Painting Metal

Painting metal involves many of the same skills, tools and paints used with wood. The keys are properly preparing the surface and using the right primers and paints. Here are a few tips on painting outdoor metals:

Steel siding.

Thoroughly power wash it using a TSP additive, or TSP substitute. Rinse and let dry for two or three days. There’s no need to prime if original paint is firmly adhered. Paint using 100-percent acrylic latex. Downspouts and gutters. Apply metal primer. Then paint the same way as you would siding. New galvanized metals. Roof flashings or vents should weather for six months.

  1. Apply special galvanized metal primer, then two coats of latex paint.
  2. Apply a rust solver to intricate areas. Let the areas sit for 30 minutes, then spray off with a garden hose.
  3. Remove flaking paint using a wire brush or wire brush accessory in a drill. Wear eye and breathing protection.
  4. Coat entire railing with a primer. A direct-to-rust primer bonds with any remaining rust, solidifies it and prevents it from spreading. Spray or brush on the final topcoat.
  5. Metal is strong, but not indestructible. If you have a dent in thin metal and can reach the opposite side, try pushing it out using the heel of your hand. If the back ‘side is inaccessible, drill a small hole in the dented area, insert a screw, grasp the head with locking pliers and pull straight out. If the dent doesn’t come out, tap around the raised border of the dent with a hammer to release the pres-sure, and then pull again. For repairing large dents, follow these illustrations:
  6. Prepare epoxy tiller from a fiberglass repair kit. Use a putty knife to fill dent with epoxy, pressing it into holes, mounding it slightly above surface and overlapping the edges of the undented area.
  7. To remove a small dent, push it out by hand from the opposite side. If that fails, hold dented area against a bag filled with sand, and tap it gently with a mallet until the area smooths out.
  8. To repair a dent in thick metal, clean and sand the metal, and then drill a series of small holes to help anchor some filler.
  9. Let filler cure completely. Sand even with surrounding surface. Clean and paint the area.

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