Looking to refinish your exterior iron railings? Make it a weekend project with these easy to follow instructions.
Before you begin, make sure to test the iron railings for lead paint. Harmful exposures to lead can be created when lead-based paint is improperly removed from surfaces by dry scraping, sanding, or open-flame burning. It is very important to test for lead before beginning this project. This method of refinishing iron railings is intended for lead-free railings.
Start by clearing away excess vegetation. Cut away any branches or over-grown shrubs to clear some work space. This preemptive step will also keep moisture away from the iron railings and will allow for more air circulation meaning a faster dry time.
Lay out a drop cloth to catch any debris removed from the railings and paint drippings. Use a scraper on the iron surface to remove any loose paint, dirt, and any rust. A wire brush with a little bit of elbow grease should remove any remaining corrosion. Make sure to thoroughly inspect all parts of the railing before moving on.
Prep your surface before you begin any painting. Some areas, especially under railings and where spindles meet the railings, may have some slight deterioration that require repair. You can use metal adhesive with metal or mesh patches cut to size to cover damaged areas.
Sand any patches to blend with the rest of the surface.
Use a metal primer as an undercoat. Apply the primer with a narrow paintbrush and cover all of the surface including under areas and decorative sections. Allow to dry completely. If you had to do a lot of patch work, you may need to apply a second coat of primer. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next.
Select your desired color of topcoat. Most choose to paint their railings a simple black or white, but bold colors can be compliment homes beautifully as well. Use a clean narrow paint brush to apply your topcoat of choice. Make sure to apply coats evenly and not too thick.
Each section of paint should be opaque but not dripping from your railing. Two coats should be more than enough for a beautiful flawless finish. Just be sure to allow each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next.
After your railings have dried completely, remove the drop cloth along with any debris.
Photo -by Mike Tewkesbury
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