The Use of Steel Wool or a Wire Brush

Most of the Directions for Use for our finishes contain the statement “Do not use Lifeline™ on surfaces that have been brushed or rubbed with steel wool or a wire brush. If you do, rust spots may appear under the finish.” Fortunately we rarely see the consequences of applying one of our finishes over a wall that has been rubbed or brushed with steel wool or a wire brush, but occasionally it does happen.

steelwoolThe customer who took this picture thought that the dark spots in the corners were due to mold; however, they appeared within just days after the finish was applied. We were able to obtain a small section of the discolored wood and just looking at it gives the impression that the discolorations could well be mold, or some flecks of dirt that may have been present at the time of staining. Even under the microscope at 10X magnification, there’s no indication of what caused the black spots.

But at 60X magnification it quickly becomes apparent that every black spot is associated with some type of fiber imbedded in the film. These fibers are bits of steel wool. Since the black spots are concentrated in the corners, it’s evident that someone had tried to wipe the wall clean but missed the corners entirely.


Last modified on Wednesday, 07 July 2021 22:47