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How to Care For a Polished Cast Iron Radiator
When choosing a traditional cast iron radiator, one of the most beautiful and traditional finishes is the hand polished option. “When choosing a hand polished finish for your cast iron radiators it is always best to ensure that the technique used to polish the radiator is done primarily by hand, the old fashioned way, to ensure a smooth unscratched finish” – Helen Proctor, Paladin Radiators .
Essentially for the hand polished finish the cast iron as a metal is polished to a high shine and should incorporate using the old technique of hand polishing because machines can be harsh on the cast iron which results in losing some of the beauty of the natural cast iron. and ensure that the ornate raised decorative radiator detail is not flattened or damaged. The hand polishing technique offers more accents to the detail on an ornate radiator and creates a stunning natural finish for any cast iron radiator style.
The hand polishing process reveals and polishes the original cast iron surface, polishing the radiator down to the bare metal. It is a particularly nice finish however the bare metal is exposed to the air and therefore the radiator will require some minimal attention to be careful to remove rust spots occurring due to moisture in the air. The best way to preserve the beauty of a hand polished radiator and preserve the shine on the natural cast is to create a barrier from the air and moisture. It is advised to achieve this to apply an oil based barrier to the surface of the radiator. Every 6 to 8 weeks, take a soft polishing cloth, lightly sprayed with WD40 and dust your radiator on all polished areas, this will ensure that your polished radiator remains rust free and shines to its original shine. Baby Oil or Linseed Oil can also be used as an alternative to WD40, as these oils act in the same way as WD40. It is advised to apply the oil barrier once every 6 to 8 weeks, as over time, people and household pets touch or brush against the radiator, this causes the oil layer to thin leaving the bare metal exposed to air and moisture. .
If rust has occurred, don’t panic! The easiest way to remove light rust stains is to take a soft dry cloth lightly sprayed with oil and simply burn off the rust. Please note to use a soft cloth as a scraper or cloth with a hard surface will scratch the bare metal surface giving an ugly finish once polished. The fabric must also be dry because adding moisture to the fabric will result in rust.
The traditional method of hand polishing polishes the sides, top and front of the cast iron radiator, essentially these areas that are visible and easily accessible for cleaning. The back of the radiator is not polished because the back of the radiator is difficult to reach after installation and the back is also difficult to reach for cleaning and rust prevention.
The hand-polished finish requires a small amount of regular maintenance to keep the polished look at its best, but it’s a fantastic choice of finish and really shows off the cast iron radiator to its best advantage. A natural and beautiful finish that is definitely worth the effort.
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