Painting a Metal Cart - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 07-04-2010, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm a teacher with an ancient metal cart that I need to use to carry my science materials to different classes.

Despite probably being about 25 years old, the cart is in decent shape. However, paint job is nicked, etc. from time and wear. I would like to repaint it, but have never previously attempted to paint metal.

I don't want to ruin the cart because I need it! I just want to make it pretty. (Preferably in a bright vivid green!)

Any suggestions as to how to start? Do I just spray paint it? Do I need to use some sort of primer? I'd prefer to get ideas before I just jump in.

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#2 of 5 Old 07-05-2010, 02:11 AM
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I just spray painted a wrought iron plant stand a month or so ago. I recommend the specific brand Rustoleum. Otherwise, I just washed it and let it air-dry beforehand. I spray-painted it outside. Several thin coats works better than one heavy layer....

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#3 of 5 Old 07-05-2010, 02:15 AM
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if you have no real environmental qualms, there are metal-specific spray paints that work well, tho with there being paint already i wonder if you have to take the old paint off first??

i've sprayed metal lots of times, but i've never sprayed metal that had previously been painted. i used rustoleum too.

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#4 of 5 Old 07-05-2010, 02:42 AM
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if the existing paint on the cart is pretty smooth despite the nicks and paint missing you can use a primer spray paint first which will help even out the cart so that the 2nd coat of spray paint (the color you want) goes on smoother and stays longer. I'd also recommend rustoleum.

if a majority of the paint is nicked or off or the paint that remains on the cart causes the surface to make it uneven then I'd recommend lightly sanding it first (be careful if its lead based paint) and then painting it your desired color.

If you dont want to do a spray paint (which would have the smoothest finish) then then I'd recommend the primer kilz which has a great bond for metal and then follow up with your cart paint. Personally I would stick with a semi gloss and not go with a flat/eggshell as it will have a dull finish and be harder to keep clean.
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#5 of 5 Old 07-05-2010, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for all of the responses! I don't think it needs sanding. The paint job is not in terrible shape, just very old and brown.

I do think that I'll prime first and then paint.

Thanks for all of the advice!
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