Metal railings around the home are usually installed and used primarily for safety purposes. Nevertheless, they also have the potential to add something rather sophisticated to the room’s overall ambience and décor. But just as is the case with all interior fixtures and accents, it doesn’t take long for metal rails to begin looking somewhat past their prime.
When this happens, the overwhelming majority of homeowners see it as an inevitability. Which it is, but this doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty you can do to keep things looking sharp and elegant. Contrary to popular belief, painting metal rails around the home isn’t nearly as difficult as you might expect.
There’s work involved, but it’s a small price to pay to have your metal rails once again looking superb.
So if things have begun looking a little faded or disheveled, here’s a brief breakdown of the process of how to give your metal rails a new lease of life with a fresh coat of paint:
Step 1 – Prepare The Surface
First up, you’re going to need to get rid of any residual paint that may be on the surface of the metal. One extremely important word of warning – it’s perfectly possible that the paint on the rails may be lead-based paint. In which case, you need to be very careful when removing it, or ask the experts to do it for you. Residual paint can be removed by using medium-grade sandpaper, though you’ll need a power-sander to take care of any rust and unevenness on the surface. It might be a pain, but the better you prep the surface, the better the final result will be.
Step 2 – Wipe The Surface
Grab yourself a rag and give the whole thing a good wipe. It’s important to use a tack rag at the surfaces designed to pick up as many remaining remnants of debris and dust as possible, which could otherwise have an adverse effect on the quality of the finish. Also, ensure there is no residual moisture left anywhere on the surface of the rails whatsoever.
Step 3 – Use Quality Primer
Painting metal rails can be made significantly easier by using spray primers and spray paints. The slight downside being that sprays also have a habit of making things somewhat messier in the immediate vicinity. You’ll therefore need to sufficiently protect everything in the area, before going ahead and applying the first coat of primer. Always use the highest quality primer you can lay your hands on, applying it in direct accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If you do choose to go ahead and use a brush, you’ll need to be extremely careful to make the surface finish as even as possible. Give the primer plenty of time to dry, before adding a second coat if necessary.
Step 4 – Paint
Once you’re finished with the primer, you’ll once again need to grab the same tack cloth and give the whole railing a good wipe down. After which, take a fresh sheet of fine-grade sandpaper and give the surface of the primer a gentle yet generous rub. You’re not trying to remove the primer completely, but instead create a very slightly rough surface for the paint to adhere to. You’ll be needing a good quality enamel paint to get the job done professionally, which again can technically be applied through a variety of means. Spray paint provides the quickest and most even finish, but is not always practical or accessible. In any case, approach the painting part of the process gradually, taking as much time as necessary and giving each coat ample time to dry. Always remember that things may look different when the paint dries, so take your time and avoid rushing the job.
Ask The Experts…
Of course, Plan B (which we always recommend!) is to hire the experts to tackle the job on your behalf. Particularly if you’re concerned about the possible presence of lead paint, it may be better to hand the task over to those who know exactly what they’re doing.
Faster results, better-quality results and perhaps even cheaper results. After all, if you’re planning to invest in premium quality paints and provisions, it’s probably not going to be the cheapest of jobs!
For more information on any aspect of interior painting or to discuss your requirements in more detail, contact a member of the Homm CPS team today.