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How to Look After Black Traditional Ironmongery

How To Look After Black Ironmongery

We are often asked; “what’s the best way to keep black traditional ironmongery looking and performing it’s best?“. A good question, and one that has a very simple answer; regular maintenance.

One of our top priorities is to supply you with only the best products on the market – in fact, everything in our product range has been hand picked by our buying team to ensure it meets our quality seal of approval! But, whilst all of the traditional ironmongery we supply is manufactured to be hard-wearing enough to last for many years to come, a quality product doesn’t mean it’s a maintenance-free product.

As with any product, the better it is looked after, the longer it lasts.

Forged traditional ironmongery, especially when fitted externally, is susceptible to surface corrosion. Corrosion is the natural process whereby metals begin to react with the environment and gradually breakdown. It’s most well-known form – Rust.

The main cause of corrosion, particularly when combined with moisture in the atmosphere, is the build-up of deposits from dirt, dust, pollution, salty sea air, acidic rain and even high humidity. If left, these deposits can have a drastic effect on the lifespan of a finish causing it to deteriorate prematurely.

Excluding Beeswax, our forged traditional ironmongery range has been finished with a Black Powder Coating process. As well as surface deposits, this finish can also be susceptible to surface marks, chipping and scratches – especially when in coming into contact with other metals such as jewellery. It is important to remember that repetitive marking in a similar area can wear down the finish over time and that any damage to the factory coating leaves the unprotected base material more vulnerable to corrosion.

This Kirkpatrick T-Hinge was fitted over 20 years ago. After receiving no product after care, it is still in perfect working order, but the finish has deteriorated noticeably.

A few general maintenance tips can be used to keep your products looking at their best for longer – and the most noted way to extend the lifespan of your products factory finish is very simple.

General Maintenance Tips

Proper product care and regular maintenance is the best way to ensure the function and beauty of your traditional hardware is prolonged for as long as possible and can help avoid costly replacements. After fitting, quickly wipe the surface with a light oil to help prevent a build-up of deposits. Then a simple but regular maintenance routine is advised over applying occasional more intensive treatments.

1. Wipe down hardware surfaces regularly with a soft dry cloth to remove dust and dirt.

2. Wipe hardware surfaces with a lightly oiled cloth. A 3-in-1 multi-purpose oil is ideal.

3. Check all mechanisms with moving parts such as hinges and handles, lubricating with a light oil as required.

And whilst you’re there, don’t forget to;

4. Clean the weatherseals to remove dust and grime

5. Clear out ventilators to ensure maximum performance can be achieved.


Beeswax Finish

The Beeswax Finish offers a more rustic and authentic look and feel to steel, preserving the beautiful blue to deep red ochre colours and the texture from the hammer and anvil. There is no finish coating applied other than pure beeswax – it therefore needs to be maintained slightly differently.

Products with this finish should only be fitted internally. To maintain beeswax ironmongery, ensure to regularly polish with a soft dry cloth and then apply a small amount of maintenance wax to finish. If surface rust occurs rub with wire wool and apply maintenance wax with a rag or brush. Using maintenance wax will help to restore the finish and offer protection.

Sometimes because of temperature changes, Beeswax products might have a slight white bloom when opening the packaging. We recommend you buff it with a soft cloth to remove the white bloom and restore the finish.

If you have any further questions about how to care for your traditional ironmongery, or to learn more about any of the products required, please contact one of our experienced sales Advisers on 01733 347348.

With all our products, when used externally, any moving parts will require the occasional oiling and we recommend that the ironmongery is wiped with a lightly oiled cloth from time to time. This will remove harmful deposits and restore it to its original condition.

Do not use any form of chemical. Always use the products we recommend for external use, otherwise you may encounter a degradation of the lacquer/wax finish. Our internal finishes aren’t recommended for external use but can still be used, if desired, in an enclosed or protected area, like a porch but you may need to reapply an extra coating of wax (beeswax finish only) and you may encounter some rusting issues if not totally protected.

Traditional Black

Our Black finish is a quality powder coating which when applied is baked in a high-temperature oven giving it an attractive, durable and corrosion-resistant finish which is very low maintenance. The finish is resistant to moisture which allows products to be used internally in high moisture areas like bathrooms and externally in adverse weather conditions.

To keep the black finish in prime condition we recommend that it is wiped with a lightly oiled cloth as soon as your product has been fitted and also at regular intervals (depending on exposure to moisture) which will help remove harmful deposits and maintain it in its original condition.

Over the years and through extensive use the Black finish can get scratched or chipped from jewelery etc. and through general wear and tear but do not despair, there is a way to protect your product again. Anvil’s Black Touch-up Paint is ideal for just these circumstances. Easy to apply, completely hardwearing and a perfect match for the Black finish. Can be applied to old products which have some surface damage or to badly fitted screw heads which have the finish chipped off.


The beeswax finish is the most authentic finish for steel and to preserve the colours and the texture from the forge, hammer and anvil, we apply pure beeswax. This gives a subtle, matt richness to the metal and offers excellent protection when products are fitted internally and properly maintained. When choosing the Beeswax finish, sometimes because of temperature changes and packaging conditions, your product might have signs of a slight white bloom on opening. We recommend you buff it with a soft cloth, this will restore the finish to it’s intended glory.

However, mild steel or malleable iron, which are the two materials we forge, when fitted in damp bathrooms or wet properties, have the potential to exhibit surface rust. If surface rust does occur rub with 00 grade wire wool and apply maintenance wax with a rag or brush. The maintenance wax will restore the finish and afford protection.

As with all our products all moving parts should be oiled prior to fitting and periodically afterwards so using 3-in-1 oil will be ideal for this purpose. Please note that any oil can break down the wax finish so care must be taken when applying to any Beeswaxed finish product.

Metal in most forms is susceptible to corrosion. Depending upon their function our malleable iron products are subjected to either a one or two stage coating process followed by stove drying to form our durable and hard wearing traditional finish. Over time the finish can be affected particularly where moving parts rub together.

To protect your ironwork we recommend that any moving parts are lightly oiled prior to fitting. We also recommend wiping the products with a lightly oiled cloth from time to time to remove any harmful deposits and reapplying a small amount of oil to moving parts. This is particularly advisable if located near the coastline.

We would recommend a three-in-one or WD–40 type lubricant. If the protective coating is damaged or chipped in any way, a Hammerite type paint should be applied to maintain protection against corrosion. By adopting this simple advice you can help ensure that your Kirkpatrick products will remain both functional and decorative and will last a lifetime.

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