It still had some of the blacksmith's forged nails stuck into it.
You can see some of the nails coming through the back here.
At first we didn't know what to do with it. Some people who saw it suggested that we see if it was of any value before we did anything to it, and at one point we even thought about donating the horse shoe to a historic site, like the Black Creek Pioneer Village we visited.
I started by doing some research on how to remove rust from other iron antique tools, like shovels and hammers. There were plenty of chemical suggestions, but I also saw some people mentioning how effective undiluted white vinegar can be. I've had great experience using it to clean mineral deposits around our faucets, so I thought why not give it a try.
And this was the end result. Not perfect, but much better than it was when we started.
There is still a bit of rust around the nails, and in some of the grooves, but most of it is gone.
I was even able to uncover some of the holes! This will make it much easier to hang up.
1 hole on the left, 2 on the right, and 5 nails still stuck in there.
I may even adhere some felt on the back to protect the wall from any scratches.
We made a trip to a local hardware store for some advice and they suggested that we use a spray paint that is a paint and primer combo, like Rustoleum.
We have a choice of two different finishes that can produce different results:
1) Eggshell or flat finish to highlight all the imperfections (bumps, scratches, remaining rust deposits)
2) Glossy or satin finish to blend most of it together, but still highlighting the main details (nails, ridges, grooves)
I would love to have your input on this. What do you think we should do? Leave it au natural, or chose one of the spray painted finishes?
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