A Question For You, Please.

August 29th, 2011 in member junk     
SA_Collections SA_Collections, member
1 user recommends


My husband found some great rusted steel/iron scrap pieces from a railroad track that would be beauitul as some type of candle holders.  I have never worked with such rusted old pieces before and when you touch it, your hands are covered in orange and brown.  How can you clean them off but still have the rusted look?  Or clean enough so it doesn't get all over everything?  The picture is kind of what they look like but mine have a pretty shape to them and holes already made.

Thank you all so much for your advice! ♥


Pattern or design used: My own design - Advice Needed
posted in: member junk, vintage, metal, centerpiece, cottage, plant holder, industrial, funky, candle holder, country, garden, fun, family room, outdoor spaces, kitchen, living room, bedroom, farm, dining room, chic, study, great room

Comments (7)

Ronnie writes: I have had good success keeping the natural look of rust, but making it touchable, by coating it with artist's fixative. Depending on the type you use, it usually leaves very little, or no sheen. Posted: 7:42 am on September 21st
SA_Collections writes: Everyone has been so helpful, thank you very much! You'll see them soon! Posted: 5:52 am on August 31st
alifemorepalletable writes: First chip off any loose scaly rust- you can knock it off using an old hammer, putty knife or even a wire wheel. Next, use a wire brush to get off the loose, powdery surface rust. If you take off too much rust and it gets shiny, just leave it in the weather for a few days. Then use mineral spirits to get any remaining loose dirt/rust off -Poly won't adhere well otherwise and you'll soon find it flaking off on your furniture. Definitely put felt or some other soft fabric on the bottom to protect against scratches.

I'm sure they will make wonderful candle holders! Good luck Posted: 11:41 am on August 30th
CottageElements writes: I agree with Rusty Diva about the poly. I usually just use a matt spray poly, but it still gives it a little sheen. I also sometimes sand the piece first to give it a little smoother finish (I love my mouse sander). You can leave some of the rust with a fine sandpaper. Then I would put those rubber protectors on the bottom of it to protect your furniture. Best of luck!

Lani Posted: 11:20 am on August 30th
RustyDiva writes: I would take off the orange rust and then poly the heck out of them. Rust looks beautiful when it has a shine too it. I've even used vaseline but it doesn't last as long and is a bit greasy. Definitely protect your furniture unless you are using them outside. Great find. Can't wait to see the final product.
Posted: 9:42 am on August 30th
SA_Collections writes: Perfect, thank you! I love the fabric idea too. I'm going to work on them this weekend and put them up when finished. I have the vision in my mind and hope they turn out. =) Posted: 5:24 am on August 30th
LadyCatherine writes: Suggestions: I would leave them rusty and beautiful just as they are. Perhaps you could use steel wool to certainly take orange rust off of the bottom as to how they would sit as candle holders as not to damage what they will be sitting on. Or if you choose, use steel wool to take some of the rust off of entire piece. Or another possiblility. Leave them as they are and cover bottom with a nice fabric. Perhaps felt or velvet with our friend Gorilla Glue as not to scratch or mark what they will be sitting on. Just a suggestion or two..... Posted: 2:39 am on August 30th
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