02-20-2011 02:53 PM
I have 5 metal gates I want to repaint. They vary from 19 by 5 feet to 3.5 x 5. Metal fence. More railings in bottom half than top. I estimate the total to be 185 square feet, but that surface area will be doubled (for front & back). Also, I thought a spray painter would be the way to go as handpainting would take for ever and a day. Any suggestions?
02-21-2011 09:49 AM - edited 02-21-2011 09:51 AM
Welcome to the community and thank you for your question!
Judging by your calculations and since you are doubling the area (which now gives you 370 sq. ft.) and the metal gates are unpainted, I would recommend 1 gallon of exterior rated primer and 1 gallon of high performance exterior paint.
Now while it is up to you what type of topcoat you want for the final look, I would recommend an alcohol/oil-based primer so the topcoat can adhere properly to the surface. The primer I typically recommend for this project is Zinsser's Cover Stain primer OR Rust-Oleums Clean Metal primer. However, since we typically carry the Clean Metal primer in quarts, the Cover Stain comes in gallon size and does the job just fine. Here is a pic of the primer:
If you have rust spots or if any of the gates are in not-so mint condition with oxidization, I would recommend using a rusty metal primer that Rust-Oleum carries in our store in gallon form. You will still need to remove any heavy areas of rust IF you have any on there with steel wool, metal brush and/or a rust dissolver such as Naval Jelly. As for the rusty metal primer, here is a picture of it:
As for top-coating, you can use Rust-Oleums high performance paints that we sell in gallons, with several colors pre-mixed you can choose from. While there are high performance latex-based paints out on the market, my customers in the past have typically told me to go with an oil-based paint in situations like yours where you have high usage of it being a gate.
At this stage of planning, you can mask off any hinges, posts, or fences that you don't want painted if they are already installed. If the gates are not already installed, I would recommend having them propped up along a wall side by side and using drop cloths to not allow for overspray. Yep, overspray. With that said, I am recommending a paint sprayer to get the painting done faster and more efficiently . Now you don't have to purchase one to get a professional paint job on your gates. Your nearest rental center or any of our stores that has a Tool Rental section carries HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) paint sprayers. Make sure the spray tips/setting you use is made or set to primers and then oil-based paints, which almost all sprayers have. These machines are powered by way of an extension cord, so make sure you have access to an outlet to plug the sprayer in. Here is a typical picture of one we rent out:
Since you would be dealing with oil-based primers/paints, remember to have a quart or gallon of mineral spirits based cleaner handy for cleanup. I would also recommend to use a great product by Flood called Penetrol to use with your oil-based topcoat for the gates. Adding Penetrol to the oil based topcoat (Floetrol that we sell is used for latex-based paints if you choose that) along with using the sprayer will give you a very clean, smooth finish for your gates. Even with amounts of overspray that could be seen at first, paint mixed with Penetrol evens out the final coat and levels the coat of paint to give it a professional look. My favorite thing about Penetrol is that when it is mixed in with the paint, you will have less issues with clogging up your supply lines and spray valves on whatever sprayer you decide to use, making cleanup of the sprayer much easier when you're done spraying. Here is a picture of this great product:
Working outside on this project, be aware of the weatherman's report that day, as the oil based paint will need more time/good weather to dry than the primer. The Cover Stain primer dries typically in 1-2 hours and the topcoat (if its oil-based) can typically dry in 4-6 hours. If you need to paint everything in a day, I would recommend propping the gates up instead of leaning them against a wall so you can get access to spray paint both sides in one fell swoop.
So yes, joleej I would recommend using a sprayer to get the painting done quickly and still get it to look like you bought them factory-finished like that
Hope this helps you out,
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