How to Remove Paint From an Iron Handrail

Written by scott e mann
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Iron railings are prone to chipping and rusting due to exposure to direct sunlight, airborne moisture, salt water and oxygen. All these factors have corrosive effects on the paint and finish of the iron. If left unchecked, rust can grow quickly once it mars a small spot. Yearly maintenance will keep iron railings flake-free, along with sanding and applying a fresh coat of paint every six years.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Tarps or newspapers
  • Painters tape
  • Chemical paint stripper
  • Wire brush
  • Soft cloth
  • Mineral spirits

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  1. 1

    Lay tarps or newspapers down on the work area to protect it. Secure it with painters tape.

  2. 2

    Wear protective goggles, a face mask, and respirator when working with chemicals.

  3. 3

    Using a paintbrush, apply the paint remover on the rail and let stand for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Brush in one direction and do not wipe what has already been done. Multiple coats of the paint remover may be necessary to remove multiple coats of paint. Carefully follow the instructions on the label for best results.

  4. 4

    Clean the iron railing with a wire brush to ensure no paint residue is left.

  5. 5

    With a soft cloth dampened with mineral spirits, wipe down the entire railing.

  6. 6

    Allow the railing to dry completely prior to painting.

Tips and warnings

  • Paint strippers can expose the metal's surface to elements. A layer of rust protector will help in maintaining the iron railings.
  • Always wear eye, face and body protection when using chemicals.

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