What is Weathering Steel + Weathering Tips

What is Weathering Steel + Weathering Tips

What is Weathering Steel?

We mention weathering steel pretty much everywhere on our website. It's what we create almost all of our products from.

But what is it? And why is it so special?

While weathering steel is usually referred to by its trademark name COR-TEN (or Corten), we use an Australian made equivalent from Bluescope called REDCOR. It is known for its superior corrosion resistance and thickness. This is because the surface of the steel forms a protective oxide layer when  exposed to the weather. In other words, the steel is allowed to rust in order to protect itself. This protective surface layer continues to regenerate over years of exposure.

And it looks AMAZING!

Weathering Tips

It's our aim to get your sign or ornament to you as quickly as possible, so unfortunately it isn't possible for us to pre-weather them. This means your item will be in its raw form - the traditional grey steel colour.

It doesn't take long to develop the beautiful rusty patina on your item, most will look pretty good within just a couple of weeks. However, to be fully sealed and for your product to stop leaking any rust, does require 3-6 months.
We have experimented with a few different options, and these are our top tips to speed up the weathering process.

💧 Water your sign at least daily

Just regular tap water is perfect. We've been spoiled over winter with lots of rainy days speeding up this process.  In Spring, even dewy mornings will help kick-start the process.  In the height of summer we tend to water twice a day - once in the morning and again at sunset.

💦 Keep your sign flat so the water sits on it longer

We've noticed a big difference in the speed of weathering between our items that are flat vs standing up in our garden. If you notice pooling to one side, rotate the piece semi-regularly (weekly) for a more even finish.

A natural surface is best (wood or flat on the ground). Avoid plastic, as this can leave marks.  Also avoid white surfaces in the short-term until the item is sealed & stop leaking rust.

 🌥 Keep your sign out of direct sunlight, allow it to dry slowly
If the water sits on your sign a little longer before evaporating, it will speed up the process ever so slightly. This is why we recommend a sheltered spot out of direct sunlight. However, we understand this is not always possible.

Also note that metal in prolonged direct sunlight will get hot to touch - this is something to remember when deciding where to place your sign or ornament.

And if you're more of a hands-off person?
Don't worry - this will happen naturally by simply leaving your item outside, it may just take a little longer.

Still unsure, or have any other questions? Drop us an email at sales@customsteelappeal.com.au or Contact Us via the page on our website.