How to Build Deck Railing With Metal Balusters

Metal railing can be a beautiful addition to your deck or porch. The balusters are the vertical posts that create the fence-like appearance on your deck’s perimeter, so choosing them is an essential step in the process. To find out how to choose metal balusters for your railing project, keep reading! 

Metal railings offer many benefits, including durability and safety, but they also come with their own set of challenges. Baluster spacing is one of these challenges because it determines how easy it will be to get on and off the deck when you’re seated at a table or sitting in a chair. 

How to Build Deck Railing With Metal Balusters

You’ll need more space between balusters if you have children who might be using this area as an activity zone or if you want accessibility for wheelchairs to be maintained. In this blog post, we will go over how to build deck railing with metal balusters.

Step to Follow on How to Build Deck Railing With Metal Balusters 

Step One: Design It

Before you build a wooden deck railing with metal balusters, you must design it. Your design will be dependent on the materials you have access to and the look you want to achieve. For example, you want to plan out how far apart the balusters will be with a deck railing.

Use graph paper and draw out your options. In general, 2″ spacing between balusters looks good on a deck that isn’t too wide, but 1.5″ is better for wider decks. If you don’t have many posts available, then 1″ spacing between balusters might look alright. Don’t forget to plan for the height of your deck railing as well.

Balconies are generally around 30″ high, while porch decks can vary widely depending on how much space you want between the floor and the bottom of the deck railing. It would help if you also considered how high above ground level you want your deck to sit.

Step Two: Gather Your Materials

Again, this depends on how you design your deck railing. For a traditional wooden railing, you’ll need a joint compound and a putty knife to smooth out the joints between balusters. You will also want some stain or paint depending on the color of wood you choose for your deck.

Metal balusters come in basic metal colors or painted finishes. Your posts will need to be at least 30″ tall and approximately square. They can be made of wood, metal, plastic, or fiberglass. Plastic is the cheapest option for your deck railing posts, but it can also warp in extreme heat.

Metal Posts Are Usually Powder-coated, So They Aren't as Subject to the Elements

Metal posts are usually powder-coated, so they aren’t as subject to the elements. Unfortunately, they are also more expensive than plastic or wood posts. Finally, you’ll need nails or screws to hold your deck railing together and a rubber mallet for tapping the posts into the ground.

Step Three: Build Your Railing

Now that you have all of your materials gathered, it’s time to construct your deck railing. If you choose to build your deck railing with metal balusters, you’ll need to ensure the posts are in the ground and sufficiently level before adding them.

Start by attaching one post to your patio or porch flooring. Using a pencil, mark where it will meet the second post that is resting on the ground. Dig a hole slightly more profound than the length of your posts. Be sure to keep at least one post above ground for use when attaching your deck railing later on.

Post two should be resting inside its hole, ensuring its level with the other post on the ground. Next, lean another post against it and attach them by tapping in some metal connector bolts. With the bolts attached, add another metal post resting on the ground and one more on top of them for a total of three posts in your deck railing.

Step Four: Add Your Balusters

Now that all of your baluster posts are in place, it’s time to attach the deck railing. Attach your first row of balusters, making sure that the posts are secure and level. You can use some scrap pieces of wood to space out your balusters if you choose to.

Once this row is attached, finish attaching the rest of your metal balusters in between each post. Nail or screw them underneath, so they don’t show when you look down from above.

Add Your Balusters

Finally, add a sturdy post to each corner. Your deck railing is complete! Just add a handrail, and you’ll have a beautiful new porch or balcony to relax on in no time. You can also use your deck railing for other projects like garden fencing or make your telescope stand.

Step Five: Paint or Stain Your Deck Railing

You don’t have to wait until your deck railing is finished before you paint or stain it. Instead, you can do it after each section is completed, so there’s less work involved when you’re done.

Start by sanding the outside of the posts. This will ensure that they are smooth and remove any splinters. Next, please give them a good wash to remove dust particles, dirt, and debris from the post holes.

Painting the Deck Railing

When dry, apply your stain or paint. You can use a natural wood stain to give your deck railing a traditional look or choose from almost any color you wish to give it an entirely new feel. Then, it’s time to enjoy your new deck railing! This will help in how to build deck railing with metal balusters.

Step Six: Clean the Deck Railing

After everything is finished, it’s time to clean your deck railing. Metal balusters are usually pretty easy to maintain since they come in non-rusting metal finishes. However, you will want to give them a good washing once or twice per year to remove any surface grime and dirt.

Use an all-purpose cleaner and give them a good scrub to remove any stains. If your deck railing is made from wood, you’ll need to wash the pots with soap and water at least once per month. Avoid using sponges or other harsh cleaners because they will cause the material to break down over time.


If you’re trying to decide between a railing with metal balusters or another style, many factors will come into play. For example, if your deck is in the front of your house and visible from the street, it might be worth investing in something more decorative so visitors can enjoy admiring it when they drop by.

On the other hand, most decks have railings on all four sides for safety purposes so that a simple wood one may suffice. One last thing to consider before making any decision is whether you want stairs going up to the deck or not.

This design choice will affect what type of material suits best because steps need support rails as well! This blog post has given helpful advice on how to build deck railing with metal balusters.

Related Article: 10 Ways To Make Your Deck Stand Out

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