Classical Wrought Iron Railing

A builder that we did prior work for in VA was upgrading a terrace and stairs for the back of a clients property. The initial request was for a standard classical wrought iron railing design with 2-1/4” wide caprail, 1-1/2” x ½” bar channel, and 5/8” sq. pickets. After the client put some additional thought into the design, they realized that they had a small stair railing section on the front steps of the home; a rail that was actually original to the house! So they shifted their design to a replication of the authentic wrought iron railing design.

The wrought Iron handrail was a 1-1/2” wide half-round caprail that was attached atop a 1” x ½” bar channel. The railing pickets were made from 5/8” sq solid wrought iron.

There were 3 separate areas that needed stair railings. Two of those areas required straight railings, but the third section had stairs that required a curved railing; and curves always add an additional level of complexity. So this stair area had to be precisely measured, drawn up in CAD, and then the curve had to be replicated in the shop to match the client’s stairs.

Another request, in keeping with the authenticity of the original railing, was to create the railings in iron to emulate the original wrought iron railing; and in a way that they would not rust. So after the stair railing was constructed, we sandblasted the stair railing sections to a white metal finish. Then the railing sections were hot-dipped galvanized to encapsulate the railing material. This galvanizing process always creates an inconsistency on the finish, so to fix this, we had to clean up the sharp and rough edges, and brush blast to bring the railings back to a more consistent look/texture. After that, we powder-coated the railings to a sheen looking architectural black.

The railing sections were then installed by core drilling into the masonry stair, and set into place. Then a 2-part epoxy was put into the holes, which provides a very high level of strength and rigidity for the railings; a technique we have found that will hold up for many years to come!

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