Ok so let’s play pretend for a few minutes; we’ll say that you’ve just moved into a new townhome in the city. It’s bursting at the seams with potential, but it could use a little help aesthetically. You knew this was the place for you from the moment you saw the grand entrance to your new home. The stairs being carefully constructed out of stone with ornately designed wrought iron railings, and all it needed was a little TLC. The stairs would be easy to polish up, but the railings were a challenge of their own, with rusty splotches and peeling paint left behind from the previous tenant.
I know I got a bit carried away there but here’s the point of that little story. How do you take care of that metal surface? Maybe you’d like the railings to match your door and shutters instead of going au natural. It’s not too difficult a fix as long as you have the proper tools.
To start, make sure that all of the rust and loose paint is gone. This can be accomplished with some perseverance and a wire brush. Clean off any dust and grime as well (a mixture of water and vinegar can help with that). From there, it just depends on what type of paint you’d prefer. On a side note, always use primer, some say it’s optional depending on the paint, but really it’s better to play it safe on this one, especially since some include rust deterring additives. (Check out our previous post about primer!)
Your choices come down to latex and oil based, latex is a bit cheaper, and is considered to be easier to clean. If you do go with latex you may want to rough up the surface a bit as it doesn’t always adhere as well to glossy or smooth surfaces. Oil based can also be considered a bit more labor intensive but is more durable and does a better job of resisting chips and stains while also being known to fade a bit faster, so in reality it just depends on what your situation is.
Once you make your decision on that, just make sure you’ve got some plastic sheeting of some sort to protect other areas from splatter and you’re off to the races!
Hopefully this will at least get you started and if you have any questions at all make sure to throw a comment on here. If you try this yourself we’d love to hear how it goes! If you have any other topics we can address for you let us know!