Use GILDERS® paste wax on Metal!
Jeff Whipkey of SDC Products
17030 West Little York
Houston, TX 77084
www.sdcproducts.com sent us this article and photos.
We started this project like any other – once the job was ready we built an on-site template using 1/2″ x 16ga steel tubing, then we constructed a faux staircase in our shop to start the work. We used low carbon steel for the entire railing. Balusters were made of 1/2″ round bar, textured with our air hammer. Top and bottom rails were 1-1/4″ x 3/8″ flat bar, newel posts were 1-1/4″ round bar also textured with the air hammer. We knew this work would look very busy with the design so we opted to put the balusters on 6″ centers.
Each newel post represents a single grape trunk, so we added 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2″ round bar to the base area to show the beginnings of the root system and used a die grinder to blend them in. This root system also gave us the platform to mount the railing and help hide the anchor screws. After the main railing system was welded together we wove the vines through the balusters, beginning at the trunks and toward each other trunk. Weaving was random but we kept the building code in mind in order to pass the 4″ rule. We used the leaves and grape clusters to help manage this, having twists and knots throughout the vine system just like the real ones.
Once the railing was complete, we sandblasted it. Next we used red oxide primer followed by a flat black enamel base to enhance the colors we were going to apply. GILDERS® paste wax was used to add the colors we wanted because of its richness and durability. No thinning was required, and it was applied using a soft cloth and fingertips. No clear coat was needed thanks to the hard finish of the paste and we wanted to keep that “natural look”.
This project had 55 ft of railing. We used 600 leaves of various sizes, 35 grape clusters and hundreds of feet of vines. We used four different colors of paste for the detailing and never used all of either color. This paste goes a long way! FYI – all the color detailing was applied on site after all other trades were finished and gone. An interior trim carpenter applied the wood rail cap.
Foundry Bronze was used for the trunks and vines, African Bronze for the leaves, Pinotage and German Silver for the grape clusters. We had around 400 man hours in this project from start to finish.
Rubbed Black with toothbrush as a base, Verdigris applied with finger on the leaf stems and leaves, African Bronze was applied with finger on top of Verdigris on the leaves and Tulip Red on the roses. Finally, the piece was powder coated with a clear polyester.
The grapes have been rubbed with Iris Blue and German Silver on top. The leaves have African Bronze and the bottle has Gold, Iris Blue and German Silver. The grape vine has diluted Bronze painted and rubbed off to create a stained effect. Antique Gold was brushed over the stain with a 2″ soft trim brush.