Ironwork

I’m told that our neighborhood boasts some of the largest collection of original ironwork in all of Brooklyn. Rows upon rows of ornate stoop railings in block after block of brownstone homes.

As is the case with pretty much every surface of our house, our railings are caked up with paint and they are peeling. Water is the arch nemesis of ironwork, so it’s super important that the paint be in good condition to prevent rusting.

Our newel posts looked like this:

IMG_1112

Gross, right? The first we* attacked it with our trusty PeelAway 6. It worked OK, but since we were working outside we decided to give harsher chemicals a try (Zip Strip). It worked OK, too – but not that much better. Because the third time is the charm, we tried a heat gun. Our previous concerns of scorching woodwork didn’t apply here, so we went to town:

IMG_1114

Worked pretty well. It was great to see all that detail that had been lost under the gobs of paint.  Here is the after shot with a coat of primer:

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There is still a long way to go to get all of our railing stripped. The newel post itself took about 2 days. The weather has been making progress slower – all this rain makes it difficult to camp outside for any length of time.

* by we I really mean the Hubs. I had nothing to do with this project, other than the occasional cheerleading.

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2 comments

  1. Did you have any holes rusted through to repair? Did you think of using an electric wire brush? Angela- (brownstonecyclone.com)

    1. We used a wire brush attachment on a drill to get the last bits of paint off. As for holes in the metal, nothing major thus far. The biggest concern in the gate, where some of the the delicate ironwork is so corroded it’s almost paper thin. Not sure how we’re going to fix that one…

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