Newly installed iron railings can look wonderful when they are added to a residential or commercial property. And in fact, they can remain a beautiful part of your property for many years to come. But like all things, they will remain at their best only if they are taken care of.
Regular use, wear and tear, as well as exposure to the elements are all things that can over time, affect the appearance of your iron railings. Fortunately, with just a little regular maintenance, your railings can look great for a very long time.
The first thing that will affect your railing’s appearance will be dust and dirt. This may be from people’s hands when they use the rail, or from pollution or even from nearby construction that is kicking dust up into the air.
You may dust your railing with a microfiber cloth or for a deeper cleaning, mix a quarter cup of household cleaner with a half gallon of water and wipe down with a cloth. Dry your railing completely after cleaning it.
Rust Removal and Prevention
If your railing’s finish is hot dipped galvanized, you will not have to worry about rust. If you’ve gone with a prime or paint finish, however rust will be a concern and you’ll have to be on the lookout for rust in order to stop it in its tracks.
Your iron railing will come with a rust protective coating, however over time, some of this coating may wear off. If you start to notice areas of light rust, scrub them away with sand paper or a wire brush. If rust is severe, use a commercial rust remover and follow the instructions.
After rust has been removed, you should clean your railing to remove any dust left behind from the scraping. Follow the cleaning by applying some liquid wax which you should be able to find at a hardware or automotive store. The wax should be allowed to dry for several hours before buffing it off with a soft cloth.
Priming and Painting
If your iron railings are not galvanized, you will have to paint them periodically in order to keep them looking their best. A fresh coat of paint will help to keep your railing looking new and stave off rust.
If planning to paint your railings, first make sure that any existing rust is removed and that the railings are clean. The next step is to sand down the railings to the metal before cleaning and drying them once again.
Surrounding areas should be covered with a tarp in order to keep them clean. This includes concrete, decks, plants etc.
A rust resistant primer should then be sprayed onto the metal and left to dry. Once the primer has dried, you may then apply the paint. Spray paint is generally preferred as it will give you better coverage. Make sure that when painting, you get into every crevice.
Remember if you have an iron railing that has been galvanized, it will require little maintenance other than cleaning. Even if you go for a painted railing however, you can still keep it looking great with regular maintenance.