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Paint for utility projects

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  • Paint for utility projects

    I am looking for recs for commonly available and inexpensive primer and paint for brush on application. This is for random shop and yard use - throw paint on an old cart, etc. For a machine or something important, I would spend more time on prep and use better paint. On these projects I usually don't do much surface prep - quick cup brushing, solvent wipe and prime.

    There have been many past threads in forums on this topic but the information becomes stale as products are re-formulated. For example, a certain Tractor Supply paint was liked by many but they changed the formulation a couple years ago and the more recent feedback has been poor.

    Hopefully hardens quickly (some paints take a month, or heat)
    Readily available
    Brush on
    Probably grey color


  • #2
    One of our local steel distributors used to sell a one-part acrylic enamel under their own label that they called "cylinder paint". It was intended for coating propane tanks and the like - came in a couple shades of grey and black. The stuff dried to a satin finish and was extremely tough. No primer needed and cleaned up with naphtha or mineral spirits. I always used it on horse and flatbed trailers because it held up so well to the elements and abrasion. However, I just looked at their website and they no longer list it but you might be able to find a similar product.

    Edit: Might want to look at Duralux Marine paints. They are made for harsh environment and easy application.
    Last edited by HWooldridge; 02-22-2017, 04:36 PM.


    • #3
      The usual suggestion is Tremclad. But I find that while it brushes on nicely and protects well from weather it's not very durable for handling and tends to scratch easily. And in cold conditions getting down to near freezing it can take a few days to dry enough that it's not sticky.

      For many years I preferred Flecto brand enamels for a lot of things. Thinned a little with mineral spirits it brushed on and flowed out smooth as a pretty good spray job. For added durability a second coat was put on either about 6 hours later so it bonded well or I'd wait a few days then lightly wet sand it to get a good "tooth" for the second coat. I have not bought any for some years so I don't know if it's still available or if it is still the same formula. But if you can find it I'd give it a try. Even when used during near freezing conditions I found I could handle it carefully the next day without leaving finger marks in the paint. But when that cold it still took a good week before it was fully hard. But it easily dried faster than Tremclad under the same conditions.

      Pretty well any air dry paint is not going to dry hard within only a few hours. And even a two part or one part epoxy style paint takes a FEW days to reach close to the maximum hardness. That's just the way it is. I don't know of any easily brushed on paint that is fully durable from just drying or curing over night if the temperature is low. Especially not if it's inexpensive. You're going to have to give at least a little on your list I'm afraid.
      Chilliwack BC, Canada