Painting rusty metal railings and lamp posts



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The first step is to degloss the non-rusted metal if it has any gloss to it left, so that your paint will stick well. Get some TSP at the paint store, mix it up, wipe down the entire project to be painted, and let it dry. The next step is to dissolve any rust on the metal with navel jelly. Just brush it on with a super cheap brush (one of those throw away brushes), wait 15-20 minutes and then then wipe off the dissolved rust with paper towels. Let the metal dry completely.

By the way, I recommend using a brush for your metal painting project, don't spray paint unless you're crazy - drips, overspray, bad for the environment, not worth it! Also, wear knee pads; you'll thank me!

Next, use rustoleum rusty metal primer and paint over all previously rusty spots. Let the primer dry overnight. You can buy a midpriced brush that will fit inside a gallon paint can (or you can saw it shorter if it doesn't). Don't use a cheap one because it will lose hairs and be a pain in the neck. Buy a new empty 1 gallon paint can at OSH and fill it up to 1/3 with mineral spirits and just put the brush in it overnight with the lid on.

You will just wipe it and reuse it for painting, then you can clean the brush in the same bucket of mineral spirits with paper towels when your done painting. This saves you from cleaning the brush completely twice and also keeps the brush more pliable for painting later. Then just dispose of the can at the neighborhood hazard materials drive or drop off center when the job is done.

If you have a choice, try and paint on a cloudier day rather than a sunny one because it can be very hard to see where you've painted in bright sunlight. Also, its better for the paint if it doesn't go on in direct sunlight. If there is one of those lawn umbrellas around, you might be able to position it so that its shady over your work.

Tape down newspaper (its much easier to deal with than plastic and you can match tight corners and such much easier). Its best to tape it down, because even if its not windy when you start I quarantee it will get windy before you finish! You can tape around mountings on brick/concrete - or freehand around the mountings if you're feeling steady. If you are painting over brick and it happens to drip, you can blot the spot then scrape the brick with a screwdriver, it will disappear. This works somewhat on concrete also, but not as well. Please don't rely on this trick completely however!

Use rustoleum flat or semi-gloss, (gloss is too much, OK go ahead if you want to) and plan on doing two coats even if you're painting things the same color they were before (because usually the old coat is faded so much its like a different color and will show through). I think semi-gloss holds up better against weather over time, but its just my opinion. Please use a mask with organic vapor inserts. I know, you're outside, but you're still getting a lot of exposure to these brain-warping chemicals.

Start on one end of the job, go through and paint all the metal, then return to same starting point and do the second coat in same order so paint has even drying time and enough time to dry between coats.

After cleaning your brush, you can spread out the paper towels in sun so they "outgas" before you throw them away and they are less flammable (I always worry about spontaneous cumbustion in the trash can. I know, its probably ridiculous!).










I recommend Rustoleum paint for any and all projects like this one:


Rust-Oleum 7779504 Protective Enamel Paint Stops Rust, 32-Ounce, Gloss Black





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