I don't understand the difference, in terms of longevity and
appearance, of painting a sheet of perforated steel with
black paint from a spray can, or having it powder coated
black. The holes in the steel are very small diameter
(1/16") and close together (1/8" centers). This sheet of
steel "screen", about 3' by 4', will be going into a screen
door, replacing the older and deteriorating mesh screen
I'm concerned about some of the holes filling with paint,
but that seems a risk in either case.
On what basis would you decide between these two approaches
to coloring the raw steel black? Do you have other
suggestions for this project?
Former slayer of dragons; practice now limited to sacred
My main basis for determining would be that I would not know where to
take anything locally to have it powder coated. Clearly the advantage
to powder coating is that it's a much tougher, more durable coating.
Whether that makes sense in this application vs the cost/ease of
having it done would be the real determining factor. I would think
any place that would do this likely has some minimum which might be
more than this job is worth.
powder is typically tougher and ticker than paint. It will also cover every
arte of the steel as it is electrostaticly coated, and not subject to your
angle of attack. I think in this case a can of spray paint is the way to go,
specially if the metal screen is close.
Spray painting @ 2 cans would be less than ten bucks for GOOD paint.
Powder coating might be ten bucks a square foot.
No doubt about it that powder coat would last longer, as it is baked on, and
has a surface sealing glaze.
If it was me, I'd just clean it REALLY good, then spray it with Rustoleum or
Krylon. And then, you can touch if up every couple of years.
With either process, the talent of the painter will determine if the holes
are plugged or not. If you spray it, figure on about four VERY light coats,
with a couple of hours in between. The only thing that can clog the holes
is putting too much paint on at once.
Spraying it is the way to go. Hang it up with two pieces of wire, one at
each corner. Do it in a pattern of straight lines across the piece. Let it
dry for two hours, then turn it ninety degrees. Repeat until you think it's
covered. On your first coat, it should look like you've missed it and some
of the metal should show through. That's how light a coat you want to keep
from clogging the holes.
Sounds like one of those things that looks good on paper, but won't work
so well. Seems like you have a choice between plugging some holes with
paint or leaving spots of steel unpainted and eventually rusting. Is
this for security?
It is for security. In this community I could probably
count at least 100 similar screen doors within a half-mile
radius. Most of them are on steel grill screen doors (which
one can buy at the local HD and Lowe's as well), whereas
mine is an opening in an otherwise solid wooden screen door.
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