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How to Paint an Exterior Metal (wrought iron) Railing

How to Paint an Exterior Metal (wrought iron) Railing

There is a unique charm in wrought iron railings, simultaneously feeling modern and classic. Rarely needing maintenance, these features add to the beauty and safety of a home. Despite their longevity, however, metal railings do need to be painted sometimes. What kind of paint should you use? What is a good process for painting metal railings? We’ll give you the details below!

When Should I Paint My Metal Railing?

With all types of exterior painting projects, it is very important to repaint the surface before the previous coating has begun to fail. Otherwise, you are going to have a much more difficult project to restore the metal before it can be painted. Once the paint is cracked, peeling, and flaking, or even worse, once the metal is rusting, the process will be far harder.

Once a year, take a look at your exterior metal railings to assess the paint. Does it look worn out? Are there areas where the glossiness looks more dull, or the coating seems to be thin and worn? Can you see early signs of paint failure anywhere? It’s time to paint!

What Kind of Paint Should I Use on a Wrought Iron Railing?

Always use a high-quality, exterior-grade paint that is designed for painting metal. You can use spray paint, or you can brush on liquid paint. If there is any bare metal, you will need a primer as well. We recommend using a high-quality oil-based primer. Again, use a product that is designed for metal. If there is rust, you can find products like Rust-Oleum Stops Rust, which can help neutralize the deterioration that is occurring.

Many professional painters prefer using spray techniques rather than brush techniques for painting a metal railing. This usually provides a smoother, more professional finish than using a brush.

What Is the Process for Painting a Metal Railing?

Any exterior house painting project needs to begin with a clean surface. Wash your metal railing with a degreasing cleanser so that it is free of surface contaminants. Next, use a wire brush to remove any peeling paint. Use sandpaper to smooth out any rusty spots, or any places where the previous paint is highly glossed. Rinse or wipe the surfaces once more, and your preparation is done!

Next, use drop cloths, tarps, tape, newspaper, and anything else at hand to protect the nearby surfaces. If you will be spraying, think carefully about where the overspray will waft to, and take care to prevent it from damaging anything. If you will be brushing and/or rolling, pay close attention to the area underneath the railings, as your biggest enemy will be drips. Use tape and paper to protect the siding where the railing is fastened to the house.

Now it’s time to paint! Start from the top and work your way down. It is better to apply multiple thin coats, rather than applying a thick coat that gets drippy and dries unevenly. Keep checking your work from a variety of angles, because it is easy to miss spots when you paint a wrought iron railing.

Williams Professional Painting

Do you have more railings than time? You may do better to hire a professional painting company to paint your metal railings. When you hire a pro, you don’t just save yourself time and headache; you also ensure your project will be completed to the best industry standards for best appearance and longevity. 

Williams Professional Painting has been serving northern Virginia and the Washington, D.C. region since 1979, providing premium painting services at a fair price. Offering interior and exterior painting, we have earned a reputation for excellent customer service. Call us or contact us online for a free estimate!

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