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Epoxy primer instead of paint on iron porch railings

I noticed yesterday that my iron porch railing is in need of painting again. The Alabama sun takes its toll on the paint and I only get about 5 years out of a paint job (Benjamin Moore DTM Super Spec). I'm wondering if I should paint it with SPI black epoxy primer this time, with possibly a coat or two of Universal Clear. Is this a good idea or something that I'll likely regret?


Paint Fanatic
Staff member
If you induce the epoxy for 4 hours or longer it should do better than the 5 years
As far a clear helping much not real sure won't hurt but can't say it would help but it should.
Wow hows that for talking out of both sides of my mouth???

I think if your going to prep "perfect" if me i would do 3 coats epoxy and next day 3 coats of clear.
If just a scuff job, just leave in epoxy.
I was concerned with the epoxy fading over time, but a quick search finds where your previously mentioned that the 4 hour induction time is what increases it's fade resistance. Would you suggest 3 coats of epoxy full strength or reduced?


New Member
Perfect prep may not be realistic depending on how much you have to do and the condition of the railings. Nevertheless, the more time you can spend getting the old paint and rust off the better.

Here are a couple of pictures of my railings. I did a better prep work on another section but I didn't photograph. Still, some of these curved areas I just couldn't get into.

I did two coats of SPI white epoxy (you can't use too much epoxy on this type of project so three would be better) followed by two coats of an industrial urethane single stage that was recommended by my local supplier. I think I suffered from "White Out" in a few spots though.

Your going to do a lot of work, so if a top coat of black SPI single stage will make it last longer than the clear, then I would recommend going that direction. Everytime the sun hits that railing now it almost blinds me (and I love that and you will too).

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