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General Metal Care and Maintenance

Any item kept or used outside will need regular care and maintenance. To help you keep your purchases in great condition, we have put together the following guidelines for the care of different metals.

Advice for All Metals and Finishes:

  • Metal products will require additional care and attention when used in proximity of the sea. This is due to the increase of salt in the atmosphere which accelerates corrosion.
  • Apply a lubricant such as WD40 to all moving parts before installation and at regular intervals
  • Do not use chemical cleaners on any metals or finished products in case they harm the finish or remove any protective coatings.
  • Cover garden metalwork or bring it inside during sustained wet weather conditions
  • If you are in doubt as to the material or finish of a product on our website please call us for advice

Wrought Iron and Steel

Our wrought iron and steel products are untreated unless otherwise stated and are supplied in a primer coat or base coat only. Untreated iron and steel will develop a surface rust if exposed to moisture. Many people find this "aged" patina attractive and choose to leave their products untreated. 

To keep the metal work in like new condition we recommend an annual maintenance schedule of full repainting in a metal-based paint of your choosing. Upon installation, it is advised that any cracks, chips or scratches are touched up with a metal-based paint to prevent water ingress and protect the area.    

An alternative method for protecting the original finish of the piece is to apply a universal clear lacquer. Our personal preference is to use a clear yacht varnish, which is particularly effective if you would like to preserve more intricate or detailed paint finishes. This is typically applied within the first three to six months to ensure the lacquer is applied while the original paintwork is at its best.

Heavy rainfall can cause a staining known as French bleed at the fixing points or around the bolted areas; this is simply discolouring. French bleed can happen the first time a product gets wet but it will normally not deteriorate further. To remove, lightly sand the affected area with 00-grade wire wool and apply a coat of paint suitable for use on metal.

Cast Iron

Please note, all furniture is finished and dispatched in a primer only unless otherwise stated.

For painted iron, we recommend an annual maintenance schedule of repainting in full using metal-based protective paint. If left untreated, the iron will take on a beautifully aged patina relatively quickly. Due to the higher levels of maintenance required with cast iron, it is best recommended for those who prefer its aged appearance.   

Iron is incredibly robust however can be prone to cracking if dropped or hit with force, so please take care when maintaining or repositioning these items. For products that have a beeswax finish, periodically reapply beeswax suitable for outdoor use. If your product develops surface rust and you wish to remove it, rub the surface with 00-grade wire wool to remove the rust and then apply a coating of suitable beeswax.

Brass

Left untreated, brass will lose its bright, shiny finish in time as it oxidises. Many of our brass products have been treated with a clear lacquer to help keep the polished brass look for longer. If your product has been lacquered, we recommend wiping over with a soft, dry cloth; cleaning products will break down the lacquer coating.

An untreated brass product should be polished regularly with a metal polish, such as Brasso if you want it to remain shiny.

Copper

Maintenance schedule: NA to achieve a natural patina. Yearly varnishing to preserve a polished finish or in coastal areas is advised 6 monthly.

Each product has a tough layer of lacquered applied to the surface which initially protects the copper from the elements, over time, however, the lacquer will be broken down allowing the copper surface to be slowly exposed to the outside air. The copper will then go through a slow process whereby it patinas down, gradually turning a deep and rich green colour. Generally, we advise our customers to only purchase a copper sculpture if they are looking to achieve this colouration in the long term. 

Aluminium

Aluminium requires little maintenance as it does not rust in the same way as other metals. Any paint finish, however, will need to be repainted on annual basis.

Wood

Once a year, sand and re-varnish wooden garden products or those with wooden features e.g. bench slats. Wooden products will last longer if you store them inside or under a waterproof cover throughout autumn and winter.

Beeswax Finishes

To preserve the beeswax finish of your item, maintenance will be needed annually or as and when is required. Wipe the goods with a waxy cloth or a cloth lightly coated with shoe/boot polish - avoid abrasive cleaners as these will only damage the wax further. Beeswax is available to purchase from most good hardware stores.

Other Metals & Finishes

As a rule of thumb, all exterior metals that are treated with either paint, lacquer or beeswax should have that coating reapplied annually.

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