Ask The Charlotte Home Inspector

Your Charlotte Home Inspection Questions Answered!

Ask The Charlotte Home Inspector header image 2

Why You Should Refinish Your Antique Iron Bed

February 9th, 2013 · No Comments


If you purchased your antique iron bed prior to 1977, you can count on on it having been painted with lead based paint.  Back in the 1800 s, when these iron beauties were being made,  lead based paint was being used on all furniture and virtually all iron beds of that period.  Lead was added to paint to help the speed of drying,  improve sturdiness, keep a crisp appearance, and resist dampness which causes corrosion.

The United States  Government’s  Consumer Product Safety  Commission  banned  lead paint in 1977, Code 16 of Federal Regulations CFR 1303). So you don’t need to be concerned about anyone refinishing your antique iron bed today making use of anything other than environmentally safe paints. It’s a good idea to use water based paints because of their potential to mix much better with other colors.

So what’s the best way to get rid of these hazardous lead base coatings? How about a chemical stripper…….. sure if you would like to offer up a week of your life and still have a bed with reminants of previous finishes. It’s a dirty, time consuming, inefficient way. How about dipping at any of the “antique refinishing” dipping tanks. The problem using any kind of dipping tank, is the liquid involved. Yes…….it will get all the old paint off and is an excellent way of removing layers of paint off wooden furniture. But afterwards the caustic compounds have to be washed out and flushed off. With wooden funiture, this isn’t a issue. But with metal, it becomes a whole unique issue.  Guess what they use to wash off all the chemical stripper …. water . There is no greater way to start the rusting process on iron, than to introduce water to it. So how should you get all those layers of old lead based paint, rust, and corrosion off your iron bed?

 Sandblasting ……. It’s dry and does the absolute best job at eradicating all the old layers of paint and every little thing on the iron castings and tubing. As soon as the  bed has been completely sandblasted……….. and I can’t emphasis this strongly enough,  immediately , apply a coat of metal primer. If you let it set over night , you’ve  already given the iron an opportunity to begin to rust . As soon as that starts, it’s only a matter of time until you’ll be starting this strategy  all over again.

Now you’re ready to determine which “finish”  you wish to apply for the look you desire.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: Unusual Findings

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment