How to Prime Galvanized Steel How to Prime Galvanized Steel

What You'll Need
Clean cloth
Cleaner/Degreaser
High Quality Primer
Paint Brush/Paint Sprayer/Spray Can
Metal Paint

Galvanized steel has specially been coated with a thin layer of zinc. It’s durability and high resistance against corrosion and rust, makes it a popularly and widely used material for construction of various items that are exposed to harsh climatic conditions or heavy usage, including buildings, auto parts, garbage cans, storage tanks or fencing wire. It has a long life and is extremely durable. However, galvanized steel is usually aesthetically unappealing and requires paint to look more presentable.

Priming galvanized steel is a fairly easy task, mandatory for the application of paint. Using the tools, as per the steps mentioned below, you can go about it without any major difficulty.

Step 1: Clean the Steel

Before you move to the actual process of painting the steel, it is important to prepare for the project. Remove all impurities or irregularities (like grease, oil, dirt and other contaminations) on the surface, using a clean cloth with a cleaner/degreaser (not an oil-based cleanser). Once the steel has been thoroughly cleaned, allow it to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Step 2: Apply the Primer

Before the actual application of the paint, a primer must be applied, so that the paint does not fade away, or peel. Moreover, don’t compromise on the quality of the primer, or else the finish of the paint might chip off sooner than it should. Quality primers can be easily bought from the hardware store, which are not only reliable but also provide good after sales services. Your local hardware store will be able to guide you to choose the best and most appropriate primer available that will meet your requirement. A thick coat needs to be applied using a paint brush, paint sprayer or spray can (depending on the size of the galvanized steel piece, as a larger piece might save up time and cost if sprayed instead of brushed or rolled). Take care to avoid formation of runs and drips. You might also need a touch up of the primer. For best results, apply 2 coats of primer and after it has dried, as per the instructions on the package, cover it with a single coat of metal paint. See to it that the metal paint and primer are of the same brand, to get the best results.

Step 3: Care

Like other similar products, galvanized steel requires proper care and inspection to increase its lifetime (which is approximately 20 years in most cases). It can also be used for decorative purposes and can provide resistance from particular chemicals too. To provide for galvanized steel, it is important to remove areas which are damaged or corroded, and to repaint areas that have developed rust. However, galvanized steel that has a covering of 0.5 mm of rust over 5 percent of its surface is not fit for use and should be replaced as soon as possible.

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