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Steel Wool Guide and Sandpaper Grit Chart

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Painting Them: Children’s Play Areas: Keeping Them Fun

When children play on playground equipment, all that is on their minds is to have fun. The condition, color, or durability of the coating on the equipment’s surface does not matter to them. That is left up to the adults to figure out.

 

Regardless of who does what, “Mother Nature” is always hard at work. Regularly, it adds to the maintenance needs of anything outside that requires painting. Because of this choosing a paint, that will stand up to the elements, is the key step in creating a well-groomed, and safe, play area.

 

Most playgrounds have multiple types of equipment. Therefore, they may require several kinds of finishes.

 

A list of some “recommended coatings,” and the surfaces for which they are best suited.

 

  1. Solid and semitransparent oil or latex stain. Apply to pressure treated dimensional lumber and sheeting materials. Use brush and or roller to apply.

 

  1. Urethane color and clear coat. Apply to tubular ferrous and non ferrous metals. Coating provides superior abrasion resistance and protection from the UV rays of the sun. Use spray finishing only for the finest application.

 

  1. Enamel or Alkyd paint. Apply to wood and metal substrates. They are an excellent substitute for Urethane, though not quite as hard a finish. Use brush, roller and spray methods.

 

  1.  Ammonia-based acrylic primer sealer and a Urethane finish. Apply to rigid hard plastic objects. Spray finishing is recommended.

 

A Note on: Surface preparation

 

Abrasion is a major consideration when painting something that children will play on.

 

To guarantee the adhesion of a finish: Make sure to remove all loose pre-existing paint. Power tooling is the easiest method. Use electric sanders and grinders to help create a smooth surface prior to priming.

 

Be sure to use a tack cloth to remove all dust, especially when spray painting. If the surface is ultra smooth, like with metal tube construction, use an adhesion promoter or primer. These products are designed specifically to bind with the chosen finish paint system.

 

A Note on: Protecting your finish

 

Even when your finish paint is applied, the finish must be protected from the elements. This step will further guarantee a lasting finish.

 

To achieve, apply a clear coat. This product will protect the surface from moisture, uv rays of the sun, abrasion from wind, and wear in general.

 

Today, clear coat systems are available predominantly in an acrylic emulsion, and also single and two stage Urethane catalyzed systems. Acrylic enamel formulations are also available.

 

To preserve the appeal and safety of a children’s play area:

 

Two things should be done to preserve any children’s play area. Including one in their own back yard!

 

  1. Maintain its look and functionality.
  2. Keep it clean, freshly painted, and in excellent repair.

 

When these basic rules are not followed, problems tend to happen. Repeatedly! Because of the playground equipment!

 

  1. The play equipment may deteriorate, and fall apart.
  2. A child is found crying, because of suffering from a cut, splinter and/or bruises.
  3. Something much worse can occur.

 

A true story…

 

My mother was four years old. During a family reunion, she fell onto hard, sharp stones at the bottom of the park slide. She scraped and burned both knees and hands, one elbow, and her face. She bled a lot. Her parents rushed her to the local doctor’s office. She required stitches. Now, over seventy years of age, she still has visible scars.

 

Note: In the 1940s, playground slides, swings, merry-go-rounds, etc. were constructed of steel.Playground equipment ground areas were covered with stone. No playground equipment was constructed of flexible, padded, cushiony materials.

 

Protect our children. Make and keep their playgrounds safe!

 

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved

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Painting It: Fences and Gates

As an element of security, and privacy to your property, a fence can be a welcome addition in the design of your landscape. An important part of its function is the aesthetics and durability which make the fence interesting to see, and to hold up under various environmental conditions.

 

What type of fence is on your property? Do you tell yourself it’s an eyesore, or that it’s not important enough to warrant your attention? Or, is that fence an essential part of your garden or landscaping, where you want to give it the attention it deserves?

 

If you choose to make your fence an integral part of your property’s appeal, then you’re going to have to take the proper steps to maintain it the best that you can.

 

Here are my recommendations:

 

1. Whether the fence is constructed of wood, metal or plastic, each requires similar methods – also considered steps – of preparation before painting can begin.

 

A. Pressure washing. First Step; all surfaces. “Comprehensively” removes all unwanted debris; including dirt, rust stains, fungus, and molds.

B. Abrasive cleaning. Second Step. “Optional,” based on present smoothness and sheen of the surface. Ultra smooth surfaces benefit greatly by a sanding process.

C. Adhesion promoter. Third Step. “Optimum” chemical treatment for smooth surfaces which greatly enhances the bonding of paint finishes.

D. Standard latex and oil based multi surface primers. Fourth Step. ”The Closest Guarantee;” creates a durable bond between the fence material and the finish paint.

E. Specialized use primers. Only if required. “For Difficult Substrates:” Galvanized, Non-Ferrous metals use (acid wash primers, galvanizing primers, zinc primers, etc.)

 

2. Types of paint finishes which can be applied that promote durability and color retention.

 

A. Wood Fences

1. Use an exterior latex or oil based primer, followed by an exterior acrylic latex paint finish or an oil based finish.

2. Apply an exterior semitransparent or solid color stain.

 

B. Metal Fences

1. If necessary, apply the appropriate primer as described above.

2. For optimum durability, apply a 2 component urethane or lacquer.

3. For general appearance, apply an exterior oil based finish or an industrial direct to metal coating.

 

C. Plastic Fences

1. Normally, they are not painted, due the flexibility of the material.

 2. Consult a paint distributor for advice if you must undertake such a project.

 3. As a professional I would not recommend it. It may look good initially; yet after a short time, the paint may begin to peel.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Spray painting is the most effective method for painting any fence. It is efficient productive, cost effective and labor saving.

 

In closing, a fence for many is a major undertaking; maybe even daunting. Properly prepared and finish painted, your fence will look good and the finish will endure over time.

 

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End your old year with thanks! Begin your New Year with thanks, too!

Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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