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harper of pern
wrought iron railing repair

We have wrought iron railings which were apparently mounted using the old method of placing them directly into holes in the concrete and sealing in place with something poured into the hole to hold them in place.

Problem: on several of the railings, one side of the square has rusted through (they are hollow, not solid) at the base of the post. The railings seem to be solid, aside from the rusted areas. My inclination is to fill and seal these areas with something like an auto body putty before I proceed to sand, prime and paint.

Does this sound doable? Is there a different product I should use?

Any and all suggestions appreciated. Thanks.

Re: wrought iron railing repair

Auto body putty is commonly used for addressing cosmetic imperfections with architectural steel work that will seen and painted.

However .... depending on the size of the holes that exist will determine if this putty will be effective. .... too large and it will be difficult to apply and stay in place.

You will need to clean the area from existing rust down to good solid metal before applying the putty. Otherwise the rust will continue to disintegrate the steel also the putty needs to bond to a clear stable surface. If you have a rotary tool with a small grinding bit .... use this to grind the rust away from all surfaces of the holes.

The other point is .... from your description the square tubing are the posts for the railing. If they are rusted through on one side this is weakening the structural integrity of the posts .... the auto body putty won't help with the strength of the posts.

At some point these posts may need to repaired. One way might be cutting them free of the embedded portion and welding on flat mounting plates and using concrete anchor bolts to reattach.

Just a thought. :)

harper of pern
Re: wrought iron railing repair

Thanks for your prompt reply.

It doesn't appear that structural integrity is an issue at this point, just appearance, since the holes are not very big - yet. But I do want to effect a repair which for right now at least will keep the rust at bay.

I was thinking auto body putty for the repair; is there another product I should use, or a particular brand of putty?

Thanks again for your help.

Re: wrought iron railing repair

If they're small pinholes then using a common body filler such as "Bondo" will work. Just remember to remove all the rust you can , sand , prime and paint.

Good luck.:)

harper of pern
Re: wrought iron railing repair


I forgot to add to my last post that I would like to beef up these posts by anchoring them to the concrete in order to maintain better structural integrity in future. Is there a two-part anchor available so that I don't have to cut off the posts at the base, remove the railing assembly, and re-insert the whole thing into one-piece anchors?

Thanks again.:)

Re: wrought iron railing repair

I don't think there is anything you buy off the shelf for this.
You could try bolting on some steel angle pieces but that sounds like a temporay solution. Sounds to me Canuk's suggestion would be a good one.

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