Our products are made of RAW STEEL and are designed to RUST if not painted. They do not have an applied finish or sealant - the grey color you see is the color of the natural layer on the steel, called mill scale. This natural layer may be uneven in tone and consist of darker or lighter shades of grey. Over time, the raw steel will eventually develop an even, brown patina with natural weathering. The rate at which this rusting happens varies with climate, but as soon as the steel is exposed to the elements, it will begin to rust. The rust will not affect the performance of this product, as any hinges and locks are made of non-rusting material. If the rusted look is not what you want, please see the painting or sealing instructions below.
If you’d like to encourage your item to rust, simply spray down with water on a regular basis. While certain additives to the water can speed up the process, these are often too caustic to the steel. We recommend using plain water.
If you would like to forestall the rusting process as long as possible, you’ll want to treat your item as soon as you receive it. Please be aware that this process will only forestall the rusting process and not eliminate it altogether. For this process, you will need acetone, clean rags, maroon Scotch Brite pads, and a Krylon or Rustoleum product in a clear satin finish (all items can be found at the hardware store, Home Depot, Lowes, etc.). If properly applied, the spray will provide and nice finish and help keep the rust at bay.
1. Thoroughly rub down with acetone. Keep cleaning until the rag is completely clear of any grease, fingerprints, etc.
2. Using a maroon Scotch Brite pad, rub in one direction to smooth out the finish of the steel. This will help the spray adhere to the steel.
3. Rub down with acetone one more time. Make sure the item is completely clean.
4. Apply the spray in light, even coats to the entire item, front, and back. Follow the instructions on the spray can as to the application and dry time. You will want to apply 2-3 coats. If you have purchased a laser-cut item, pay special attention to the area around the numbers or lettering, as it is easy for this area to missed and for rust to begin here.
5. Once dry, it is ready to install!
If you prefer to paint your item, please follow the instructions below. For this process, you will need acetone, clean rags, maroon Scotch Brite pads, primer, and paint. All of these items are available at the hardware store (Home Depot, Lowes, etc.).
1. Thoroughly rub down the item with acetone. Keep cleaning until the rag is completely clear of any grease, fingerprints, etc.
2. Using a maroon Scotch Brite pad, rub in one direction to smooth out the finish of the steel. This will help the primer adhere to the steel.
3. Rub down with acetone one more time.
4. Apply the primer in light, even coats. Follow the instructions on the spray can as to the application and dry time.
5. Apply the paint in light, even coats. Again, follow the instructions on the paint can.
6. Once the paint is dry, your item is ready to hang!
Here is a quick VIDEO on sanding and painting your raw handrail.