Powder Coating and Other Finishes

Powder coating was not an option for the Colonial blacksmith, but it is an excellent finish with a wide range of colors and textures available. Kestrel Ridge Forge gave up painting several years ago in favor of powder coating, with no regrets. We will discuss some of the other finishes available today, and their appropriate uses.

For more information on the powder coating process see the PCI web site. The brief version: a thermoplastic resin is sprayed from a gun as a very fine powder. As it leaves the gun it is electrostatically charged and because the metal is grounded the powder sticks to the metal. It is then baked at ~400 degrees for about 30 minutes. The heat activates the resins, the molecules crosslink and it's done. Once the items cool, they are done and ready. No residual smell or special care, the finish is fully cured.

Boiled Linseed Oil
This oil is a product of flaxseed. Flat was grown in Colonial times to be spun into linen and the oil had many uses. When applied to hot metal it will soak in and turn the metal very dark and prevent rusting. Some people dislike the smell.

Bees Wax or Paste Wax
Again, applied hot it gives a very nice finish. Once cool, it can be buffed to a high polish. Fairly durable indoors, it will prevent rusting outdoors for a while, depending on climate.

There are a lot of good paints available today, but spray painting for a rust-resistant finish is non-trivial. Without a significant investment of time and money, painting is difficult to do properly. Kestrel Ridge Forge has elected to use powder coating in lieu of paint in most cases.

A fairly popular finish today. The meal can be left to rust on it's own or there are ways to accelerate oxidation. Remember that anything rusty that comes in contact with clothes will leave permanent rust stains. The only way to remove such stains is with a pair of scissors. There is a powder coat finish that approximates the rust color very well and works much better for things like towel bars.

Powder Coating
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