Implement These Surface Preparation Methods Before Each Project
Correctly preparing a surface is incredibly important to the overall look, feel, functionality, and ultimate longevity of a finished material, which is why it’s key to understand which type of surface preparation method is warranted, and how to properly conduct. According to Sherwin Williams, approximately 80% of all coating failures are the direct result of inadequate surface preparation.
Preparing your surface for the application of paint, a sealant, or other type of coating can range from the simple to the more dynamic. It all depends on the material of the surface and its current condition. For example, you may need to conduct a basic chemical cleaning when attempting to remove oil from a surface, or you may need something more involved like abrasive blasting or tumble finishing when attempting to even out surfaces for proper roughness or texture.
Step 1: Assess Material Type and Condition
Understand the specific type of material you’re working with and assess its current condition. How much surface preparation will be warranted? This is also the time to clarify the end goal of the project and what type of coating (paint, sealant, etc.) will be used, as the requirements of such can impact the type and thoroughness of surface preparation.
Step 2: Identify Requirements from the Society for Protective Coatings
Yes, there’s a Society for Protective Coatings. This is a professional association that publishes widely-used industry standards for surface preparation, coating selection, application, contractor certification, and testing. Refer to the Society for Protective Coatings to double check which specific surface preparation steps are required for your material before getting started.
Step 3: Clear the Surface of Small Particles
Using a finishing method like abrasive blasting or barrel or vibratory tumbling, remove any dust particles, rust, dirt, or grease from the surface if present. Make sure that the surface is completely dry before moving on to next steps.
Step 4: Clear the Surface of Larger Debris
If your material has peeling paint chips, significant surface abnormalities, or significant build-up, clear it using a more involved removal method like abrasive blast cleaning. This is also a good choice for cleaning materials made of steel or masonry.
Step 5: Determine Correct Roughness
What surface roughness measurement does your project call for? Make sure that your cleaned surface still matches the desired surface roughness. Surface roughness can be measured with both contact and non-contact methods. It’s important to work with the correct surface roughness because such impacts how well a coating bonds to a surface.
Step 6: Apply a Finishing Method
A finishing method may be needed for things like correcting surface roughness, polishing a surface, and improving material durability. Finishing methods can vary greatly from material to material and should be specified in the contract of a project from the outset.
Step 7: Ensure Shape and Dimension
Shape can be altered slightly as a result of surface preparation techniques (for example, when blasting a specific for too long, it can cause warping). Before you apply your coating, double check that your shape and dimensions are on point.
Step 8: Prepare for Coating
Make sure your surface is completely dry following your cleaning and finishing techniques. If you’re working with steel, look for any potential spot rusting. You may need to apply a dry conditioner at the outset to prevent this from happening. Otherwise, if rust does re-appear, you’ll need to refinish it. If your dry surface is rust, dust, and particle-free, it’s probably time to coat!
For more information on surface preparation methods, reach out to the experienced surfacing professionals at Kramer Industries.