Over time, the paint finish on metal gates can become cracked or peel, resulting in the underlying metal substrate becoming exposed to all the elements. Due to the fact that gates are exposed to the weather conditions at all times, 365 days of the year, it is likely that over time the paint will become compromised as a result of this exposure. Unfortunately this is unavoidable.
When the underlying metal becomes exposed to the elements, especially water from rain and moisture which naturally occurs in the air, it can begin to rust. When this occurs, it not only makes the gates look neglected, which can reflect badly on how people view you and your property, it can also if left untreated result in damage to the gates themselves. All too often people throw away metal gates which have become rusty, replacing them with brand new ones.
This process is not only financially costly, it is frankly unnecessary. It is a little known fact that using spray paint to respray your gates can restore them to their former glory whilst protecting them from further damage and providing substantial financial savings.
Collected beneath is our guide to respraying rusting security gates, allowing you to take advantage of this cost effective means to make your gates look as good as new.
As with any painting project, correct preparation is key to the later success of the finish. Preparation is the foundation on which you will build your coating, as with construction, a poor foundation will limit both the aesthetic effect and longevity of your respray coating.
For the best results, follow the preparation steps beneath:
Remove the rust
Before commencing all rust must be removed from the surface of the security gates. There are three main ways in which this can be achieved, sandblasting, chemical removal, and wire brushing and sanding.
- Sandblasting: This is by far the easiest and quickest means of removing rust from metal security gates. The machine uses compressed air at high pressure to blow fine sand and other abrasive materials at the surface, causing all rust and detritus to be “blown” away from the surface. Sandblasters can be rented from the overwhelming majority of local tool rental companies.
- Chemical Removal: This process involves using acid or alkaline solutions which literally dissolve the rust. These products are highly effective, however due to their strength, caution should be taken to avoid unwanted damage to the security gates.
- Wire Brushing and Sanding: This is by far the most labour intensive of all of the processes, however it also provides the highest levels of control. Use either a wire hand brush or a wire wheel brush. Usually, running these tools over the security gates surface a number of times will result in the rust being removed. The brushing should then be followed by an extensive sanding of the surface. This should be done until the security gate’s surface is smooth and has no defects. For the best results, use an 80 grit sandpaper first, then follow up with a 120 grit sandpaper.
Once the physical rust has been removed from the surface of the security gates, the metal needs to be cleaned. This is to remove any dust, dirt or grease which will reduce the effectiveness of the spray paint coating. The first stage of cleaning should be to physically wash the gates using strong detergent. This should be applied using a damp cloth in a circular motion. During this process, light “flash rust” may appear on the surface of the security gates. This is to be expected and can be effectively removed using a cloth which has been dampened with paint thinner, again this should be done in circular motions. Equally, commercial “surface prep” products can be used to accomplish this.
Once the security gates have been correctly prepped it is time to start spraying. However before beginning to spray it is important to ensure that the spraying area is correctly prepared. This ensures that overspray resulting from the process is minimised, preventing spray paint from ending up on surfaces where it is not desired.
Preparing Spraying Area:
- Ensure that the area is well ventilated: the fumes released from spray paint can be harmful to people if inhaled. Also, ensuring that there is a steady flow of air ensures that the paint will dry effectively.
- Position items around the spray area: make sure that surrounding objects such as walls and flooring, are covered to avoid unwanted overspray. This can be done using old cloths, cardboard boxes and bin bags.
- Avoid spraying in humid conditions: humidity can often have a negative effect on spraying, preventing it from properly adhering to the surface. To avoid this, try and find areas which are not humid and avoid times of the day which have high levels of humidity.
Spraying The Security Gate
Once both the gate and the surrounding area have been correctly prepared, it is time to begin spraying.
Prime The Metal: To do this we advise you use a spray based primer. Follow the instructions on the spray can, and apply in a steady side to side motion. When it comes to priming, less is more and applying too much can have negative consequences. Once finished, allow to dry for at least one hour.
Shake The Spray Paint: This step is often overlooked, before beginning ensure to shake the spray paint can for about two minutes. This should be done by turning the can from top to bottom. This is important as spray paint is often comprised of mixed paints, failure to shake the can means these colours do not mix correctly resulting in poor results.
Test The Paint On Scrap Material: Once the can has been shaken, apply a sample to some scrap material. This ensures that the colour matches the one you have chosen prior to beginning on the gates. This also provides the opportunity to get used to the spray nozzle and how the paint is released.
Spray The Security Gates: This should be done using the following method:
- Hold the can 10 to 12 inches from the metal gates.
- Apply the spray paint in a sweeping motion, going from side to side. Ensure each motion overlaps the previous one slightly.
- Once a motion is complete let go of the nozzle and start again.
- Less is more, apply thin coats of paint to avoid overspray and the paint running.
- Allow the paint to dry for at least three hours.
- Use the above instructions to apply a second coating. Allow this to dry before handling the security gate.