Outdoor Metal Sculpture

Sculptures have been a staple of history for thousands of years. Since the Paleolithic Era, societies have recorded events on, worshipped, and expressed themselves through sculptures. In today’s society, our sculptures express individuality and can add a special flair to our homes or businesses.

While sculptures are made from all types of materials from stone to glass, outdoor sculptures displayed in yards, gardens, or courtyards are often made from metal. An outdoor metal sculpture can add a uniqueness to any home or business and is a perfect addition that can help your space stand out.

Sculpture Materials

Metal sculptures are usually from a few different types of metal. Each one has unique properties that provide a different look. If you want to buy a large outdoor metal sculpture for your home or business, you should carefully look into the different types of metals so you can make the right decision.

Carbon Steel

Iron and its steel alloy are well-known for being an incredibly strong and durable type of metal. This durability makes them great types of metal for outdoor sculptures because they can withstand wind and pressure well.

However, iron and steel can be tricky in regards to rust. Although most outdoor metal sculptures of iron or steel are pre-treated to protect them from rust, avoid these metals in use in fountains, high salt environments or heavy rain areas. Many like the weathered rustic look that can occur with carbon steel. The metal appears black and silver at first, then over time begins to rust.


Aluminum can be an excellent choice for an outdoor metal sculpture because it is lighter than steel and therefore easier to transport. But it is also incredibly resistant to corrosion, which is important for an outdoor sculpture. You want your sculpture to last, and aluminum is more resistant to corrosion than steel and doesn’t rust as steel or iron do. It is also easier to shape, which allows for better designs.

Stainless Steel

Stainless is a shiny type of metal that has a beautifully rich grey color. It is a perfect metal for making large scale designs on sculptures. Although, stainless can be difficult to work with, stainless is also useful for making colorful sculptures because of the different techniques that are available to color it with heat

Coloring stainless is not always necessary due to it’s natural colors that are preserved due to the high amount of nickel that resists rust. Many alloys of stainless will still rust if exposed to salt directly. However, Dustin has mastered the process to preserve the natural silvers within stainless and aluminum.

COATING , TExturing and Coloring METAL

Metal selection and protective coating is key to preserving a metals natural appearance, resisting the elements or adding color. Within Dustin’s sculptures, his use of color and preserving the silvers within stainless and aluminum are his specialty. He uses transparent dyes, heat and grind patterns that are all applied to the surface to add deep texture and colors to the outdoor metal sculptures. Powder coating is used as a final stage of any outdoor metal sculpture project. This is using electromagnetically charged chemicals to stick to the surface of the metals for maximum durability. Powder coating is often found on handrails, playgrounds, wheels and more.

You can learn a lot about different types of metals and coatings used in our outdoor metal sculptures. But don’t let the learning stop you from enjoying! Check out our selection of large outdoor metal sculptures at Abstract Metal Design today. If you have any questions, please contact us at 727.888.1122.