Anyone know a quick solution to removing rust off an iron stairwell?

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I have an iron stairwell in my backyard, I have used a pressure washer to try to get the old paint off and underneath it's full of rust. Does anyone have a quick and effective answer as to how I can remove it and then be able to paint it? It looks horrible. I'm at my wits end!!
q how to remove rust off an iron stairwell, cleaning tips, This is how bad it is
This is how bad it is!
q how to remove rust off an iron stairwell, cleaning tips, It s rusted and also has old paint and primer on it
It's rusted and also, has old paint and primer on it!
q how to remove rust off an iron stairwell, cleaning tips, Just need to remove the rust
Just need to remove the rust!
q how to remove rust off an iron stairwell, cleaning tips, Does not even have to be perfect
Does not even have to be perfect!
q how to remove rust off an iron stairwell, cleaning tips, Can t stand it
Can't stand it!
q how to remove rust off an iron stairwell, cleaning tips, There has to be an easy fix
There has to be an easy fix.
  21 answers
  • Brenda Kennedy Brenda Kennedy on Jul 28, 2015
    I have found BRONZE WOOL (not steel wool) to work on many surfaces including metal. You might try this. It comes in fine. medium, and course. Not usually sold by big box stores. You might want to use a drill with a wire brush wheel first, then the bronze.
  • Katrina Warren Katrina Warren on Jul 28, 2015
    @Rose I would use a rust reformer on it (it will stop the rust from doing further damage) you can find it at home depot, & then paint whatever color you choose. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Corroseal-Rust-Converter-Primer-82320/202960538
  • Gwen Crutcher Stace Gwen Crutcher Stace on Jul 29, 2015
    Remove any flaking paint from steps, paint with red oxide paint, the rails look ok to paint with oxide as they are after this is dry repaint with your choice of metal paint colour.
  • Pam Walker Pam Walker on Jul 29, 2015
    I hate to say this but if it's rusted this bad, it's already eaten thru most of it & can lead to instability of the structure & accidents with them giving way. My advice is to replace it instead. If you paint it, you're just hiding what's inside the core of it & it will eat thru it again &/or could harm someone in the process. I'm truly sorry about saying this but dealing with rust & tetanus, it's very harmful ....... and dangerous.
    • Rose Rose on Jul 29, 2015
      Pam, I've just had a professional replace and repair, the railing and tacked down it extreme bad parts, it just need to somehow do the cosmetic on them now! I am aware that if it is rusted through and through danger is at hand. However, it's very secure even though it looks horrible.
  • Rose Rose on Jul 29, 2015
    Pam, I've just had a professional replace and repair, the railing and tacked down it extreme bad parts, it just need to somehow do the cosmetic on them now! I am aware that if it is rusted through and through danger is at hand. However, it's very secure even though it looks horrible.
  • Rose Rose on Jul 29, 2015
    GwenCrutcher Stace, thanks for your advise, well appreciated!
  • Another Hometalker asked about removal of rust from brass and someone suggested "naval jelly"... might be a good option for your purposes as well. http://www.loctiteproducts.com/tds/S_TRMT_NAVAL_tds.pdf I have no clue what it costs so don't know if it would be cost effective for you. Best of luck to you!
  • Funnygirl Funnygirl on Jul 29, 2015
    Just saw a post for wd-40.worth a try.Just don't slip.May need to power wash it if you can remove the rust first.then. Wait to paint it when it's super dry.Good luck!Did not have a lot of luck with naval jelly but the bottle was old I would spray it in a small spot and use a metal brush(like a brush for a grill) or I have a brass brush that attaches to my drill.
  • Funnygirl Funnygirl on Jul 29, 2015
    Also read take aluminum foil dip into a bowl of cola and rub the rust off.labor intensive but they say it works!
  • Rose Rose on Jul 29, 2015
    Thanks, Christina, I'll check it out. Someone just told me that navel jelly is off the market, I will confirm.
  • Rose Rose on Jul 29, 2015
    Thanks, Funnygirl
  • April E April E on Jul 29, 2015
    You can get a clear rust stop, then seal it (multicoat) and have a cool rusted metal rail but smooth
  • Dragonintheattic Dragonintheattic on Jul 30, 2015
    Have you tried CLR?
  • Liz Liz on Jul 30, 2015
    I found a product at Home Depot that you spray on rust, it converts the rust back to a hard metal-ish stuff (technical definition). I don't remember the name of it, but anyone in the paint department should be able to help you. It changes the chemical composition of the rust and causes it to harden, then you paint over it. Worked on my wrought iron gate.
  • Judy Capone Mantell Judy Capone Mantell on Jul 31, 2015
    Whink Rust Stain Remover. I found it everywhere in the South, but here in California I finally gave up and went on-line and ordered a half dozen of the 32 oz bottles...should last forever!
  • Tim D. (The Retro Den) Tim D. (The Retro Den) on Aug 02, 2015
    Short of sandblasting there are rust neutralizes out there. You may find them at a marina or at specialty paint stores.... The neutralizers will do just that neutralize or stabilize but they will not remove the rust. Removal by hand and power tool is at this point beyond being an economical solution. Hiring a profession to powder blast or water blast is the best option for a long term cure.... What're option you chose it going to be a tough road...
  • Rose Rose on Aug 02, 2015
    I agree Tim, sandblasting isn't an option, I can find one person who is able or willing to do that. So, I probably will use some sort of neutralizer. I did use a pressure washer, however, it still needs something more. Thanks for your feedback!
  • Accentuations! Accentuations! on Aug 03, 2015
    Try using some Coca Cola. Really! Pour some on and wire brush it into the rust. It make a couple applications and scrubs, but it really does work. Then apply Rust-o-leum rust preventer librally before you paint!
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jan 19, 2018
    Hammerite or Rustoleum paint covers rust. or if you just want to kill the rust use CRUST
  • PennyWiser PennyWiser on Dec 13, 2019

    I'd use a rust reformer and after that spray paint over rust. This will protect it from further rust damage.

  • Jane Vargo Jane Vargo on Mar 05, 2021

    The quickest and easiest would be to have it sand blasted. I’ve had railings sand blasted and they are ready to prime and paint. No sanding needed

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