Iron and steel are perfect outdoors décor and utility materials. They are malleable, strong and naturally resistant to insects. This means you can not only style your ornamental metalwork into an intricate pattern but also count on its versatility and structural strength for years to come.
The only problem with iron or steel is that exposure to moisture activates rusting. Even though iron can retain its integrity after months of rust, it will eventually buckle and dissolve into red dust. You must address this issue after you buy a steel pipe — especially if you want to use it outdoors.
1. Repaint it frequently.
A fresh coat of paint is the biggest weapon in your arsenal against rust. Paint covers the metal, protecting it from moisture and oxygen hence ensuring that rust doesn’t form.
Painting at least once per year is good practice. Don’t hesitate to repaint if you notice that the existing coat of paint is chipping and exposing the steel.
2. Follow the right procedure.
Preparing your ornamental metalwork before repainting will ensure that you don’t leave any rust underneath the fresh coat of paint. This will increase the longevity of the paint and cut down on maintenance costs.
- Use a metal brush, sandpaper, and file the material to rub off any visible rust
- Use rust converters, such as phosphoric acid, to neutralize any ongoing rusting process
- Use the proper oil-based primer made for metals
Only after finishing the above steps can you now apply your favorite oil-based paint to seal off the deal. It could be traditional colors or special chrome and rustic paints to add some character to your ornaments.
Don’t wait until the paint chips and rusts start forming before you think of maintaining your ornamental metalwork. Keeping it clean by washing with soap and water before applying a layer of metal-grade wax will extend your paint jobs lifespan and save you bucks worth of repair and maintenance.