the rail should be quick and easy,
preparation to paint takes longer.
1. Remove the loose pain, steel brush probably.
Wet sand lightly with 220 or 320 grit wet/dry
paper to assure remaining paint edges are
feathered. Let dry thoroughly (like wipe off the
water with a towel and set in the sun for a couple
of hours and let rest a day.
2. Cover everything you don't want painted by
taping newspaper with 6 inch overlaps and out at
least 1-1/2 feet from the surface to be painted.
3. Get a backboard of cardboard not less than 2'
4. Spray undercoat lightly from 9-12 inches
keeping the backboard directly on the other side
of what you are painting (the board will pick up
most of the overspray). Spray from two directions
then spray as needed to fill in that is why you
must spray lightly.
5. Give it another light coat of undercoat when
the first has dried (read the can for recoat time)
to assure that all surfaces are covered.
6. Spray with your top coat, same technique, two
light coats assuring that all surfaces are covered.
I have had such painted metal last for 10 plus
years through rain (way less than the east coast)
sun (lots) and snow (lots). Good luck
your arm, can nozzle parallel with
Final note: you could probably remove the railing
to paint it.
Whatever spray can of for-metal paint you were using... well, uh... try
another brand. ;)
I think the 2 most important factors are:
1. Get all the rust off and get it immaculate before priming/painting.
3M makes a good rust-stripping wheel that looks sponge-like and works
10X better than a wire brush wheel, at least for most surfaces.
2. Many, many coats. The more coats you have, the less likely
moisture and air will be able to get to the metal.
Looks like if you took a sharp scraper to it, you could remove some more of
the flakier sections. For the other, a stripper would work, or some sort of
wire brush on a drill or grinder. Stripper is nasty stuff, but works pretty
good. Mechanical brushes are good, too.
Important to get a good coat on it. Some use paint directly on the metal,
some prefer primering. Where I live in the dry desert Southwest, straight
paint is adequate.
Your railing looks like it is made of solid metal. At the joints, I see no
major rust, something that would be present if it were made out of hollow
tubing. Looks like the bottom rail is solid flat bar. Try to get out rusty
spots, as they will just keep rusting.
Buy a good rust paint, like Rustoleum. I'd use a 3" roller and 1" brush for
the cracks. Put down some plastic. Put it on thick, and try not to do it
in humid or rainy weather, and when it will have a couple of days to dry and
harden. Leave it alone to dry, so you don't have dings or fingerprints or
smudges on it. The more you leave it alone during drying, the shinier it
will be. Rustoleum is available in a lot of colors, too.
Take your time. Strip it all off, no matter what means you use. Clean it
good. Paint it good. Should be good for ten years minimum. Yearly touch
ups will keep you from having to do a total job. Maybe just repaint over
old paint every few years so you don't have any mottling of the shades of
paint because of its age. Sand or wirebrush rust spots, and paint over.
More than you wanted to know.
Steve (who has done about twenty miles of wrought iron as a contractor)
That looks like better quality, heavier gauge than what you can get now
without being custom made. A lot of the big box stores have gone to
aluminum and there's always iron pipe which so many around here use.
I've been paying attention because I need new ones. Menard's uses
Gilpin Iron Works I was told, looked them up on the web.
I think the other posters gave you good advice. Rather than multiple
coats of paint, they are still likely to chip, so my approach would be
to get as much of the old off as you can, go over the rusty areas with
steel wool, rinse well with hose and let dry, prime with Rustoleum, and
one, possibly two finish coats. You can always touch them up as they
are likely to chip, prime the chipped area and paint before it rusts, no
matter what you do. Maybe six coats of paint would inhibit that, but
who wants to mess with six coats? Spray gives a neater finish, but I'd
use a brush because it wastes less paint and you don't have to set up a
"spray booth" in front. That info was good in case you do want to spray
something outside though.
My inclination would not be to remove the rails or you might have
trouble bolting them back in.
Now that I disagree with. Getting water on it just lets it start to
rust (oxidize). Not a lot, but you don't want to start the process
before you prime it. Clean with a solvent (such as paint thinner) on
thanks guys for all the help.. Im going to save this thread for reference
when I actually start working on it again.. Seems like a 50/50 split on
whether to use spray paint or brush.. I think im going to go with spray
paint this time, since the brush was a super pain in the butt. Those bars
that twirl down all the way(as seen in the picture) are so difficult to
paint with a brush.. you have to go round and round...all the way around.
I appreciate all the tips. You guys are awesome here.. So knowledgable and
friendly at the same time.
paint stripper primer and rust oleum.
spray paint BAD.
brush washes new and old finish together
spray just puts on a film
leads to peeling as shown in photo
just look at this as changing oil in your car, metal railing is
metal rexpands and contracts a lot leading to pint cracking
long term solution is outdoor wood stained, changes repair cycle to
very long recoating stain is easy
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