General | By: American Stalls | Date on: 08/9/2021

We all know that our barn improvements require significant time, energy, and hard earned resources. This applies to anything in the barn, but especially to pricy components such as horse stalls, barn end doors, Dutch doors, and barn windows.

When you are ready for your next barn project, it will be easy to come across many options. In today’s marketplace, there are countless designs and finishes. Despite these options, it is best to begin with the basics to build stabling products that are built to last.

The right materials and finishes will guarantee the very best stabling equipment (Dutch Doors pictured here)

This means that one should do the fundamentals right. In this case, what exactly is “fundamental” or the “basics?” It is the raw materials – most commonly metals and lumber.

(We did a separate post for choosing the right lumber here)

In this post, we will cover the following about steel:

  • Different steel treatment options (i.e. galvanized steel)
  • Different paint finishes

To begin, let’s cover the basic fundamental difference between black carbon steel and galvanized steel:

Black steel and galvanized steel are the two most common kind of steel tubing. At their core, both black steel tubes and galvanized tubes are made of steel. However, galvanized tubing has a zinc coating while black pipe does not. It is this layer of zinc that makes galvanized steel have higher ability of corrosion (i.e. rust) protection. As a result, galvanized steel is more durable.

PRO TIP: When it comes to your horse stall equipment, your first (easy) decision should be to pick galvanized steel over black carbon steel.

Next up, there are two primary types of galvanized steel to consider when it comes to your horse stalls, barn doors, and barn windows. The two main options in the US market are:

  1. Hot-Dip Galvanized Steel
  2. Pre-Galvanized Steel

Hot-Dip Galvanized Steel:

Hot dip galvanizing will provide the best protection from rust. This process creates a thick, scratch-resistant and virtually rustproof coating – even in coastal areas that receive regular salt exposure. American Stalls first completely constructs, welds, and cleans our equine equipment. Then, the entire product is submerged into a bath of molten zinc. This zinc bonds to the steel which creates several layers of zinc iron alloy. This creates the easy-identifiable crystallized pattern that covers the surface.

Portable horse stalls with hot-dip galvanized steel treatment

The main advantage to hot-dip galvanized steel is long-term rust protection. The main disadvantages of hot-dip galvanized steel often include higher cost and the inability to powder coat the hot-dip galvanized steel. Lastly, the shiny metallic finish dulls into a chalky grey over time due to oxidization.

Pre-Galvanized Steel

Similar to hot-dip galvanized steel, pre-galvanized steel does also include a zinc protective layer. That being said, pre-galvanized steel does have a thinner layer of zinc compared to the above hot-dip galvanized steel.

Sliding Stall Doors – welded using pre-galvanized steel

This material still provides excellent rust protection on the outside of the steel. In some cases, if there is any “surface rust” or a powder substance from weathering, you can wipe it right off with a rag or cloth. This “surface rust” is caused by the zinc coating protecting your steel. Rest assured, it will not rust like your standard black carbon steel.

PRO TIP: When it comes to deciding between hot-dip galvanized steel (HDG) and pre-galvanized steel, it will come down to 2 factors for most customers. HDG will be pricier than pre-galvanized steel. Secondly, HDG treatment is not friendly to powder coat finishes. For this reason, we recommend pre-galvanized steel to clients who want a powder coat for their horse stalls.

Once you have decided on the galvanization and steel treatment, your next decision will be about the horse stall’s finish. Often times, this means the colored paint.

Paint Finishes for Horse Stalls and Barn Doors

The next step to durable, long-lasting horse stalls is your choice in paint finish. Depending on your horse stalls’ manufacturer, these are the most commonly found paint finishes:

  1. Powder Coated Finish (Superior)
  2. Spray Painting
  3. Paint Dipping

Your paint finish is a decision that will affect both your horse stall and barn doors’ longevity and safety. Powder coasting is superior to all other forms of paint application when it comes to stalls – leading to the smoothest, most uniform finish. Before coating, we ensure that our steel is grind down to ensure a smooth, consistent finish. This coating forms a smooth protective “skin” over the equipment’s steel.

Powder coated horse stall doors (left and middle) and barn entry doors (right).

At American Stalls, our guarantee is that your horse stall equipment is safe, elegant, and built to last. That is why all of our barn equipment uses pre-galvanized steel. This steel treatment ensures that your investment is well protected from the rigors of any barn environment. We take pride in the consistent beautiful finishes in our products. Our team will help you choose a finish that is the most appropriate for your needs and geographical environment.

Do you have any additional questions? Please kindly feel free to send us an email at or a call at (855) 957-8255. Alternatively, you can also complete a Contact Us Form.

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