Cost to Paint a Metal Railing – 2021 Cost Guide

| Last Updated: November 24, 2021

National Average Improvement and Repair Cost







$ 208

$ 75

Would you do this project? According to our survey, 71% of respondents preferred DIY compared to hiring a pro.

The average price to Paint a Metal Railing noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself.

Many porches and stair landings have metal railings that provide a sturdy barrier and firm gripping surface to assure safe footing. But when the painted surface becomes chipped at high-use areas or rust forms from corrosion, the metal needs a good paint job to restore its good looks.

The job is relatively easy to repaint the railing and protect and refresh the surface. A thorough scraping, priming, and fresh topcoat of paint will add a protective finish for years to come.

Here’s the dollars and cents. A painting contractor will charge $208 to sand, prime, and paint 100 square feet of rusted metal railing, which includes the labor and material.

You can buy the primer and paint and do the job for $75, saving 64 percent. You’ll need sandpaper, a wire brush, a paintbrush, a drop cloth, and painter’s masking tape to protect the surrounding surfaces from paint drips. If there are some areas you can’t reach with the paintbrush because it’s too wide, use a small artist’s brush or foam brush to apply paint in tight spots.

If you’re new to doing it yourself, consider this as a good first-time project. It’s easy and inexpensive, and unless you spill the paint, it’s goof-proof. Spend time scraping off any loose, flaked and chipped paint, and remove rust from the surface with a wire brush. Sand all the surfaces smooth and apply a rust-inhibiting primer, followed by a topcoat of protective enamel designed for metal. Use a drop cloth to protect any shrubbery or plants nearby.

The average price to paint a metal railing noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself. 

If you're wondering how else can you do it quicker, the answer is spray painting! Although a more expensive option, sprayers are great for users looking to achieve even coat and finish the job in less time.

In case you want to get started, see our reviews on some of the top brands in the paint sprayer space, like Wagner, Graco and Titan.

Welcome! We hope you’ll find the job costs of home improvement projects useful when you’re deciding whether to do a job yourself vs. hire a contractor. We’re the authors of 20 home improvement books, most notably Home Improvement for Dummies©, Bathroom Remodeling for Dummies©, Carpentry for Dummies©, Plumbing for Dummies©, and Painting and Wallpapering for Dummies©. Our most recent book Fix It and Flip It is in its second edition. We’ve appeared as home improvement experts on television programs such as CNN, Dateline, the Today Show, HGTV and many others.