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What do you use for final prep on metal surfaces before painting?

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This topic contains 23 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  gtaylor 1 year, 4 months ago.

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 24 total)
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  • #452776

    jzmtl
    Pro
    Montreal, QC

    I’ve always used brake cleaner for final wipe down before painting, but I needed to paint some metal inside and don’t want the smell and organic vapor stink, especially since it’s winter and can’t really leave the window open. I’m thinking maybe I can use alcohol but not sure how well it’ll work.

    So what do you use to prep metal surfaces before painting? Curious to see what other options are out there.

    #452788

    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    I’ve had success using acetone to clean meta prior to Priming. I’ve done this a couple times with exterior doors that had poor paint jobs and needed to be sanded down.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
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    #452816

    I have either used lacquer thinner or alcohol with good results.

    Andrew

    A Working Pro since 1995!

    Member since March 26, 2014.

    #452819

    yellaD
    Pro

    I use TSP (as per instructions) and wash off with clean water. I would also use a very diluted version of that suggested mixture to spray and wipe off if I cannot soak in a tub to clean and degrease before initial painting.

    #452829

    ChadM
    Moderator
    East Palestine, Ohio

    I have always used alcohol to prep metal doors,

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    A Carpenter's Journal

    Housewright Construction

    #452843

    thedude306
    Moderator
    Foam Lake, SK

    Don’t use break cleaner, It leaves residue behind and will cause failures. (even though they say it’s residue free, it isn’t)

    Is the surface clean? As in oil free? If it isn’t start with soap and water. Then lots of water. Then you can use a high flash solvent like alcohol or acetone.

    It’s VERY difficult to wipe off oils without flushing the part. Hence why soap and water work so well. The problem is flash rusting. Have the part warm, use the hottest water you can and get the part dried as fast as possible.

    What are you painting?? And what are you painting it with?

    Brad T
    Self employed Pro since 2014!!

    #452844

    jzmtl
    Pro
    Montreal, QC

    Rusty baseboard heater, and some other rusty metal bits, going to use Rustoleum rust paint. It should be relatively clean, but I will use wire cup brush to clean the rust off before painting, so that may introduce some contaminants.

    #452866

    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    I don’t often prep metal for painting but when I do it’s denatured alcohol all the way,,,I get very good results with it.

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #452875

    r-ice
    Pro
    Durham region, ON

    wire brush and alcohol seem to work well for me.

    #452930

    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    If you are indoors and don’t want a smell then alcohol would be the best bet. There are different grades though. Get Denatured alcohol at last 70% you can find it up to 90%. The higher the concentration the better it removes oils and waxes.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #452988

    smallerstick
    Pro
    Listowel, ON

    I agree all the way with alcohol or acetone as a final wipe. I try to get a coat of primer on the part as soon as possible.
    If there is any humidity in the air, rust will begin to form very quickly on a clean, unprotected part.

    If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy. -- Red Green

    #452989

    58Chev
    Pro
    Etobicoke, ON

    If you are indoors and don’t want a smell then alcohol would be the best bet. There are different grades though. Get Denatured alcohol at last 70% you can find it up to 90%. The higher the concentration the better it removes oils and waxes.

    jzmtl,
    Some great info here.
    One problem I have run into is here in Canada Denatured Alcohol is hard to come buy.
    It’s one of those regulated chemicals that is used in the production of Meth. Can be found at Boat Shops or a specialized woodworking shop.

    “If you don’t pass on the knowledge you have to others, it Dies with you”
    — Glenn Botting

    #452992

    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    One problem I have run into is here in Canada Denatured Alcohol is hard to come buy.

    Wow that sounds like a PITA. The US has not come to that yet but the sale of cold medications has also due to an ingredient being used in the production of meth.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #453006

    Correct me if I am wrong here but from what I have gathered denatured alcohol covers a broad range of products. The “denatured” implies that it is non potable.

    Rubbing alcohol would fall into that category. You can get 99% pure rubbing alcohol at TSC stores and probably at other places geared toward livestock.

    Methyl Hydrate can be had from the hardware store and is also a non potable alcohol. I have used it with shellac for French Polishing.

    Interesting tidbit….You cannot have 100% pure alcohol. Even as it is being distilled it absorbs moisture from the air around it, so there is always a little bit of water in it.

    My You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA5AretE3xPoVDV61AxUdUA

    I don't do a fast job. I don't do a slow job. I do a half fast job.

    #453041

    bethepro
    Keymaster
    Mt Prospect, IL

    Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was a painting contractor, we used a rust converter for areas such as baseboard heaters that were a continual source of concern for rust. The product turned the rust into an an inert surface thats ready for priming/painting. We used a rust-o-leum product but this one seems like it will be about the same: https://www.theruststore.com/Article.aspx?WebpageId=48

    On surfaces that continaully have the potential for rust, this is the way to go. Make sure to remove any loose particulate before applying the stuff though.

    Email us at bethepro@bethepro.com

    #453065

    Boschmanbrian
    Pro
    Montreal , QC, Canada

    We use acetone, but as you mentioned indoor is not the most practical,
    So as Jim mentioned we also use

    Methyl Hydrate can be had from the hardware store and is also a non potable alcohol. I have used it with shellac for French Polishing.

    That would be what I suggest. We paint aluminum and metal parts this way, we usually prime first, then paint, but if you use rustoleum , that’s good.

    #453367

    jzmtl
    Pro
    Montreal, QC

    Wow, lots of great info, thanks!

    I believe denatured alcohol just have methanol added to make it toxic, although the percentage of methanol varies from a few percent to over 50%. Straight methanol is easy to come by though.

    So it looks like wire brush, soapy water, then methanol is the way to go.

    #453453

    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    The product turned the rust into an an inert surface thats ready for priming/painting

    Most big box stores carry the Rust Converters in the paint section. LocTite makes a real nice aerosol one. Just spray wait then paint. It turns the rust black and then you can just paint over it.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #453468

    58Chev
    Pro
    Etobicoke, ON

    So it looks like wire brush, soapy water, then methanol is the way to go.

    @jzmtl,
    If you use a wire brush, make sure it is stainless steel and not brass.

    “If you don’t pass on the knowledge you have to others, it Dies with you”
    — Glenn Botting

    #453507

    @thedude306 or @bethepro have either of you used this product? I remember seeing it in ads a lot when I used to subscribe to 4×4 magazines and I always wondered if it worked as well as advertised.

    Great tip Brad on washing with hot soapy water first!! Now that you mentioned it we have a local guy that has a specialty painting company and I always see him outside with his big industrial heated pressure washer prepping his stuff. He paints BIG stuff. Crane booms, full truck chassis, etc.

    http://www.por15.com/

    Andrew

    A Working Pro since 1995!

    Member since March 26, 2014.

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