Painting Galvanized Steel

Sat Nov 12, 2005 9:33 am

Has anyone successfully painted galvanized steel? I have a horse trailer that the PO patched with some galvaniized steel, and the paint has peeled off. Any suggestions?

Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:06 am

Ask any Ham how to paint a tower :!: :roll: :lol: :lol:

Most of our towers are galvanized, and painting them can be a Royal PITA, ask me, been there done that (twice :!: :roll: )

Step 1

Ensure that the item is very well prepped - clean with soap and water and let dry.

Step 2

Neutralize with pure vinegar. Why I am not sure, but I was told to do this after my first attempt turned into a fiasco. I worked, so who am I to argue with success :?: :? 8)

Step 3

Paint with a Galvanized Primer. This is very important. It can be brushed or sprayed. I did it with a brush, but if I have to do it again, a gun it will be.

Step 4

Paint with the finish paint. This also must be for galvanized.

TremClad makes a pretty good product and has held up for almost 12 years now. I painted my tower in the spring of 1994.

I did a little searching on Google and found these:

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions - Preparing Tin, this one is pretty good.

Adhesion problems on hot dip galvanized articles - this is in regards to Powder Coating, but may apply. Seems to be a lot of info there.

Hope this helps.

Sat Nov 12, 2005 6:53 pm

Thanks so much Rudi, I just knew someone here would have been down this road already. Thanks again.

Sat Nov 12, 2005 6:58 pm

I redid a 2-horse trailer about 15 years ago and replaced some panels with new galvanized panels. That is when I learned about wiping the galvanized down with vinegar. Never had a problem with the paint falling off after that.

Painting Galvanize

Wed Nov 16, 2005 9:31 pm

I've been told that the acid in the vinegar is the secret to success.


Fri Nov 25, 2005 8:28 pm

Also, DuPont makes a good Metal Conditioner. Its a phosphoric acid solution that you need to dilute and brush on. After its dry the galv. will be ready to paint :)

Fri Nov 25, 2005 8:36 pm

Where i work at we send parts out for galvinizing. Some parts we paint some we dont. The ones we do paint we have the galvinising comapny give the part a 'Acid wash" prior to shipping back to us. But if it wasn't acid washed we have a tank of a mild phosphoric acid soloution we wash the parts in.

But even with all that it still pays to use a good galv. primer, most the primers recomend a acid wash prior to priming. We use a special primer from Sherwin-Willaims, but before that we used one from Du-Pont. Both make a good primer, we get it in 55gal drums but i know lowes and similar stores sell it in quarts and gallons.


Sat Nov 26, 2005 8:09 am


Can you get paint codes for the Primer from Sherwin-Williams?

Can anybody get the paint codes from DuPont?

If y'all can, will add em to the paint chart along with links to instructions on prepping and priming for painting on galvanized metal.. Be a nice additions I think.