Wrought iron, stainless steel, aluminum, brass and copper are common metals used to make residential stair railings. Metal stair railings provide greater strength and durability than traditionally used wood railings, but are still aesthetically pleasing.
Wrought iron stair railings are generally painted black, though they may contain a decorative finish such as gold or silver. Wrought iron stair railings exist as both complex custom works and standardized pieces. If used outside, wrought iron rusts over time. The cheap alternative to wrought iron is aluminum. Aluminum comes in various finishes, and it is resistant to rust in outdoor settings. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, and it exists in various shades of yellow, gold, red or brown.