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Painting Tips – Metal and Rusted Metal

Tips for Painting Metal and Rusted Metal

Do you remember your last painting job? OK, what did you do? You scraped the surface, brushed away the dust, shook the paint can, opened the lid, and started painting. Is that fairly close? What? You didn't take 5 minutes and read the entire label? Are you kidding me.........? Well, the next job is going to be different, isn't it! My first tip is to remind you to read the label on both the primer AND the top coat. Make sure the two paints are compatible. Look to see the drying time. Only prime as much metal as you can recoat the next day or so. A primer needs to be recoated as soon as possible. This helps the finish coat bond!

Surface Preparation

This is the absolute most important part of the paint job. Nearly 80% of all paint failures can be traced back to surfaces which were not given proper cleaning or attention.

Surface preparation is the process of eliminating surface contamination from the surface to be painted. Contamination such as loose paint, dust, moisture (sometimes), oil, grease, plant oils, etc. all interfere with the bonding of the paint to the surface. Remember, paint is simply liquid glue!

Sanding, Blasting, or otherwise Roughening it up!

Do you want your primer to really grip the metal? Then roughen it up. The more you roughen a surface, the more surface area you expose which can grab onto the paint. You don't believe me? Why not take a piece of 8.5 x 11 paper. Fold it like an accordion. Lay it next to a flat piece of paper. Both have the same surface area exposed, but the folded paper is in a smaller area. If you scratch up or sandblast a piece of metal, you create these minor 'folds'. This principle holds true with just about any thing that you must paint.

Painting Rusted Metal

Years ago, I used to think that you had to remove every piece of rust to successfully paint steel. This is imply not true! I have had fantastic luck painting moderately rusted steel. I scraped the loose rust scale off, then wire brushed or rubbed the steel with steel wool. After removing the rust dust, I would use a zinc chromate primer. These primers are often a dull red color when dry. This primer has served me well for the past 10 years. I recommend that you try it or any other top quality rust inhibitive primer for your rusted steel.

Surface Preparation Booklet

Would you like a REALLY wonderful booklet about surface preparation? I thought so! Check the RUST-OLEUM Corporation. Look or ask for:

  • SURFACE PREPARATION
    It is a booklet with a person wearing a sandblasting mask on the cover. It is 10 pages long and is a MUST HAVE!

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One Response to Painting Tips – Metal and Rusted Metal

  1. I need to paint some entry door hinges & hardware. I've stripped old paint from them and then scrubbed them with a cleaner and dried them. What should I use?

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