The process of brining items back to life varies enormously depending on the base metal, condition, and other factors but will generally go through a number of processes.
The first step is to return the item to base metal. Ordinarily there are large amounts of paint or putty on most items we source. If there is a large amount of surface rust the item may be subject to light abrasive brushing or blasting.
Once returned to bare metal any necessary repairs are undertaken, which may be as simple as straitening, new springs, or minor sanding to remove pitting or minor imperfections. More serious repairs on rare items including cast welding is outsourced to specialist providers.
The items are then cleaned and prepared for finishing.
Brass items are polished to a high standard and sealed with a brass sealer to prevent tarnishing. Original brass items generally have a higher copper content than new cast items and when polished are less bright and yellower in appearance.
Metal and cast iron may be painted, polished, or powder coated depending on their application. At Industrial Zebra we prefer the original cast iron finish rather than painting. This is achieved by using several techniques including black polish or stove polish. Once the desired colour is achieved the metal is sealed with a clear finish to prevent rust.
Many original cast iron fittings were originally painted with either a flat or semi-gloss black. If painting it is important to use an etch primer before the finishing coats. Powder coating may also be utilised, particularly for external applications, however it needs to be considered carefully as some of the detail of the item may be lost given the thickness of the coating.