How to Prepare Titanium to Paint

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Hard metallic surfaces, such as titanium, are not good candidates for painted finishes. If you brush or spray paint directly over ill-prepared titanium surfaces, heavy flaking and peeling will ensue. Titanium is far too durable for the friction-based abrasion techniques professionals use to prepare vinyl and plastic for paint. Fortunately, you can paint titanium so long as you condition it with an acid-based primer engineered with the ability to etch durable metal.

Things You'll Need

  • Edger
  • Water-based degreasing soap
  • Coarse plastic sponge
  • Rags
  • Towels
  • Professional painter's tape
  • Masking paper
  • Dropcloths
  • Metal self-etching primer
  • 2- to 4-inch polyester paintbrush
  • Latex paint
  • Acrylic latex paint
  • Acrylic enamel

Scrub the titanium with a water-based degreaser, using a sponge. Rinse the titanium, using wet rags, and dry it with towels.

Cover all areas adjacent to the titanium with masking paper, painter's tape and dropcloths.

Apply metal self-etching primer to the titanium, using a 2- to 4-inch polyester paintbrush. Brush vertically, applying gentle pressure. Allow the titanium to dry for three hours.

Wash the brush with water.

Apply paint to the primed titanium, using the clean paintbrush. Brush vertically, applying gentle pressure. Allow the titanium to dry for three hours. Paint interior titanium with latex paint. Paint external titanium with acrylic latex paint. Acrylic enamel is suited for titanium subject to duress.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not use a nylon paintbrush to finish titanium, or brush strokes will appear in the final finish.
  • Never paint unprimed titanium, or the enamel will peel.
  • Do not use acrylic or latex primer on titanium, or flaking will result.

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