How to paint stair spindles to look like wrought iron

Updated February 21, 2017

Faux painters use various techniques and a wide range of special tools to make one surface resemble another. Learn to use these techniques to create the look of wrought iron on stair spindles with special, water-based paints that contain iron filings. Apply a rust solution for a distressed antique wrought iron surface.

Sand your stair spindles to dull the surface if they are shiny or coated with glossy paint or stain. Wipe off dust with a damp rag.

Paint the spindles with dark base-coat paint. Check to make sure that you did not miss any spots. Wash your brush with soap and water. Allow the base coat to dry completely.

Shake the wrought iron paint well to distribute the iron filings throughout the can. Apply an even coat of wrought iron paint. Do not apply the paint too thinly. Wash your brush with soap and water. Allow the paint to dry.

Paint on the rust solution with a disposable brush if you want to create an aged look. Allow the rust to develop for at least 12 hours. Apply additional coats of rust solution for more pronounced rust.

Coat your painted spindles with a clear coat to seal and prevent the formation of additional rust. Wash your brush with soap and water.


Work in a well-ventilated area.

Things You'll Need

  • Sandpaper
  • Rag
  • 1 1/2-inch brush
  • Dark acrylic base coat in flat finish
  • Wrought iron paint
  • Rust solution (optional)
  • Disposable brush
  • Flat, water-based varnish (optional)
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About the Author

Fiona Fearey has an undergraduate degree from Temple University and a master's degree from New York University. She has been a freelance writer and editor for over five years. She has written for Pluck on Demand and various other websites. Other professional experience includes education, the arts and decorative painting.