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[TowerTalk] S.W.Macropoxy paint for towers

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Subject: [TowerTalk] S.W.Macropoxy paint for towers
From: (Bill Cotter)
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 1997 10:52:45 -0400
Hello Everyone,

I have completed the task of painting one of my towers while it is
This tower was disassembled and transported to our new qth and I decided to do
something about the surface rust that had developed after many years of
After deciding not to re-galvanize (because of cost) I consulted the Sherwin
Williams folks for their suggestions for painting galvanized metal. They
cleaning the tower with a scrub brush and a strong detergent such as dish
washing soap,
thoroughly rinsing and treating all the surface rust with a rust inhibitor.
Next, they
recommended applying a single coat of a very high quality industrial epoxy
paint. No
primer necessary.

I washed and rinsed the tower, and when it dried used Rustoleum's Rust
Reformer to
treat the surface rust. The worst areas of rust were in the steps from
climbing, etc. The inhibitor turns the rust black and forms a coating that
can be 
directly painted over. Several days later I applied one coat of Sherwin
Macropoxy high solids aluminum paint. A week later the results are
impressive. The
tower looks much better, the color is sort of between aluminum and light
gray, and
appears to be very slick to the touch. The paint is meant for outdoor use
and has
a long life under severe conditions.

The paint process is fairly straight forward. You carefully measure and mix
one part paint
and one part catalyst with 10% solvent. Mix it thouroughly and let it sit
for 15-min
to "sweat". Then you have approximately 2hrs to use it. S.W. recommended
using their 
$18 china brusheses for best results, I use Sam's $3 china brushes instead!
Each section
took about 15-min to paint with a 2" brush. Forget the idea of using your
Wagner sprayer,
the paint will destroy it! At about 1hr45m into the task the brush and pain
bucket setup!
I started with 4-cups paint, 4-cups of catalyst and 10% solvent. It was
enough for a 
heavy coating on 7-sectons of Rohn-25. 

The trick to painting the sections quickly (discovered on the 7th section)
is to install
coat hanger handles in the legs of the tower to handle it, place the
sections on saw horses
and give yourself plenty of space to move. Most importantly, do it
outdoors. The fumes
from the organic solvent smell like cancer down the road. And, use latex
gloves available
from your local drugstore. Place drop clothes under the saw horses and slop
the paint on the
rungs first. Use generous amounts of paint to thoroughly cover the rods and
welds inside and
outside the tower section. The consistency is close to honey and I simply
allowed it to drip
occasionally rather than trying to conserve every drop. Turn the section
over 120deg, paint 
the rungs again and turn one last time. Now paint the tubes, turning 120deg
to get all the 
sides. A little touchup will be required later where the paint contacted
the saw horses.

The part numbers for the Macropoxy paint supplies are: 

        Macropoxy High Solids Epoxy   Part-A B58S400 Aluminum $34/gal
        Macropoxy High Solids Hardner Part-B B58V400          $34/gal
        S.W. Reducer (solvent blend)         R7K54            $17/gal

The paint and hardner come in 5-gallon pails only. Rather than purchase
$300+ in paint, the
Sherwin Williams store manager was willing to order both and "dip-out" a
gallon of each.

Good luck on a messy job!!

Bill N4ALG




|                                                          | 
| Bill Cotter, N4ALG           e-mail: |
| 173 Carolyn Lane               Home: (606) 887-5563,2402 |
| Nicholasville, KY 40536-9340   Work: (606) 323-6474      |

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