When it comes to industrial painting, you will occasionally be forced to take on a job that involves painting a metal fabrication area. The uninitiated assume that painting metal is an easy task, when the opposite is true. If you try to paint metal doors without the right technique and tool, the entire project quickly becomes a disaster waiting to happen. Below we look at some tips for painting metal and advice on doing a great job on different types of metal materials.
Basic Industrial Painting Tips for Metal
- Materials: Common metal door painting problems include scratched, peeling, or flaked paint. Amateurs generally use low quality paint and applicators and this shows over time. Never skimp on quality when it comes to painting metal and purchase a paint with a medium-glossy sheen, as this will adhere to the metal’s surface permanently.
- Sanding: Please note that paint applied before the late 1970s may be lead-based, so sand with caution; using extremely fine grit sandpaper. You should acquire gloves, eye protection, and a respirator before attempting this.
- Roller Cover: Don’t use a paintbrush! A spray rig is a much better option as it ensures an even coat. Yet a small roller and suitable roller cover is the best choice of all as the mini-roller does a great job on metal doors, particularly when painting smooth panels.
- Multiple Coats: We suggest that up to four coats of paint are necessary; with the first coat consisting of the primer. Allow the primer to dry overnight to ensure it gets the best bond. Add a second coat in the morning, allow six to eight hours to dry and add the third coat, so it can dry overnight. Sand away any minor lines or bubbles the next morning and add one more coat to cover these blemishes.
Types of Metal
- Rusty: Your first goal is to remove rust from the surface. Acid pickling is common, but can be hazardous, so you may wish to pressure clean or use a wire brush to get the area ready for the paint. Use paint that contains as little water and salt as possible. A thick oil-based paint is the best choice.
- Aluminum: Use an abrasive pad with turpentine to remove the protective coating and rinse the metal’s surface with water. Use a water-based acrylic paint for best results. If you want to use enamel to cover the metal, apply one coat of galvanized iron primer (water based) first.
- Copper: This is one of the easiest metals to paint. To get it ready, simply sand it and use red oxide metal primer before adding the first coat of paint.
- Brass: Use methylated spirits mixed with sand to wipe the brass before adding a coat of red oxide primer. Complete the task with two coats of water based acrylic or oil-based paint.
When tackling metal as part of an industrial painting job, you must never underestimate the importance of priming. Most metal painting jobs fails because the surface is not properly prepared so avoid this mistake and complete the job like a professional job.
If you have commercial property in the Phoenix-Metro area that needs a pro’s touch, please contact the offices of CBP of Arizona, Inc. today for a free project estimate!