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.
Speeding up the rusting process:
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.
To forestall the rusting process:
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.
Painting your item:
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.).
Here is a quick VIDEO on sanding and painting your raw handrail.