Homeowners install wrought-iron railings on interior and exterior stairs and landings to increase the visual appeal of the house. Some wrought-iron railings are highly detailed and ornate, while others offer straight lines and sleek styling. Older houses have great examples of wrought-iron railings that can double as art works.

Highly detailed fruit, vines or a series of curves provide an unmatched, unique stair railing. Over time, homeowners add layers to the railings to keep them looking nice and free of rust or other corrosion. Layer upon layer of paint-fills in small details and detracts from the beauty of the wrought-iron railings. The beauty of many wrought-iron railings is covered in thick globs of dripping paint. Stripping the old paint before refinishing the railings is necessary to restore the regal, elegant or interesting look.

 A Warning About Painted Wrought-Iron-Railings

Buy a lead test kit to determine if the paint on the wrought-iron contains lead. Lead test kits are available at hardware stores and home improvement stores. If the paint contains lead, consider having it stripped off the surface professionally to avoid health issues that arise from a dangerous lead content in old-paint.

Removing Old Layers

Lay tarps or drop cloths around its and over items near the wrought-iron to protect them. Typically, sandblasting is reserved for railings that are outdoors or can be moved outdoors. Blasting is not recommended for indoor use.

Fill a sandblaster with sand, nutshells or other blasting media. Aim the nozzle of the blaster at the wrought-iron railings, standing at least 24-to 30-inches away from its. Move in closer if the media is not stripping away the paint. Keep the blaster nozzle moving continuously to avoid making a hole or damaging the wrought-iron. Wear a dust mask and safety goggles when blasting.

Interior or Exterior Removal

Lay tarps, drop cloths or thick layers of newspaper under its to protect floors and other surfaces from chemical strippers.

Chemical Strippers

Clean its with a degreasing automotive detergent and a scrub brush. Rinse its with plain water. Paint on a coat of chemical paint stripper. Wait for the paint to bubble up and lift away from the wrought-iron surface. Scrape the paint and stripping off the surface with a scraper or steel wool. Wash its with detergent and water after stripping is complete. Wear chemical-approved goggles, filtering mask and gloves. Use chemical paint strippers in a well-ventilated area.

Wire Brushing It Away

Insert a wire brush attachment into a power drill. Turn the drill on and move it over the painted surface of the wrought-iron railing. Use caution when stripping paint with this method because you can damage the surface of the wrought-iron.

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Heating Paint off a Wrought-Iron-Railing

Wash the railings with a degreasing detergent and a scrub brush. Move a heat gun over a small section of the wrought iron and then scrape or wire brush the paint off the surface. Wear safety goggle and leather work gloves. Do not use a heat gun after you used a paint stripper because you and can likely will cause a fire or serious burns to yourself.

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Repaint the railings with a rust inhibiting primer and paint to prevent damage to it.

Use the painting method you are most comfortable with. You can use spray paint, a paint sprayer or a piant brush or roller to recoat your railings after stripping away layers of old paint. Always repaint the railings as soon as possible to avoid corrosion.