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Old 08-29-2008, 01:54 AM   #1
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Painting Stair Railings - Sawzall!?!?


I have interior stair rails that I do NOT like. I want more of a contemporary/clean look. They are wrought iron and have really ornate features to them. I don't want to spend thousands of dollars getting a new staircase but here is my plan:

Take a Sawzall and remove the ornate loopty-loo's off.

QUESTION:
Will a sawzall cut through the wrought iron rail? They are solid pieces?


Afterwards, I can repaint them from the current black, to a brushed nickel, stainless color. The question I have is:

What would work better to paint metal railings. Spray paint or some type of brush oil-based paint?
Which paint would one recommend?
I am somewhat weary of the spray paint because of the overspray.
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Old 08-29-2008, 06:37 AM   #2
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Painting Stair Railings - Sawzall!?!?


Yes a sawsall with a metal cutting blade will work. You will get a better finish with spray paint but over spray will be a problem. Just put down plenty of paper. If that is a gloss paint you need to sand before painting

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Old 08-29-2008, 06:44 AM   #3
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Painting Stair Railings - Sawzall!?!?


i see what you mean, that does look a bit 'busy' try tapping a flathead screwdriver into the crack of the holding rings and see if they just separate and fall off. if welded TO the baluster rail, then sawzall the ring carefully and separate. might i suggest you remove just the small designs or the large first? it might look less busy and be less work. the large ones is what i'd hit first. however, i notice the balusters are different for both and both are different from the rest! (lg is a square and small has that single twist) if you remove the large first and like it, keep it that way because the single twist will be more noticeable than the flat ones. nice home btw

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Old 08-30-2008, 05:07 AM   #4
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Painting Stair Railings - Sawzall!?!?


I don't know that I would take a saws all to that.They are pretty powerfull for major demo work it might just rattle the whole railing apart.I would use a small die grinder with a cut off wheel.It will go through that like a hot knife through butter with less damage and less mess.They are not expensive and you can do more controlled work with it
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Old 08-30-2008, 05:29 AM   #5
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Painting Stair Railings - Sawzall!?!?


Quote:
Originally Posted by MdangermouseM View Post
i see what you mean, that does look a bit 'busy'
nice home btw

DM
Thanks!

The home was a foreclosure home. $70 per sq.ft. Couldn't pass up that deal.

Unfortunately, it has the ornate, oil rubbed bronze finishes. I am slowly changing those out to the brushed nickel finish and more of a clean line look.

I will remove ALL of those loopty loo's and then hit the black wrought iron with some brushed nickel paint. Also, that wrought iron chandelier is going away. I will replace it with this:
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Old 08-30-2008, 05:31 AM   #6
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Painting Stair Railings - Sawzall!?!?


I will post the AFTER pictures once I am done, but the entrance way is what I really like about the home. Very open and inviting:
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Old 08-30-2008, 06:07 AM   #7
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Painting Stair Railings - Sawzall!?!?


did you try tapping a flathead screwdriver into the crack of the holding rings and see if they just separate and fall off yet? no saw needed then.

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Old 08-30-2008, 03:32 PM   #8
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Painting Stair Railings - Sawzall!?!?


Quote:
Originally Posted by MdangermouseM View Post
did you try tapping a flathead screwdriver into the crack of the holding rings and see if they just separate and fall off yet? no saw needed then.

DM
I tried that and removed a holding ring, unfortunately the loopty loo stuff is WELDED.
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Old 08-30-2008, 03:44 PM   #9
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Painting Stair Railings - Sawzall!?!?


if it's just welded at the seam i see in your pictures, try an angle grinder on that seam and THEN a screwdriver to open it up? a sawzall will leave more marks if you slip. just don't grind too far! lol and cal me old fashioned, but i always liked wrought iron colored flat black. =o)
be careful and i hope it works!
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Old 08-30-2008, 03:46 PM   #10
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Painting Stair Railings - Sawzall!?!?


sorry, just REread your post. so i was right then, but i didn't see the welded part coming. crap.....
i'd probly still go with the angle grinder...remove rings and carefully grind to the support baluster. smooth away weld.

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Old 08-31-2008, 02:34 AM   #11
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Painting Stair Railings - Sawzall!?!?


Quote:
Originally Posted by MdangermouseM View Post
sorry, just REread your post. so i was right then, but i didn't see the welded part coming. crap.....
i'd probly still go with the angle grinder...remove rings and carefully grind to the support baluster. smooth away weld.

DM
Would a Dremel work for that? What attachment would work for cutting through the wrought iron??
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Old 08-31-2008, 09:01 AM   #12
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Painting Stair Railings - Sawzall!?!?


yes, a steel diamond chip covered wheel i have would do it, but a $20 angle grinder would be far better for the amount of work you have to do and a flat wheel would not smooth welds very well.

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Old 08-31-2008, 09:08 AM   #13
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Painting Stair Railings - Sawzall!?!?


TINY flat wheel i meant

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Old 01-02-2010, 10:29 PM   #14
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Painting Stair Railings - Sawzall!?!?


After many other projects, I finally tackled my railing project after putting it on hold for 1 year.

I used a Dremel cut off wheel to take off the wrought iron and then grinded down the sharp areas. It took quite a bit of grinding and cutting as the pieces were solid wrought iron. I then used Rustoleum Stainless Steel paint to finish them off. It came in a 1 quart can that was brushed on the rails. I didn't want to use spray paint due to overspray issues.

Well, here is the final AFTER picture.
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Old 01-03-2010, 04:56 AM   #15
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Painting Stair Railings - Sawzall!?!?


wow! it took you a while to get to it, but it looks great!
nice job.

DM

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