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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Painting Steel Railing

Q: Should I paint metal railing?
A: Depends on the type of metal?

Generally speaking a person can paint metal railing if it is not pre-finished or polished aluminum. Aluminum is coated with a Zinc Primer in a shop and normally baked on so the finish holds up better. If you are required to field paint it you should use a minium of 2 coats of a zinc primer and top coat it with a top quality paint if you want it to last. I normally don't recommend painting pre-finished aluminum. If you have a old set of gutters that are aluminum and are chipping and fading and you are convinced you want them painted then you can do it but the process requires quite a bit of care and as always I would recommend using top quality products. We are often asked to paint steel railings, light posts and I always recommend to following process:
Sand and wire brush any rust. Angle grind it off (if it is more than flash rusting). Prime with Moisture Cure Urethane. Top coat with an industrial oil enamel.
It should last a long time. In the above picture we are painting some railing at a very popular location in St. Louis Park, MN. We were hired by a large property manager

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