Painting galvanized metal can be tricky if you don’t know how to do the task. It’s because this durable material is covered with oil that keeps it protected from the development of white rust. Galvanized metal also has zinc, which reacts with the binding materials of paint, making it peel off in just a few days. While Alkyd and oil-based coats work well as first, eventually you’ll see them shed off the galvanized steel. For these numerous reasons, it’s best if you hire an expert when it comes to painting galvanized metal.
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Galvanized metal at a glance
So why do builders use galvanized metal despite the fact that it’s difficult painting galvanized metal?
For one, it’s stronger than the usual steel, that’s why it’s widely used in residential framing, support beams, wall braces, roofs, and pipes.
Add to that, it has zinc oxide coating, which keeps it free from corrosion. Unfortunately, this coat is what makes painting galvanized metal difficult and lengthy. But for this matter, galvanized metal is used in areas near the coast. Farmhouses and other establishments, which come in contact with lead, copper and wet concrete will benefit from the features of galvanized metal.
Another great thing about galvanized metal is that it’s recyclable. If you have to demolish a structure made of galvanized metal, the remnants can be transformed into another batch of strong metal.
Items for painting galvanized metal
Because painting galvanized metal is no easy task, it’s best if you leave the work to the professionals instead of doing the job on your own. For one, experts have ready access to the needed materials such as metal primer. Professionals know the importance of avoiding brands, which use alkyd because it won’t stick to the galvanized steel
Other items needed also include Metal paint (with the same brand as that of the primer.) Professionals, who have been painting galvanized metal for years, know which paint to use, as only a few paints that can stick to galvanized steel. Formulations that are used for painting galvanized metal include Aliphatic Polyurethanes, Bituminous Paints, Chlorinated Rubbers; Epoxy-polyamide cured paints, latex acrylic paints, vinyl paints and powder-coated paints. Other items that your contractor will utilize include Ammonia, tack cloth, and sandpaper (heavy-duty or 240 grit.)
Professionals also know that it’s important to keep safe that’s why they have personal protective equipment such as goggles, protective wear, and mask. Metal primer and paint emit fumes that can be harmful to one’s health that’s why they wear these protective gears while painting galvanized metal.
Why you need a professional for painting galvanized metal
As it has been said, galvanized metal is no ordinary substance. There are many techniques that only professionals know. Fortunately, these techniques make the process faster.
1. Before painting galvanized metal, an expert knows that he needs to clean the surface of the galvanized metal with the use of hot, soapy water. Once the metal is dry, he will clean the metal once again with an ammonia solution.
2. A professional knows that he needs to use heavy-duty 240-grit sandpaper to sand the surface of the galvanized metal. He will remove handles and other installed parts before sanding down because it will make the process faster and easier. If there are installations, which he can’t remove, he will go over the areas with the sandpaper.
3. After sanding the steel, he will use a tack cloth to clean the area. DIYers tend to use normal clothes, which don’t do the trick. A tack cloth is a sticky material, which can remove all the dust from sanding, which is important before painting galvanized metal.
4. A professional knows the importance of applying metal primer. He will perform the task in a well ventilated because a primer emits noxious fumes. He will also wear protective equipment while painting galvanized metal.
5. A professional knows that in order to make painting galvanized metal easier, he needs to use a spraying material to cover the metal with primer. He will cover the surface equally, moving from top to bottom, one section at a time. He will apply primer in a smooth manner in order to prevent drips, runs and other problems, which can ruin the look of the steel.
6. Should there be drips while painting galvanized metal with primer, a professional knows how to resolve this by smoothing the surface immediately with the use of sandpaper. He will then apply primer again as needed.
7. The last step in painting galvanized metal is applying the metal paint on the surface. As it has been said, a professional will use metal paint with the same brand as the primer for compatibility purposes. Like painting primer, he will apply the color from top to bottom, working one section at a time.
8. Lastly, a contractor knows how to inspect the metal for flaws and irregularities, so he can make sure that he has painted the surface well and good.
Spray-painting galvanized metal
Although most paints for galvanized metals are available in buckets, there are also spray-paints which contractors can use on smaller items made of galvanized steel. Such are called acrylic paints, which can stick to the metal surface without much ado.
One item that experts use for spray-painting galvanized metal is Krylon’s H20 latex, which is runnier than other paint sprays. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find and is only available in a few Ace Hardware stores and some online retailers. But with your contractor, you don’t have to worry about searching for this special paint.
After application, the paint will dry in 15 minutes, but a week is needed to let the paint fully set in. Because spray-painting galvanized metal is complicated, this task is best left to professionals.
Galvanized metal is a type of durable and strong steel, which can withstand the test of time. It’s used now more than ever, which means that more people are bound to come up with problems regarding painting galvanized metal. But with the help of experts at painting galvanized metal, you can beautiful surfaces in just a short time.