Painting interior and exterior metals and plastics

by Terry
(Bensenville, IL )

Hi, I have a few painting questions.

1.) After having my entire house painted I've noticed that the flue pipe, and the fireplace vent pipe were not painted. I'd like to paint them to match closer to the roof color - do I have to sand - prime & then paint them? Do I have to use a heat resistant paint on the fire place pipe? Or do I just get a metal paint? advice would be helpful.

2.) I've also got white plastic drain pipe to paint...I'd like to use the same color as the i just ruff up the surface of the pipe - to prevent it from peeling?

3.) What paint do you recommend to paint the metal railings - if a special metal paint - is that able to be tinted to match the trim?

4.) And the last....I just had a new back door installed. It is the typical metal door w/window....what is the process to paint that? Is exterior paint used on one side and interior on the other?

I truly appreciate all your assistance with these painting chores that await me !!

Hi Terry,

Prior to painting be sure to throughly clean, lightly sand and then dust your intended project. Also remember to lightly sand between each coat of primer and paint.

1.) Your fireplace equipment (including pipes) should be painted with a heat resistant paint. Heat resistant paint normally does not require primer. Even so, be sure to follow the paints label instructions just in case it does.

2.) Plastic can be either primed with a primer made for plastic then painted with a good quality paint. Plastic coating paint and primer (in one) will also work well. Just be sure that your plastic coating paint (or primer and paint) is recommended for exterior use. Plastic coating paints made by Kylon or Plasticoat would do the trick but may not match the color that your looking for.

3.) Metal hand rails (or railing where shoes or standing water/snow sits etc.) can be very difficult when it comes to getting the paint to stick. Be sure the surface is very clean and sanded then prime and paint with high quality oil (alkyd) based coatings. I myself never guarantee paint will stick when it comes to railing or decking though.

4.) As far as your door goes you can paint both sides with an exterior (or interior-exterior) paint ( one that's recommended for metal). Any good quality paint will work fine just as long as the door is properly primed. With all of that said, If it's a new metal door, (and the metal door has a wood core) it's usually a good idea to let the door acclimatize to its surroundings for a year prior to painting. A new exterior door can be painted but it does depend on any (new) environmental conditions the door may have to go through. A non-acclimatized door can, at times, have an assortment of paint issues once painted.

Hope this information helps. As a final note I would use either a spray painting machine or spray cans (with an attachable hand held spray trigger), whenever possible, for each object being painted. Even so, a brush and roller will work fine too if that's what your most comfortable using.


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