Metal furniture and art can add beauty and whimsy to your outdoor space. Selecting your metal artwork can be of sentimental value. The investment and effort in purchasing the art require continued maintenance and care.
Proper cleaning and care of your metal furniture and art depend on the current condition of your metal surface. Rust is known to be one of the most destructive elements in ruined metal surfaces. When the right conditions are met for rust to take root, the metal structure can slowly grumble, losing the metal artwork.
Other elements that need to be cleaned off metal furniture and artwork include mild mold, dirt, and overgrown vegetation. All have a milder effect on the metal’s structural integrity than rust. Awareness of these elements will assist you in identifying the risks and tools to resolve the issue.
Metal Art and Rust.
All metal art exposed to the outdoor elements is susceptible to rust and decay. Painted metal surfaces exposed to direct sunlight, harsh rain, and winters will slowly lose their shine. Unprotected metal surfaces are a good candidate for rust development. The condition needed for rust to develop is water and oxygen.
How To Protect Bare Metal From Rust.
Painting the metal surface is one of the simplest and cheapest ways of preventing rusting. The paint provides a protective barrier between the metal surface and the corrosive agents.
The paint barrier prevents the penetration of moisture to the metal surface. The surface needs to be prepped and primed before applying the paint. The paint is aesthetically pleasing and brings the art to life.
The option in the paint depends on your budget and desired finish of the metal surface.
Oil-based paint: Oil-based paint is considered durable and highly resistant to moisture and humidity. Oil-based paint is also referred to as alkyd paint. The paint provides a glossy finish and is resistant to staining. The glossy finish makes the surface easy to clean.
Latex Paint: Latex is another option to paint your metal surface. However, compared to oil-based paint, latex has a higher chance of chipping. Before applying the paint, the surface needs to be primed to allow for proper paint adhesion.
You can apply rust-resistant primer before applying the latex paint. Typically, the latex takes 15 – 30 minutes to dry completely.
Spray paint: Spray paint can be both water and oil-based. The application of the paint is different from your regular paint. The application is more manageable and needs to be done in a well-ventilated room. I recommend spraying painting your art outside to prevent exposure to toxic fumes that can harm your respiratory system.
Another benefit of spray paint is its ability to use for hard-to-reach and irregularly shaped artwork.
Prime and prep the surface before applying the spray paint. Priming can be achieved by scrapping any excess or old paint from the surface and sanding down the surface to the best of your ability to achieve a clean and dirt-free surface.
Mold and Mildew on Metal.
Mold and mildew are fungal multifilaments that like to thrive on any organic matter. Mold and mildew like to grow in dark and moist spaces. Mold can grow on metal art surfaces with the right conditions for the growth of this fungal organism.
Most metal art surfaces are non-porous. Mold and mildew prefer porous surfaces like wood and wet concrete for easy penetration and establishment. For metal artwork in damp areas in your garden or the basement, the mold can thrive on the surface and cause the slow deterioration of your metal art.
Excess moisture and humidity will encourage the growth of mold. Metal art covered with water in your garden can be the perfect breeding ground for mold. Metal artwork in poorly ventilated basements can be a candidate for the growth of mold and mildew.
How To Get Rid Of Mold On Metal Surfaces.
The good news is that mold on the metal surface is surface-level. There is a high chance that the damage caused by the mold and mildew is surface level. The non-porous nature of the metal allows for ease in removing the mold.
Mold and mildew like to grow in hidden and hard-to-reach spots. You can detect the presence of mold by the musty odor. Mold has allergen properties that can cause respiratory and congestion. Visual, you can see the mold by the discoloration on metal surfaces with a powder and fuzzy texture.
Cleaning off the mold and mildew using readily available soapy water and specifically manufactured mold removers.
You can wipe down the mold from the metal surface with a soap detergent solution, and later after the surface has dried, you can spray an anti-fungal spray.
Consider relocating the metal art pieces to a less humid and moist location to prevent mold re-growth. Removing the metal art from this condition will ensure the right conditions for mold growth are eradicated.
The Best Way To Protect Metal Art From Rust.
Knowing the type of metal used in making your metal art will help you figure out how to care for them all year round. Some metals are manufactured with a protective barrier and coating that is meant to be rust-resistant.
Once the paint used to coat your metal art has chipped away, allowing for the penetration of water and air that cause rust. Choosing the right metal will allow you to enjoy your art for a long time without worrying about metal rust and degradation.
Most of the metal art made from metals that are rust provide are usually expensive. Metals like aluminum are lightweight and are known for being rust-resistant. In combination with the protective coating, artwork made from aluminum are long-lasting and retains its look for a long time.
Simple techniques of storing away your metal artwork in the cold winter and snow can go a long way in preserving your art. Storing the metal artwork in your garage or covered shed protects you from the harsh cold weather.
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