Clear coat to prevent rust on raw steel table legs?

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Old 10-02-19, 05:30 PM
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Clear coat to prevent rust on raw steel table legs?

I have a couple of A-frame table legs made of raw steel square tubing. They were super rusty so I'm currently having them sandblasted. I want the finished table to show off the steel in as close to its unfinished state as possible, but I live in the Pacific Northwest where it's somewhat humid.

What is a good treatment to prevent flash rust? Should I oil it? Use a water-based clear coat? Just leave it uncoated? Would love to get some opinions!
 
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Old 10-03-19, 03:05 AM
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I'd use an automotive solvent based clear. It will give the steel a sheen but won't have an amber cast like an oil base poly/varnish would. Rubbing it down with oil would make it prone to attract dirt. I'd be concerned that any water based coating would allow it to rust.
 
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Old 10-03-19, 04:34 AM
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Like marksr said, you need a solvent/oil based clear coat. Sandblasting will give your legs an almost sandpaper like texture. When you pick up your parts handle them with very clean hands or clean gloves. The sandblasted texture will tenaciously hold dirt and oil so it's easiest to not contaminate it in the first place. Before painting give it a thorough blowing off with compressed air to remove as much fine dust from the metal.
 
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Old 10-03-19, 04:50 AM
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I've used Rustolium clear coat spray on several outdoor metal parts and it seems to work well.
 
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Old 10-03-19, 06:32 AM
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So when it comes to protecting metal the order is:

Powder Coat
Prime, Paint, Clear
Prime and Paint
Clear
Oil

The problem you will have with just using a clear on bare steel is that there is no primer/paint for the clear to adhere too.

Clear coat is intended to bond to paint, paint is intended to bond to primer, primer bonds to bare metal.

Eventually the clear will just peel off!
 
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Old 10-03-19, 11:23 AM
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Awesome, thanks all--appreciate the responses!
 
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