Steel is formed at a steel mill by pushing red-hot steel through pairs of rollers. Mill scale is the blue-gray or blue-black material that forms on the surface during hot-rolling. The surface color of the steel may vary dramatically from shades of blue-gray to blue-black. Mill scale may form patterns of lines and spots reminiscent of a landscape or seascape, or it may have a uniform blue-gray color akin to slate. The mill scale patterns occur naturally during the cooling process, with some steel panels looking more uniform while others show plenty of “action.”
Maria Yee, Inc.’s mill-scale-intact steel surfaces are sealed with a water-based polyurethane clear coat to protect the steel from moisture and prevent rust. With the variations in color and pattern, each steel panel is one-of-a-kind. To cultivate a modern industrial look, marks or surface scratches that do not penetrate the finish may be left alone. The patina of everyday use adds to the uniqueness of each piece.
While the clear coat is scratch resistant, hard or sharp objects may scratch the finish. Applying pressure to the surface with softer materials such as fingernails may burnish the low sheen surface and leave visible shiny marks. While these marks are visible, especially when the surface is lit from an angle, they are not scratches and will not expose the steel to moisture or rust.