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"Want to seal a beautiful distressed metal table"

March 30, 2010

I have a great metal table, I believe it is steel. The top portion was distressed with a grinder and steel wool and has a gorgeous industrial, rusted appearance. We want to use this table as a kitchen table. The top has a surrounding metal lip that sits about 1/2 inch above the surface. I am wondering what I can use to coat the top with, to seal it so it has a nice smooth surface without ruining the beautiful look it already has. I want the surface to be a little more friendly for cleaning up on and also just skin contact, as the distressed metal doesn't feel quite as nice as it looks :)

I hope that makes sense! This is my first time trying to restore/refinish metal!

Jordan Fine
amateur - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

First of two simultaneous responses -- March 31, 2010

How about applying a clear lacquer? I coated a metal table some years ago with a cup gun, and it came out nice. If you haven't used a cup gun in the past, practice on some old sheet metal to be sure the finish is even before you coat the table. Some good auto supply stores sell them.

Mark Baker
process engineer - Malone, New York

Second of two simultaneous responses -- April 1, 2010

You can try to treat table with some clearcoat .Under normal indoors use that must be OK.
You can phosphatize table too(there are russian phosphate finishes that can be applied on rusted surfaces too-finish is clear and not change colour of metal as tannin based rust converters-russians use it for metal conservation/blued or browned firearms, etc./) and then lacquer it.Hope it helps and good luck!

Goran Budija
- Zagreb, Croatia

April 2, 2010

Russian phosphating formula ,finish is colourless and amorphous(normal phosphate finish is microcrystaline):
sodium hexametaphosphate....10 gm
calcium chloride......3,2 gm
sodium nitrate.......0,06 gm
water......1 lit
pH 5-6,temp.18-25 C,60-120 minutes
Hope it helps and good luck1

Goran Budija
- Zagreb, Croatia

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