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Removing & painting a metal tool box

I have a large rolling old metal tool box. the paint is in poor shape and i would like to remove it and repaint it. But not sure what steps i need to take. Can anyone help me?

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Posted 2013-05-21T20:38:33+0000  by lorraineaw lorraineaw




Certainly you could strip the tool box to bare metal with chemical strippers and start over, but that is a lot of work and mess. Your box undoubtably had a factory finish similar to what a car might have. It is a hard oil or lacquer based finish which will readily sand and feather out, just like that of a car when it is re-painted.


You will want to give the entire box a general "scuff sanding" with 220 sandpaper to assure good adhesion of the new primer and paint. Where chipping or scratching of the has occurred, the roughness should be feathered out with more aggressive sanding. If you have an electric pad sander, this will work well for this feather sanding.


You will want to wipe all the sanding dust up. A general wiping with a little lacquer thinner will also help remove any oily substances or dirt that may be present.


The best finish for the tool box will be had by spraying. If you do not have spraying equipment, surprisingly good results can be gotten with a humble spray can. You will first want to prime the the entire surface. Primer increases adhesion of the finish coat. It also aids in the color transition, should there be a new color. Primer also has "tooth", or a slightly rough feeling which helps keep the finish coat from running down or sagging on verticle surfaces.


If you are going with one of the more utility colors, such as gray or black, Home Depot carries the line of RustOleum "Professional" spray cans. This product is especially tough when dry. It dries somewhat slower than the regular RustOleum spray and levels itself beautifully.


A couple hints when spraying: Whenever using spray cans, I like to heat the can by setting the can for several minutes in a pot of hot water straight from the hot water tap. This does two things: heat builds up the pressure in the can. With more pressure, it simply sprays better. Further, being an oil paint, it flows and levels itself much better when warm.


When spraying, make long, straight  over lapping strokes. Overlap enough to avoid the "striped" look. If it looks striped when wet, it will look more so when dry.


When spraying verticle surfaces, it is a good idea to give a quick light coat and then wait about a minute for the paint to get tacky. Now, a full flowing finish coat is given. The tackiness of the first coat will help keep the finish coat from running or sagging.


Finally, when spraying, do the horizontal surfaces last. In the process of spraying the verticle surfaces, a little "dry fog" will go into the air and settle on the top surface, leaving a rough texture. If the top is painted last, the dry fog will be buried in the flowing fish coat.


Good luck with your project/.



Posted 2013-05-21T23:12:46+0000  by ordjen
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