Removing Paint From Balustrades

Written by ryan lawrence
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Removing Paint From Balustrades
Don't use a metal scraper on a wooden baluster. (scraper image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com)

A balustrade is row of balusters that act as support posts for railings. How you remove paint from a balustrade depends on whether it is metal or wooden. If the balusters are metal, you can use forceful, friction-based abrasion techniques to scrape and scratch the paint off. If the balusters are wooden, you need to use more care or you could destroy the underlying wood.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Metal putty knife
  • Wire brush
  • 80-grit sandpaper
  • Plastic dust sheets
  • Paint stripper
  • 2- to 4-inch oil-based paintbrush
  • Pressure washer
  • Low-pressure tip
  • Plastic putty knife
  • 120-grit sandpaper

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cover the area below the balustrade with plastic dust sheets.

  2. 2

    Remove large pieces of loose, peeling paint from the balusters using a metal putty knife.

  3. 3

    Scratch off remaining paint using a wire brush.

  4. 4

    Remove smaller stubborn bits of paint using 80-grit sandpaper.

  5. 5

    Apply paint stripper to any paint remaining on the balusters using a paintbrush made for use with oil-based paint. Wait 30 seconds. Remove the remaining paint using the wire brush and sandpaper.

  6. 6

    Rinse the balustrade using a pressure washer equipped with a low-pressure tip.

  1. 1

    Cover the areas below the balustrade with plastic dust sheets.

  2. 2

    Remove large pieces of loose, peeling paint from the balusters using a plastic putty knife.

  3. 3

    Remove smaller stubborn bits of paint using 120-grit sandpaper. Sand along with the wood grain.

  4. 4

    Apply paint stripper to any remaining paint on the balusters using a paintbrush made for use with oil-based paint. Wait 30 seconds. Remove the remaining paint using the plastic putty knife and sandpaper.

  5. 5

    Rinse the balustrade using a pressure washer equipped with a low-pressure tip.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't sand against the grain of a wooden baluster, or the wood will splinter.
  • Avoid using metallic putty knives on a wooden balustrade, as this may damage the wood.

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