How to Repair and Paint Metal Wrought Iron Handrails

Refinished and repaired metal handrails on porch.
Painted and repaired wrought iron handrails.

Wrought iron handrails are common on porches; and while durable, they will need to be repaired and painted from time to time.

To paint metal handrails:

  1. Use a wire brush to remove any loose or peeling paint.
  2. Spray with a rust inhibiting primer.
  3. Apply two coats of oil based enamel (cans of spray paint work best).

To repair metal handrail posts:

  1. Insert a threaded rod into the top and bottom of the handrail post.
  2. Apply auto body filler to the outside of the threaded rod and allow to set.
  3. Shape and sand the auto body filler to match the post profile.
  4. Paint the repair to match the railings.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information


Metal handrails are durable, but they do require maintenance and occasional repair. Before re-painting, any loose or peeling paint should be removed from the rails. A pressure washer may remove some failing paint, but to remove rust you’ll need a wire brush—the kind that attaches to a drill will speed up that process.

Once the metal is free of peeling paint and rust, it should be primed with a rust inhibiting primer. Follow that with two coats of quality oil based enamel for a finish that will last.

If sections of rail are damaged or missing, one way to repair them is to bridge the gap by inserting a threaded rod in either end of the rail. Use auto body filler to hold the rod in place and mask the repair. This filler can then be sculpted to match the shape of the rail and sanded like metal once it hardens.


  1. The bottom of the right outside stair railing has separated from the concrete platform. Please explain a threaded rod. Should the remaining part of separated rail which is in the concrete be drilled out?

  2. I’m renting an old house for a year…..wrought iron is old and decrepit……..want a quick fix to make it look decent….any thoughts.?.


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