[TowerTalk] USTower anchor bolts rusting

Patrick Greenlee patrick_g at windstream.net
Sat Apr 1 08:59:49 EDT 2017

There are paints formulated to go  on over light rust, chemically modify 
the rust, and form a long lasting paint coating. No primer needed or 
recommended. I painted some light to moderately rusted (no flakey stuff) 
4x4 inch square steel tubes 12 ft long that are exposed to the weather 
and sun (south side of house.)  These are columns to hold up a poured 
concrete porch floor of the floor above.  I painted them with 
Rustoleum's version of this kind of paint back in '03-'04 era when 
building our house and they still look like new and have no rust.

This paint was procured at Lowes but should be widely available. It was 
available in spray cans and in quarts.  I have only seen it on the shelf 
in two choices of color; silver and black.  I wanted another color for 
some gates and fence stretch fixtures but when I talked to the Rustoleum 
factory the minimum quantity for a "custom" color was way beyond my 
needs so I had the Lowes paint folks use some silver as a base and added 
green pigment. On a scale of 1..10 I'd give the experiment a 6.

I can highly recommend both the silver and the black but trying to use 
silver as a base for a custom color is iffy. You could always paint over 
the silver or black with paint of your desired color without harming  
the rust handling/prevention.

I have never used this paint on aluminum and suspect it could be a bad 
idea but on iron or steel with or without surface rust it has lasted 
very well indeed.

Patrick        NJ5G

On 4/1/2017 2:58 AM, Donald Chester wrote:
>> Grant KZ1W wrote:
>> Another fix I use is spray zinc "cold" galvanizing as I had to machine
>> some custom steel spacers under the base plate for leveling.
> Something I have found that works better than "Cold-Galv" is ordinary aluminium paint, Rustoleum or similar brands. I have found that after a couple of years rust spots begin to appear through the Cold-Galv, but it takes many years for aluminium paint to rust through, and it adheres to the metal rarely  scaling.  I put my tower up in 1981, using a base insulator I inherited from a fallen broadcast tower.  The end castings were un-galvanised cast steel, covered with a mixture of rust and red  paint.  I stripped off the paint and sanded off the rust, then gave them a couple of coats of aluminium paint.  I've had to re-paint it once in the past 36 years the tower has been up.  The hot-dipped galvanising on the tower shows more rust spots than the aluminium-painted base insulator castings.
> I touched up the freshly cut ends of some galvanised steel straps I used in another antenna construction project using aluminium paint, and still no rust after  several years.  The paint blends in so well with the galvanising that you would think the whole thing was hot-dipped after it was cut.
> You don't have to remove all the surface rust, just the thick or loose scaly stuff.  A thin coat of rust that is still firmly adhered to  the metal soaks up the paint like a sponge soaks up water, and actually makes it adhere better.  A technique sometimes used for painting steel with any kind of paint, is to brush or spray on a weak acid solution first. After the solution is thoroughly dry, paint is applied.  The thin layer of corrosion helps hold the  paint on.
> Don k4kyv
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