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Old 12-19-2016, 06:41 PM   #1
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Default painting steel I beam columns

Hi, i'm new to this forum and was wondering if anyone had any tips on painting 14 foot tall steel columns. They are primed gray and are new, they need some cleaning but otherwise are ready to paint. This is in a new factory. They want the top 4 feet white and the bottom 10 feet yellow. We're thinking of using scaffolding and painting the top portion, then coming back and taping and painting the bottom. seems like a lot of extra work which makes bidding it harder. any ideas would be appreciated. Oh and we have to use rollers or brushes no sprays. thanks
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Old 12-19-2016, 06:55 PM   #2
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Yellow always covers better over white. I would probably paint the whole thing white and then do the yellow. I would roll it all with a 4" whiz roller and then cut in what needs to be cut in after. Make sure you allow for enough coats of yellow, even after priming it white it might still need 3-4 more.
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Old 12-19-2016, 07:38 PM   #3
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Actually yellow will cover better over a grey primer. Most paint companies have a range of grey they recommend for paints with poor coverage like red, yellow and some greens. The reason is light passes through the paint film and is absorbed by the grey while it is reflected off of a white or light color. Rather than 3-4 coats you would need maybe 3. Yellow is a bitch to cover. If they have not spec'ed safety yellow, the worst , see if you can use construction yellow or caterpillar yellow, the equipment company yellow. they have more black or brown in them. yeah a weenie roller would work and a 10 foot step ladder might get you up high enough if you don't have scaffold.
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Old 12-19-2016, 08:28 PM   #4
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I used to paint yellow lines on the floor and support beams at a chemical plant I worked at. We used oil base gloss safety yellow. I know exactly what you are talking about. looks to me like you have you process figured out doing them just like I would. White first and then the yellow. I agree with KMP about the step ladder.I have a 12 foot step ladder. Thats what I would use. But some people don't like going up the step ladders that high. You do whats comfortable to you, if that means using scaffording SAFETY FIRST. Hope this helps.
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Old 12-19-2016, 09:35 PM   #5
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unfortunately they want safety colors, am thinking of water based krylon industrial paint, it's pretty difficult to figure out a bid on this one especially as they are starting to move in their equipment. about 60 columns are on the perimeter and 90 in the rest of the space, probably have to be a combo of scaffolding and ladder work. They also want a bid on what used to be the outside wall, 250'x25' steel siding, of course now there is conduit and wiring and crane tracks to work around, i'm thinking of shooting off a real high bid and maybe they won't do the wall.
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Old 12-19-2016, 10:32 PM   #6
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I can say that I've personally never painted anything safety yellow. Although this weekend I was working a NC office portion of a new warehouse and the owner of the company was in the warehouse section (we only bid the offices) weenie rolling a bunch of 4ft high I beams. He did it in two coats with rustoleum oil based. Took a look at them again today and was surprised how well it covered for that bright of a yellow.

I'd use my 12ft step ladder for it, do the white first, tape it, then go for the yellow but that's just me.
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:06 PM   #7
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Sherwin/ Williams Sher-Cryl would work for this as well. Kind of pricey but has good hide. Yellow still sucks. I've done a lot of safety yellow and it is never easy.I have found that if you let the second coat dry overnight the third coat will give better hide.
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Actually yellow will cover better over a grey primer. Most paint companies have a range of grey they recommend for paints with poor coverage like red, yellow and some greens. The reason is light passes through the paint film and is absorbed by the grey while it is reflected off of a white or light color. Rather than 3-4 coats you would need maybe 3. Yellow is a bitch to cover. If they have not spec'ed safety yellow, the worst , see if you can use construction yellow or caterpillar yellow, the equipment company yellow. they have more black or brown in them. yeah a weenie roller would work and a 10 foot step ladder might get you up high enough if you don't have scaffold.
I believe gray primers have their place, but for yellows and oranges I always use a white primer. It seems to cover better and always has a brighter colour in the end. I'm not saying that grey primer is wrong or will not work. It's just not the way I do it.
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Old 12-20-2016, 02:51 PM   #9
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Idk what kinda crap paint you guys use but we cover in Yellow all the time with 1 coat when we need to. The second coat does almost nothing for coverage, we just consider it "extra life". Devoe Devguard would cover no problem. The key is to have your store order you the factory tinted premixed stuff.

Tinted in store, yeah that stuffs like water.
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Old 12-20-2016, 05:23 PM   #10
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Factory safety yellow will cover just fine. I put miles of it on handrails at a charcoal plant. Of course, this was ten years or more ago, so perhaps it sucks now.

I painted a roof with rustoleum safety red a couple months ago. It covered just fine.
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Old 12-20-2016, 05:27 PM   #11
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See if you can spot the roof in the distance. I look at it every day out of my office window...
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Old 12-20-2016, 08:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmp View Post
Actually yellow will cover better over a grey primer. Most paint companies have a range of grey they recommend for paints with poor coverage like red, yellow and some greens. The reason is light passes through the paint film and is absorbed by the grey while it is reflected off of a white or light color. Rather than 3-4 coats you would need maybe 3. Yellow is a bitch to cover. If they have not spec'ed safety yellow, the worst , see if you can use construction yellow or caterpillar yellow, the equipment company yellow. they have more black or brown in them. yeah a weenie roller would work and a 10 foot step ladder might get you up high enough if you don't have scaffold.
I always wondered why the grey primers helped with the hide of certain colors, especially reds. So that's the explanation, light absorption?
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Old 12-20-2016, 11:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryceraisanen View Post
Idk what kinda crap paint you guys use but we cover in Yellow all the time with 1 coat when we need to. The second coat does almost nothing for coverage, we just consider it "extra life". Devoe Devguard would cover no problem. The key is to have your store order you the factory tinted premixed stuff.

Tinted in store, yeah that stuffs like water.
We do lots of bollards, gas pipes and misc steel in warehouses with safety yellow. We only buy the pre-tinted safety yellows and have yet to find one that covers in one coat. The old Devoe covered good but lately its takes 2-4 coats to cover. I hate when they mess with good products.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:17 PM   #14
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Rustoleum C740 covered pretty nice last I used it. I sprayed it, though.
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