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Painting New Galvanized Metal

August 1, 2017

Galvanized steel or iron is specially treated and covered with a thin layer of zinc which protects the underlying metal from rusting.

It can be quite challenging to get paint to adhere to new galvanized sheeting for two main reasons:

  1. the surface can be extremely smooth
  2. there is often a greasy residue reside that prevents paint from sticking

The most important step is to thoroughly clean and degrease the surface. An ammonia solution works well. Rinse and allow to dry fully.

Alkyds or oil-based paints are not recommended for use as they can react with the zinc and there is a higher risk of delamination.  It is therefore best to use a high quality, high adhesion acrylic primer such as Super Grip Primer which is formulated to hold on to even very smooth surfaces.  However, if some of the galvanized surface is damaged, exposing raw metal and risk of rust spots, treat these first, by spot priming with a rust inhibiting, high adhesion primer such as Rust Chem Universal Primer before proceeding with a full coat of the Super Grip Primer.

Top Coat
Choose a high quality acrylic top coat in your choice of sheen. Ulttima Plus Porch and Patio (low-sheen); Ulttima Plus Gloss Emulsion or Pro Speed Cover Gloss are recommended for interior and exterior environments.

High Traffic or Light to Moderate Industrial Environments 
If the surface will be exposed to a high level of wear and tear an acrylic, light-duty high performance system is recommended, after first following the preparation steps above.

Prime Finish
Interior 1 coat Devcryl 1440 1 coat Devcryl 1440
Exterior 1 coat Devcryl 1440 1or 2 coats Devcryl 1448


Aggressive Environments 
Where moisture levels are high and there is a highly corrosive environment a water-based, epoxy/ alkyd system is recommended for

Prime Finish
Interior 1 coat Truglaze WB 4030 1or 2 coats Truglaze 1428
Exterior 1coat Devran 203 WB epoxy 1 or 2 coats Devlac 1432


If you would like to find out more information about specialist high performance systems for industrial and aggressive environments please contact Tracy Johnson and indicate your country location

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Check out our other great articles in this August edition of Paint Pro!

Business Builder: Take Charge of Time Management

Solution Focus: Understanding Gloss Level Measurement

Good Practice: The Problem with Touch-Ups

Health & Safety: Oh Boy – Back Pain!

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