The Best Paint for Metal Railings and Gates

The best paint for metal railings is a coating that resists the UK weather conditions and gives a solid finish for years.

Due to their position in the open, railings can be hammered by a variety of conditions.

Existing railings can be in poor condition due to coating break down so preparation work will need to be on point.

We take a look at paints suitable for coating and protecting metal railings.

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Best Metal Railing and Gate Paint UK


The best overall railing paint is Hammerite Direct to Rust Metal Paint

Best Premium

The best premium masonry paint is Blackfriar Satin Black Paint

Best Budget

The best budget option is Rustins Matt Black

Railing Paint Comparison

Railing PaintCoverage Per LitreRecoat Drying Time-Hours
Hammerite Direct to Rust52
Blackfriar Satin Black142-4
Rustins Matt Black12-142

Best Metal Railing Paint- Hammerite Direct to Rust

Hammerite is a household name in the UK when it comes to metal railing paint, so it really isn’t any surprise to see it in the top spot

They have had years of knowledge to refine their paint coatings to deliver a superior product in this category.

This premium paint is specifically designed to protect against rain, wind, frost, sunlight and other elements that the UK climate throws at it.

The beauty of this coating is that it is actually three coatings in one.

The paint primes, undercoats and topcoats.

It can also be applied directly over rust, although we do suggest rubbing this back first, especially any loose rust with sandpaper or a sander.

The paint dries to a glossy finish which looks great on railings but this seals out any moisture and gives extra protection.

The paint can be applied by roller or brush. It is best applied in dry conditions with adry surface.

The Hammerite direct to rust paint is available in a wide range of colours

It is available in a range of sizes to suit your project starting from 250ml up to 5 Litres tins.

We used the gloss Black

The paint has very good opacity and most cases if applied correctly you can get away with one coat.

It is on thick side but you apply it too thinly anyway.

Some of the key features of the Hammerite Direct to Rust Paint are:

  • A tough and durable coating
  • 8 Years Protection
  • Paints directly onto rust
  • Provides a classic gloss finish to exterior metalwork
  • Three on One coating: Primes, Undercoats and Topcoats

One downside of this paint is that it is very tough to clean from the paintbrush so you may want to consider this paintbrush redundant afterwards and definitely don’t use your favourite one!

The paint adheres to a range of metal substrates both ferrous and non-ferrous.

If applying over previously coated paint it is advisable to wash and down and give light sanding first.

Not only is this paint perfect for railings it coats metal garden furniture, metal gates and metal doors as well.

It finishes to a hardwearing protective coating when cured.

For a paint that protects and last on exterior metalwork, Hammerite direct to rust is a great choice.

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Best Premium Metal Railing Paint– Blackfriars Satin

If you prefer your railings to have a softer finish with less gloss then Blackfriars Satin is an excellent choice.

The paint is touch dry in 2-4 hours and can be re-coated in 16 hours.

This coating requires good stirring when being used.

Blackfriar metal railing paint can be applied by brish, roller or spraying.

Spraying is a great option where some of the metalwork on railings and gates can be intricate.

It covers well and applies up to 14m2 per litre on smoother surfaces.

For best results it is a two coat paint system.

The paint can be used internal or external and is also suitable for wood. This is great if you require a uniform finish.

It is suitable to be applied over previously coated metal after prep work.

Galvanised surfaces will need to be primed with a multisurface primer

Bare surfaces will require priming first.

Does give off a bit a smell so be sure there is adequate ventilation.

The main features of the Blackfriar Satin Black are:

  • Solvent based
  • Provides hard wearing finish
  • Available in 500ml and 1L sizes
  • Attractive satin finish
  • Ideal for metal railings and gates

This paint applies easily and dries back to a great finish.

If gloss isn’t your preference, this satin railing paint by Blackfriar is a good choice.

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Best Budget Option- Rustins Matt Black

If you don’t fancy a glossy or satin finish then we present to you a quality Matt finish Railing Paint.

Once dried it has a flatter gloss sheen level than the other two products.

If you have a lot of marks and scuffs this particular paint is great at hiding those imperfections.

As its water based it doesn’t give off any nasty odours when applying and is suitable for use in the home as well as outside.

It is hardwearing and easy to apply.

The paint is suitable for metal railings and gates but can also be applied to freshen up garden furniture and even windows.

Application is by brush, roller and spray.

The main features of the Rustins Matt Black for Wrought Iron and Wood are:

  • Water-Based Product
  • Durable external and internal coating
  • Quick Drying
  • Smooth matt finish
  • Ideal for metal railings

It can be re-coated in 2 hours but is touch dry within 30 minutes.

Available in 250ml to 2.5 Litre sizes.

It is a durable coating.

This is a great choice of metal railing and gate paint at a decent price.

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Specially formulated metal railing paints are designed to counter the extremes of our climate.

When purchasing always look for the length of time the product should last for.

Not only do the coatings protect but they create a visually pleasing aesthetic to a prominent part of your home.

Preparation is a key factor and you should always where possible try to get rust to a minimum.

We have looked at a few products that are designed to cater for re-coating of metal railings and suit different budgets.

Related Reading

The Best Gloss Paints

The Best Satinwood Paints

The Best uPVC Paints

The Best Masonry Paints

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