close-up of rust

Why Does Cast Iron Rust?

Cast iron is a ferrous metal which is prone to rusting in damp or wet conditions. The familiar orange-brown flakey coating is caused when iron reacts with the oxygen and moisture, forming iron oxide. The rate of rusting depends upon the specific conditions, but will generally form over a shorter amount of time in warmer, wetter envrionments. Seaside areas will encounter the fastest rusting of cast iron items, as salt water is an electrolyte which conducts ions, thus speeding up the rusting process.

rust on gate latch

How to Prevent Rust On Your Door & Window Furniture

Suffolk Latch Company's cast iron door and window furniture is finished with a protective coating to prevent rusting. Our interior door handles and window furniture are available in a choice of either black or pewter finishes. The protective coating on these interior items is designed to protect, however is not suitable for the additional rigours of exterior weather conditions.

If you require cast iron door and gate furniture these items do have a harder wearing protective finish that is UV and rust resistant. Our Garden Gate Furniture and Front Door Handles are only available with a black finish.


Black front door handle

Tudor ring gate latch

Inevitably over time, and with constant use, the protective coating will wear in places, especially around the moving parts.

Tips for preventing rust:

  • Apply a light oil onto moving parts when first fitting and maintain with an occassion rub of oil.
  • Linseed oil is excellent for giving rust protection.
  • Be extra careful when fitting screws to ensure protective coating is not damaged.
  • Keep your cast iron product as dry and clean as possible.

What to do when rust spots do appear

When the protective coating has already been damaged or chipped and rust spots do appear, there are measures you can take to limit the spread and maintain the item. Do not use anything abrasive to try and clean off the rust as this may further damage the surrounding coating.

Rust spots on cast iron

Tips for repairing rust spots:

  • Wipe clean with an oiled rag.
  • For prducts with an already black finish, apply a layer of black enamel paint such as Hammerite, which can be bought from any good DIY store.
  • Pewter items are slightly trickier to repair but Hammerite do a range of colours in their "direct to rust metal paint".

Rustic Style

All ferrous metals are prone to rusting - ie mild steel, cast iron and wrought iron. And depending upon the surrounding conditions, even the most careful of use can, in time, give rise to the ocassional rust spot. This can be a desirable feature, espcially with the rise in popularity of Shabby Chic and Rustic Interior Design Styles.

rustic cottage style






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