Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

October, 2005

Paint for Exterior Sculptures

Q. We are using modified gypsum products (FGR with polymer) for creating exterior sculptures. The mfr's of these products have not been able to guide us as to a durable paint method. We will be sandblasting the sculptures first. I was considering an adhesion promoter as well, but don't know which brands to consider. The sculptures need to be painted in many different bright colors (Crayon Box colors) so the paint system needs to be varied and preferably roll/brush applicable. Polyurethane auto paints can be easily scratched. Epoxies are UV unstable. I could paint with any system if I could find a good clear coat that would be durable to children climbing on them. Any suggestions?

A. I recommend that you contact Ameron international. Ameron is an industrial paint and coating manufacturer headquartered in Georgia. They should have local distribution in your area. Ameron manufactures a line of siloxane coatings that should fit the requirements. These coatings are based on Epoxy technologies, however they do not exhibit the same gloss or chalking problems that are common with most exterior epoxy applications.

I don't know what the spectrum of available colors is like, you will need to investigate if you are able to get the desired colors.

I have actually brush applied a white color on a small statue figure that is located out in the garden, its been there for several years now. It looks as good as the day that I painted it.

Once you have located a local supplier or distributor for the siloxane paints, discuss with them what you intend to do. Tell them what the gypsum material is, find out if they recommend a primer under the coating. Ask for any specific recommendations they may have.

When preparing any surface for the application of paints or coatings, be certain to take precautions to protect against breathing in any air borne dust particles or debris that may be created by the prep work.

Please be aware that paints, coatings and solvents are chemicals and therefore you should always pay attention to proper handling procedures and be prepared to wear protective clothing, such as respirators, gloves, coveralls, etc. For further information on the health and safety requirements for the coatings and solvents you wish to use we strongly advised you to contact your local coating supplier. If possible, go the extra step and look for this information on the website of the product vendor.


Jim Burke

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