A Guide to Painting Your Battered Roll Cage
Having a roll cage on your vehicle, truck, or recreational vehicle is a great safety device. The roll cage is there to give the vehicle added strength in the event of a rollover. The driver and passengers are protected by being kept inside the vehicle, and from the roof being crushed in on them.
Roll Cage Maintenance
Keeping the roll cage in top condition is an important factor in its effectiveness. A roll cage that has been neglected will not be as useful in a few years as it could be if properly maintained. Part of the maintenance of the roll cage is to periodically repaint the surface to protect it from rust and corrosion. This is especially important for those roll cages on ATVs and trucks.
Paint when Needed
Other than a scheduled paint job of your roll cage you will also need to pay attention to other times when the roll cage is in need of painting at it can not wait until the time when you scheduled it. This could be in the event of a roll over, or after a long trail ride.
Use Rust Proof Metal Paint
One of the tendencies when painting a roll cage is to use regular spray paint that is found on department store shelves. This is a mistake if you want to protect the roll cage from deteriorating quickly. A spray paint like Rust-O-Leum will work great as it has rust proofing capability built into it. This paint forms a protective shell around the metal causing the oxidation process to slow considerably. Use rust proof metal paint when you repaint your battered roll cage.
Fix any Holes or Bends
In a roll cage that has been battered, or in a recent roll over, you will need to first fix any problems with it before painting it. If there are bends in the bars, the paint will not adhere good enough and begin to flake off very quickly. Spend some time fixing the roll cage, and bars, before you spray them with paint.
Remove Rust and Repair
Some roll cages are going to have some surface rust on them if they have not been taken care of for a long period of time. Other roll cages will have deep pockets of rust that is starting to eat through the metal. You need to take care of this problem before you paint the roll cage. Sand away the rust and fill and holes. If there are large holes, or the strength of the cage has been weakened you will need to add a new section of metal or replace the roll cage.
Start from Bare Metal
After the rust has been taken care of you will then need to take the roll cage all the way to bare metal. Start with a completely bare roll cage and spray the paint on in equal coats. This will give the cage much better protection and keep paint from flaking off too quickly.
Paint in Ventilated Area
When painting anything you should always make sure that the area is well ventilated. The fumes of the spray paint can become toxic if breathed in for a long period of time.