When it comes to enhancing the curb appeal of a building, most painting contractors need to paint just about everything, including stucco, brick, concrete, wood and metal surfaces.
Painting metal is relatively easy, particularly when you know which type of metal you’re working with. But irrespective of the type of metal and the structure you need to paint, turning a metal paint job into a successful experience is possible only if you consider the following three essential tips from our Florida paint contractors.
1. Start with the right preparation techniques.
Unprotected ferrous metals rust over time. Since primers and paints don’t bond well to rusted metals, cleaning all the surfaces very well is imperative for a durable paint job. To remove rust along with peeling, cracked or chipped paint, you can use a stiff-bristle wire brush and a chisel-style scraper. Depending on the condition of the surface, larger areas can be cleaned with a power wire brush or pressure washer. After cleaning all the surfaces, wipe them down with a cloth or use a soft bristle brush to remove any particles of loose rust, paint and dust left behind.
New metal surfaces also require some prep work. Using an abrasive pad along with a cleaning solution is usually enough to remove dirt, mold, mildew, moss, chalky residue, grease and oil. Make sure you rinse all the structures thoroughly with clean water. For persistent grease stains, wipe the surface with mineral spirits.
We can’t deny that skipping surface preparation can save you a lot of time. This may be important when you need to complete a painting project within a short time frame. On the downside, the quality of the paint job may suffer, potentially leading to early paint failure.
2. Prime on time.
Priming metal surfaces is very important in order to get a beautiful and highly durable paint job. But priming should be done immediately after the initial preparation phase. In Florida, timing is even more critical because metal surfaces start to rust within several days of exposure to moisture. Dirt, dust, moss, mildew and other contaminants will also start to accumulate on surfaces, which may hamper the adhesion of the primer. If you fail to apply the primer within a few hours, you’ll need to prepare the surface again.
Another important thing is the type of primer you need to use for your metal paint job. There are two main types of primers for ferrous metals: 1) zinc-rich primers, which act like sacrificial layers that prevent metal surfaces from rusting when a break in the topcoat occurs; 2) epoxy primers, which ensure high adhesion to the substrate, preventing the formation of rust under the primer. For rusted metals, paint manufactures make available a variety of rust-inhibitive primers. These products are intended to cover rusted areas and restore them to non-rusting, paintable surfaces.
According to Florida paint contractors, an exterior alkyd primer or a latex corrosion-inhibitive primer should also be used prior to painting aluminum surfaces. As the coating thickness impacts the rust and corrosion resistance of metal surfaces, always apply the primer at the recommended spread rate.
3. Choose the right paint system.
After priming and letting all the surfaces dry completely, you can apply an intermediate or a finish coat. Intermediate coats are designed to decrease the permeability of the paint system to moisture, water and oxygen, which enhances the protection of metal against these environmental factors. You can also apply the finish coat directly. In addition to providing the required appearance, the topcoat delivers the first line of defense against sunrays, moisture and rainwater. To ensure the paint system adheres well to metal surfaces, all the products must be compatible with one another and used in accordance with the manufacturers’ recommendations.
Prior to beginning a painting project, it’s essential to ensure you have the knowledge, skill level and technology necessary to bring the paint job to a successful conclusion. If you lack any of these things, you can always rely on our commercial painting contractors for a high-quality paint job that will last for many years.
With offices located in Tampa and Jacksonville, FL, Performance Painting Contractors has been serving the entire north-east-central Florida area since 2001. Numerous satisfied residential, commercial and industrial customers have helped us gain an enviable reputation for fast, dependable service, excellent craftsmanship and superior work ethics. For a free painting estimate, please contact our friendly professionals today.