What Paint Best Protects Iron?

Manufacturer and builder 3, 1884

Among all things that require the most protective paint for iron, are carriages, farm wagons, plows, and agricultural implements, from which fact it seems feasible that manufacturers ofthe like ought to be able to give the best information required. Any mineral paint would answer the purpose much better, and we maintain that the paint that most effectually protects iron is red lead. Not in color is it as well suited; but that is only a secondary consideration, and easily overcome by painting it over with any color desired. It contains the following advantages for the preservation of the iron, which is the main object to be gained:

1. Dries easily with raw linseed oil, without an oil-destroying drier.

2. After drying it remains elastic, giving way both to expansion and contraction of the iron, without causing the paint to crack.

3. It imparts no oxygen to iron, even when constantly exposed to damp - a fact to which all farm wagon makers can testify.

4. It hardens, where it has been spread thickly, without shivelling, forming the toughest and most perfect, insoluble combination of all paints. As proof of this assertation, it is used by calico-printers for red-figured prints, holding out against soap and water, by gas-pipe fitters, as the best paint to resist ammonia and tar, by the English iron-ship builders, for painting the hulls of iron ships - namely, two coats of red lead and two of zinc white; by wagon and plow makers, for painting wagon gears and plows; by knowing carpenters, for painting wood that comes in contact with damp brick in walls, as it preserves wood from rot, insects, etc.

For those among us, who are uninstructed how to mix pure red lead for paint, it should be made known that pure lead powder, after being slightly pressed down with the finger, shows no lead crystals. When they are visible, it is merely partly converted and not first quality. It should be ground in pure, old linseed oil, and if possible used up the same day, to prevent it combining with the oil before it is applied, thus losing in quality. No drier is necessary, as in the course of a few days tehe oil forms a perfect, hard combination with the lead. American linseed oil is as good as any imported, where the manufacture has given it age, and not subjected it to heat, as is the custom, by steaming it in a cistern to qualify it quickly for the market. It deteriorates in quality when heated above 160° Fah. This red lead paint spreads very easily over a surface, and the best of finish can be made with it, even by a novice in painting.

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