Painting Galvanized Chain


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Q. We have some new galvanized chain that the customer wants marked with paint every 25 ft. I have never painted galvanized before. How can I do it? I have been told that I have to let the chain oxidize for a year, which of course is unacceptable in this case. I've also been told that paint won't stick to galvanize, and that you have to remove oily residue.

If I remove the oil, can I paint the chain or do I have to prime it? I'm not sure. The customer certainly won't wait a year. Why do I always end up with the tough jobs? B.S.


A. You end up with the tough jobs because "they" know you can solve them. One of the problems with painting galvanized steel is the presence of a wax or oily compound applied by the manufacturer to prevent what is called white rust from forming on the galvanized surface. If you degrease the chain links in the areas you want to paint, you should be able to pretreat and paint them.

Galvanized surfaces are usually pretreated before painting. Typical pretreatments include phosphatizing and wash primers. Automotive parts stores sell phosphatizing compounds for auto body spot repairs. Application of these compounds on a few links before painting may solve your problem. There are also primers specifically formulated for application on galvanized surfaces. Without knowing what paint you are using, I can't tell if you need a primer. I suggest you use a primer just to be safe.



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