Painting Metal in Washington, MI? Here is What You Should Know

To protect a metal surface and enhance its appearance, it is essential to know how to paint it.
To do this, you must first prepare it and choose the paint that suits it.
If you’re planning to repaint your metal objects and surfaces –gate, garage door, stair railing fence, etc. – here is what is involved.

Type of metal

To learn how to choose the right paint for your metal surface, you need to determine the type of metal you’re dealing with.

Is it a ferrous or non-ferrous metal? Ferrous metals include steel, cast iron, and wrought iron.

As its name suggests, these metals contain iron – the chemical symbol for iron is Fe, and its name comes from the Latin Ferrum – therefore, ferrous metal surfaces will be magnetic and prone to rust.
Non-ferrous metals include aluminum, copper, stainless steel, and zinc. Generally, these surfaces are light and malleable – think of ladders and gutters.

Note: Galvanized metal is steel coated with a thin layer of zinc to prevent it from rusting. Follow the steps for non-ferrous metals before painting it.

Metal Preparation

The key to promoting the adhesion of the paint and ensuring its long-term protection is to prepare the metal surface.
As with all surfaces, metal often contains contaminants, including paint, rust, and oil. Since these impurities can adversely affect the adhesion of the coating, they must be removed.

Oil is a common contaminant found on most metal surfaces.
Before priming or painting the surface, clean it with a cloth and detergent or solvent such as denatured alcohol, then wipe the surface thoroughly.

If any cleaner residue remains, rinse it off with water. Rust and corrosion are common problems with ferrous metals, but also with other metals.

To remove rust, use a wire brush, then wipe off the dust with a damp cloth. If the metal is already painted, remove loose or flaking paint with a blunt putty knife.

Apply the primer

You must prime your metal surface to prevent rust and promote adhesion of the topcoat.
Universal all-purpose metal primer is a good choice for non-ferrous metals; for ferrous metals, choose one of the alkyd primers.
The technique for applying the primer and topcoat is similar to that used for moldings.

Apply the paint

Choose your topcoat the same way you chose your primer.
To find the best paint for metal, turn to water-based enamel for non-ferrous metals and alkyd enamels for ferrous metals.

If you choose a water-based formula for your primer and topcoat, use a synthetic brush, nylon, or polyester, for example.
In the case of a formula based on alkyd resins, use a natural bristle brush, such as boar pig bristle.
Ask your paint dealer for advice if you want to use a sprayer.

Be sure to read all labels and directions and allow each coat to dry thoroughly.
Before returning a freshly painted metal surface or object to service, you must wait until the coating is fully cured.

If you don’t have the skills, tools, and training, you should consider hiring a professional painting contractor for help.

The painter will advise you on the paints and types of finish best suited to your metal surface/object and produce the best paint job.

If you need professional help repainting your metal objects, our team at Eason Painting would be more than happy to help.

We have years of experience offering residential painting services in Macomb Township, Washington Township, Ray Township, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Romeo, Armada, Troy, Shelby Township, Harrison Township, Chesterfield, and Clinton Township, MI.

Call us today on 586-465-5081 for a FREE painting estimate.