As Douglas William Jerrold the English dramatist and writer said- “We are all slaves to the shining metal”, he said the right thing but he missed a part.
Metal itself is a slave to the environment. Because rust, dust, and grease are the biggest enemy of the metal. And with time it might get a bumpy ride for your metal.
If you have an old metal surface with a peeled off paint, you might want to paint it and give it a new look. But you need to degrease it first. So, how to degrease metal before painting?
Well, to take care of that degreasing, we’re here to help you. We’ll cover all the things that you need to do before you start painting your metal.
So, without wasting any moment, let’s jump right into it-
- 1 Why do You Need to Degrease Metal?
- 2 How to Degrease Metal Before Painting- Degreasing Processes
- 3 Cleaning the Metal Before Painting
- 4 Problems While Degreasing
- 5 Conclusion
Why do You Need to Degrease Metal?
Just as we apply primer sealer on coats for wooden surfaces, oil and lubricants are often the main element that keeps your metal active and alive for a long time. However, it might get pretty ugly if you don’t degrease the metal from time to time.
Oil or grease they attract dust and with a time that is what makes the grease look nasty. Also, that might cause you trouble for the purpose of your metal.
Moreover, as you’re planning to paint the metal, the nasty grease might get in your way badly. It might even make the coating useless by not letting it set.
So, it’s a must for you to get rid of that by degreasing the metal before you start painting it.
How to Degrease Metal Before Painting- Degreasing Processes
Here’s the thing.
You see, there are five basic types of degreasing processes that exist-
- Spray Cleaning
- Immersion Baths
- Steam Degreasing
- Vibration Cleaning
- Dry Degreasing
So, let’s start from the last one-
1. Dry Greasing
Dry means no liquid substance. Yes, it means that we’re not going to use any liquid substances in this process.
So, BIP-Industrietechnik developed this process and it’s based on the effect of physisorption. Basically, the oil and grease bind to zeolites, and then they can be removed from the surfaces of the workpieces.
As we’ve said before that there’s no involvement of any liquid her for you, the subsequent drying of metal and the disposal of chemicals are no longer needed here for you.
2. Vibration Cleaning
No chemicals or no liquids. Only vibrations are the key to vibration cleaning.
So, the workpieces of metal are vibrated to the frequency of which overcomes the adhesive force of grease, oils, and other stuff on your metal piece.
All of the dirt is shaken off and then sucked off. You need no solvents which are good for the environment and also, it’s going to cost less.
3. Steam Degreasing
If you have a slight grease and oil on your metal piece and you want them to be removed, steam greasing might be a great option for you in that case.
You need a chamber to do this whole process. You see, we need to use the steam of the solvent. So, you need to heat the solvent to the boiling point. Then, you need to direct the steam on the metal piece.
What actually happens is that the steam condenses and the solvent that you used helps to rinse the surface for you.
4. Immersion Baths
Yes, your metal piece will now take a bath. But not in water, in solvents. You need to use the degreasing agents that’ll remove the leftovers on the metal piece. But don’t worry, this doesn’t involve any mechanical cleaning.
However, you can add ultrasound which will ensure that the grease and oil that you have can be removed more easily and perfectly. Micro and macro vibration does the magic for you.
You can also use a cascade circuit to make better use of the chemicals for degreasing. Also, it reduces the water consumption.
5. Spray Cleaning
In this case, you need to apply the degreasing agents through a nozzle using extreme pressure. Just like we wash our cars with a pressure nozzle.
The difference is that this time we are going to use chemicals instead of water. Because water can cause the metal piece to rust in the future. So, this degreasing method involves both chemical and mechanical cleaning for you.
There’s another thing that you need to keep in mind before you start the process. If your metal piece has a complicated shape, then some sections might become really difficult to reach and clean.
Cleaning the Metal Before Painting
You might be able to paint on a number of surfaces like contact paper, drywall or so. But metal surfaces are not one of them. Hence, there are many famous ways to clean the metal before you start painting it. We’re going to brief you on some of those cleaning techniques.
Mineral Spirits Before Painting
Well, this is an ancient technique that we use to clean. You can literally clean everything using the mineral spirits and a clean cloth.
You leave the metal piece in a piece of container with mineral spirit. This will allow the dust and grease to loosen up soon. Then, you can just scrub them off and it’ll look fresh as new.
Acetone to Clean Metal Before Painting
In this case, you’ll just need to use acetone rather than water to clean the metal.
You see, acetone is meant for metal. It is used in the industrial sector to get rid of rust and grease from the metal surface.
All you need to do is just simply scrub the metal surface with acetone and boom. You see the magical effect of it on the metal surface instantly.
Using Vinegar to Clean Metal Before Painting
⅕ cup of vinegar and water makes an amazing cleaner. This is indeed a basic cleaning solution that you can make yourself at home without any hassle.
So, all you have to do is take ⅕ cup of vinegar and rest water. Then, you need to mix them together and start applying on the surface of the metal before putting paint on.
This solution cleans the surface and makes the peeling less likely. You should always add a layer of vinegar before painting on any metal surface.
Problems While Degreasing
Degreasing is one of the most important things that you need to do before adding paint on the metal pieces. However, degreasing might also come with some challenges and problems.
- Not all the procedures are for every kind of metal. You might need to be careful when you’re choosing the appropriate procedure.
- Not all the procedures are going to be evenly efficient. The efficiency might also depend on the type of metal you have.
- Recycling costs might increase in the case of some of the procedures and might also decrease in some cases.
These are the basic problems that you might notice while degreasing. You can simply avoid all of these problems if you fix the right procedures for your metal pieces.
By now you know how to degrease metal before painting and also you know all the methods that exist. You’re all ready to degrease your metal pieces yourself.
A piece of advice, never ever use water to clean the grease. First of all, you won’t be able to get rid of the grease totally. Moreover, you’ll be inviting rust over on your metal surface.
So, best of luck degreasing your metal pieces.