Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

May, 2004

Painting Copper Pipe

Q. Do you know of any paint adhesion problems to copper surfaces? Are there any special treatments recommended such as primer, surface prepping, etc. prior to painting? Can any paint or primer approved for metallic surfaces be used?

A. Using a good quality metal primer as the coating applied to a clean oxide free surface will provide good performance under normal conditions. The ultimate performance will be divided when an acid etch, 2 component prep primer is applied over clean copper surfaces.

The acid tech primer is usually available at automative paint supply shop. It is suggested that you follow the instructions to the letter.

Acid etching: You MUST insure that you are properly protected with goggles, acid-resistant gloves and proper clothing so that you don't injure yourself. For similar reasons, please insure that you keep others away from this process.

Best regards,

Tom Burke

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