How Do You Know If Steel Has Been Galvanized?

 
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Old 08-27-2005, 05:25 PM   #1
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How Do You Know If Steel Has Been Galvanized?


I plan on painting metal door frames inside an office. These frames are bare metal with no paint or primer. I plan to use 2 coats (or 3) of direct to metal paint. Metal frames are a pain in the butt because they always need more paint than expected. Some paint manufactures suggest a metal primer for galvanized metal. I am not certain if these frames are galvanized metal.... my question is "how do you tell the difference between galvanized and non galvanized metal as it will affect the type of paint procedure I use (prime vs. no primer)"?

Thanks. Zeebo

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Old 08-27-2005, 06:01 PM   #2
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Re: How Do You Know If Steel Has Been Galvanized?


Galvanizing coats the steel with a layer of zinc, the two look different. Steel is usually primed, if not, surface rust will be noticeable. Zinc is more of a dull,grey color if hot dipped, if it's shiny, you can usually notice kind of a crystalline look to it.

The best way would be to go to a sheetmetal shop and have them show you samples. Once you see it, you won't forget. I gave the description my best shot, maybe someone else can do better.

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Old 08-27-2005, 07:05 PM   #3
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Re: How Do You Know If Steel Has Been Galvanized?


That's a darn good description. If it's just steel it will be shiny and have a consistent color across the whole thing. Galvanized has a noticeable crystal pattern like Teetor described with many color variations i.e. some areas grey looking, some silvery, some almost a yellow tint. It's very distinct, and hard to confuse for regular steel.

Here's a pic of galvanized:

**EDIT**I think the first image is a faux finish of sorts from the place I found it. Here is another pic of real galvanized steel on a bridge. The coloration/pattern may not be as profound as in these samples, but you'll know when you see it regardless.
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Old 08-28-2005, 12:17 AM   #4
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Re: How Do You Know If Steel Has Been Galvanized?


You got some great visual descriptions there. I'm also guessing that if you sprayed bare steel with a very salty solution you would see rust within 24 hours.
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Old 08-28-2005, 12:36 AM   #5
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Re: How Do You Know If Steel Has Been Galvanized?


The easiest way is to taste it. If you give galv. a real good lickin it leaves a chalky taste on your teeth.

But you have to have on your bunny slippers to keep people from thinking your nutz, ya know, licking the walls and all.

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Old 08-28-2005, 09:21 AM   #6
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Re: How Do You Know If Steel Has Been Galvanized?


In all my years of commercial painting. I've only come across gal. frames once. In general we use 2 coats of oil base semi-gloss. Either Sherwin Williams Industrial Enamel HS, or Ben. Moore Satin Impervo when we can still find it.

Electro,

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Old 08-28-2005, 11:08 AM   #7
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Re: How Do You Know If Steel Has Been Galvanized?


Thanks for the reply. Yes the pictures help very much...I'm a visual learner so anything visual is great. I now know what to look for when assessing galvanized metal. I think I will pass on the licking....although it sounds interesting....but I won't go there.

The metal door frames that I will be painting do not have the faux type chacteristics / patchy look that are in pictures. So I do not believe they are galvanized.

Instead of using an oil base paint, could you use a semi gloss latex???

Thanks for your help.

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Old 08-28-2005, 11:39 AM   #8
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Re: How Do You Know If Steel Has Been Galvanized?


Bob, how does that licking test work in the winter? LOL
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Old 08-28-2005, 01:36 PM   #9
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Re: How Do You Know If Steel Has Been Galvanized?


Yes I immediately pictured that little kid in that Christmas movie
Except he had a hard hat, goatee, and bunny slippers
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Old 08-28-2005, 09:29 PM   #10
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Re: How Do You Know If Steel Has Been Galvanized?


THERE'S a visual! ROFLOL!!!
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Old 08-30-2005, 07:27 PM   #11
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Re: How Do You Know If Steel Has Been Galvanized?


We still do not use latex semi-gloss on hollow metal doors and frames. Just doesn't hold up as well or look as nice.

Electro

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Old 08-30-2005, 07:33 PM   #12
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Re: How Do You Know If Steel Has Been Galvanized?


SW and BM make DOM paints, you may want to look into them.

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