How to Repaint a Rusty, Metal Hand Rail



Kevin nice to meet you Laura great to see you alright these are the railings I emailed you about so you could see they're a little rusted the paint's chipping away but they feel structurally sound I'm wondering if there's anything we could do to restore them this is a very common problem for meto okay once the paint is time to flake it away the matter will be exposed to do all the elements and the rust is time to throw it through we can fix that but I assume this house was built before 1978 yeah it's built in the 1930s all right in this case we need to test for lead paint okay okay Oh with my utility knife I want to scrape a little bit here because I want to do a test for that thing and we have to go all the way down to the first coat of paint all right it looks good I'm gonna put my utility knife away and this is what we use for the test okay there's a Part A and Part B we're gonna crush the egg crush the beat and then we're gonna shake it up really good and then we're just gonna rub this tip on the marrow well looked at if we had the presence of lead paint the tip of the swab would turn pink or reddish I think we're good to go but double-check we're gonna use a card and make sure that we can hear to go the dot on this card has a trace of lead paint and should be pink oh look at that it's turning pinkish red it's that mean the test works and there's no lead on railings and though we're ready to do the work great ready though let's go okay for the flat surface we're gonna use a metal blade with the scraper and then for all the curved surface we're gonna use a wire brush so we're trying to scrape off the paint or the rust well at this point we tried to scrape in the paint and the rust because the spilling paint all over this railing and there's a lot of rust rolling through we're going to get rid of both of them at the same time we're coming up any debris from the scraping with the scrubbing pact we're gonna let you send everything with a hundred fifty grit sandpaper all right Kevin we're gonna use some mineral spirits to wipe off all the dust on those railings and we'll give it a nice foundation from our oil-based primer for our primer coat we're going to use this oil-based primer is a metal primer specifically designed for metal surfaces is also a rust preventer we are using an oil-based primer because we will stand out better to all the elements or a just go nice and smooth don't need to be a heavier coat all right for the tight air is hard to read with the roller we're gonna just touch up with the brush all right k-kevin for our top coat we're gonna use this high-gloss black DTM which is stands for the rack tomato okay and we're gonna do exactly as we did with the primer coat this is four inch fabric roller you're just gonna go nice and smooth just like that let's do as much as we can with the roller so is there any reason to paint it instead of using spray paint well the results will be the same but it's spray you're gonna have to do a lot of my protection this is gonna look just fine we'll get a let that dry for a couple of hours and then we can apply the second coat well Kevin what do you think about this wow I mean they look they look really really good I couldn't be happier with the way they turned out and it's really given new life to my old railings we did a good job yes okay here's what I'm gonna do I'm gonna give I spray primer can and also the painting game that we use what I want you to do is keep your eye on those railings so if you see any faded spot or any scratch in there take care of that right away to prevent all that rusty to coming back and doing that this brain is gonna look good for a long time deal thank you so much thank you so nice to transformation hurt hold really that came out nice yeah looks good aim she got lucky that there was no lead that's always a good sign and just so I understand it correctly you'd sort of did a secondary test after you determined with your stick that there wasn't lead you went back and used the card they gave you and it's sort of just to prove that the stick is actually capable of finding lead you kinda want to make sure that you don't get a false negative yeah absolutely you want to make sure that the tassa did at the metal rivets it was correct by showing some pinkish or red here it shows you that the test was good because we know that this card has little traces of leather traces of lead ready now had we found lead Tommy it's a whole different ballgame the whole different ballgame any professional that's working in a house whether it's an electrician a plumber a carpenter painter if you discover lead on a house on the outside if you find 20 square feet or more on a wall on the inside six square feet or more on a wall you have to protect yourself the worker and the homeowner right and you guys are certified right you guys are going to class have to have to take a class yeah so what is the protocol let's talk about sort of just protecting the area protecting the area if you finally I paint so you're gonna have to protect at least ten feet from the working area and you have to use a heavy-duty plastic tape and you have to use soot mask respirator rated but lead paint right and you're gonna have to hang signs to let people know what's going on in that area that way and that little thing here is one pamphlet that you have to handle to the homeowner saying proven to them and showing that has the Hayes house has let think that has to be given to the homeowner days before you can even start work they have to sign it and get it back to you sort of information that they need to have kind of their Bill of Rights to let them know what their faces up that's right there's a lot of work to be done to protect the homeowners especially if you have a child six years or younger and a woman that's pregnant that's the dust is really a problem and it can cause neurological problems and other physical problems I mean you can cause problems in anybody but certainly really bad for children and for pregnant women and in in terms of disposal we protected the site we've protected the workers we've informed the homeowners the job is done what's the disposal process everything that as in that plastic has to be folded the plastic so the respirator the suit the gloves everything everything goes to the trash bag yeah and you tied up any use a duct tape to make sure that nothing flies out and this will help and where does it go it just goes into the trash after that so long to see all that as long as it's sealed up the big deal is is you want to make sure that that space is cleaner yeah when you leave than it was when you arrived seems like a long way to go but the alternative is kind of nasties yeah all right good job of good information guys thank you thank you thanks for watching this whole house has got a video for just about every home improvement project so be sure to check out the others and if you're likely to see click on the 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41 Comments

  • SamoMalo2

    April 13, 2019

    Just what I needed! I'm going to repaint my old rusty fence like this, thanks a lot for this video.

    Reply
  • james cook

    April 13, 2019

    I like the old show better.. better ideas and they really worked with there hands for a living.. people here are actors .. never have done hard labor in there lives..

    Reply
  • E-Rock

    April 13, 2019

    Of course the painter had to be Hispanic!???
    (I’m Hispanic myself and I do construction as well)

    Reply
  • Philip Sterk

    April 13, 2019

    Instead of pouring the paint out of the gallon and then smearing the spill on the side, use one of many pour spouts such as https://www.amazon.com/Shur-Line-06100-Gallon-Paint-Pourer/dp/B00004Z4H4/ref=pd_cp_60_1?pd_rd_w=q9Lg7&pf_rd_p=ef4dc990-a9ca-4945-ae0b-f8d549198ed6&pf_rd_r=NWMQ56F4VFC9GTMTCAVQ&pd_rd_r=d8494013-57ef-11e9-95ee-65bbade3fd9d&pd_rd_wg=hxnsk&pd_rd_i=B00004Z4H4&psc=1&refRID=NWMQ56F4VFC9GTMTCAVQ

    Reply
  • Rishi kesan

    April 13, 2019

    Once they cleaned the lead from the house and saved them and the home owners. All packed in trash and ready to kill hundreds by dumping them in landfills or shipping to other country. Well done murica.

    Reply
  • Morpheus x

    April 13, 2019

    Use gloves to prevent the oil paint from sticking to your hands.

    Reply
  • Rauh - Straben

    April 13, 2019

    My OCD wouldn’t let me do that. I would have to either cut the old and install a new one or cut the old one sand blast then powder coat everything.

    Reply
  • Lord Ba'al

    April 13, 2019

    I would have used a grinder to get it down to the bare metal.
    I would have also spray painted it. An extra hour of prepping, would save you hours in painting.
    I brushed and rolled my railing once, never again. I only had before 11 am to get it done, or else the sun will be on that side and dry it out real quick. So it took me like a week and about 2-3 hours a day, with just a brush and roller.
    Next time it will be spray painted.

    Reply
  • Thomas Rossi

    April 13, 2019

    I don’t think they were worth saving.

    Reply
  • Jessie DeVore

    April 13, 2019

    Doesnt it sound silly to go through so much work over lead then to just throw away. There is got to be a better disposal process?

    Reply
  • Eddie Szalay BOT

    April 13, 2019

    He needs to power wash his brick stairs

    Reply
  • Ray Daniel

    April 13, 2019

    Was a gallon necessary

    Reply
  • William Grayson

    April 13, 2019

    Plus rolling it on the paint is thicker than in the aerosol

    Reply
  • Samantha Monaghan

    April 13, 2019

    too much work, but a great business idea.

    Reply
  • الياباني 日本語 japan

    April 13, 2019

    Beautiful

    Reply
  • avalon449

    April 13, 2019

    No holes to fill in? Mine has holes.

    Reply
  • ̇George H.

    April 13, 2019

    I like Mauro. He is a great addition to the This Old House/Ask This Old House team.

    Reply
  • Serge. Crispino

    April 13, 2019

    Be rusty again this time tomorrow.

    Reply
  • caskwith

    April 13, 2019

    What do you do if the paint you are testing is red? Is there a way to test that won't give you a false positive?

    Reply
  • Ahmad

    April 13, 2019

    One of the most useful channels at YouTube, made even more so by some of the comments.

    Reply
  • NAB622

    April 13, 2019

    Funny – my railings are in the same condition, and I was planning to do this in the next month. Perfect timing and informative.

    Reply
  • Living with Dragon

    April 13, 2019

    Thanks for covering the lead removal process. Very informative.

    Reply
  • Antonio Cruz

    April 13, 2019

    How much for that

    Reply
  • Ozzie Sheppard

    April 13, 2019

    Pressure wash that brick! Ahhh

    Reply
  • B Souza

    April 13, 2019

    Oops. Wrong channel. YouTube messed up….sorry

    Reply
  • philip dias

    April 13, 2019

    Cut, remove, replace.

    Reply
  • Someone Interesting

    April 13, 2019

    MORE OF THIS GUY

    Reply
  • johnny feathers

    April 13, 2019

    Has anybody ever used penetrol as a rust protector? I have a buddy that used to undercoat his vehicles with it.

    Reply
  • johnny feathers

    April 13, 2019

    We used to use that red oxide primer as an undercoat then a black industrial enamel.. I really hated to prep things like these railings..lol

    Reply
  • Deborah Short

    April 13, 2019

    Will this work on indoor railing?

    Reply
  • Mar Mac

    April 13, 2019

    1 or 2 months later, rust will start showing again. Metal railings are a waste of time and money. Stick to aluminum railings.

    Reply
  • RENE ZEPEDA REPREZA

    April 13, 2019

    I prefer paint glove.

    Reply
  • deannasun

    April 13, 2019

    you guys aways know what project I'm about to do! thanks!

    Reply
  • R Segwa

    April 13, 2019

    I hate when the painted flake'ed away from da metal

    Reply
  • Matt B

    April 13, 2019

    I was expecting an April Fools joke- just spray it with some acrylic spray paint.. no prep work involved! Then topcoat with some Fluid Film to prevent future corrosion. Perfect for a hand rail!

    Reply
  • David Dolch

    April 13, 2019

    I had a old set of rusted railings like these. I drilled them out, took them to a local sandblaster. I think I paid around $100 to have them taken down to bare metal. Then I was able to spray primer and finish before reinstalling them. Faster and easier than using a scraper and wire brush.

    Reply
  • xmassan20906

    April 13, 2019

    Or you could tie your railings to the pick up truck and floor it to a powder coater.

    Reply
  • TheMixmastamike1000

    April 13, 2019

    Mauro is the freakin man!

    Reply
  • RoastBeefSandwich

    April 13, 2019

    beautiful, you can tell they're old but they look great!

    Reply
  • Tim Cotrell

    April 13, 2019

    Lead poisoning is no joke. A young lady I worked with had lead paint in her house and she didn't know. Then her daughter started eating shoelaces! Took her to a doctor. Had lead poisoning that was causing neurological problems.

    Reply
  • william skrainski

    April 13, 2019

    "If" you discover it….if you don't test, you won't discover it.

    Reply

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