Washington D.C. Metro Area Painting FAQ
Q: What is the best paint to use on handrails, material handling equipment and other surfaces exposed to heavy wear-and-tear?
A: A two-component polyurethane coating will produce a hard, durable finish as well as provide effective color and gloss retention in areas that must withstand a lot of physical abuse. Over properly prepared and primed substrates, two-component polyurethanes provide a tough, long-lasting finish.
Q: Can paint that has been frozen still be used?
A: It depends on the coating, you will need to open the container and observe the coating. After gradually bringing frozen paint up to room temperature (70 degrees F), open the can and stir it. If the paint looks like a fresh, never-been-frozen can of the same product, it should be safe to use. When inspecting a thawed can of paint, be especially wary of lumps, thickening or solid pieces that can't be broken. If any are present, the paint should not be used. In general, it's best to prevent such problems by protecting paint - especially water-based latex paints - from freezing temperatures.
Q: What basic ingredient gives paint its hiding power?
A: Of the three main paint ingredients - pigments, solvents and binders - the pigment provides hiding power and gives paint its color and shading. The solvents carry the paint to the surface, then evaporate, leaving behind a film of paint; the binders are bonding agents that hold the paint together.
Q: What is the best paint to use on a garage floor?
A: It depends on what kind of finish you want. A clear heavy-duty, high-performance polyurethane will provide a durable, dust-free clear finish if the concrete has a uniform appearance. If the concrete's finish is not uniform, or if you want a colored finish on the floor, a two-part polyamide epoxy works best. Do not use latex or oil-based floor paint in a garage because they can lift when they come in contact with car or truck tires. For best results, allow the coating to cure at least 10 days before driving a vehicle on it.
Q: How can I upgrade a coating system from an alkyd to a urethane or epoxy without completely removing the old finish?
A: In many cases, the application of a high-solids universal primer or barrier coat will allow the application of a strong solvent-based epoxy or urethane over a previous coating. Using a barrier coat reduces the likelihood of the solvents in the topcoat lifting previous finishes and eliminates the need for costly and time-consuming removal of all existing paint.
Q: What kind of paint works best on galvanized surfaces?
A: After allowing the galvanized surface to weather for six months or chemically cleaning it to remove any oil or remnants of the galvanizing process, you can apply two coats of an acrylic latex paint directly to the metal or a special galvanized metal primer topcoated with an alkyd or latex product. Do not apply an alkyd directly to a galvanized metal surface because the oils will react with the zinc used in the galvanizing process, causing the alkyd to peel.
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