How To Paint Steel Buildings

painting a building

If you’re wondering how to paint steel buildings, you’re not alone since it’s a little different from painting other building types. While it’s a bit of work to get started in the end, the painting will improve your building’s longevity and durability.

Do you need to Paint?

If your building is new, you shouldn’t have to paint it for decades unless you desire a fresh new look or it becomes damaged.

Most buildings will come with a variety of warranties. While one may warrant against rust-through perforation, others can be specific to the paint used on your panels. Quite often the paint is warrantied separately from the rest of the building since it’s often painted by the metal manufacturer as opposed to the building fabricator. While the length of time will vary, quite often the warranties are valid for 20 to 40 years.

Regardless of whether you’re painting to protect the metal, or just want a change of color, to get started, you need to prepare and treat the metal surface.

Preparing The Surface

arch painted shedThis step is the most time-consuming part of the entire project. You will have to eliminate all dirt, chalk, rust, and debris on the metal surface.

If it’s rusty, be extra diligent about the rust removal since this will protect your building from future damage. It is advisable to use 80-grit sandpaper or a drill with a wire brush to get rid of rust. Later you can smoothen the surface using 120-grit sandpaper. For larger industrial projects, you may also want to consider sandblasting, chemicals, or organic rust converters for significant rust.

After preparing the steel building, you can now clean the surface with a brush and warm soapy water. You might need to use a pressure washer for an enormous steel building.

Whichever you choose, ensure that the steel building is completely dry after cleaning. It might require you to wait for a day or two for the building to dry completely.

Cover The Windows and Doors

steel building windowsYou will want to ensure that you cover all areas that you won’t be painting. This is often best accomplished with disposable plastic sheeting and tape. It will prevent paint from landing on your windows and doors.

It’s Time to Get Started

Depending on the size of your steel building, you can apply the paint for metal buildings using a paint roller or sprayer. For the first coats, you will need to apply a primer. Whether applying the primer or painting, you should work from the top of the wall down and move slowly from one end to the other.

The number of primer coats you will apply depends on the metal surface condition; you can apply 1-2 coats of primer. Be keen to use a solvent-thinned primer that works perfectly for steel buildings.

paint for metal buildingsAfter the primer is completely dry, grab the paint roller or paint sprayer and get the job done. Several paint options are available, including; silicon-modified polyunsaturated-based paints, PVDF resins, polyester resins, granular coatings, and reflective finishes. However, the best choice is acrylic-latex paint specifically designed for steel buildings.

Be Careful on The Roof

You will want to be careful on the roof. Avoid walking on the top when it hasn’t completely dried. Be keen to step only on the panels which have ample support. It’s not advisable to walk on gutters, flush, or get too close to the roof’s edge.

If you have any questions about painting steel buildings, contact us today.