Tuesday, May 20, 2008

feNcInG tuRnEd StaIR rAiLiNg

Sweet Salvage Style!
When in need of a unique stair railing.....Do It Yourself, as they say. It can be as easy as recycling tossed out steel fencing.
For quite some time now, I’ve been wanting to play around with taking fencing from the home improvement store and figuring out how to manipulate it into ballisters and railings for my stairway. Well, I still haven’t gotten the chance to make that happen, but I AM finally about to install some handmade stair railings created out of old steel fencing…railings that my clever dad has created. He likes to weld and has created things like trellises and sculptures for us all, so I thought this project would be right up his alley. I set him up with some pieces of old fencing that were getting tossed out and a drawing (which he never follows anyway, so I really don’t know why I bother with that step) and asked if he could turn it into a railing for us. He has half of it completed and not only does he not like to follow directions, he also doesn’t do the same thing twice, so each section is different. But as you can imagine, I totally appreciate that kind of stuff, so it is absolutely perfect and works beautifully in our space. The only thing I was adamant about with him was “PLEASE DO NOT PAINT IT!” (he sometimes likes to paint his welded creations, which I’m not real fond of because I think it takes away from the natural patina of the metal) Even as a new railing in my home, I wanted to let the rust and the uneven patina show through, the grind marks shine, and just seal it up as is. That’s the kind of stuff that I think gives a piece character – the things that just naturally happen and are very tough to re-create. We looked into having it powder coated with a clear finish, but we would have had to remove all the rust for it to adhere, so that option was out. I asked my friend, John Brommel (who is the most amazing metal artist) what I should use and he recommended this product by Sherwin Williams called Sher-Coat. This stuff is awesome! It’s more of an industrial type product designed to take a lot of wear and tear. We used an air sprayer to apply and it finished the railings off beautifully. It gave them a nice finish and didn’t cover up any of the natural beauty. We’re looking into other uses for this product on materials like wood and concrete to see if it could be the perfect sealant for some of our outdoor projects. I’ll definitely share whatever discoveries we uncover!
Enjoy the pics below set to some great tunes by Jerry Chapman with the title "I think you know" off his Put Me Together album. I hope it inspires you to embrace the creative talents of those around you and work together to make great things happen! We'll share the down and dirty, how-to side of things and what goes into converting a fence into a stair railing in an upcoming episode of MBCTC.
If I ever move….you know I’m taking that railing with me, right?!



claudine hellmuth said...

just found your blog and wanted to post to let you know how much I enjoy your show on DIY!

Gracious Acres said...

Very cool - - I have been looking for an alternative to the traditional oak railing in our new home. Thanks for the fresh and inspiring ideas!

The Artful Eye said...

Hi Michele,
I think I've taped off all episodes of B Original. Great show. I hope you'll do more.

:Jayne said...

Great railing! Love your show!


courage to create said...

THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Exploring different ways to do things is what it's all about! Thanks for taking the time to share, it's most appreciated.