For a DIY project, I wonder if it is doable to remove old
chipped/flaking paint and lots of rust from exterior railings and
ballusters. I have seen mention of sand-blasting or bead blasting
outfits that run with a compressor. Have no clue about the practicality
or type of equipment needed. Other options, I suppose, would be to sand
down the paint and grind the deeper rust (mainly at bottoms of
ballusters and the anchors that go into concrete). If it is doable for
a DIYer, is the mess containable? This is in a small condo, and
replacement is really not a supportable option. Folks want the building
to take care of itself :o)
I've done lots of painting and repairing around the house, but no heavy
duty stuff. It would be wiser, probably, to have the things cut off and
removed, the concrete patched and new railings installed, but I'm not
the decision maker.
Tried that once on a metal picnic table, and found it a waste of time.
Poor technique? :o)
The rusty railings are "serious" rust - about 1x1", rusted through
almost entirely in places. Got enough metal left to hang on :o)
Sand blasting is MUCH slower than wire brushing. It'll do a better
job, of course, but it is slow work and makes a huge mess. You'll get
sand in places you never thought possible.
How about this:
Your insurance company wants you to repair or replace them. God forbid a
weak spot fails and a non-resident takes a tumble. I'd use an angle grinder
to cut them loose (by cutting the screws or the sockets), and take them to a
shop that does metal railings for sandblast and repair/replace of failed
components. After repair, powder coat- modern coatings will last decades.
Put up a temporary rail of plain 2x4 while they are gone. No, it won't be
cheap, but sometimes expensive repairs can't be put off when the downside is
expensive liability. Install new sockets with suitable drill'n'anchors, and
probably some epoxy as needed.
Whoa! Remove? Sand blast? Powder coat?
Can you sayyyyyyyyyy money?
If the things are cancerous, they need to be tossed. If they are rusted
through in places, those places can be replaced. If it is surface rust, a
grunt and an electric brush and a few hours will get them in shape to paint.
A couple of heavy coats of primer and Rustoleum rust resistant paint will do
Start with an awl. If you can poke through anywhere, you need to replace
some short pieces. Easily done with a MIG welder. If you can poke through
everywhere, it is time to replace them all. Replacement in .120" tube or
even a schedule 40 pipe will be a simple matter, and the angles are pre
made. Schedule 40 pipe will last longer than you will.
WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY cheaper than removal, blasting, and powder coating. If
you need to replace, rent a core driller, and remove the plug from around
the rusted member that goes into the concrete. Use PourCrete to cement in
the new sections, and drill a hole to fill the inside so it doesn't hold the
water and rust like the old ones did. Don't cheap out on the paint, as that
is the weak link.
Unless it is totally cancerous, fixing it is going to be cheaper than
replacing it, and removing, powdercoating it, and reinstalling is the most
Just MHO from nine years as a licensed steel erector contractor in the State
of Nevada doing ornamental metal.
does the rust compromise the strength of the railing? can it safely
take code loading?
If the rust doesn't reduce the strength & you don't have 100's of feet
to clean up........
I'd use a 4.5" angle grinder with a wire brush and follow up w/ rusty
You can do the job a little at a time.
but if the strength is in question, replace or structurally repair it.
SandBlasting is the best method but hard to contain, unless you can bring
the rails to a shop I wouldn't recommend this in your environemnt. I'd
suggest a grinder with a wire brush on it and then a good "Direct to Rust"
paint. Less mess than sandblasting but not a perfect finish. Sandblasting
would be considered a "restore" of the rails or something along those lines.
In my area it would cost about $200 a day to rent a compressor and
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