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The difference between primed steel and galvanised steel

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Choosing the perfect metal gates for your property can be a challenging task for homeowners, especially with all the available options on the market today. There’s much to consider, from longevity to price and aesthetics. That’s why at SL Wrought Iron, we’re laying out everything you need to know about two of the most popular gate options on the market – galvanised steel and primed steel.

When it comes to choosing between galvanised steel and primed steel, galvanised steel stands out as the superior choice for several compelling reasons. Galvanised steel surpasses primed steel in terms of robustness, longevity, and ease of maintenance, making it a clear favourite among homeowners seeking a durable and hassle-free solution. Galvanisation involves submerging the mild steel in a bath of molten zinc, creating a protective layer that shields it from corrosion. To further enhance its durability and aesthetics, the gate is finished with a powder coating that’s electrostatically sealed onto the surface.

The longevity of your gate 

When it comes to metal gates, you might have noticed that the price difference between primed steel and galvanised steel is quite significant. However, there is a good reason for that.

Primed steel gates are lower in price because they haven’t gone through the galvanising process. So naturally, it doesn’t last as long and will require significantly more upkeep. While primed steel is still sturdy, it’s very much susceptible to corrosion, which can affect the overall longevity of your gate by damaging its structural integrity.

Galvanised steel, on the other hand, is coated in Zinc. This stops the primed steel underneath from sustaining any damage and is the reason why galvanised steel gates have exceptional strength and require little to no maintenance. That being said, let’s look deeper into the galvanisation process:

The creation of your gate and the galvanisation process

As we touched on, the process in which primed steel and galvanised steel gates are finished differs. Our recommended finish for metal gates, fencing, and railings is a combination of galvanisation and powder coating. Galvanisation involves submerging the steel in molten zinc at high temperatures, creating a zinc alloy coating that prevents rust. This anti-corrosion layer provides protection against rust for up to 70 years (this may vary depending on your proximity to the coast). After galvanisation, we then apply a powder coating. This process involves electrostatically applying a dry powder to the metal, followed by baking it in a scorching oven at 450°C. This results in a tough and durable finish, far superior to traditional spray paint, ensuring maintenance-free decorative steelwork!

Primed steel gates allow you to apply your own paint, so you can choose whatever colour you like. However, it’s important to note that this choice requires thorough preparation and will require more frequent maintenance and repainting (please note: your primed gates should only be exposed to the elements once fully painted and dried). This option can be great for those who enjoy staying busy with occasional painting sessions and have the time to do so. However, galvanised is better for those looking for beautiful gates to set and forget.

The appearance of your gate

The last difference between primed steel and galvanised steel gates is their appearance. The aesthetic of each of these gates is beautiful in its own right, as all of our gates are built by expert artisans at our factory in Lancashire, using time-served traditional methods. This level of precision and craft makes our SL Wrought Iron gates beautiful each time, whether galvanised or primed.

Still, galvanised steel does boast some stand-out features that primed steel does not. Galvanised steel doesn’t need painting. The galvanising process gives them the rich and deep colour you see on our product pages that lasts decades, if not forever. Primed steel doesn’t have this coating and requires painting at home; however, as we mentioned earlier, it will need repainting frequently, leaving it slightly worn down if you don’t keep on top of the maintenance. Also, these gates will likely rust without protection from the galvanisation, damaging the gate and affecting its appearance and how long it lasts.

Now you have all the information to choose between primed steel and galvanised steel gates, why not take a look at some of our products? We’ve been crafting metal gates for over three decades at SL Wrought Iron, and all of our gates are handmade by our talented team of experts at our factory right here in Lancashire.

We have a variety of ranges to choose from, with styles ranging from modern and simple to decorative and traditional. We also offer custom sizing free of charge, so you can rest assured that you get exactly what you need for your home security solution. Get in touch with our friendly team today by calling 01254 236994 or via our email at We’ll be happy to assist you!