Caring for Black antique iron

Cast iron Man

The History of Cast Iron

Black Antique Iron was first seen in 1380. Door furniture made from this was produced by the local blacksmiths out of cast iron. Cast iron is brittle due to the high carbon content and so it was mainly used for plain and functional products rather than aesthetic ones.
Over time wrought and malleable iron was discovered, and more decorative designs could be created. This was because this type of iron was easier to bend and shape and so more complex patterns such as the leaf or spade shapes could be made. These designs are still being used today. This makes designs easier to date with older designs being a simpler style. The original simple designs were fixed using nails rather than screws .
Care for cast iron

How to care for your Black Antique Cast Iron

Will black cast iron products deteriorate over time?

Cast, malleable and wrought iron is always at risk of corroding and rusting and will do so at the first opportunity it can get. The good news is, cast iron is a tough old metal and a bit of rust is normal and won't hurt it, providing you don't leave it and follow our advice below. With items such as hinges, door knockers and door handles etc, the moving parts will constantly rub against each other, and over time the protective coating applied to them will wear away. Fitting the product can also cause abrasion to the surface as the screws are tightened, if care isn’t taken when installing. A screwdriver can slip, scratching the surface and the screw heads can also scratch through the black coating exposing the cast iron beneath to the air which can allow it to start rusting. Unfortunately this is unavoidable, but buying high quality products and taking good care of your iron will help to protect it. It greatly helps if you can apply a light oil into the moving joints to stop any corrosion happening. We only sell the very best quality British made black antique iron products. Click here to learn more about the Kirkpatrick foundry who's outstanding Black Antique products we sell.
Care for cast iron

How to repair rust spots

Everyday use can sometimes cause chipping of the protective surface. This can especially be the case when fixing cast iron products in place. The pressure of the fixing screws can be abrasive against the surface of the paint on the iron and over a period of time can cause rust to develop. Moving cast iron parts also need yearly maintenance care to protect them as the metal parts move against each other exposing the cast iron beneath. This is absolutely no problem and is perfectly normal. No protective surface is impervious to the effects of the sun, wind and rain and over time it slowly breaks down and will need a little help keeping it in good condition to protect your cast iron product.
If a rust spot does come through either wipe it off with an oily rag or apply a small dab of satin black enamel paint, such as Humbrol or Hammerite, to seal the iron and stop any further rust. This can be purchased from good model shops or craft stores and DIY stores. The paint should be 'Satin Black'. Do not use gloss as you will see the difference and the painted areas will be visible. Make sure the surface is dry and grease free before painting. Oiling and painting is a normal part of caring for any cast iron product. It is probably something you should look at doing every year, especially as the winter starts to approach.


Are there different qualities of antique black door furniture

Yes there are three main types of antique black iron door furniture manufactured today. We sell malleable iron door furniture as this is the highest quality. Click here to learn more about why we only sell Kirkpatrick malleable iron.
i) Grey Iron. Although this is relatively easy and cheap to cast it is extremely brittle, in thin sections especially, and cannot be riveted or hammered. This means moving parts are fixed together using spring washers which inevitably break. These products are usually cheap imported types.
ii) SG Iron (Spheroidal Graphite). Although more durable than grey iron, it is difficult to cast into thin sections. This is because it is still fairly brittle and does not inherit the toughness of malleable iron that is vital in everyday use of our door and window furniture.
iii) Malleable Iron. This is an iron that after casting is subjected to a heat treatment process known as 'annealing'. Click here to learn more about this. In this process castings are heated to around 1000ºC for up to 4 days, whilst in contact with a haematite ore. The ore acts as an oxidising agent, which removes carbon from the casting. It is the presence of carbon in cast iron that causes its brittleness and removing some makes the casting much stronger (malleable). This iron differs as it is stronger and more durable and can be cast and assembled into a wider range of products than the other two irons mentioned above It also importantly means that the iron can be hammered and therefore strong rivets can be fitted which will never break, lasting you a lifetime.
Care for cast iron

Q. Do Cast in Style sell quality Black Ironmomongery?

A. Yes, course we do! We only sell the very best traditional malleable iron, quality antique black door furniture, handmade and manufactured in the UK by the Kirkpatrick foundry who have been in production 140 years. Click here to learn more about how they make it. These products are based on original patterns and have a much more authentic look and feel than the cheaper black iron; the cheaper antique furniture is very often artificially distressed and made of grey iron or SG iron.  The best manufacturers of this door furniture (such as the Kirkpatrick brand sold by Cast in Style) put their products through some vigorous actions to prevent it from corroding. During the finishing process the ironwork is dipped into a liquid paint, coated in black powder, and cured by being baked off in a stove. This process leads to a high quality protective finish, which should preserve your furniture for many years if taken care of correctly.
If you require any other help please contact our support team at or call us on 0800 009 6233

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