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Natural "rust finish" to mild 14 ga steel -- Interior Use

(-----) 2006

I manufacture a small product that is comprised of a ceramic radiator perched atop a steel stand. (A jar candle goes below the radiator to create heat.) After several renditions, we have settled on an integrated stand design that is pattern cut on a CNC Plasma Cutter from 14 ga mile steel. We would very much like to move away from a painted finish (or any heavy chemical finish) toward as organic and natural a finish as possible. Here is the plan, to use a vinegar wash (would Muriatic Acid [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] work better?) to generate a rust surface -- and then apply olive oil (would linseed be better?) to effect a low-lustre "rust" finish. The product is intended for seasonal indoor use -- we would like the finish to be one which the owner can easily "maintain" by hand applying a little oil every now and again. We are open to all kinds of suggestions, but we are especially interested in ease of application, environmentally "sound" (small ecological footprint), and easy maintenance. Thank you very much.

Doyle Doss
- Fortuna, California, USA

July , 2006

Vinegar should work, Doyle. It would be best to fog the steel with vinegar a few times, allowing drying in between (remember that acids such as vinegar dissolve rust). Olive oil sounds more natural for a high temperature application since people have been cooking with it for centuries. There are almost countless letters on line here about rust finishes.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


Try 5% iron chloride solution(50 gm/1 lit water) and Linseed Oil [affil. link to info/product at Rockler] finish,as option you can use 20 % shellac solution(it can be dyed with dragons blood/resin/). Hope it helps and good luck!

Goran Budija
- Zagreb, Croatia

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