Structural Steel Painting Options

When it comes to steel structures, they’re a common sight in the built environment. A structural steel component is seen in bridges, industrial buildings, office complexes, and much more—nearly everywhere you look.

As such, painting these structures is an important aspect of maintenance as it improves their aesthetic appearance also helps protect them against natural corrosion and other damages. Let’s go over various options for structural steel painting, exploring the benefits each offer so you can decide when considering which will work best for your preservation project.

Understand the different types of steel painting methods

Steel painting involves using specialized paints and techniques to protect steel surfaces from corrosion and wear. Several steel painting methods can achieve a long-lasting finish on metal objects such as cars, ships, buildings, and bridges.

Here are the types of steel painting methods: 

  • Wet spraying: This involves applying a paint coating directly onto the surface while it is still wet. Wet spraying protects against rust and other forms of corrosion, but it may require multiple coats to achieve an attractive finish.
  • Powder coating: In this process, powdered paint is electrostatically charged and then sprayed onto the surface using compressed air. The powder sticks to the metal, creating a solid bond resistant to abrasion. Powder coating is often used in industrial settings due to its durability and versatility.
  • Electrodeposition (ED) coating: This involves the application of an electric current through the steel surface, allowing for a thin layer of paint to be deposited onto it. ED coatings are highly corrosion-resistant and provide superior protection against corrosion compared to other methods.
  • Galvanizing: Electrochemical reactions apply zinc or aluminum directly onto the surface during this process. Galvanizing provides excellent protection from rust and other forms of corrosion, making it one of the most popular steel painting methods.

These are just a few different methods for painting structural steel that can be used to protect metal surfaces from corrosion and wear.

Each technique has advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to research each one thoroughly before deciding which type is best for your project. With the proper knowledge and preparation, you can ensure that your metal surfaces look great and last for many years.

Types of coatings that will last on your steel structure

When it comes to coatings for steel structures, there are several types available. The type of coating you choose will depend on the function and performance requirements of the product or structure.

Epoxy powder coating

If you need a durable coating that can withstand harsh weather conditions, then an epoxy powder coating might be your best option. This type of coating provides superior protection against corrosion and extreme temperatures.

It also has excellent abrasion resistance and color retention properties, making it ideal for outdoor applications. In addition, it is easy to apply and cost-effective compared to other types of coatings.

PU coatings

Another popular choice is polyurethane (PU) coatings. PU coatings offer great flexibility in design possibilities due to their wide range of colors and textures. Additionally, they exhibit excellent resistance to abrasion, chemical exposure, and corrosion. PU coatings are also perfect for outdoor applications, as they possess superior weather ability and UV stability.


For steel structures that require a glossy finish or special metallic effects, an electrocoating (e-coat) coating is the way to go. E-coat coatings use electrical currents to apply a uniform layer of paint on large surfaces quickly and cost-effectively.

They offer excellent coverage with good adhesion and durability in extreme environments. The e-coat system is also environmentally friendly since it produces no hazardous waste like other coating processes.

Zinc-rich primer

Finally, consider using a zinc-rich primer if you need a coating with superior corrosion protection and durability. This type of primer contains high levels of zinc in its formulation, which helps it bond to the steel more effectively and provides excellent corrosion resistance. It is also highly resistant to abrasion and chemicals, making it ideal for heavy-duty applications.

Benefits of Structural Steel Painting

Painting structural steel offers the following benefits that can help extend the lifespan of your structures and ensure they remain in optimal condition for years to come.

  1. Protection: Painting structural steel helps protect it from the elements and preserve its integrity for extended periods. It prevents rust and corrosion and helps keep the material in better condition to perform optimally for years. This means lower maintenance costs due to less frequent repairs or replacements.
  2. Cost-effective: While painting may incur some initial costs, this is often outweighed by the benefits in the long run due to reduced repair and replacement expenses, as mentioned above. Protecting your structures against external damage is cost-effective and ensures their longevity.
  3. Improved aesthetics: Painting structural steel can also help improve its aesthetic appeal. With a wide range of colors and finishes, you can customize the look and feel of your structure to suit your needs and preferences.
  4. Safety: Painting structural steel helps improve safety by increasing visibility in low-light settings or during storms. This way, emergency personnel can quickly locate affected areas or hazards that need attention.
  5. Durability: Paint can help make the material more durable against cracking, chipping, fading, or other wear-and-tear that occurs over time due to regular use or exposure to the elements. This means that it will last longer and provide better value for money invested in it originally.

Trust Your Structural Steel Painting To The Experts

After considering your options for structural steel painting, it’s time to commit to your best choice. We know just how important it is for buildings to be structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing – that’s why we strive to provide flexible, comprehensive solutions that help you get the very best outcome.

McLean Company is your trusted structural steel painting contractor, and we have professionals in the industry who can ensure that your structural steel paint job looks good and lasts a long time. Our team of experienced painters can help make the vision you have come to life.

We are here when you need us and will provide excellent quality services every step of the way. Contact us today to get started with your project.