Can You Paint Deck Railings?

When it comes to refreshing your deck, there are plenty of options and choices available to homeowners these days. From choosing a swanky vinyl plank decking to a variety of deck railing options. But one option that some homeowners consider is painting their deck railings.

Often if you are looking to paint your deck railings it is done in spring so it is ready for regular use in summer. But deck railing pain can prematurely fail if not executed properly. There are several ways to prevent this happening and ways to increase the longevity of your paint. This article will walk you through how to paint your deck railings and some tips and tricks.

How to Paint Your Deck Railing?

Now don’t be deceived or underestimate how difficult painting a deck railing can be. If you have ever tried to paint a deck railing before, you already know that this task is much harder than it appears and will require a fair bit of effort and is more time consuming than most people believe.

Unlike their flat distant cousins, walls; decks have curves and angles that can be difficult to maneuver around and apply paint to. These curves and angles can be difficult to reach with a brush. This is why making sure you’re adequately prepared before going to paint your deck. You will want to ensure that you have all the materials you’ll need for the whole painting process before going for your paint brushes.

One rookie mistake some homeowners make is beginning to paint just to stop and be interrupted. If your painting process is interrupted, it has the potential to ruin the overall quality of the paint layer and look.

Easy Way to Paint Railings

When it comes to painting your deck railings, the most important thing to remember is to take your time and properly prep your deck. The most difficult part without a doubt will be the vertical spindles since they are so narrow and there are multiples of them depending on the size of your deck. It’s best to prime then paint these first, so you’ll be able to touch the handrail as you lean over and work.  Some tools that can make your life easier include a paintbrush, painter’s mitt and a mini roller.

Mini paint rollers are ideal for working quickly and reach well around each spindle, but a paintbrush on the other hand are ideal for both straight and curved surfaces.

Once the spindles are completed, work on the posts, horizontal braces and railings using a wider paint brush or roller.

Remember the order. Primer, spindles, posts, then rails.

Additional Tips

Wash railing before painting

If you notice your railings are dirty, make sure you allot a little bit of time to power wash or clean with detergent and a stiff brush before priming your railings. Never use steel or iron on your deck railings as this can cause iron stain and may glaze the surface.

Never paint decayed or rotting wood

Decayed wood is the result of wood that has been wet for an extended period of time. If the wood is soft and spongy, this means it has degraded to the point it will never be capable of holding paint and needs to be replaced. Small areas of decayed wood are able to be salvaged and dug out. The remaining wood can be stabilized with waterproof compounds. Be cautious though since wood shrinks when it’s warmed due to loss of water and also expands

By ensuring that the conditions are ideal when painting your deck railing will  help to maximize the longevity of the paint.

Painting Metal Railings

Metal railings, unlike standard deck railings, require a bit more preparation before painting. The first step would be to clean the railings and then sand away any rust that may be on the surface. After sanding any rust, it’s important to clean them once again and then finally wipe them down with a tack cloth.

Before you can paint, make sure you section off or mask off any areas you want to protect which can include covering nearby shrubs with drop cloths, old sheets or some kind of material. Now as you begin the priming phase, apply a rust-blocking primer to the metal, then go over the primer with a compatible metal spray paint designed for durability.