How To Repair Waterlogged Wooden Railings

5 November 2015
 Categories: , Blog

Wooden railings are always susceptible to water damage. Standing water on flat and wide railings can damage the top of the rail. If water soaks into the rail and deteriorates the wood, it could compromise the structural integrity of the entire rail. It is vital that you always keep the top of your rail sealed. But, you can't just use a brush and spread stain to the top of the rail to seal it. Staining over a rough, unsnapped rail top is not a good idea because it will not last long. This article explains the most effective way to reseal wooden rails that have water damage.

How to Prepare the Wood Rail

When wood gets water damaged, it gets swollen and warped. This means you might need to sculpt the rail by sanding it. Use a power sander with medium grit paper until you are happy with the shape of the rail. The sanding will open up the wood grains, which might have separated during the swelling. So, you want to fill in these little gaps. Just spread wood putty all over the area with your finger. Push the putty deep into the wood so it fills in any cavities inside the grains. After patching the wood you will need to resand it.

Restaining the Wood

The final step is to restain the sanded area. Since the wood railing is likely to have faded in the sun, it is more practical to stain the entire rail (not only the parts that were patched). If you only stain the patched parts, the stain will look uneven. The best way to stain hardwood is to use a rag instead of a normal paint brush. Stain is much thinner than paint, so it is too runny for a paintbrush. If you use rags instead, you will be able to reduce the dripping and get a more even stain on the wood. Dip the rag directly into the can of stain. Make sure you mix and remix the stain through the process because the darker particles can sink to the bottom of the can. Wear latex gloves so you don't end up with stained fingers. Wipe away the stain with a drier rag right after you wipe it onto the rail. You will go through dozens of small rags using this technique, but they are affordable and disposable.

With a new coat of stain on your wood railing, water will be less problematic. If you restain your railing before they get water damage, you can usually skip the putty step, making it an even easier DIY project. If you need help with wrought iron railings instead, visit AJ Wrought Iron Security & Ornamental Ltd wrought iron rail.