Metal is used in all areas of construction: it’s hard to imagine a structure where it is not used at all. Modern metalworks are universal construction elements that may be used as a frame for further work or a full structure in itself. In the latter case, the metal is often left unprotected and is subjected to aggressive environments.

Paint coating as a protection mechanism for metalworks

Metal is one of the most robust and wear-resistant materials known to man. After sufficient processing it can take any shape, structures made out of it have a service life of decades, it is a ubiquitous and universal construction material. But metal has one significant drawback: it corrodes and rusts. Rust usually appears due to exposure to the elements: humidity, wind, precipitation, etc – there are a lot of factors contributing to corrosion of metal. Most of them, however, can be countered by one effective method: paint coating.
Metal surface coated in a layer of paint is protected against the spread of rust and harmful solar radiation and low temperatures. Thus, paint extends the service life of metalworks considerably and, last but not least, has a decorative function, since metalworks can be painted in almost any color which allows them to blend in the surrounding landscape or design project.

The metalworks paint coating process

The application of a coat of paint onto the metalwork must be accomplished gradually and with great care. The first stage, when the surface is cleared of dirt or remains of previous paint, is of special importance. During the stripping process the surface has to be scoured smooth, without any scratches or uneven patches. Otherwise, the place where paint was applied without the necessary stripping beforehand may become a hotspot for rust and the spread of corrosion, thus destroying the metalwork.

After the metal is thoroughly cleaned, it is covered with two layers of basecoat paint that increases the adhesive qualities of the surface, that is, its ability to bond to the paint itself. The paint is also applied in two layers by spray or brush. A third method of application is one of painting with powders, but it is an entirely separate technology.

The quality of paint coating mostly depends on the paint material used. The modern construction materials market offers a great variety of mixtures used to paint metal, both by price and by quality. Some paints may be applied without a basecoat and remain as they were for years, yet others will require renovation after only a few seasons. The coating’s service life also depends on the quality of its application.


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