Everything You Need To Know To Paint Your Steel Outbuilding

Have you recently painted your home and now want to paint your steel shed or barn to match? If so, here is all the information you need to get the job done.

Start With A Good Cleaning

Your first step to a good metal outbuilding paint job is to remove any dirt, grime, or mildew that has accumulated on the building's surface over time. Cover any flowers or plants you have in the area so they aren't exposed to detergent, and then mix a solution of 1/3 cup laundry soap to 6 gallons of water. If you have a pressure washer, rinse the building down and then load the cleaning solution into its tank and pressure wash the building from top to bottom on the unit's lowest setting. If you don't have a pressure washer, simply keep the cleaning solution in a bucket and use clean rags or a wall brush to do your scrubbing. Finish by rinsing your metal structure with fresh, clean water.

Tend To Any Rust Spots Or Corrosion

Now it's time to inspect your metal building for any signs of rust or corrosion. If your building has rust and you don't tend to it, the rust could bubble under the paint and ruin all your hard work.

In places with extreme corrosion that has worn right through the metal, purchase some auto body filler and follow the directions on the package to cover the deteriorated metal. With this done, you can tend to less severe rust spots by sanding away any flakes or chips. The most efficient way to do this is to rent an air compressor and sandblasting kit. The compressor will cost between $15 and $30 a day, and the sandblasting kit will cost $9-$15 a day. If you've never sandblasted before, ask the rental facility for a crash course on how the equipment works before leaving the premises.

If you don't want to deal with a sandblaster, you can sand all the rust spots on your building by hand, but you've got to do a really good job. Each spot should be hit with 80-grit sandpaper to slough off the loose bits and then polished with 120-grit sandpaper for a smooth, even finish.

Wash The Building Again

You'll now want to go through the entire washing process again to make sure any bits of rust you've scrubbed from the building are removed. Rinse your building, wash with a detergent mixture, and then rinse it again and allow it to dry thoroughly.

Prime, If Necessary

If your metal outbuilding has been painted in the past and that paint is still in fairly good condition, you won't need to apply a primer. If your shed only has the factory-applied primer, however, or if the paint on it is worn down to bare metal, then you'll want to apply a layer of rust-inhibiting primer before painting. A rust-inhibiting primer should also be applied over any spots that have had rust removed to stop the spread of the rust. Make sure the primer you choose is specially formulated to stick to galvanized steel.

Time To Paint

The time has come when you can finally slap a fresh coat of paint on your outbuilding. Head to your local paint store and ask for an exterior latex paint in your choice of color. To keep your outbuilding looking great for years to come with minimal maintenance, opt for paint that has mildewcide additive and select a flat or matte finish. The mildewcide will prevent any mold or mildew growth from forming on the surface of your outbuilding, and a flat or matte finish is non-reflective, so it will hide any imperfections that arose during the rust removal process.

You'll want to apply two coats of paint to your outbuilding, allowing the first to dry thoroughly before applying the second. Drying time should take between one and six hours, depending on the thickness of the coats and the weather.

If you've just painted your home and now you'd like to paint your steel outbuilding to match, go ahead and take the plunge. Follow the steps above and don't be afraid to contact your local residential exterior painters like Gary D Torgerson Co for advice along the way.


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