Most outdoor amenities will rust at some point, including handrails. Rust on some exterior fixtures – gutters, for example – might not be a functional issue. But rust on handrails isn’t just an eyesore. Left unchecked, a small amount of rust can grow until it damages the handrail, putting handrail users at risk at your home or business. For that reason, it’s crucial to address rust spots as soon as you see them. Learning how to fix rust on handrails is an easy do-it-yourself project, but it does require some elbow grease.
How to Fix Rust on Handrails
Step One: Sand the Handrail
Start by covering unaffected areas of the handrail with painter’s tape. This will protect the railing from sanding, primer, and paint as you make the repairs. From there, sand off as much of the rust as possible using steel wool, a wire brush, sanding sponges, or even a small power sander. If your railing has ornate, ornamental sections, you may need to reach them with small pieces of sanding tape. Either way, make sure to thoroughly sand the affected area to prevent rust spread.
Step Two: Try a Rust Converter
Your railing may have a few tough rust spots that you just can’t sand away. Fortunately, you don’t need to scrub until your arm falls off. You can tackle any persistent rust spots with a rust converter, a solution that creates a chemical reaction to prevent the rust from spreading. Make sure to sand your railing after using the rust converter, as they sometimes leave uneven surfaces in their wake. If necessary, you can use a rust repair filler on the corroded area, sanding it down before priming and painting.
Step Three: Prime and Paint
After removing the rust, you’ll need to prime and paint the affected areas of your railing. Make sure to use an oil-based, rust-inhibiting primer for best results, applying it as quickly as possible after removing the rust. Most of these primers are available in spray formulas, although you can use a small paintbrush to coat hard-to-reach areas. After the primer dries, you can apply a spray-on enamel paint to the railing, adding as many coats as necessary.
Avoid Rust with Powder-Coated Aluminum Handrails
If you’re tired of dealing with rust on your handrail, consider installing a powder-coated aluminum handrail. Powder coating adds decorative colors and textures to outdoor railings; however, it also provides an unparalleled protective layer. That layer reduces the chance of damage from moisture, mold, rust, scratches, and knocks. Finally, powder coating produces an attractive finish that is harder, thicker, and more durable than traditional paint. While conventional painting techniques typically produce a finish between 0.05 mils and 1 mil thick, powder coating produces a finish of up to 6 mils.
If you’re wondering how to fix rust on handrails, you can rest easy: The process is straightforward and affordable. However, if you’re tired of dealing with pesky rust, it might be time to consider a powder-coated aluminum handrail. The differences between paint and powder coating are invisible to the naked eye, but powder coating gives an added level of protection against rust.
Are you looking for an expert who can walk you through purchasing and caring for an exterior aluminum railing? At Aluminum Handrail Direct, we are committed to providing high-quality aluminum handrails that are durable, maintenance free, affordable, and attractive. If you have questions about powder-coated handrails or if you are searching for a handrail system that fits your needs, call us at 417-409-3179 or visit Aluminum Handrail Direct’s online store today. We offer handrails, wall mounts, mounting screws and anchors, touch-up spray paint, and much more. We look forward to hearing from you!