Towel rail - how to renovate?

5 Sep 2016
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United Kingdom
Evening all

I have a typical looking bathroom towel rail. I've removed it to paint the wall behind it. While it's off I thought I'd give it a quick once over to get the water marks off before putting it back on the wall. Unfortunately, when it comes to getting these marks off I have tried a few things but now I'm stumped. I'll try and post a picture of it but I will describe the finish on it here anyway:

It has what appears to be either a powder coating or wet paint finish applied. The finish is a kind of metallic looking colour that resembles raw steel. It is covered in water marks. I have tried to remove the marks with soapy water but they are way too stubborn for that. I then tried Cif on an inconspicuous area on the underside, this left a dark stain. I then tried toothpaste, same, dark stain. Photograph shows stains and watermarks.

If there are no suggestions on how to proceed with cleaning I will probably end up painting it or powder coating so would appreciate advice on how to achieve that (or pitfalls of powder coating?).

Is powder coating an option?

How best to prep this finish for painting? What type of paint would be most suitable?

As always, any help offered is very much appreciated.


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I would say that powder coating is an option but the cost might approach a new rail. If you have a company near to you, take it in and see. Alternatively Spray Painting @ a bodyshop - same exercise, take it there. Forget DIY brushing;)

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