We prefer a natural iron finish on ornamental gates, which requires a three-step process:
The completed panel is sandblasted to remove all mill scale, weld spatter, etc
The panel is acid washed, then rinsed, several times
Acrylic clear-coat is applied, several coats in thickness, to preserve the finish
Of course, iron gates can be painted as well, but the proper job requires sandblasting beforehand.
All steel work is epoxy coated after fabrication using the following process:
Sandblast or Chemical
DeVoe Bar-rust 235 primer
DeVoe Devran 229 top coat
The product is expensive, but has proven itself in saltwater marine use.