Can steel grating be painted?

[avatar]Toni Marín Trillo -

Can steel grating be painted? Once galvanized, the metal grating takes on a medium gray color (light gray). This color is the one associated with the steel grating, as it is rarely to place steel grating without galvanizing. However, it is possible to paint the steel grating in other colours, either for aesthetic reasons and/or to add an extra layer of protection.

Painting steel grating

Steel grating (as we have mentioned in other posts) is usually placed in industrial amenities, due to its strength and durability among many other advantages. But thanks to its versatility, steel grating also adopts other uses like ornamental such as facades covering, street furniture or suspended ceilings, among others.

In these cases it is possible that in order for the grating to be consistent with the aesthetics of the other adjoining elements, it can be painted in another color. It also happens in enclosures or fences, with a more personalized touch. Although it will have an industrial use, it can also be painted (having in mind the limitations that we will discuss later) although it is not usual since the grid´s purpose in such installations is much more practical than aesthetic.

Can steel grating be painted?

Paint for decoration

This is perhaps the use that makes the most sense since when we talk about decorating with steel grating, its for an aesthetic purpose, and a custom color can help a lot to make this result more satisfactory for the end customer. It´s also used in suspended ceilings, where you can create contrasts with the existing light and eventually, there are many applications and options to customize a steel grating using color.

It´s important to consider the type of paint when your painting steel grating to decorate, for example whether it is matte or glossy, since there are certain finishes that are more affected than others by the sun or other environmental factors and it´s not recommended to use them outdoors.

Paint as protection

In previous posts we wrote about the importance of galvanizing steel grating to increase its protection against corrosion and its durability, guaranteeing the properties of the metal grid. Due to this protection, unless the environment is very corrosive (acids, salinity due to proximity to the sea, etc.) the treatment of galvanized steel grating is sufficient so that maintenance is not necessary during long periods of time. Despite this, there are customers who decide to apply paint, not for decoration but to increase its protection.

But, is it possible to increase the durability of a steel grating with paint? Technically yes, and when you paint a steel grating you are adding an extra layer. Depending on the environment to which it is exposed, the use and the type of paint, this option will have more or less durability and in turn more or less sense from the economic point of view. If the paint layer is damaged by use or is affected by corrosion, the steel grating will still have the galvanizing layer so that in short term the durability is not compromised.

There will also be occasions in which the aim is to paint the grating for both purposes, which serves as protection for the grating and in turn the color serves as decoration along with the rest of the structure or installation.

As we mentionee before, when you decide to paint steel grating you have to take into account certain points to achieve the best finish. First of all, we could mention the absence or not of galvanizing, and it´s possible to paint directly on a grid without galvanizing, but it will have less durability. Not being galvanized, if the paint covering the steel grating suffers any damage, the steel will be exposed to the environment factors and to corrosion by not having more protective treatments against rust.

Another factor to have in mind is that it´s highly recommended to warn the galvanizing manufacturer that the grating will have a paint treatment so that the galvanizing process is done in such a way that it favors the adhesion of the paint to the grating and facilitate the best possible finish.

It´s also important to inform the company that applies the paint the use that will be given to the steel grating, since the type of paint to use will depend on whether the grating is for decoration, whether it will be outside or inside, if people will pass over and even the type of grating. This is crucial as there will be uses that are not directly recommended to paint the grid because of the poor durability it will have.

Maintenance of the painted steel grating

Thanks to the galvanizing the steel grating will require little maintenance. In most cases it will be a preventive inspection to ensure that everything is well secured and placed and a visual inspection to detect possible oxidation points.

Another issue is when certain points are detected where the paint has jumped, either by exposure to the environment, incorrect use (some accidental blow) or by the use itself (pedestrian traffic for example). In these cases it will be up to the customer to decide whether to paint the affected steel grating panel on site or whether to disassemble it and repaint it, in which case maintenance will be more expensive. In any case, if the steel grating are galvanized and then painted, even if the paint layer is lost, the galvanized layer will remain to avoid corrosion points and premature deterioration.

In one way or another, the decision to paint the steel grating in most cases is usually made to give it a personalized aesthetic finish. Since this treatment increases the cost of the product, it is not very useful in those situations in which the use will be industrial, since the protection it provides is not relevant in relation to the extra cost that implies if we talk about conventional paints.

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