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Hi...I'm an artist-blacksmith and need some of your advice on painting metal. Recently made some pieces for outdoors and painted them using Krylon spray primer, paint and topcoat.

Pieces look good but the paint isn't very tough and tends to chip. Not sure if I leave it for a while will it harden? ...or never harden enough?

What is the best paint to use on mild steel surfaces? Would like a gloss finish. Also would like to do multiple colors on each piece.

A friend mentioned using 2 part epoxy paint. Possible? Issues? How is it applied???

Thanks! - The Newbie Wayne
 

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Hi...I'm an artist-blacksmith and need some of your advice on painting metal. Recently made some pieces for outdoors and painted them using Krylon spray primer, paint and topcoat.

Pieces look good but the paint isn't very tough and tends to chip. Not sure if I leave it for a while will it harden? ...or never harden enough?

What is the best paint to use on mild steel surfaces? Would like a gloss finish. Also would like to do multiple colors on each piece.

A friend mentioned using 2 part epoxy paint. Possible? Issues? How is it applied???

Thanks! - The Newbie Wayne
For mild steel, typically, you'll want to provide a "tooth" for a coating to adhere to. This can be done by abrasive blasting, etching, grinding, and even sanding.

Two component coatings will provide the best abrasive resistance while also providing a non permeable film barrier that will prevent water intrusion.

While a two component epoxy is a good choice for direct to bare metal, a two component polyurethane, as a finish coat, will provide the additional UV protection and still maintain abrasive resistance.

With that said, most two component coatings cure harder than single componenet materials, which can make them susceptible to chipping. That is why a high solid epoxy with the appropriate film build, will help prevent chipping.
 
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