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Old 10-27-2009, 09:57 PM   #1
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Exterior paint for metal cemetary statue!


Hello,
I am a muralist and decorative painter and have been commissioned to redo/paint a cemetary statue of approximate 9' tall, which is constructed of hollow steel. The statue will be stripped (sand blasted).

The colors to be used will be (hopefully) metallic paints.....bronze/brown/antique gold/ and possibly black glaze to create an aged look as it once was. The only metallics I can find are acrylic, but have metal in them.

So, the question is....does anyone know of better exterior metallic paints that are available suitable for outdoors with a
UV protective clear topcoat that can be used for extra protection (since it is under trees) ??? And, how long would one guarantee such a project?

I have consulted with all the name brand paint stores and so far have not had much luck.

Thanks,
Rob

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Old 10-28-2009, 07:21 AM   #2
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Exterior paint for metal cemetary statue!


You will probably find the historical or art restoration and curatorial folk at a good museum or university valuable sources of information about these things. Try the Walker in Museum in Minneapolis. Des Moines just opened a major outdoor sculpture garden and had experts assembled from all over the World consulting so those names should be handy. They should all be approachable if not flattered you asked their advice once you navigate how to get to them (if you get frustrated cheat and go through the public relations office like I do). Check websites and forums that they use and see if there are similar posts or if you can add one.

The monument industry people will probably have information and recommendations for this sort of thing as well so check their association websites. And do some online searching for cemetery sculpture restoration people who have been through what your approaching before? For example, I know New Orleans has ongoing cemetery restoration projects as do many other historic/antique cities in the US and abroad. I found this clip in a quick Google search on your behalf and you might want to see what information they have?

"SOS!
Her single biggest source of data has been Save Outdoor Sculpture!, a program launched in 1989 that continues today under the auspices of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Institute for Conservation. SOS volunteers have scoured the country to catalog every outdoor sculpture they can find."

For less lofty advice, your local autobody paint guys would also be a good resource for information about refinishing metal as they obviously have similar longevity and colorfastness issues and paint surfaces that are going to be outside all the time under trees, birds, etc. They will know all the tricks for working with metal flake products and so forth too. Of course they will be working with spray equipment which may not be a direct parallel for you.

For steel I should think you are going to want to use a quality rust inhibiting primer coat (as soon as possible if you are working on the piece in place and outside), a couple coats of base and finish coat, and probably a coat or two of clear coat with UV protection. If your budget allows you might want to consider using real metal leaf rather than metallic paint/glaze. With experimentation and practice, you can burnish it to whatever look you want and with more control than with paint? You probably will not want to work with a package of gold leaf on a windy day if your project is outside though!

I use a gallery preservation wax out of Great Britain for sculpture my gallery clients sell for outdoor installations but have usually put it over raw metal and not painted surfaces. It brushes on as a really thin paste so you can work it into seams, cracks and crevices, etc. It buffs out and works great but we recommend doing it a couple times a year. I have no idea if the owners keep up with this.

I have no idea how you go about guaranteeing an exterior finish on a public metal sculpture and certainly would not offer any more than the manufacturer of the finishes is willing to extend. I would have tons of disclaimers pertaining to vandalism and so forth and I would be really careful if whatever you decide doing comes with an ongoing maintenance recommendation that your clients may or may not stick with.


Last edited by user1007; 10-28-2009 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:03 AM   #3
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Exterior paint for metal cemetary statue!


sdsester


This preservation wax...is it available in metallics? The metallic leafs may be a bit complicated, however, the statue can be remove for inside work. So, that might be a possibility.

Thanks
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:42 AM   #4
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Exterior paint for metal cemetary statue!


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Originally Posted by woodsart View Post
sdsester

This preservation wax...is it available in metallics? The metallic leafs may be a bit complicated, however, the statue can be remove for inside work. So, that might be a possibility.

Thanks
http://www.restorationproduct.com/

It is not available with metallics. However, you can buy carnuba wax metallic products. I would worry whether that would work out well for an exterior situation though unless, as mentioned before, you had a routine maintenance scheme to keep it waxed.

http://www.fredaldous.co.uk/shop-onl...tallic-wax.htm

I think you really need something that binds the metal to the painted surface and seals it more than a wax will? And you will want a clear coat or two over it? You won't get anything to stick to wax surface.

Regardless of what you do, if you have the option to move the sculpture inside I would do it. You will have much better control over things so long as you have room to work around it and so forth. Just curious, were they planning to sandblast it in place or take it inside for that anyhow?

Last edited by user1007; 10-28-2009 at 09:50 AM. Reason: Added URLs
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:53 AM   #5
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Exterior paint for metal cemetary statue!


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
http://www.restorationproduct.com/

It is not available with metallics. However, you can buy carnuba wax metallic products. I would worry whether that would work out well for an exterior situation though. I think you need something that binds the metal to the painted surface more than a wax will? And you will want a clear coat or two over it? You won't get anything to stick to wax surface.

Regardless of what you do, if you have the option to move the sculpture inside I would do it. You will have much better control over things so long as you have room to work around it and so forth. Just curious, were they planning to sandblast it in place or take it inside for that anyhow?
Yes, sandblasting is a must, since all of the old paint would need to be removed.

Yes, I will need a clear coat. I have checked out Modermasters and it is a good possibility. They recommend a variety of primers for all the different surfaces. Some of their projects (outside), including roofs that seem to verify the longevity. So, they are worthy of research.

Thanks
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:59 AM   #6
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Exterior paint for metal cemetary statue!


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Originally Posted by woodsart View Post
Yes, sandblasting is a must, since all of the old paint would need to be removed.
Thanks
And any damage that might be present and that you are not seeing because of the paint repaired. Be sure and factor this in your bid as some sort of add on clause since it is beyond your perception at the moment?

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