Before and After

I had made a set of handrails for a home in Washington NC. I was doing the finishing of the metal, when someone came in the studio and was astounded by the transformation of the metal.  The rails had been made from steel and design was to represent dogwood branches.

Well, as you probably know, steel is not the color of dogwood branches, so something had to change.  The change was interesting and I thought you might like a photo of before and after for comparison.  So here it is.

before after 2

The leaves and flowers were cut textured and added to the branches, followed by the flowers.  The design was interesting and creating the pieces was a lot of fun.  But changing them from plane steel to something I would want in my home. (which is my standard) is always the fun part.

Some projects need to be a given color, such as bronze or traditional black.   This set of rails needed a certain finish that compliments the design.  It was decided they would be converted to look like aged brass and be finished to stand up to living on a waterfront lot.

I colored the metal with a patina which imparts a brown tone to the metal and then convert that… through metal magic… into a copper highlighted finish. (any of you that have read my blog before know that it involves heating the metal and scrubbing it with a brass brush.  The brass transfers into the metal and causes the color. So sorry, no magic.)

Well anyway…

It rails are on a home built in 1909 and lovingly restored by its current owners.

It was a delight to see this “tired southern lady” being brought back to her original beauty by a “classy southern lady”….and her husband.  I was thankful that they allowed me be a small part of the process.


I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Use the form below, or email me at


shirt front s


1 Comment

  1. Hi Stephen,

    That is a great colour. I love your Work Hard – Make Cool Stuff logo, too.



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