When do-it-yourselfers attempt to refinish metallic surfaces with paint, peeling and flaking often result. The cause is inadequate or improper surface preparation. Metallic surfaces are notoriously ill-suited for paint adhesion. If you paint underprepared metal, expect rampant paint failure. Promote paint adhesion by pretreating the metal with a special acid-based primer formulated with the ability to etch metallic surfaces. Once the metal is properly conditioned, apply a durable coating, or you may end up with cracking and fading.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Trisodium phosphate cleanser
- Steel wool
- Pressure washer
- Galvanised metal etching spray primer
- Acrylic spray enamel
- Roller frame
- Nap roller cover
- 2- to 4-inch paintbrush
Scrub the metal with a trisodium phosphate cleanser, using steel wool. Rinse exterior metal, using a pressure washer. Use wet rags to rinse interior metal. Wait two to four hours for the metal to dry.
Coat the clean metal with galvanised metal etching spray primer. Promote a smooth, professional finish by maintaining an 8-inch distance between the metal and the spray nozzle at all times. Wait four hours for the primer to dry.
Coat the primed metal with acrylic spray enamel. Maintain an 8-inch distance between the metal and the spray nozzle at all times. Wait four hours for the enamel to dry.
Tips and warnings
- You may use a roller and paintbrush to apply primer and paint to large metallic surfaces.
- Do not paint unprimed metal, or the paint will peel.
- Do not use latex, acrylic or oil primers on metal, or the final finish will ultimately flake.
- You may use ordinary latex paint on interior metallic surfaces; however, do not use it with exterior metal, or cracking and fading may result.
- Be sure to degrease the metal, using a heavy-duty trisodium phosphate cleanser, or you will have problems with adhesion.