Exterior metal railings often take a beating and start to rust after several years. Once you notice rust, take the time to repaint. An old, rusty metal railing can easily be cleaned and repainted in a single afternoon.
For this project, it is best to use spray paint to repaint the rail. Before beginning, look at how the rail is attached to the house. It may be quicker to remove the metal rail from the house, repaint it, and then reinstall it. Otherwise, you’ll have to tape newspaper around the area to protect against over-spray. Keep in mind that wind will also be a factor if you paint out of doors. Always check the weather report to ensure you’ve picked a good day to repaint the metal railing.
Step 1: Use a wire brush to remove any rust or loose paint. Then use a medium grit sanding sponge to break up the smooth surface of the rest of the paint. You can also use the sanding sponge to get any rust you couldn’t remove with the brush.
Step 2: Clean the railing off with a tack cloth to remove any dust or dirt. Using newspaper and painter’s tape, cover anything that might get covered with paint.
Step 3: Using an exterior metal primer with rust resistance, spray paint the metal railing. Be sure to lightly spray and cover the metal railing with a thin coat to prevent drips. Allow the metal railing to dry to the touch, about one hour.
Step 4: Spray a second coat of metal primer onto the metal railing. Be sure that even hard to reach areas are completely primed. Allow the primer to dry once more.
Step 5: Use an exterior metal paint enamel with rust resistance to spray paint the metal railing. Make sure that the metal primer and paint are compatible. Many manufacturers sell products that can be used together to create a good finish. Allow the paint to dry to the touch.
Step 6: Spray on a second coat of the enamel. Make sure all areas are coated well. Allow the area to completely dry, then remove the tape and newspaper from the area around the metal railing.