Over time, a balcony railing will need to be repainted to maintain its protective function. For that you need to sand it down first. Find out how to fix it in this guide.

Materials needed

When renovating a balcony railing, the materials selected are essential to bring it back into shape. Most railings are made of either wood or metal. Therefore you need different working materials, depending on whether it is a wooden or metal railing. If it is a metal railing, the following is necessary:

  • Epoxy or synthetic resin paint for metals
  • Metal primer or rust converter

For wooden railings, use the following materials instead:

  • Wood protection varnish for outdoor use
  • wood primer
Note: If the railing is a mix of wood and metal, you will need all of the materials listed.

Necessary tools

In addition to the actual materials, you will of course also need utensils and tools with which you can effectively renovate the railing. For that, take a look at the following list:

  • Angle or orbital sander
  • 80/100/120 grit sandpaper
  • safety goggles
  • respirator
  • protective gloves
  • paint brush
  • Drahtbürste
  • color bowl
  • ladder
  • cleaning cloth
  • masking tape
Tip: As an alternative to a grinder, you can use your drill and equip it with a wire brush attachment. The drill takes over the function of the grinder.

Sand down balcony railings

In order to be able to paint a balcony railing freshly, you have to sand it down beforehand. It doesn’t matter whether it’s wood or metal or what paint was used before. Once the railing has been sanded down, it can be customized through the paint at will. Choose a day when it doesn’t rain to sand down the railing. Ideally, it’s an overcast day so you don’t sizzle in the sun. After you have placed the ladder in the desired places (the inside of the balcony railing is processed from the balcony ), put on the protective clothing and then follow these instructions:

  • remove coarse dirt
  • Wipe the railings with a damp cloth
  • Process the entire railing with a wire brush
  • Equip the grinder with 80 grit
  • Sand railings completely
  • wipe with cloth
  • Equip sandpaper with 100 grit
  • grind again
  • switch to 120 grit
  • use for the final touch
  • Surface should be flat and smooth
  • grind if necessary
  • Remove dust with a damp cloth
Note: If you don’t want to climb the ladder, you can unscrew the individual elements of many wooden balcony railings beforehand. After dismantling, they are easier to sand and paint.

Alternative: apply rust converter

If you do not want to use a primer for the metal railing, you can use the rust converter. Sanding can also be dispensed with as long as the surface of the railing is smooth enough. Rust converters ensure that the metal can already be painted after application, as they convert the rust to a rough surface. This is protected against further rust. You should make sure that the rust converter is ideally applied at a temperature of 20°C to 25°C so that it does not have to dry for too long. When applying, proceed as follows:

  • Treat rust film with a wire brush
  • do not remove completely
  • Wipe metal with a damp cloth
  • Let the railing dry
  • Apply rust converter generously
  • Let the rust converter dry

Paint balcony railings

As soon as the balcony railing has been sanded down and treated with a rust protection (for metal railings), it is time to paint. This is the final step in renovating the railing and making it moisture and weather resistant again. The following instructions will help you to paint the railing, whether it is a wooden or metal variant:

  • Mask off connections to walls and floors
  • use masking tape for this
  • Apply primer (not necessary after rust converter)
  • let dry well
  • refer to the manufacturer’s information
  • dry weather speeds up the process
  • Pour paint into paint tray
  • apply the first layer thinly
  • check for color noses
  • apply the second layer also thinly
  • thereby eliminating color noses
  • Let the paint dry
  • Depending on the opacity, more than 2 coats of paint are necessary
  • Remove masking tape to finish

frequently asked Questions

Yes, this method is great for metal balcony railings. Use an electrostatic spray gun to paint. Due to the way the gun works, the paint is applied in the required layer thickness, which ensures a thorough finish.

No, you can easily rent the devices such as the angle grinder. Either hardware stores, specialist companies or even private individuals are available for this via classified ads. Check the daily rates beforehand so you don’t rent the most expensive device. Depending on the provider, you pay between ten and twenty euros per day for an orbital sander.

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