Painting Metal - External - Around the home
- Author John Hankinson
- Published June 26, 2011
- Word count 951
There are a number of aspects to external home maintenance. Some of these jobs we do to preserve the aesthetic appearance of our homes, to keep it looking nice; others must be done to ensure the continued protection of our property. Cast iron guttering for example, if not periodically checked, and where necessary repaired, can cause major problems with regard to water penetration. The purpose of guttering is to keep water off the home; where repairs go unchecked, the consequences can be costly. Metal gates and railings too can suffer from wear and tear, bumps and knocks. If left untreated, again, the exposed metal will quickly absorb moisture and kick start the process of corrosion.
It is said by some that metal requires less maintenance than wood; and generally this is true. However, it does not mean we can just forget about it completely. At the very least it’s a good idea to have a close look at any metal-work we have on and around the home from time to time. Typically, we are thinking about things such as metal gates and railings, metal guttering, metal window frames, or any other metal, ferrous and non ferrous. In the case of ferrous metals; yes, they do last a long time! But only as long as they are adequately maintained and protected. The good news is that modern materials, that is the paints available; make the job of repair so much easier and quicker than in days of old.
Paint and coatings in general have come a long way in recent years; particularly in regard to metal paint. The strength, durability and sealing properties of modern day paints provide excellent protection of the metal and in many cases require very little surface preparation time or the need for a multi layer paint system. The steps listed below are a simple guide on how to tackle most situations you may come across, but do read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions before starting.
Whichever paint we use, there will be a little preparation needed. The first task is to remove any loose and flaking paint using a scraper and a stiff wire brush. For large areas this is done quicker if you use a powered wire brush; emery cloth is also handy for getting in and around awkward areas. When brushing or rubbing down loose paintwork always wear eye protection. Drafts and gusts of wind can easily blow dust or debris into the eyes. Even when the intruder is removed, it can irritate for days.
When you are satisfied that you have removed all loose and flaking paintwork; give the entire area to be painted a good wipe down using a white spirit soaked rag or cloth. This will thoroughly de-grease the metal before applying the new paint, and will help ensure a good bond.
One Coat Metal Paint – Ferrous Metals.
Painting ferrous metal externally can generally be done in one coat and with the minimum of preparation. Hammerite produce two choices of metal paint finishes. These are either Hammerite smooth finish, or Hamerite hammered finish; both suitable for painting directly over moderate rusted and pitted surfaces. Both types will give long lasting gloss sheen capable of standing up to all that the elements may throw at them. Many of the better quality manufacturers will offer a range of colours to suit either your existing colour scheme, or something different if you fancy a change.
One coat metal paint is really good for ferrous metals; our gates-railings-guttering, etc. It can be applied effectively and easily by brush with a minimum of fuss and effort, and dries quickly. As with all painting jobs around the home, try and use good quality paint brushes. Brushes used by the trade may cost a few pennies more but are by far the wisest choice in the long run; they will last for years if simply cleaned after use, but more importantly they have better paint pick up and coverage qualities; and are designed for comfort and ease of use.
In cases of extreme rusting you can use the Hammerite Rust Beater Primer. These are used very effectively when tackling severe corrosion over large areas. These paints provide a high build finish in one coat and can be applied by either brush or roller. These special primers are exceptional in retarding rust return.
One Coat Metal Paint - Non Ferrous Metals
With non ferrous metals where a smooth finish is required but rusting is not a problem, it is advised to apply a one coat Hammerite special metal primer designed to take a finishing coat. This too can be applied by brush and is suitable for chromium, stainless steel, galvanised steel, brass and aluminium. When dry the primer will then readily take a (firmly adhering) top finishing coat. A paint system of this type ticks all the boxes where a flat, high gloss finish is required, which keeps out the moisture and that will last for years. Ultimate protection.
The Health and Safety Bit
Finally, to ensure we get through to the end of the job without any mishaps, there are just a few things to keep in mind in order to come through it all unscathed;
• Wear eye protection.
• Gloves and overalls, or old clothing should also be worn.
• When painting, try and cover up areas where you don’t want the paint to go! On the ground, around planted areas, other paintwork, etc.
• Always read the instructions and data sheets of the products you use.
• Always follow the recommendations.
• Be careful when working at height. Falls from even just a few metres can be serious.
• Securely shut firm any paint left over, store correctly
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