By Grainger Editorial Staff 10/1/16
An industrial painting job can have a lot of ins and outs. Each one will be different depending on what is being painted—whether it is a building, piping, machines or equipment. The material and environment play huge factors in how the job will get done. However, no matter the details, there are certain items that every painting job could need somewhere along the way.
Any painter worth his salt will tell you that the most important step to any painting job is the surface prep. Properly prepping the substrate (your wall or floor—whatever it is that needs paint) for paint is the key to the proper application. Your surface needs to be free of dirt and dust, chipping paint, grease and oil. Without removing these items, the paint will not properly adhere to the surface, which might cause it to ripple or chip. Industrial painters require a good pressure washer or blaster to get all the gunk off, ensuring the painting surface is in the ideal condition for painting.
Before any paint job can begin, the area around the painting site must be protected. Getting the right drop cloth can make a big difference during the painting phase of the job. Painters recommend canvas drop cloths to plastic or sheet cotton, as these are best to protect against wet drips or bleeds that can cause costly mistakes.
Industrial painting jobs frequently cover a lot of space. This could be an office building, a manufacturing plant, a garage or a hospital. Painters need to get to those high places, sometimes several floors up. Scaffolding can be a safe and steady way to get to that ceiling or second-floor exterior. The only drawback is that it can be difficult to move. Lifts, on the other hand, are a good option if you need to get up high, but also have the flexibility to move around more easily.
Holes, cracks and crevices must be filled in as part of the paint preparation. It is important to know what kind of material you will be painting to fix the blemish properly. Most substrates can be fixed with caulk, putty or compound made for that material—whether it’s metal, plastic or regular drywall.
The preparation isn’t complete without a sanding or scraping. This could be a light sanding, only meant to even out the portions of the substrate that have been repaired. Other times the entire surface must be sanded down for the paint to adhere. Know what material you intend to paint, and whether a full sanding is necessary to make your paint job successful.
Many large-scale painting jobs require a primer that inhibits rust and corrosion. This is especially true for painting substrates like steel or aluminum. Construction and maintenance applications will frequently require a rust-inhibiting primer. These could be for piping, aluminum buildings, machining or new construction.
Just like primers, it is important to pick the right paint for your application. A cinderblock wall will have different paint needs than a wood structure or plastic. Is this an interior or an exterior application? How much sun, heat or moisture will it be exposed to? These are all items to consider when choosing industrial paint. Are there harsh chemicals in or around this environment? Special needs mean special paint.
Using the right brushes and rollers doesn’t just make the paint look nicer and more uniform (which it will). It also promotes a faster and more steady pace to the work. As all business owners know, time is money. You want it done right the first time, and you want your employees to work at the quickest pace they can without sacrificing quality. Choosing the right equipment is a crucial step to achieving that.
Large-scale painting jobs will routinely use sprayers to apply paint, with brushes and rollers taking a back seat for more detailed work. These come in several designs—airless, air-assisted, pneumatic, gas and electric. These can be handheld or performance grade. The size and type of project will help decide which type of sprayer will best suit your needs.
Technology seeks to enhance every job and industry, and industrial painting is no exception. Many painters are finding they can use this technology to better assess and track their jobs. This saves time and helps with accuracy.
There is nothing that changes a work environment like a quality paint job. Not only can it change the appearance of a place or item to be more appealing, but it can also safeguard against the elements. Making sure you have the right tools for the job at hand is one of the best ways to help ensure your industrial painting job is a success.
The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.