Can you get that railing sand blasted and then nickle plated?
Originally Posted by mdsmeck
What would be the best way to fix this???
2. Take the original and have it sandblasted and powder coated??? If so, how do I find someone locally that does this???
Any comments/suggestion would be greatly appreciated...
This might be the most expensive option, but it's also the one that'll provide the best results amongst the ones on your list.
There will be lots of places in your area that do powder coatings. Just look under "Industrial Coatings" in your Yellow Pages phone directory. Typically, the size of object that can be powder coated will be limited by the size of the baking oven at the place that's doing the work. If your rail is too large to fit in their baking oven, they can't powder coat it.
Powder coatings are much more impermeable and much more durable than air dry coatings like paints, thereby protecting the underlying metal much better than a paint would.
Talk to the places that do powder coatings in your area about what colour will hide the underlying iron the best, and how thick they can make the coating.
Generally, the harder and stronger the coating on the metal, the higher the temperature it takes to melt it. "Powder coating" is typically done at temperatures below 750 degrees. You can get an even harder and stronger coating on your railing if you have it "ceramic coated", which is to have it coated with porcelain enamel. Porcelain enamel is a much harder and more durable coating than even a powder coating. For example, on a stove, the (typically) white cooktop will be powder coated at about 500 degrees, but the blue/grey coating inside the oven will be porcelain enamel baked on at about 1300 deg. F. That oven coating is the hardest and most durable coating in most people's homes (save, perhaps for the chrome plating on brass fixtures in their bathrooms).
The only problem is that porcelain enamel is a hard and brittle material, and using metal fasteners on it to mount that railing is likely to crack or chip it up. Also, both powder coating and porcelain enamel result in very smooth finishes which might be slippery when they're wet with rain and perhaps more difficult to grasp securely in a fall.
But, powder coating would be vastly better than painting, and porcelain enamel would give you a harder and more durable finish than powder coating. I'd ask around at the places that do porcelain enamel coatings to see if they can think of any other good reasons not to go with a porcelain enamel coating on an iron railing that's going to spend it's life outdoors. Also, the porcelain enamel option is likely gonna cost more.
Porcelain Enamel Institute
The Powder Coating Institute
(I'd also inquire about nickle plating that iron railing. That would be more durable and protective than any porcelain enamel could ever be. Also, nickle is naturally corrosion resistant because it forms an oxide that's impermeable to air and water. It's like copper in that respect, only better; it rusts, but the rust it forms is highly impermeable to both O2 and H2O, sticks tenaciously to the underlying metal and thereby protects it from further oxidation. The oxide film that nickle forms is much more impermeable than the brown "rust" that copper forms, so that it protects the underlying metal from further rusting so well that it remains so thin as to be transparent. What better corrosion protection for the underlying iron could you imagine than a coating of pure nickel that naturally forms an oxide surface layer that protects itself (and therefore everything under it) from the oxygen and water in the environment? If nickle plating this railing is feasible, that's the way I'd go.)