When choosing a traditional cast iron radiator one of the most beautiful and traditional finishes is the hand polished choice. “When choosing a hand polished finish for your cast iron radiators it is always best to make sure the technique used to polish the radiator is performed mainly by hand, the old fashioned way, to ensure a smooth unscratched finish” – Helen Proctor, Paladin Radiators.
Basically for the hand polished finish the cast iron as a metal is polished to a high sheen and should incorporate using the old technique of hand polishing as machines can be harsh on the cast iron which results in losing some of the beauty of the natural cast iron and to ensure that the ornate raised decorative radiator detail is not flattened or damaged. The hand polishing technique offers more accents to the detail on an ornate radiator and creates a fantastic natural finish for any cast iron radiator style.
The hand polishing process reveals and polishes the original cast iron surface, polishing the radiator down to the bare metal. It is a particularly beautiful finish however the bare metal is exposed to the air and so therefore the radiator will require some minimal attention to care to eliminate rust spots occurring due to moisture in the air. The best way to maintain the beauty of a hand polished radiator and keep the shine on the natural cast is to create a barrier from the air and moisture. It is advised to achieve this to apply an oil based barrier to the surface of the radiator. Every 6 to 8 weeks, take a soft polishing cloth, lightly sprayed with WD40 and dust your radiator on all polished areas, this will ensure your polished radiator remains rust free and buffs to the original shine. Baby Oil or Linseed Oil may also be used as an alternative to WD40, as these oils acts in the same way as WD40. It is advised to apply the oil based barrier once every 6 to 8 weeks, as over time, people and household pets touch or brush against the radiator, this causes the oil layer to be thinned leaving the bare metal to become exposed to air and moisture.
If rusting has occurred, don’t panic! The easiest way to remove light rust patches is to take a soft dry cloth lightly sprayed with oil and simply buff out the rust. Please note to use a soft cloth, as a scourer or cloth with a harsh surface will scratch the bare metal surface giving an unsightly finish once buffed. The cloth must also be dry as adding moisture to the cloth will result in rust occurring.
The traditional method of hand polishing polishes the sides, top and front of the cast iron radiator, basically these areas that are seen and are easily accessible for cleaning. The back of the radiator is not polished as the back of the radiator is difficult to reach once installed and the back is also difficult to reach for cleaning and rust prevention.
The hand polished finish does require a small amount of regular maintenance to maintain the polished look to its best but it is stunning choice of finish and really shows the cast iron radiator to its best advantage. A natural and beautiful finish that is certainly worth the effort.