I grew up in a house with spirals on the front porch handrails. And quite frankly, that’s not too surprising because there are spirals on about 99.9% of the homes in most Chicagoland neighborhoods, including ours. Apparently those spiral details were quite the trend 50+ years ago!
[For the full step-by-step tutorial, read this blog post.]
However, these spirals were dating our house and I wanted to remove them to make our outdoor railing look more modern and contemporary. With a little hard work, and a few supplies, I removed them on a budget! This project is extremely inexpensive and almost immediately brings the railing out of the 1950’s and into the 21st century.
Time: 2 HoursCost: $30Difficulty: Medium
First, you want to grind away the spirals. The side grinder is just like it sounds, a handheld power tool that slowly grinds away metal. It’s a bit intimidating because when it makes contact with metal, sparks fly all over the place. This is why we recommend wearing gloves, closed-toe shoes, pants, and even a face shield to protect yourself.
You’ll want to slowly grind the points where the spirals meet the vertical spindles. Then, file down the spirals to get it nice and smooth.
Filing down the spindles will leave you with some exposed steel, which is only a problem if you don’t prime it right away. So, I primed those areas and then did 2 coats of paint.
Here's how it looks after! So much better and much more modern. Instead of replacing the entire railing, I was able to save money and transform what we did have. I love when that happens.
Suggested materials for this project:
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