These days you will find a wide variety of different metal paints on the market. Consumers are spoilt for choice with many paint manufacturers supplying metal paints in spray cans, large 10 litre plastic containers or in an assortment of tin sizes and colors. Metal paints are commonly used in industries to coat items such as furniture, electronics, toys, vehicles, boats, aircraft and a myriad of consumer products.
In the automotive industry the paint used on new vehicles is generally formulated so that its properties grip or bond to the metallic surface it is applied to. For example, expensive special formulated metal flake type paint is used on many new cars and trucks that come off the production line because the tiny metal flakes give the finished paintwork a shiny sparkling look that consumers find appealing.
In general, bare unpainted metal that is exposed to the elements will corrode very quickly if it is not protected by metal paint. To allow for maximum protection it is always best to use two coats of a good quality primer although in many cases one coat of a good quality primer or sealer will generally be sufficient.
The golden rule when applying any metallic paints is to always make sure the surface to be painted is clean, dry and free of any rust or corrosion.
This is important because if the surface is not prepared properly then all sorts of problems can arise later on. For example, several years ago I recall being caught out after I applied metal paint to some galvanized roof spouting I was painting that had some noticeable tell-tale signs of rust.
At the time I thought it would be alright and no-one noticed until 2 years later when the metal paint started to bubble on the outside of the spouting, which was where the rust had been painted over. Not long after that the rain came and water poured through the now jagged rust holes that had appeared across a large section of the spouting.
As a result the spouting had to be completely replaced, whereas if it had been prepared properly in the first instance with the rust cut out and removed, it would have lasted probably many more years.
Here are some simple techniques and tips to follow when using metal paints -
- Properly prepare the surface by making sure any dirt and loose paint is thoroughly removed.
- Ensure any sign of rust is completely cut out or removed.
- Use a wire brush, sandpaper or where necessary paint stripper
- Wear protective gloves
- Ensure you have the appropriate equipment such as rollers, brushes
- Paint only when conditions are warm and dry
- Avoid painting in hot conditions as this could result in the metal paint drying too quickly causing poor adhesion to the surface
- Do not paint when it may rain or in windy conditions
- Avoid using cheap metal paints as it may not last as long
- Use a primer or sealer before applying your metal paint
- Clean all equipment thoroughly after the job has been completed