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
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
TT wrote:

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.
--
Gary Brady
Austin, TX
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
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.
--
Steve Williams

"TT" < snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Eastwood has several good products:
http://eastwood.com/shopping/search/searchresultsmain.jsp?fresh=1&searchType ­vanced&iMainCat=0&iSubCat=0&attribute14=0&attribute15=0&attribute16=0&RS=1&keyword=clearcoat
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
or
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
TT wrote:

Clear epoxy varnish topcoated with varathane. Clean metal with 50/50 xylol/acetone before coating.
Ted
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

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
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
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.<G> Bugs
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks everybody for your suggestions! Gonna dump the krylon & try some of the others.
-Tom

clearcoating
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.