need help clearcoating steel

What is the simplest, most economical, fairly durable method of clearcoating
steel?
I have several steel sculptures I've created for my living room, I've
flapdisc'd them all so they're quite shiny and reflective, but I need to
clearcoat them so they won't rust.
I've tried using Krylon crystal clearcoat spray finish, but it's not very
durable, I can put pressure on the finish with my fingernail and when I
scrape over it, the clearcoat separates from the steel (looks like a very
shallow air bubble). If I press harder I can chip the clearcoat off.
I prepared the surface of the metal by cleaning with acetone and/or paint
thinner solvent. Is there something else I should be doing to prepare the
surface?
I just don't think the Kyrlon is bonding to the surface of the steel. Is
there a canned product that would work better, either brushed on, dipped or
sprayed on using an airbrush? Can you do a clear powdercoat? I assume it's
not very economical.
Thanks for your help.
-Tom
Reply to
TT
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There are clear powdercoats available, but you would need to bring the sculpture to a powdercoater or buy the equipment and do it yourself. A much easier solution is Johnson's Paste wax for floors. Apply a coat or two of wax, then buff it off and you will be surprised how well it holds up. I've got a couple of braces under a counter in my kitchen which are bare steel that has been waxed, and they don't show any signs of rust after several years.
Reply to
Gary Brady
Yes there is a clear powder coat, but large items are not real cheap to coat. For what you are doing I would think a catalyzed clear coat would work just fine. It is the same that is used on automobiles. You would need a paint gun and a compressor and a good respirator. Not really hard to do.
Reply to
Steve W.
Eastwood has several good products:
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I've used their Diamond Coat on a few motorcycle parts that I polished and coated instead of chrome plating. They have held up well for the past two years.
Terry
clearcoating
Reply to
Terry Mayhugh
After a real world test of aerosol can solutions I performed 5 years ago at school: Out of a field of 7 products sprayed onto bare steel tube and left exposed outside for 4 months of winter in Seattle.
Best : Rustoleum Clear Enamel (High Gloss or Semi-Gloss) Good : Plasticote Clear Lacquer Bad : Polyurethane, or Varathane. Worst : Krylon Clear Acrylic
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
Out of a field of heaps of products sprayed onto bare steel tube and left exposed outside mounted on the iron and steel pump frame next to the well on the farm for 14 years of summer in Queensland.
They are all rusty!
Hope this helps, Peter
Reply to
Bushy Pete
An automotive clearcoat is the best protective coating if the surface doesn't get any abrasion. Just use regular car wax over it to maintain a nice shine. The clearcoat is expensive, and you will need a decent sprayer and protective equipment, . .. or .... you could buddy up to an auto body shop to work it in with some scheduled spraying for a minimal fee. Bugs
Reply to
Bugs
Thanks everybody for your suggestions! Gonna dump the krylon & try some of the others.
-Tom
clearcoating
Reply to
TT
It will adhere well to bare steel? I'll have to try it, I always thought of it only as a component of a system. When you use a flapdisc on steel it often comes up to a chrome-like finish.
Reply to
ATP*

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