Painting steel: how does that work?

Preparation for steel painting

How do you paint steel? When painting steel, it is important to use high-quality products and work well prepared and carefully. Steel is often used outdoors, for example as a fence or steel door, and therefore it often has to deal with changing weather conditions. This creates a risk of corrosion, more commonly know as rust. We happily explain to you, based on a step-by-step plan, how to paint steel in the best way possible.

Preparation for steel painting

Perhaps unnecessary to mention, but certainly not unimportant: all the parts that should not be painted have to be carefully sealed off. Preferable the tape is removed before the paint is completely dry. Additionally the ground should be covered, so that paint splashes won’t ruin the floor. Also make sure to think about your health and wear a dust mask when sanding and adapted gloves when working with a paint stripper.

Preparation for new steel

New steel contains a thin layer of grease to protect it against corrosion. This grease layer should be removed before the steel is painted. Degreasing is easy with thinner or petrol. After degreasing, the surface is rinsed thoroughly so that no traces of the protective layer remain.

Preparation for corroded steel

Existing layers of rust should always be removed as much as possible. Thick layers are removed with a steel brush and the rest of the rust is thoroughly sanded with a scrubbing brush and then with coarse sandpaper. Then we dust off the metal, after which we degrease it again with thinner or petrol. It’s important that no residue remains.

Preparation for already painted steel

If the existing paint layers are still completely intact and no traces of rust are visible, is suffices to sand the existing paint layers. If the steel is already painted, but in poor condition, the paint layers should be removed with a paint stripper. Then we sand away any rust as much as possible and make everything dust-free.

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Finish: as strong as steel

Steel should be pre-treated with a primer, after the above mentioned preparation. This primer ensures the correct adhesion of the metal paint. The AK Primer from Sikkens is a very suitable product to use for this purpose. For the subsequent finish, it is important to take into account the coating thickness and the details of the object that needs to be painted. The coating thickness determines the eventual life span. Outside and in damp areas, durable results are obtained by applying a sufficient amount of paint. Sharp edges, welding point, corners and places where moisture is likely to reside preferably gets an extra layer of anti-corrosion primer. Because it is in these places that rust tends to form first. The final result therefore depends on the attention paid to details. That is also the reason to apply at least two layers of topcoat for outdoor applications. In indoor situations one layer is usually enough. After the primer we coat the steel with Sikkens Rubbol SB Plus (high gloss) or Sikkens Rubbol Satura Plus (silk gloss).

Painting your own steel

Is your own steel in need of new paintwork? Then we gladly do that for you, you now know how we will work. Ask us for a free quote.