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Removing Paint From Balustrades

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

Cover the area below the balustrade with plastic dust sheets.

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

Scratch off remaining paint using a wire brush.

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

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.

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

Cover the areas below the balustrade with plastic dust sheets.

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

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

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.

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

Warning

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.

Things You'll 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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About the Author

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He has been writing professionally since 1999. He has 10 years of experience as a professional painting contractor. Lawrence writes for High Class Blogs and Yodle. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in history from the University of Oklahoma.