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topic 54706

Comparing options for clear finish on mild steel handrails




March 31, 2010

I have been given 2 options for a clear finish on interior and exterior hand rails. they are:
1. 50% boiled linseed-50% Tung oil mixture brushed on. Advantage is that the product can be
applied periodically without significant prep to maintain. Disadvantage: Slow drying.

2. Verathane resin based finish. Advantage is quick drying. Disadvantage is that maintaining will require significant prep.

Both finishes provide a matte clear coat appearance when dry.

Could you confirm that the above is correct? and which one would you recommend?

Daniela Desola
architect/ project manager/ future inhabitant of house being built - Big Sur, California, USA


April 5, 2010

Well neither! The finishes you are describing are meant for wood and to be quiet frank are not the most durable finishes on the market. Your best bet is an automotive clear coat epoxy. That stuff is meant for metal and if it will put up with sand, rain, snow, hail and small rocks I'm certain you will probably never be called back to re-finish it. Varathane, linseed oil, tung oil and spar varnishes are meant for fine furniture and to be waxed on Sundays and be damned it should come into contact with grubby little boy paws. My grandma taught me the last part!

rod henrickson
Rod Henrickson
    gunsmith
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada




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