Paint and Finish
There are 4 finish options for your gates and railings; painted, galvanised only, galvanised and painted, galvanised and powder coated.
We spray paint your gates and/or railings with specialist paint designed for application to steel. The spray paint process ensures a smooth and hard wearing finish.
It is recommended that anything that scratches away your paint to the bare steel will require you to touch up / paint over any exposed steel areas to prevent rusting and weakening your steel gates or railings and ensure their increased longevity.
We can paint or powder coat in any RAL colour you may wish to choose, however costs between RAL colours may vary and time to order unusual RAL colours may vary.
Consider the location and purpose of the railings and how any colour may effect how it looks at its location and within its enviornment compared to the colour and style of your building and or walls and surrounding areas and structures. RAL colours show slightly different on steel railings and gates that the same colour will look on stone or wood or other materials.
Consider also that unusual colours that yoy may like may not prove popular with the neighbours.
if you maintain your gates and railings and keep an eye on them and touch up over time any exposed areas then you should expect your railings and gates to last a long time. An exact time cannot be provided for the logevity of your painted steel structures. Such paint manufacturers will not guarantee how long their paint will protect your structure, however they provide specially designed paints for steel and other factors determine the length of time your railings will last in the secure and attractive manner they were originally installed, such as locations exposure to weather, the extremity of weather over time and your attention and occassional maintenance of your gates/railings.
For paint direct to steel where there is no galvanising protection we provide Epoxy primer and an Epoxy top coat, Epoxy is oil based and does not breath as much as normal Accrylic paints and so Epoxy means less Oxygen to the steel and therefore less corrossion. Our speicialist painter tells us that an Epoxy + Epoxy paint direct to steel should be good for 6 to 8 years.
See the complete RAL colour spectrum and choices here or click the chart above: https://www.ralcolorchart.com/color-chart
Rail heads, post tops, decorative panels and other decorative items within a railing or gate can look magnificent and impressive when painted metalic colours such as gold or silver.
We use metalic paints from the same provider as our standard paint. Such paint is designed specifically for the applciation to steel.
Galvanising is a thin layer of Zinc alloy applied to your gates and/or railings by being dipped into molten Zinc.
Galvanising is especially recommended if you live close to the coast where salt in the air combined with wind can speed up the process of wear on the steel.
The Zinc layer provides itself as a sacraficial layer of protections against this erossion process and prevents accelerated rusting in coastal and areas of extreme wind or weather.
You may also choose your railing and gate sections to be galvanised to be extra secure in knowing you have done all you can to cover your railings and ensure their longest lasting future and strength and minimise future maintenance from you. Some buyers also consider that they like the look of galvanised railings and it can suit and blend in or compliment a modern house design.
Galvanised steel structures can look more rugged as the small amount of zinc galvanise can cause once smooth steel to be more rugged and this can add to the appearl for some owners if that is an effect they are looking for.
Galvanised railings and gates do not need to be painted, they can be left as galvanised and some clients specifcally wish for this modern look and finish.
Galvanising from hot dip should last 25 yrs or more, depending on location.
Hot Zinc spray is another method that can be used on less ornate railings or gates and shoudl give 10 to 20 years protection depending on the number of passes of spray provided, with each spray layer being around 30 microns.
Marine grade galvanising is considered to be where the micron thickness of the galvanised layer is around 140 microns and can be certicated to that thickness. Marine grade thickness can only be acheived if applied to certain thicknesses of steel. A guide of how thick the Zinc layer can be for hot dip galvanising determined by steel thickness is provided below :
>= 6mm= 140 microns
>= 3mm and <6mm = 100 microns
>= 1.5mm and <3mm = 85 microns
<1.5mm = 70 microns
Due to the process above where galvanising layers are thicker on thicker parts of steel can lead to the appearance of raised joins where steel sections have been welded together and along seems.
Hot Zinc Spray method does not have any micron thickness restrictions and does not lead to any issues regarding thicker areas across a gate or railing panel.
Both Hot Dip and Hot Zinc Spray both have their benefits, limitations and best use scenarios.
Galvanised and Painted:
For Hot Dip Galvanised products we use "self etching" primer where by a chemical in the paint is responsible for effectively "scarring" the steel or galvanised structure at a microscopic level to ensure that the surface is rugged enough to enable the paint to stick/bond to that surface.
For Hot Zinc Spray there is no need to use an epoxy paint or for any etching as at the micrscopic level Hot Zinc Spray covering is porous to 5% to 15% and layered like fish scales. A capillary action can take in a single Accrylic top coat and hold it secure.
Powder coating is a plastic paint powder electostatically charged that is blown onto railings and gates. Initially the gates and railings are etched and worn in a sand blasting process to ensure that the powder will stick and settle. Once covered in an even layer the powder coated railings/gates are heated to bind the powder to the surface.
Powder coated raiings provide a protective layer to the steek structure and can be chosen in a variety of RAL colours and therefore provide quality protection and colour at the same time.
Because of the electro static process the powder migrates to the nearest charge surface so powder coating is not useful for gates and railings with intricate structures such as decorative panels or gaps where the anges will not get filled with the powder coat layer. This is why powder coating is more often used for the more simplistic gate and railing designs to ensure even coverage of the powder ove the enture steel structure and not leaving areas of thinner or no cover.
With powder coated steel structures it is much more difficutl to make modifications or changes in the future and certainly less financially viable to make any changes. Not that most people require any changes after installation.
You can sand down and paint over powder coated structures, but this is not ideal across large areas and more for small maintenance.
So if you wanted to paint metalic rail heads or add ons then Powder Coating is not for you. Repainting on top of powder coating is possible with some sanding down of the powder coated layer to take it from its smooth structure to a rough surface for the new paint to bond to. But why buy powder coated steel structure to then rub the protective powder coated layer away at reduction or elimination of its protective benefits and additonal cost of time and effort. However if you are in such position a 180-grit sand paper should be enought to grind away enough of the power coat layer to enable you to get a layer that the paint may stick to.
Powder coating has proven popular option. Consider how this may suit the envionrment to be installed in given that it will provide a slightly different finish to normal painted railings.