Understanding Types of Metal Deck Finishes
Types of Metal Deck Finishes
Metal decks have become more popular in construction projects because of their strength, durability, and versatility. That said, the beauty and appeal of metal decks can be improved by applying numerous finishes. This not only adds an important aesthetic appeal but also helps the decks last longer and offers critical protection.
In this article, we will explore the vast range of metal deck options, which includes a plethora of options with unique attributes and advantages.
- Powder Coating
One of the most widely used finishing techniques for metal decks is powder coating. This technique involves applying dry powder to a surface before curing it with heat. In turn, this creates a smooth, durable, and attractive finish that many people love.
In addition, powder coatings offer an extensive range of finishes and colors, including glossy to matte. As such, this allows designers and architects to create a wide array of visual effects.
Another key advantage of using a powder coating finish is its excellent resistance to chipping, fading, and scratching. This stern resistance makes it ideal for indoor and outdoor applications. Also, the powder coating finish provides additional protection from corrosion, chemical exposure, and ultraviolet rays.
Another popular method of protecting metal decks is galvanizing, which involves immersing metal in molten zinc to form a protective zinc coating on the surface. One of the key benefits of using a galvanizing finish is its rust resistance, making it perfect for outdoor applications, particularly in humid or coastal regions where corrosion is a major concern.
In addition, galvanizing offers fantastic durability; it can effortlessly withstand mechanical damage better than many other finishes. That said, the finish tends to have a characteristic shiny appearance, so it’s not always suitable for many designs.
Anodizing is a specialized finishing process often used on aluminum decks. To create an anodizing finish, you’ll need to create an oxide layer on the metal’s surface by immersing it in an electrolytic solution while passing an electric current through it.
As such, this oxide layer enhances the metal’s natural properties, making it far more resistant to wear and corrosion. Anodized metal decks come in various colors, and the finish is important for the metal, ensuring it won’t chip or peel off. Likewise, the anodized layer allows the deck to maintain its metallic appearance, helping to provide UV resistance and enhanced durability.
- Painted Finishes
Another popular option is a painted finish; these have always been a classic choice for metal decks, ensuring a broad range of colors and effects. You can paint metal decks in various ways, including acrylic, epoxy, polyurethane, or polyester. However, this largely depends on the desired attributes and environmental conditions. Finding quality paint for steel decks is an easy way to get the coloring you want in your project.
If you’re seeking superb aesthetic flexibility, quality paint for steel decks could be the best option for you. The durability and longevity of this finish can vary, however, depending on the type of paint and exposure to external elements. You’ll probably need to undergo regular check-ups and maintenance to retain the appearance and ensure the protection of the metal decks.
- Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is a different formulation of steel and does not typically have an added coating. Regardless, because of its protection from corrosion, it’s a popular iron and carbon metal that is used everywhere. In addition, the natural metallic appearance of stainless steel makes it ideal for contemporary architectural designs. If you live in a location with high humidity levels or extreme temperatures, stainless steel decks are especially popular.
The main benefit of using stainless steel is the low maintenance requirements because it doesn’t require additional coatings to remain protected. However, the upfront costs of a stainless steel finish are often more than other finishes, which might make you reconsider this option on certain projects.
- Corten Steel
Corten steel, commonly known as weathering steel, is a unique finish that develops a rust-like patina over time. In turn, this increases the artistic appeal of metal decks. Better still, this patina creates a protective layer that prevents further corrosion, making corten steel decks brilliant for aesthetic and functional purposes.
Designers often use corten steel in contemporary and industrial-style designs because the evolving patina reflects the passage of time and adds an excellent sense of character to the structure.
However, it’s critical to consider the controlled rusting process and potential staining of areas around the deck during the initial phases.
The Process of Painting Metal Decks
If your project requires painting steel decks instead of using a finish, you’ll need to undergo a multi-step process to ensure everything runs smoothly. The process includes surface preparation, priming, and the application of paint.
Failure to properly paint metal decking can result in a damaged metal deck and a bad appearance, two things you desperately want to avoid.
Here’s a general guide to painting steel decks:
- Surface Preparation
The first step on the journey to painting your metal deck is preparing the surface for painting. Here are three things you must do:
Cleaning: Start by cleaning the metal deck surface to remove any dirt, grease, or dust. These are contaminants that might interfere with the paint adhesion. You should use a mild detergent or degreaser along the water and scrub the surface to dry completely before proceeding.
Removing Rust: If you notice any rust on your metal deck, you must remove it before painting. You can use a wire brush, sandpaper, or a rust remover to get rid of the rust. In addition, ensure
Smoothing Rough Areas: If your metal deck has any rough areas at all, you should use sandpaper or sanding blocks to smoothen them out. As such, this will help to create a more even surface for the paint application.
Applying Primer: Priming is essential if you want to promote better paint adhesion, enhancing the overall durability of the finish.
You should choose a primer specifically designed for metal surfaces. After that, apply the primer evenly using a paintbrush, roller, or sprayer; this will allow the primer to dry completely.
Inspect the Primed Surface: Once the primer has fully dried, you should inspect the surface for any areas or missed spots that may require touch-ups. It’s critical to have a uniform and well-covered primed surface before moving on to the paint application.
Choosing the Paint: You should select a quality paint for the steel deck that is designed for metal and the appropriate environment. The most commonly used paints for metal decks include acrylic, epoxy, polyurethane, and enamel paints. Each option offers its own advantage.
Applying the Paint: You should stir the paint thoroughly before you use it to ensure consistent color and texture. Depending on the type of surface, you can apply the paint with a paintbrush, roller, or spray gun.
Allowing Proper Drying Time: You should also ensure that the paint is allowed to dry completely before applying the next coat. This will prevent paint from cracking, peeling, and forming air bubbles.
Curing and Maintenance: Once you’ve finished the painting, you should allow time for the paint to cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions before subjecting the metal decking to heavy use or exposure. Remember, curing time may vary depending on the type of paint used.
The Best Paint Finishes for Metal Decks
The choice of colors when painting metal decking is important because it can transform the entire appearance. Let’s look at the most popular color schemes and the best paint for decking on the various options:
- Gray on Gray
Gray on gray is one of the most popular color schemes for metal decking. The scheme conveys a sense of understated elegance and modernity, allowing for various designs and possibilities. The best paint options include acrylic paint, epoxy paint, and metallic paint.
Acrylic paint is popular for its durable and weather-resistant finish, making it ideal for outdoor finishes. Epoxy paint is excellent for its durability and strong adhesion, making it perfect for high-traffic areas. Lastly, metallic paint adds a sense of luxury that helps to enhance the appearance of gray on gray metal decking.
- Gray on White
Gray on white is also a popular option because it’s a timeless color that adds balance and versatility to a space, effortlessly blending various design themes. The best paint for decking on gray on white includes enamel paint, polyurethane paint, and chalkboard paint.
Enamel paint ensures a glossy finish that enhances gray on white decking. Enamel paint, with its durability and glossy finish, is perfect for gray-on-white decking in an outdoor or indoor environment. Chalkboard paint is also a playful addition to gray-on-white metal decking because you can write and draw on the surface.
- Monochromatic Matte Finish
Another popular painting finish is the monochromatic matte finish because it’s timeless and offers understated elegance. This finish uses different shades of gray, mostly with no shine at all, to create a cohesive look. The best paint for decking for a monochromatic matte finish is either acrylic paint, epoxy paint, or polyester powder coating.
If you use acrylic paint, it’ll dry quickly on this surface and provide excellent durability. Epoxy paint is also superb because of its strong adhesion, which makes it a reliable option for metal decking. Likewise, polyester powder coatings provide durability, protection against UVs, and scratch resistance.
It’s essential to find the best paint for decking. Finding the right finish not only adds an aesthetic appeal to your metal decking but also ensures the decks last longer and maintain their pristine condition. If you find the best paint for decking, you’ll prolong the life of any metal deck and reduce costs significantly. Contact us at D-MAC Industries for more information about metal roof decking and more today!