Iron stairs can add a classic, romantic look to your balcony or deck. There may come a time when you want to paint your stairs, either to maintain their original color or to add a bright new pop color to your yard. If you want to paint your iron staircase, there are a few hints that you should keep in mind.
Assemble the Stairs Before Painting Them
If you want to immediately paint a new set of stairs, it is a good idea to install them before you paint them. This will prevent you from scratching the painted surfaces while you are installing the stairs. Although the positioning to paint installed stairs can be a little more difficult, it will result in a more cohesive, unblemished finish if you paint after the stairs are in place.
Make Sure the Surface Is Well Primed
Many iron staircases ship from the factory with a protective coating already added. If you plan to paint the stairs immediately, you should ask the manufacturer whether you can paint directly on the surface or if priming is needed.
If your iron stairs are more than a season old, you will want to make sure to thoroughly clean them. While cleaning, beware of any rust and remove it with a stiff wire brush. After the stairs are clean, roughen the surfaces you will be painting with medium-grain sandpaper. This will help the primer and paint to stick to the surface.
Iron generally requires a special metal primer. You should select one with a rust inhibitor for outdoor use.
Select Appropriate Paint
Once your primer has dried, you are ready to paint. You should select a paint made specifically for metals. These tend to be oil-based enamels. Once again, you should look for a paint that has a rust inhibitor to help protect your iron from the elements. Depending on the color of your paint, one or two coats of paint applied with long strokes by a paint brush should be sufficient to fully cover your stairs.
For the best results, you should contact your stair manufacturer before painting. If you are ordering new stairs, they may be able to add a custom color while the stairs are being made, which will save you time and give you a clean, even finish. If the stairs are older, you can still contact their manufacturer or distributor to ask for paint suggestions. Contact a company like Lamonaca Iron Works Inc for more information.