How to Prepare for Metal Refinishing on Your Floors

First, clean the surface thoroughly. Greasy metal will make it difficult for the paint to adhere. To prevent the paint from flaking, it is necessary to roughen up the surface by sanding it.

Clean the Surface

When completing this work, ensure you have a well-ventilated area and use the proper equipment to avoid scratches or other damage. You will need a lot of clean rags, acetone, a scuffing pad, and a can of self-etching primer.

Start by cleaning the surface with a commercial metal cleaner. This will remove discoloration or corrosion on the stainless steel and allow the self-etching primer to adhere better to the metal.

Afterwards, use a clean cloth dampened with acetone to wipe the entire surface and remove all debris. This step is particularly important for stainless steel surfaces.

Finally, test the floor with a 120-grit screen to see whether it is ready for a recoat or a full refinish. The recoating process only fixes problems in the protective layer, so it’s much cheaper and easier than a complete refinish. This test is especially important if your floors are exposed to household cleaners, as these will eventually imbue the wood and cause the polyurethane not to stick.

Remove Any Debris

The first step in any metal refinishing NYC project is to remove any dirt, dust, or debris from the surface you want to work on. This step will make sure that the new finish will be able to bond with the existing coating and that it won’t leave any streaks or spots.

This is especially important on metal surfaces where there’s a chance that the refinishing will leave a residue or etch the metal, making it look less than perfect. The best way to clean etched or streaked metal is with a commercial rust removal product that contains oxalic or phosphoric acid.

Don’t forget to paint the baseboards if they’re dirty before refinishing them. Refinishing will cause scuff marks and stains (along with poly), which will require touch-up work afterward. Doing this before you begin is best since it will speed up the drying process. Also, open any windows in your working room and wear a respirator mask to prevent inhaling the dust from sanding or staining.

Sand the Surface

A sanded surface will give the paint something to adhere to, prolonging its life and making the job easier. If the metal isn’t greasy, you may be able to skip this step, but if it has a smooth finish and you try to paint over it, it will likely flake off very quickly.

Start with a coarse sandpaper grit on your sanding tool to roughen the surface, then move to finer grits as you go along. You can also use a pad of steel wool which is more flexible, allowing you to get into tight spaces and intricate shapes.

If you have any scratches on your metal surface, they can be fixed with a scratch removal product. These products can be purchased in most hardware stores and are easy to apply. After using them, wipe the surface down and sand it lightly again. Then, clean the surface with mineral spirits or a commercial degreaser.

Apply the Finish

Once the metal has a smooth, even surface, it’s time to apply your chosen finishing method. It’s important to pick the right technique based on the material, intended use, and your facility’s capabilities and labor availability.

You can choose from various methods for metal surface finishing, including chemical cleaning and blasting with sand or other media. These methods require special eye and respiratory protection. Regardless of the finishing method, always clean and degrease the metal before painting.

If you’re using a brush, opt for oil-based paint, which will resist chipping. Water-based paint will chip faster and require a second coat to provide sufficient coverage. If you use spray, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. You’ll also want to select a suitable primer for the metal you’re painting. The primer should be appropriate for outdoor or indoor use and match your selected finish. If you need to repair small holes or dents in the metal, use an epoxy-based composite to fill them.

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