The Solution to Corten Steel Water Features Rust Staining

Some water features, depending on the metals they are composed of, can cause unsightly rust stains on your paving and decking that are very tough to remove. This is usually caused by the natural water run-off while the water feature is active, carrying oxidised particles down with it and leaving a trail of discolouration.

Designed to tackle this very issue, our corten steel water features form a dense, protective layer of rust that minimises staining long-term.


Understanding How Rust Staining Works

With any metallic water feature, some level of rust staining is inevitable. As the surface is exposed to water and oxygen, it undergoes a chemical reaction known as oxidation. This process forms a layer of rust on the surface, but unlike corten steel, this rust layer is porous and crumbly, allowing moisture to penetrate further into the material.

When water flows over the feature, it picks up these oxidised particles and carries them onto your paving or decking.

Our Stain-Free Corten Water Features

Curved Water Bowl

The curvature of the bowl ensures that water flows smoothly, reducing areas where rust could form. Its unique design also allows for better drainage, ensuring that water does not pool and contribute to rust staining.

Somni Water Table

Its flat surface is treated to expedite the oxidation process, forming a protective layer that guards against rust staining. The table’s sleek design ensures that water flows off easily, leaving no room for rust to take hold.

Paradise Raised Water Table

This water feature comes with built-in rust prevention measures. The raised design allows for better aeration, speeding up the oxidation process to form a dense rust layer that acts as a barrier against further corrosion and staining.

Riple Round Water Table

If you are looking for a water feature that develops a uniform finish quickly, the Riple Round Water Table is your go-to option. Its circular design ensures even exposure to environmental elements, allowing for a quicker and more uniform oxidation process.

Somni Rectangular Water Table

Perfect for gardens in varying climates, the Somni Rectangular Water Table is versatile and robust. Its elongated shape allows for even oxidation, regardless of whether it is placed in a sunny or shaded area.


Our Robust Solution

What sets corten steel apart is its unique alloy composition, which includes elements like copper, nickel, and chromium. When exposed to the elements, our corten steel water features form a dense, protective patina of rust. However, this is not your average rust, acting as a barrier that locks out moisture and oxygen, effectively halting the corrosion process.

Even if the water does carry some oxidised particles, the density of the rust layer ensures that these particles are less likely to cause staining.

Corten Steel Curved Water Bowl

The Key to Preventing Rust Stains From Corten Steel Water Features

Once your new feature arrives, it displays a dark residue, marking the beginning of the weathering process crucial for rust prevention. During this phase, expose the feature to the elements for 3 to 9 months, ensuring it’s not placed on porous surfaces like stone, which could cause staining. 

Once the weathering is complete, apply Owatrol Oil to lock in the aesthetics and protect the structure. This oil is essential in maintaining the rich, rusted patina while preventing runoff.

Corten Steel Water Features

Location Matters


Where you put your corten steel water feature can significantly impact its oxidation process and, consequently, its rust-staining potential. Factors like sunlight, pollution, and even the direction your feature faces can influence how these pieces oxidise.

Water features placed in areas with abundant sunlight, particularly facing south or west, will develop a smoother and more uniform finish. On the other hand, those in shaded or north-facing areas may take longer to form this protective layer and may exhibit a more granular appearance.

Airborne pollution, especially in urban and industrial settings, can also affect the oxidation process. Pollutants like sulphur can darken the oxide layer, altering its appearance. While this does not necessarily increase the risk of rust staining, it is something to consider if you are particular about the aesthetic of your water feature.

3 Tips for Reducing Rust Staining

  1. Leave a small cement gap between the water feature and any adjacent paving. This allows run-off water to fall below the finished floor level, bypassing the paving.
  2. If a cement gap is not feasible, consider a gravel border along the edge of the water feature. This aids in drainage and can be an attractive design element.
  3. For overhanging features, opt for those with a powder-coated underside, which mimics the corten finish but prevents oxidation and staining.


By carefully considering the location and environmental factors, you can optimise the performance and appearance of your corten steel water feature, while minimising the risk of rust staining.

Find Your Perfect Corten Water Feature 


Make the right kind of statement with our range of corten steel water features, each designed to offer both aesthetic appeal and practical rust resistance. Contact us now to place your order or speak with an expert about the best corten garden feature for your needs.