Painting Base Metal
I have a base metal shower caddy (over the showerhead type) that's losing its finish. I've purchase a can of silver metallic Rustoleum spray paint but wondered whether anyone has any pointers for me. Do I need to sand first? Completely remove the old finish? Use a primer? Anything else I should know? THANK YOU!!!
Re: Painting Base Metal
Personally, I would buy a new caddy, one made from a heavy duty plastic. But if you really want to save this one, sand down the rusted areas. Do not remove any good paint, it's doing its job. There are several options at this point. You can use a "rust converter" such as Naval Jelly that converts the iron surface to Iron Phosphide. Iron Phosphide looks like rust or corrosion, but it is not, it is a very good protective coating.
The products that do this conversion claim that it also serves as a primer, which it does. However, as the conversion coating dries, it gets micro cracks in it so it should be sealed. My recommendation would be to use a Zinc Chromate primer. You can get a can at NAPA or you can get a can of Duplicolor etching primer at any autoparts store. Its the same thing.
Myself, I would just go straight to the Zinc Chromate primer and skip the conversion coating. It may not be as durable but then just how long do you plan on keeping it. Spray several coats on the bare areas with light sanding between coats until you build up the paint enough to meet the good remaining original paint. Then one more coat over the whole thing, then paint.