Care of Oil Finish Items

Our hand forged items come with different finishes, all designed to inhibit rust and look great.  Items may have a flat black finish, a beeswax finish or an oil finish.  Oil finish is done by dipping the finished but still hot metal in a vat of oil.  The oil sinks into the pores of the metal and is very similar to the process of seasoning cast iron pans.   

Oil finish on our hand forged items inhibits rust but may require some upkeep. It is easy to keep your items in great shape in just a few easy steps. The layer of oil keeps the air from touching the metal.  When oxygen in the air touches the metal, rust occurs. If you notice surface rust developing, it is time to refresh the oil. Of course, if you prefer a rusty patina you don't have to oil finish and your item will still be usable for many years to come.

hand forged round ring handle, made by a blacksmith. on a barn wood background

How long your oil finish will last will depend on where the item is used and your climate.  We have an oil finish pot rack in our kitchen that still looks like new a decade after it was made with no upkeep.  Of course, items placed outside will require more upkeep.  Items near the ocean where there is salt in the air or placed near roadways treated with salt in the winter will require the most upkeep, but even then refreshing the finish twice per year should keep the finish in great shape.

The best way to refresh your oil finish is by getting a can of WD-40 or penetrating oil.  A spray can is easiest.  If rust has developed, clean your item first with a wire brush or steel wool (not the kind with soap, just bare metal steel wool).  After loosening the rust, wipe away with a dry cloth.

To refresh the oil finish, simply spray your handle, hook or other item thoroughly with the WD-40 or penetrating oil.  Make sure the oil goes into any cracks, holes or crevasses. Let sit for a few minutes.  Then simply wipe down with a cloth so the item is no longer greasy to the touch.  We recommend fabric cloth, if you use paper towels they tend to come apart and leave lint all over the metal.  That's it!

Hand Forged Round Handle with rusty patina.  Mounted on a green door outdoors.

If you prefer to avoid the upkeep of oil finished items, just let us know.  In most cases we can substitute the black painted finish at no extra cost .Please note items used with food such as the steak turners must be finished with beeswax so they are safe to use around food.  Or, let your item naturally develop a rusty patina as shown above. That handle is used on our sheep house and had seen five Pennsylvania winters when the photo was taken. 

Questions and custom requests can be sent to We typically are able to respond to your inquiry the same day.