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Old 04-12-2014, 02:09 PM   #1
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Default Painting stainless steel Bull Bar.

I'm looking for some expert advice on painting stainless steel. After doing my own research online, I figured I had performed the right procedure to ensure a long lasting paint job but apparently not. This is the result of after only a month of being on my truck... Large chunks of undercoat are starting to flake off and it looks horrid.

The steps I took include: scuffing the surface with steel wool (should have used sandpaper...), wiping down to prep for primer, sprayed with "self-etching primer" supposedly meant for such applications, and finally coated in "rocker-guard" undercoating. I know getting paint to stick to stainless steel is no simple task but there has to be a way...

Thanks in advance,
Dylan.
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Painting stainless steel Bull Bar.-photo-46.jpg  
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Old 04-12-2014, 04:21 PM   #2
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I have never painted stainless steel before. But I have done quite a bit of chrome.

There's a huge misconception that self etch primer will stick to a lot of things. Truth is, it's only designed for bare steel, as corrosion protection Any time I've tried it on chrome, no matter how hard I sanded it it peels off very easily.


Something like what you have, I would recommend getting bed lined.


But if you do want to still paint it, I'd suggest this ...

Sand with 400 grit. Again I've never done stainless before, so I'm not sure how coarse you need to be. Get Bulldog adhesion promoter, can be found on eBay. Spray 2 coats of that on 1st. Then find a good sealer. Or epoxy primer if you can. Then color/clear or whatever you want after. I always flex the clear on anything that will get hit with stones, for a little more resistance.
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Old 04-14-2014, 02:10 AM   #3
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The man's right ^^^. I believe it flaked off because u didn't use an aggressive enough sand paper to promote proper adhesion. My handles are painted stainless. I sander them dull with 400 grit until it looked like brushed stainless, sprayed SprayMax 2k epoxy primer, then the topcoat and it's still going strong after 2 years
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Old 04-14-2014, 02:46 AM   #4
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I would also recommend using bulldog after a good sand with a dry sand paper if your not comfortable with 400 then start with 800 grit and see how it goes. You definitely don't want deep sand scratches in it. just enough for the material to stick. YouTube should be a good friend or a local car quest or napa that sells auto paint.
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Old 04-14-2014, 02:53 AM   #5
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You literally need to get rid of the stainless finish, think of it as when you paint anything else, you gotta scuff it and make sure its dull getting rid of the clear coat. Sanding it just makes tiny indents for the product to grip on. But aslong as stainless finish is there you're kind of screwed.

Stainless works a lot like Chrome products. I am the 'Spray Liner' guy at work, and anytime I do aluminum tool boxes etc it has to be scuffed quiet well, but the things in the liner product themselves give adhesion superiority over standard paint.
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:42 AM   #6
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Here's a unsanded and sanded handle so u get an idea or the look.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

There's the finished product. As a painter, u always want to go with the roughest possible sandpaper recommended by the primer you use.. this way you'll get maximum adhesion without all of the scratch marks. 400 will not leave marks. Pretty much any good primer will easily cover 320 grit; as @mbullock can probably confirm
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:16 AM   #7
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I wonder if Plasti coat might be a better option?
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevFord1993 View Post
You literally need to get rid of the stainless finish, think of it as when you paint anything else, you gotta scuff it and make sure its dull getting rid of the clear coat. Sanding it just makes tiny indents for the product to grip on. But aslong as stainless finish is there you're kind of screwed.

Stainless works a lot like Chrome products. I am the 'Spray Liner' guy at work, and anytime I do aluminum tool boxes etc it has to be scuffed quiet well, but the things in the liner product themselves give adhesion superiority over standard paint.
Haha! Weird I do them at work too. Kind of why I suggested it for something like this. But I'm still new at it, so I don't do all the bumpers, toolboxes, etc, yet. The stuff we use is more forgiving than paint as well.
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tko_818 View Post
Here's a unsanded and sanded handle so u get an idea or the look.

There's the finished product. As a painter, u always want to go with the roughest possible sandpaper recommended by the primer you use.. this way you'll get maximum adhesion without all of the scratch marks. 400 will not leave marks. Pretty much any good primer will easily cover 320 grit; as @mbullock can probably confirm
For sealing yes, 320 is the coarsest I would go. I usually stick to 400
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Old 04-14-2014, 12:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbullock View Post
Haha! Weird I do them at work too. Kind of why I suggested it for something like this. But I'm still new at it, so I don't do all the bumpers, toolboxes, etc, yet. The stuff we use is more forgiving than paint as well.
Nice! What type of application? I do Gard-it by Reflex. Went to Utah in Feb for training. Was a good experience, I used to be in Autobody prior to what I do now.

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Here's a unsanded and sanded handle so u get an idea or the look.
Click the image to open in full size.
This is basically what I meant.
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