A great way to take advantage of steel’s best qualities while protecting it against corrosion is through the process of galvanisation. Galvanised steel is treated with a zinc coating that prevents it from rusting, prolongs its life, and ensures it performs well for decades to come.
Galvanised steel is a versatile material that can be used for various systems and structures around your home. You can choose galvanised steel posts for your fencing, retaining wall steel H beams for your landscaping, roofing, gutters, and many more items. You can also paint galvanised steel to incorporate this sturdy material into your outdoor home architecture. Doing so will allow you to enjoy its properties while designing your home as you wish. In this post, we take a look at how you can properly paint galvanised steel.
Prep First, Paint After
The success of your painting project depends a lot on how well you prep the steel for painting. The zinc layer on galvanised steel prevents moisture and air from corroding the steel, but it will also reject most types of paint.
You should start by cleaning the galvanised surface thoroughly to make sure the paint adheres to it. This will remove any traces of dirt and oils, as well as the white rust that can form on steel. Simply rinse the surface with white vinegar to give the metal some grit and help the paint stick. The vinegar will also react with the steel, making it ready for a coat of paint.
Ideally, you would apply the paint to the galvanised steel surface shortly after the galvanising process. Zinc coating reacts to the environment in time, forming a patina that might make it difficult for the paint to adhere. For this reason, you must correctly prepare the surface by removing the patina carefully before you paint it over.
Additionally, be careful to clean and dry the surface very well before painting. This way, you ensure that your paint will not peel or chip off in a couple of weeks.
What Kind of Paint?
Choosing the right kind of paint is the key when painting over galvanised steel, as not just any type of paint will adhere to this kind of steel.
Avoid paint that contains oils or alkyl substances for galvanised steel. These can react with the zinc coating, triggering a process called saponification that will cause the paint to delaminate or slide off the metal immediately.
The best choice you have is paint that is specifically formulated for galvanised steel. The next best option is acrylic latex paint, but you might need to apply a primer first. Use primer and paint made by the same manufacturer for the best results, and follow the instructions carefully.
Beautifying Your Steel
As you can probably tell by now, there are some crucial aspects to consider when painting galvanised steel. Nonetheless, as long as you follow these principles closely, you can easily beautify any galvanised steel structure by simply adding a layer of paint.