Selecting the Right Painting System


Protective Coating technology has advanced to a stage where there is an extensive range of coatings to choose from and each product plays a far more specific role than before. The result is that selecting a painting system becomes far more complex.


The starting point in the selection process involves the consideration of the following factors:

1. The environment in which the coating system will be exposed and is expected to withstand

2. The substrate, such as ferrous, non-ferrous, concrete etc.

3. The surface preparation that is both feasible and affordable

4. The expected lifespan of the coating system. Short Term (0-5 Years) or Long Term (5-10 Years)

5. The area in which the coating is to be applied

6. Time allocated for surface preparation

7. Overcoating time permissible

8. Method of application and skills of applicator

9. Environmental restrictions on surface preparation, application methods and type of paints that can be used

10. Colour considerations

11. Cost limitations


The above considerations can be summarised into three basic questions

1. How long do I want my system to last?

2. What environment will the system be exposed to?

3. What surface preparation will be performed?


Answers to the above will determine the most appropriate painting system. Our Specification Guide and Paint calculator are also structured along the same questions to help you choose the right system for your project.


Some other factors might also be relevant to your project and might warrant consideration. These are:

1. Protection requirements are minimal inside dry buildings. Hidden steelwork in such situations require only minimal protection

2. New hot-dip galvanized substrates can be difficult to paint and unless special primers are used, adhesion problems can arise. Weathering the zinc surface reduces this problem but still requires the use of special primers

3. Lifespan of the coating system is increased several times by using blast cleaning rather than manual surface preparation

4. Grit blasting is essential for metal-spraying an some primers such as zinc silicates

5. Many modern primers are not compatible with non-blasted steel surfaces since they have low tolerance for rust and scale. In these circumstances red lead primers such as Luxaprime 1200 or specially formulated epoxies such as Epimastic 5100 are preferred.

6. Many oil based alkyd primers cannot be over coated with finishes containing strong solvents e.g. Chlorinated Rubbers, epoxies.


Paints can be applied by brush, roller, air-spray or airless spray. Brush application is labour intensive and hence expensive but is particularly suited for site-work. Roller application is faster but does not allow careful control of film thickness. Spray coating allows high application rate and is particularly suited for shop work and for application of high build coatings.

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The shades displayed on this website are indicative only and may vary from the actual colours due to variance in monitor calibration and resolution as well as screen settings.
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