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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to paint the surface of a helipad 30 miles off shore. It hasn't been painted in over 20 years and has a variety of coatings on it. Places are worn down to the bare steel, most has a layer of worn out latex with red primer showing through. Material cost is crucial, performance is next important. I'll power wash first, but since it's a mix of bare metal and latex under a subtropical sun, was considering either an oil based primer (likely blo/naptha) or a pigmented shellac. 6800sq feet. Suggestions?
 

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Why not deal with the bare steel areas separately first instead of trying to coat both at the same time? Then you can tackle priming it all if that was your plan. Obviously they previously coated the steel with a red rust inhibiting metal primer. Any rust showing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response. There is no rust showing, it is a high grade magnetic steel. There are just too many patches of bare metal from the size of a dime to the size of a palm all over the surface. Plus the mix of materials used to coat it. The red primer showing is between layers of latex. The original primer was latex compatible but all surface coats afterward were latex based. It is a former Coast Guard Light Station so we know from materials left behind that both oil and latex paints were used at some time on different surfaces. I failed to mention that this surface is also a rain collector for domestic water. The desire is to encapsulate the existing surface without removing it while providing a suitable surface for a pigmented topcoat.
 

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I'd pressure wash the surfaces to remove any dirt build up and shop for low cost latex or oil primer that says it bonds to metal. For surfaces subject to water, deck paints have improved and might be within your materials budget.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, Caslon. That's pretty much the direction I had planned. Being 30 miles off shore, dirt isn't a major issue. A careful pressure washing to remove the little airborne dust and chalky latex (and a very small amount of guano) is planned.
 
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