How To Paint Galvanized Steel

Painting on galvanized steel requires certain preparation before the actual application of paint to make it adhere. Compared to regular steel, galvanized steel has been treated with a type of zinc coating that helps reduce rust. For this reason, one should know how to clean the steel and roughen it for the paint to stay.

Follow the instructions below to know how you can paint galvanized steel. If you do this properly, the paint will last a long time.  Flaking and peeling off of paint will be more unlikely.

  • Materials you will need:
        • Primer for metal
        • Paint for metal
        • Tack cloth
        • 240-grit sandpaper
        • Old newspapers
        • Soap
        • Water
        • Ammonia

  • Check your materials.  Before getting started, make sure you have everything you need with you.  All of the materials for this project are available in any hardware store.
  • Find a work area.  Your work station should have enough space to accommodate the item you are going to paint. It should also be well-ventilated as the fumes of the primer and paint will not stay in the room.
  • Wash the steel.  Get a basin and create a soapy mixture using only soap and water. Wash the galvanized steel and use hot water to rinse it. Wipe with clean cloth afterwards. Set aside and let it dry completely.
  • Make an ammonia solution.  Get a separate basin and pour equal amounts of water and 2 percent ammonia. Mix the solution. If you cannot find 2 percent ammonia, the regular household ammonia would do. However, as these are normally 5 to 10 percent, you need to reduce the amount of ammonia in half or quarters to meet the desired percentage. This solution should help prepare the galvanized steel’s zinc coating for paint application. Apply the ammonia solution and rinse with hot water. Allow to dry thoroughly.
  • Start sanding.  Ones the steel is completely dry, sand the surface using sandpaper. Remember to remove any additional hardware installed on your steel. Sand them off separately later. Make sure you cover all of the surfaces. Any missed part may cause the paint to be uneven as it cannot adhere to certain areas. Dust off the sanding debris with a tack cloth. A task cloth has a sticky texture that allows even the finer dusts to be removed.
  • Apply the primer. Spray primer on the entire surface of the steel. Use uniform and smooth strokes when doing so. Set the steel aside and allow it to dry. The recommended drying time is often labeled on the primer’s can.
  • Spray the paint.  Primer and paint of the same labels usually work best together. So you might want to get the same brand for this project. Similar to the primer application, spray the paint with smooth and uniform strokes. Check if you see any runs or drips, and apply a coat of paint again if need be.  If you notice certain areas where the paint is having a hard time adhering, sand the area again. Allow the paint to dry completely.

The paint provides additional protection to the steel to help by keeping it from rusting and corroding. This apart from the initial zinc coat will indeed prolong the life of galvanized steel.


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