We've got a split level ranch home so the lower level has a door that exits at a half level below ground to a retaining wall with 4 steps up and a railing.
You can tell from this view that the railing is quite dull. Let's take a closer look, though.
Yeesh- it was in really rough shape. There were 3 main steps I needed to take to address this issue before another winter with snow and ice took its toll. (1) Prep the surface, (2) de-rust and (3) paint.
I used a GLOVED HAND (so important) with steel wool and rubbed it all over the surface to loosen the flakey paint around the rust.
For the second step, I used this Rust-Oleum Rust Reformer only on the rusty spots. It's supposed to make the rusty surface non-rusty.
In order to focus the paint on the intended area and NOT get it all over my concrete patio, I took apart this box I got from Costco and used it as a shield. I then just sprayed all the trouble spots. I had to let that dry for a little bit before I did the painting step. Here is how the rusty spots got transformed to before painting.
It had pretty decent coverage. When it finished drying, I just used a small pot of exterior semi-gloss black paint to brush paint the railing. The results!
The rust damaged spots are obviously not smoothed out but they are covered and protected to prevent further damage. I still need to do something with the chippy paint retaining wall at the base of the rail. I will chip off as much paint as I can and then repaint with something neutral. For now, though, it is good to have gotten that done before another winter.