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Can You/Should You Paint Over Steel Pipe/Plate? (How To)

Painting the pipe steel

As a steel pipe ages, it can take on a rather unsightly look. It may rust or if it was previously painted, it could be chipping and peeling. Sometimes you just want to paint the pipe and give it a new look. Is it possible?

You can paint a metal pipe but you have to be careful to use the proper type of paint and prepare the surface in advance. With the right products and techniques, you can give the old steel pipe a new look and a new color.

As you will see in this article, there are many different factors to consider when painting over a steel pipe. These include more than the fact that you want it to be a pretty color, there are also factors that make a difference in the success of the project.

Can You/Should You Paint Over Steel Pipe/Plate?

Painting the pipe steel

One important factor that should never be underestimated is preparing the surface properly. We will cover this in greater detail throughout the article but suffice to say, it is a multi-step process that cannot be skipped.

Paint choice is also something that should not be underestimated. Generally speaking, the paint that is selected should be for this specific type of material. Don’t simply pick up the first paint that you see on the shelf; read the instructions and make sure it will work.

A compatible primer will also work well in making sure that the paint sticks around for the long term. There are a number of different types of primer available, so it really depends on what you are trying to achieve.

You should also not underestimate the technique you are using. On a very basic level, will you be spraying the paint on the steel pipe or will you be brushing it on? This can make a difference in how long it takes, how it looks, and how long it lasts.

For now, we will think about some of the specifics about painting over a steel pipe. This will help you to be as happy as possible with the project.

Can You Paint Over Steel Pipe/Plate?

Confused man standing

If you intend on painting over a steel pipe, you might be concerned about the possibility of the paint not lasting. Is that something you should worry about?

When using the right techniques and the right paint, you can paint directly over a steel pipe or plate and expect it to last for a very long time. This is especially true when it comes to the preparation of the pipe or plate because the paint will not stick unless the surface is prepared in advance.

You can do almost anything when it comes to painting, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is always going to be the best idea. Sometimes, it may just be worth it to clean up the old pipe and try to protect it with something other than paint.

It really comes down to how much time and effort you want to put into the project. Having a fresh coat of paint on the steel pipe or plate can make the house look homier but it can also be problematic when the right methods are not used.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 08/05/2022.

Should You Paint Over Steel Pipe/Plate?

Painting the pipe steel

We’ve already established the fact that it is physically possible to paint over a steel pipe or plate. It is even easy to do so if you take the proper steps. The fact as to whether you should paint over the steel pipe or plate is another story, altogether.

The main reason why a steel pipe or plate is painted is to provide an anti-corrosive surface. This can help the pipe to last for a long time and it will also make things look better in the process.

It is important to understand that it is not always necessary to paint a stainless steel pipe. If it is brand-new, it is likely protected already and that protection will last for a very long time.

Painting over old paint may also be problematic. This is especially true if the paint did not adhere properly and is either chipping or peeling. Slapping a new coat of paint on the project will likely result in some frustration.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 08/05/2022.

Some people will say that it is a waste of time and money to paint steel pipes. As the homeowner, however, it is really up to you to decide if it is the right thing to do.

There may be times in which you want to differentiate between one pipe and another. This is something that can be done with a coat of paint. As an example, hot water versus cold water can be determined easily if they are painted in different colors.

In the end, it is really a personal decision as to whether you should paint over a steel pipe or plate. It is not necessarily one that can be answered directly, but the answer is actually within your desire to have it be a different color.

What Tools And Preparation Do You Need To Paint Steel Pipe/Plate

Confused man standing

As we have discussed a number of times, it’s important to prepare the project if you want to have success with it. This is absolutely true with a steel pipe or plate, so let’s get things started on the right foot.

An important factor for being able to paint over steel pipes or plates is if we have all of the tools available. They should be gathered in advance so that you can start working on the project immediately and you will not be interrupted during the process.

The following are some of the tools you will need for painting steel pipes and plates.

Buckets

Soap and Water

Rags

TSP Cleaner

Scraper

Utility Knife

Mineral Spirits

220 Grit Sandpaper

150 Grit Sandpaper

Primer

Paint

Paint Sprayer

Paintbrushes

Sealer

Take the following steps when preparing to paint steel pipe and plates so the project will go smoothly:

1. Clean

It is vitally important to clean pipes and steel plates before you paint them. You will be removing oils and dirt that would keep the paint from adhering.

2. Scrape

Use your scraper or a razor knife to scrape away any stickers or any item that is stuck to the surface of the pipe. Don’t paint over them because it creates a weak link that will peel easily.

3. Sand

Wrap the 220 grit sandpaper around the pipe and give it a good scuff. You’re trying to remove any loose items as well as scuffing the surface so the primer will stick to it.

4. Prime

Use a high-quality primer that is well-suited to the type of paint you have selected. Put one coat of primer on the pipe or plate and allow it to dry thoroughly. If you have to roll on the primer, you may want to lightly sand it to remove any marks from the roller brush.

You can use a self-etching primer to help prepare the surface further for the paint to adhere to it properly.

5. Screws

If you are painting new steel pipes or plates, put the screws through a piece of painter’s tape and paint them separately. Painting them in place would likely end up in a run.

What Paint Can You Use To Paint Steel Pipe/Plate?

Confused man standing

Paint choice is a vitally important part of any project. What paint should you choose for painting steel pipes and plates?

The best choice for painting a steel pipe or plate is to use metal paint. You can purchase it in a bucket to put on with a brush or it comes in a spray paint can. Generally speaking, they will be oil-based to resist stains and to last a long time.

Some people simply pick up the first type of spray paint they see that is the choice of color. That can be a problem because not all spray paints are going to adhere properly to steel. Always read the fine print on the side of the container and make the wisest choice possible.

How To Paint Steel Pipe/Plate Properly

Confused man standing

We’ve discussed preparing and how important it is for the project. Take the following steps to ensure that you are doing it properly.

Removing any oil or dirt from the pipe is an important step in the preparation of the pipe or plate for painting. If you don’t remove the oil and dirt, it is likely going to simply cause the paint to peel from the pipe or plate within a matter of days.

Keep in mind that even new pipes can have a layer of oil on them.

Take the following steps to paint over steel pipes and plates.

1. Paint Choice

Always use a paint that is well suited for use on metal. This can even be Rustoleum in a can that is sprayed on. As long as you prepare things properly, using the proper choice of paint will work well.

If you are painting over galvanized pipes, always make sure to use water-based paint. If you use an oil or alkyd-based paint, the zinc will react with it and cause a film that will result in the paint peeling.

2. Priming

We are including the priming process because it is so vitally important. You can purchase high-quality spray primer that is well-suited for application on steel pipes. Spray the primer on the pipe in a single coat. It will not cover fully but it will cover enough to allow the paint to stick.

3. Paint

The painting process is one that will require at least two coats of paint. It doesn’t matter how you apply it, always opt for the second coat of paint because it will make a difference in how it looks. You may need to do a light sanding with 220 grit sandpaper between coats.

You can paint over steel pipes or plates using metal paint. This type of paint is specifically formulated for use on steel and other forms of metal. As long as you prepare the surface properly and use a compatible primer, you can paint the pipe any color you like.

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