Removing rust and old paint from rod iron railings


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Old 05-14-12, 08:21 AM
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Removing rust and old paint from rod iron railings

We moved into our current house December 27th, and now that the snow is gone, I'm finding all sorts of half fast repair/cover up jobs.
Right now, I am looking at cleaning up and painting the rod iron railings on our front steps. We don't use that enterence, but it is what everyone sees from the road, so it must be done.
Based on the spray paint on the trees beside it, it appears they simply sprayed a can (or two) of trim clad paint right over the existing black and rust (and some of the trees). The job was so half fastly done that there are parts of the railings that wheren't even painted.

I started working at getting the loose crap off the railings, but am looking to see if there are any other faster/better methods for this. Currently I'm using a 3in wirebrush disk on a corded drill. It's working pretty good, but a drill is pretty slow and cumbersome to handle. I am thinking of breaking out the dremel, but haven't dug it out yet.
Any better suggestions for removing this?
 
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Old 05-14-12, 01:27 PM
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Mike, I like to use a needle scaler for smaller areas. You can use a wire wheel where the spacing will allow. The needle scaler may need a 20 gallon compressor, though for the volume.
 
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Old 05-14-12, 01:30 PM
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Can't say I have ever seen a needle scaler before.
I think though that if I was to buy a new tool for this task, a sandblaster might be more effective?
 
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Old 05-14-12, 01:39 PM
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What kind of air compressor do you have? sandblasting takes a lot of cfm. I usually use a knotted wire wheel on my 4" grinder when I'm removing rust.

I'd clean up the wrought iron the best you can and then apply a good coat of solvent based primer [rustoleum's rusty metal primer would be good] followed by 2 coats of exterior oil base enamel. Brushing [or you could use a mini roller] will give you a heavier coat than using spray cans = longer lasting job.
 
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Old 05-14-12, 01:44 PM
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marksr,
My compressor has to be 15-20 gallon. I don't remember what size it is, but will check when I get home.
As for the rest of your suggestion... It's right inline with what I was thinking.

My wife swears up and down the previous owners wheren't trying to flip the house, but the half fast nature of some of the work screams otherwise. I'm still trying to figure out why they used brown paint on the deck instead of stain. Guess it was on sale.
 
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Old 05-14-12, 02:03 PM
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Some idiots defy understanding

I'm sure with a little guidance when needed you'll be able to get everything up to snuff
 
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Old 05-14-12, 02:09 PM
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Slowly but surely I am working on it. I'm enjoying the fixing things, but what I am finding is really starting to irritate me with having to undo what they did to fix things properly.

This forum has definately been a big help
 
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Old 05-14-12, 02:09 PM
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Don't forget a sand blaster means you need to buy sand...and when you blast..the sand will go everywhere.

If these things are relatively small (of even if they aren't) and can be removed..take them to a blasting shop. Drop them off...pick them up the next day.....$50 cash or so probably. At least that's what it would have been for me back in VA...of course we had a bunch of ship and boat yards and the associated coating shops that went with them.

As to the flip thing...well...some people aren't well informed and think things like brown porch paint is ok for a deck. They also believe the claims that a simple coat of "rust arresting" paint will work without removing the source.

My wife has been volunteering me to help fix a few things at a 100 y/o building that houses the gym she works out at. It's been severely neglected for at least the last 20 yrs of it's life as a commercial building. I keep telling here it's not that simple!

Oh...replacing a double front entry door in an old stucco and block building is tough? How about installing a entry door on the second floor in an oversized opening of block. A day or so for each right? Jeez..today she said she wanted me to go over and spray for bugs cause she saw a roach on the ceiling. IT'S A 100 YEAR OLD BUILDING!!!!

Sorry...just a little rant...I'll feel better in the morning...lol.
 
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Old 05-14-12, 02:20 PM
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Gunguy45,
I might be looking at a bit more for sandblasting here. I have a sandbaster, but do not have an area to work in to contain the sand/dust. Had a small booth in my old garage but because I'm going to someday knock over the shack I'm using as a garage, I am not going to bother putting in one in it.

As for the not knowing.... I don't know if it was ignorence or just not knowing. I'm finding shortcuts after shortcuts. Everything they did, was to make the house look good at a fast glance.

Anyway, that is enough off topic rant.
I'm going to look at the railing this weekend and if it can be removed from the stairs for cleaning, I'll throw it on the work bench and go at it. Would be a lot easier to work on removed from the stairs.
 
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Old 05-14-12, 06:38 PM
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Snapped a couple pictures of what I am dealing with.
The first picture shows the rust and the great paint work in the stairs in an enterance we do not use.
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This next picture shows the a close up of the rust and the over spray on the stairs and the tree.
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Old 05-15-12, 02:46 AM
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I don't see attachment bases on the newel posts. They are probably cored into the concrete below. You may be relegated to sanding them and painting them in place.
 
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Old 05-15-12, 03:48 AM
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chandler,

I don't know why, but it did slip my mind that yes, the railings are attached to the original concrete stairs below the wood.
If the priority of this project wasn't much lower than all the other projects (this really is cosmetic only), I would be lifting the wood decking and repairing the concrete below. The previous owners did put the wood decking on top as the concrete was starting to errode. Luckly these stairs are not part of the basement as my previous house had (stairs part of the cold storage), so I'm not as concerned as I would should the concrete be part of the foundation. It's still needing to be fixed correctly, but I have way too many higher priority projects to concern myself with the concrete for now.
 
 

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