The outdoor patio and garden art is exposed to moisture that does affect the beauty and longevity of your metal art. Over time, the harsh sun and rain cause the surface of your metal art to rust and loss color.
The right kind of paint will go a long way in restoring life and beauty back to your garden art. Oil-based paint is durable and provides a moisture barrier preventing the formation of rust on your metal art.
Before applying the paint, cleaning and prepping the metal surface are needed to remove old paint and rust. This can be done using environmentally friendly cleaning agents that can provide a safe activity in that you can involve your family.
How to prep the metal surface for painting.
Cleaning and prepping the surface of the metal garden art is the first step. The cleaning process removes debris and old paint which ensures the new paint adheres to the metal surface.
Clean the metal surface.
For mild dirt and debris from the metal art surface, you can use a mixer of dish soap with water. You can use your hand to feel for any cracks and dents that you will fix later.
For stubborn greases that adhere to the surface, mild soap is not sufficient. Minerals spirits are petroleum-based solvents that are effective in cleaning oil-based paint from paintbrushes and grease. For small garden metal art covered in grease, you can submerge the art in a container filled with mineral spirits.
For large metal artwork, use a brush or spray bottle filled with the mineral spirit.
Remove chipped paint: Before starting the process of removing old paint from the metal surface. Proper precaution and safety need to be done to prevent harming your health.
The paint stripping and scrapping need to be done in a well-ventilated room or outside.
You can remove the old paint using a paint stripper, sanding, and hand wire brushing. The paint stripped needs to be applied to the old paint until the paint begins to bubble. Read the manufacturer’s instructions on the amount of stripper needed and how long to let the stripper set.
Once the stripper does its job, use a scrapper to peel off the paint. A paint scraper can be for loose and flaky paint. Removing paint requires a ton of elbow grease and is suitable for small metal artwork.
Sanding the metal surface and also be used for removing already loose paint. Be careful not to scrape too aggressively as this can polish the metal surface causing the paint not to adhere to the surface.
Remove rust from metal art.
Rust can damage and distort the metal art’s beauty and longevity. If you will be dealing with rust here are helpful tips on dealing with it.
One of the simplest and most readily available ingredient that helps in removing rust is using white vinegar. White vinegar is kitchen friendly and can be used to remove rust from metal. Being environmentally friendly allows doe safe use around pets and children. The acetic acid contained in the vinegar allows for the removal of rust from metal.
For small artwork that can fit a large plastic container, you can submerge the metal artwork in a gallon of vinegar and 1 cup of table salt. The addition of table salt increases acidity and accelerates the removal of rust.
Allow for the metal artwork to soak overnight. Once the soaking timer runs out, use steel wool in scrubbing off the affected areas. Several attempts may be required to remove the stubborn rust from the art. You can resoak, the affected area if more rust needs to come off. Once the rust has been eradicated, you can clean off the surface with water and allow for the art piece to dry.
Prime the surface.
Priming the metal surface is an important stage before applying your paint. The well-primed surface will guarantee for your paint to stay and avoid unnecessary headaches of your paint coming off. For outdoor metal, art avoids using latex or water-based as moisture will penetrate through these primers which will cause your paint to bubble and come off.
Invest in primers that have a rust inhibitor or rust converter. This added ingredient in the primer will keep the rust at bay and avoid the formation of rust.
Paint the Surface.
The right type of paint for your metal art comes down to the finish and the durability. The different kinds out there have their own positives and negatives.
1. Oil-based paint: Oil-based paint is considered to be durable and highly resistant to moisture and humidity. Oil-based paint is also referred to as alkyd paint. The paint provides a glossy finish and is resistant to staining, The glossy finish makes the surface easy to clean.
The paint is typically used for high-traffic areas and surfaces. The paint adheres to metal longer compared to other paints. Moisture from rain and dew does not adhere or penetrate the metal surface.
When applying the paint o the surface, the drying time typically takes 8 to 24 hours to completely dry.
2. Latex Paint: Latex is another option to paint your metal surface. However, compared to oil-based paint, latex has a higher chance of chipping. Before applying paint, the surface needs to be primed to allow for proper adhesion of the paint.
Properly prepping the priming of the surface will go a long way in extending the lifetime of the paint on the surface. Ensure the surface is cleaned and remove any old paint and debris on the surface. Remove as much of the rust as you can from the surface.
You can apply rust-resistant primer before applying the latex paint. Typically, the latex takes 15 – 30 minutes to completely dry.
3. Spray Paint: Spray paint can be both water and oil-based. The application of the paint is different from your regular paint. The application is easier and needs to be done in a well-ventilated room. I do recommend spray painting your art outside to prevent exposure to toxic fumes that can lead to harmful effects on your respiratory system.
Another benefit of spray paint is its ability to use for hard-to-reach and irregularly shaped artwork.
Prime and prep the surface before applying the spray paint. This can be achieved by scrapping any excess or old paint from the surface, Sand down the surface to the best of your ability to achieve a clean and dirt-free surface.