Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

A metal is a dense rigid substrate, which is used to provide for structural and surface durability.

The types of metals range from ferrous iron and steel to precious metals such as gold and platinum. Some of them are designed to be painted.  Others are not.


Preparing the metal is our first step.


Ferrous Surfaces

1. If surface is rusted or previous paint has failed, sandblast or use a power tool, removing all existing coatings.

2. Apply chromate, zinc or epoxy primer with a tack coat, then build coat. Coating may be applied with a brush, roller or spray application. Sand surface if necessary.


Non-Ferrous Surfaces

1. Sand surface with #320 sandpaper or emery cloth to provide anchor for finish. Treat with a lacquer solvent wipe.

2. Prime surface with acid wash, or a galvanizing primer. They are designed to bond to very smooth metal surfaces. Conventional spray is recommended. A smooth nap roller cover can be used.


Finishing the metal is the second step.


Ferrous Surfaces

1. Sand surface if necessary. Apply  recommended top coat, designed to prevent corrosion. Enamel, urethane and epoxy are prime choices.

2. Choose an application method designed with the smoothness of the surface in mind. Conventional, airless and electrostatic can all be used.

3. Apply finishes with a multi-coat system, allowing time for solvent to evaporate between applications.


Non-Ferrous Surfaces

1.  Apply enamels and latexes that bond well with wash primers. Apply evenly using a brush and/or roller, or spray finishing system.

2. Use the conventional spray method to apply paint with even thickness. Brush and roller may be used if finish is not required to be ultra smooth.

3. Apply several thin coats.




When a metal is to be used as a decorative fixture, you can use a number of applications.


1.  Patinizing is a finishing process, whereby multiple thin layers of metallic liquids are applied to a metal surface. It provides a simulated tarnished non ferrous metal appearance. Bronze is the most widely used finish.


2. Antiquing is another form of metal decoration. Here, several techniques are used that artificially age the surface. Typically, varying mixtures of opaque, transparent, and crackleture Gold, Silver, Flat Black, and Copper paints are used.

This technique is highly variable. It can reproduce an appearance matching even the most ancient of artifacts.


3. Gilding is considered a timeless application. It is used to add brilliance and luster to architectural elements. Namely moldings, ornamentation, figurines, and even written script.

Thin fine sheets of metal – normally Gold – are delicately applied onto a surface. Then it is burnished, creating a finely embellished decorative appeal.


All metals can be painted. Many surfaces can be designed to simulate the appearance of a metal. Consider the following two examples for a well rounded perspective on the subject:


1. The steel hull of a ship, due to exposure to sea water, must be protected from serious corrosion. If it is not, the goods transported across the oceans could end up at the bottom of the sea.

2. An ornate 18th century French salon has an original design. It includes extensive gold and/or silver metal leaf gilding of the plaster paneled moldings. There would be no style to the interior motif, without the use of gilding as an element of aesthetics.


Remember: An excellent finish starts with a well prepared surface. Especially when we’re talking about the smoothness of metal.


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Enjoy your environment! Enjoy your life!        Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.







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