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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Melbourne
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    32

    Default Cast iron fireplace - Question for restoring using Penetrol & Liberon Iron Paste

    Hello there,

    I was wondering if anyone can give me some sage advice here.

    I am looking to restore an old Victorian cast iron fireplace that currently has several coats of black paint over the many years i'm guessing.

    My approach to finishing is to use some Liberon Iron Paste (from ebay, not easy to buy locally!). It is like a boot polish product that leaves a grey/black patina and can be polished to bring out the details of the cast iron (seen pics on the web and they look fantastic).

    In preparing the fireplace I am having it sandblasted to the bare metal. I will probably also give it a metal brush on a drill and also give it a rub down with white spirits to clean any loose residue before applying the finish coats.

    For the finish coats I am thinking; A coat of Penetrol to inhibit the rust. After drying, following this up with the Liberon Iron Paste. I have never used this stuff before and am wondering whether it will 'adhere' to the Penetrol coat? I am also not experienced with Penetrol and am unsure what it actually is? (tin doesn't say much).

    Am I thinking in the right direction here for the finish coats or is there a better way to do this?


    Thanks for reading.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Wentworth Falls
    Age
    73
    Posts
    91

    Default

    I grew up in the north of Scotland. We had a cast iron cooking range. Not one of the enameled Rayburns - it was all exposed cast iron. Cleaning and polishing this was referred to as "Black Leading" and in our case was accomplished using a product called Zebo.

    I've just done a web search for "black leading", here's a link which explains;

    Zebrite, Zebo, Black Grate Polish, Black Lead - just Graphite ?

    Hope this is of some help,

    Findlay

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    32

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MacPuddock View Post
    I grew up in the north of Scotland. We had a cast iron cooking range. Not one of the enameled Rayburns - it was all exposed cast iron. Cleaning and polishing this was referred to as "Black Leading" and in our case was accomplished using a product called Zebo.

    I've just done a web search for "black leading", here's a link which explains;

    Zebrite, Zebo, Black Grate Polish, Black Lead - just Graphite ?

    Hope this is of some help,

    Findlay

    Thanks Findlay. Yes 'black leading' is what I am looking for out of the Liberon Iron Paste. Back in the day I guess lead as a graphite was pretty popular in fireplaces, god knows about the fumes

    Anyhow, the Liberon stuff is supposed to 'emulate' the black leading somewhat. I'm just not sure how it will go over penetrol and whether penetrol is good to use as a base.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Far West Wimmera
    Age
    59
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    2,765

    Default

    Thanks for the heads up on Liberon. I had never heard of them and need something for our stoves. Some of the products available are very toxic.

    I could not say whether using both products together would work or not however I would imagine that the Iron Paste would be using the surface of the metal to bind. Penatrol contains the oil base components of paint but without any colour. The rust inhibitor type would have "rust inhibitor" in it as well. I have some of this myself. There are a number of different types of Penetrol available.

    Dean

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    32

    Default

    Thanks Dean, I have a feeling the Penetrol might not be great. (I checked the Penetrol website and they seem to have only one product of this type (besides water based and Hammer stuff).

    Liberon sell a rust remover as a prepping (that will suit the Iron Paste), though I cannot source this locally. I'm not a salesman of this brand by any stretch, just having trouble with the limited product range in Australia

    Can anyone recommend a suitable rust inhibitor prep? I'm also eyeing off just using phosphoric acid?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Ballarat
    Age
    61
    Posts
    2,659

    Default

    Hi Mookschank,
    This probably wont help with what you want but we use black Dubbin boot polish on the boilers at work applied to the hot outer surfaces. It works a lot better than the paints that are available on the market.

    Phil

    ps and a lot cheaper

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Far West Wimmera
    Age
    59
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    2,765

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mookschank View Post
    Thanks Dean, I have a feeling the Penetrol might not be great. (I checked the Penetrol website and they seem to have only one product of this type (besides water based and Hammer stuff).

    Liberon sell a rust remover as a prepping (that will suit the Iron Paste), though I cannot source this locally. I'm not a salesman of this brand by any stretch, just having trouble with the limited product range in Australia

    Can anyone recommend a suitable rust inhibitor prep? I'm also eyeing off just using phosphoric acid?
    Most of the Rust rid products are phosphoric acid. I just happen to have heaps of this. We use it at work as part of the cleaning process for a centrifuge. It used to be bought in 200l drums and dispensed automatically with a pneumatic pump. The pump balked at getting the last couple of inches. I used to bring some of the drums home to use on the farm and emptied the acid into another container at home. My fire fighting tank consists of 2 of these drums strapped onto a barrel cradle suitably shortened and connected together with a manifold (poly pipe).

    Phosphoric acid followed by a good wire brushing should do the trick but I would still suggest trying it in an inconspicuous spot.

    Dean

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    32

    Default

    Thanks for the advice Phil. Nugget is probably a good option and similar to graphite. I like how you can polish the detailed surfaces where they come through as a silvery sheen. There's a few on ebay at the moment that have this treatment and are $350 a pop


    Dean, thanks for the p. acid info. I looked up the MSDS for Rust Remover and it actually is p. acid with methanol. It seems likely I could use p. acid as a good prep.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    32

    Default

    Thought I should put some closure on this thread in case others come across it.

    I used phosphoric acid on the fireplace, it went a greeny colour, not sure if bad or not but not rusting so hopefully provides a good seal. Gave it a rub down after a couple of days, was a bit dusty with green residue.

    I chucked on the Iron Paste, consistency (and smell) just like boot polish. Used a boot polish brush, toothbrush and cloth to get good coverage. Used 1/3 of the tin, (they reckon you could get 7 fireplaces done with it - possible if you're good with it).

    Anyhow, waited 5 hours to dry then gave it a wipe with a clean cloth. Results are exactly what I wanted! In areas it looks a grey sheen and for the raised details almost metallic like - looks fantastic. I took some pics, see below. (Half the pics are without the cloth rub to show the difference from the matt black look to the rubbed sheen).

    Fireplace just with the p.acid coated and dry, ready for application.


    Bootpolish it on


    Top half rubbed, bottom hald rubbed to show contrast




    Matt unrubbed


    Rubbed


    And the accessories done

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