Paint Bare Metal
There is a right way how-to paint bare metal and then, there’s other ways. Let’s take a few minutes now and see what I mean.
When I first started painting metal frames for log furniture, spray paint was the go to option. Sometimes you just can’t beat the price and finish you can get from a good quality “rattle can”… when properly applied with clear-coat!
Just ask any professional painter. Perhaps the most important steps in the entire process is preparation. With proper care in preparation the rest is almost easy. The more time you spend getting everything ready to paint, the better your chances for high-quality professional outcome.
Take time now to watch and learn How-to Paint Bare Metal.
Step 1. Clean and Prep
Cleaning and preparing your metal for paint is the first and most important step of the process. I use Trisodium Phosphate Substitute (TSP) surface preparation to wash my steel before it goes to the rack and again after fabrication is complete before going to paint.
For best results using TSP cleaning and prepping raw steel, dilute with 5 parts water to 1 part TSP. Use a clean rag and standard spray bottle. For optimal cleansing, fully spray and wipe all steel parts several times prior to applying paint.
This No Rinse TSP , it will save you a great deal of time and unneeded effort!
So that’s it. Proper preparation is the key to painting bare metal. And it starts long before the painting process!
Watch the Cleansing Part 1 – Washing Cold Rolled Steel
Step 2. Product Selection
When it comes to paint, there are many types available, and depending on your paint booth set-up and budget, several ways to apply it. Here I am using a high quality Direct To Metal (DTM) water based, Acrylic Coating. This type of paint can’t be beat for cost/coverage, ease of application, and most of all, clean-up.
Step 3. Blow and Go
When setting up to spray paint furniture frames with compressed air and High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP) spray gun, I always like to take time and test my spray my gun prior to painting. Confirm that the volume of air and paint mixture is correct and that the spray pattern is suitable for what types of metal parts you are preparing to paint.
Pro Tips for using HVLP spray gun:
- Always use a consistent and even pace to spray “through” the piece. Squeeze the trigger several inches prior to and release several inches after passing “through” the piece.
- To achieve full and even coverage when painting steel tubing, always spray the corners first in long, consistent sweeping movements (through the piece). Then follow up with the “flats”.
- For a professional finish, always take the extra time needed and apply two complete coats of paint, and at least one clear coat.