October 29

3 Steps to Successfully Paint Metal

Cabinet Painting

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In many commercial or industrial settings, metal catwalks, stairs, railings, and ladders are often low on the priority list as far as maintenance projects go.  These metal structures are used daily by employees and clients. They provide an important function in many operations.

It is very important to keep them in good working order. Rust not only makes these structures an eyesore, but it can also make them unsafe. A new coat of paint can help protect the surface of commonly used metal structures, but also give the space a fresh appearance.

Repainting Metal Surfaces

You can’t apply paint to a metal without preparation and the proper painting process and products. There are a few precursors that must be completed before the paint is applied. No matter the structure, the precautions and necessary steps remain the same to get a good finish.

1. Proper Preparation

As with all metal-painting projects, proper preparation makes the difference between a quality paint job and how well the newly painted item will stand up to age and weathering, especially when the metal is used outdoors. Whether the metal is iron, aluminum, or has a galvanized surface, you need to remove all the rust before you paint.

If you don't remove the rust, the paint won't stick. The paint will als not adhere to dirty, oily surfaces, so they must be clean before painting. These steps are vital to prevent flaking and peeling.

  • Clean the Metal Surface - 
    Metal surfaces must be free from any dirt, grease, old paint, and rust. Some surfaces may need to be power washed. Use appropriate sandpaper or scraping tools to remove dirt and other deposits from the metal surface.

    Wash newly purchased galvanized metal to remove the oil coating. If the oil coating has oxidized on the metal, use a wire brush or sandpaper to remove the residue.
  • Eliminate Loose or Peeling Paint - 
    Old paint that is loose or peeling must be completely removed. Hand wire brushing, scraping, and sanding are a few manual methods for removing such paint deposits. A grinder can be used if the loose paint on the surface is severe.
  • Get Rid of Rust Deposits - 
    Rust interferes with the adhesiveness of paint, making it important to remove it before applying the paint to the metal surface. Light rusting can be restored with the help of brushing and sanding to smooth out rough areas and scuff up the surface. In extreme cases, it may be necessary to sandblast the surface to remove all paint and rust.

2. Apply the Right Primer

Primer should be applied immediately after surface preparation to avoid flash rusting or dust accumulation. 

There are various primer options, based on the type of metal being painted. These include rust-inhibiting primers, galvanized primers, and iron-oxide primers, which must be applied to the surface before applying paint.  These should be industrial grade quality and compatible with the paint you will be using.

Allow the primer to dry completely and cure before beginning the painting application.

3. Paint Your Metal

It’s essential to use a paint that is formulated especially for metal. Paints for commercial metal structures work best if they are industrial water-based alkyd coatings. These paints are ideal for structures that get a lot of use. The quickest way to apply the paint is by using an airless sprayer with low-pressure tips.

Types of Metal Structures

Metal structures are used in a variety of industries from government and industrial to construction and education. Metal performs better in high-use environments. Many HOAs in Arizona use metal fences in their neighborhoods. Unlike other materials, like wood and vinyl, metal can withstand intense heat and sun, which makes them ideal for the area.

Professional painters can restore different types of metal structures such as:

  • Metal view fences
  • Exterior fire escapes
  • Pedestrian bridges
  • Overpasses
  • Catwalks between storage tanks
  • Metal railings
  • Water towers
  • Roof ladders

Trust the Professionals

Painting metal is different from painting other surfaces because the metal is prone to oxidation and rust.  Not all painters are experts in painting metal structures. ACP Painting has the knowledge and experience to paint all commercial metal structures, so they last for decades.

Regardless of what type of surface you need to be painted, ACP Painting can get the job done. Our experienced team has the knowledge and tools to perform the prep work and paint for a long-lasting finish.

Contact us today for a consultation.



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