How to Paint on a Wire Screen

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Painting wire screen is complicated by a pair of issues. Like any other metallic material, screens accept paint poorly because they're hard and nonporous. To generate lasting adhesion, treat the screen with an acidic primer. Wire screens have tiny mesh holes that are easily clogged with primer and paint. Prevent this by using the appropriate application procedure that will encourage a lasting, attractive outcome. Apply the right type of paint or the finish may dry too thick and could fail after a short time.

Things You'll Need

  • Water-based soap
  • Nylon sponge
  • Water hose
  • Professional painter's tape
  • Masking paper
  • Canvas drop cloth
  • Metal-etching spray primer
  • Oil spray enamel
  • Acrylic enamel
  • Gently massage the wire screen with a soapy sponge. Rinse the screen, using a hose. Let the wire dry for two hours.

  • Protect surfaces adjacent to the wire screen by covering them with masking paper and tape. Set a drop cloth beneath the screen.

  • Spray the wire screen with metal-etching spray primer. Move the spray flow up and down, holding an 8-inch space between the wire and spray nozzle. Apply in brief bursts to encourage a mist or fog. Don't apply a continuous stream or the mesh may clog. Let the wire dry for three hours.

  • Spray the wire screen with oil spray enamel. Move the spray flow up and down, holding an 8-inch space between the wire and spray nozzle. Apply in brief bursts to encourage a mist or fog. Don't apply a continuous stream or the mesh may clog.

  • Let the wire dry for an hour before removing the masking tape and paper.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't use any sort of water-based primer or paint on a wire screen or the mesh will almost certainly clog and also may flake.
  • Don't use an oil primer on the wire screen or chipping is likely to occur.

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