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Painting With Iron Oxide Red Primer

Addtime: 2017/07/07   Read:4286  Font size: Large Small

Iron oxide red primer is a specially formulated coating used as a base coat for ferrous metals. Red-oxide primer serves a similar purpose to interior wall primers in that it prepares your metal for a topcoat, but it also gives iron and steel surfaces a layer of protection. Working with iron oxide red primer is not difficult, but it helps to be aware of some safety precautions and application tips.


Iron oxide red primer is intended for use on interior and exterior ferrous metal and is not usually suitable for galvanized or nonferrous metals like aluminum, copper or brass. Ferrous refers to metals that contain iron. If you’re uncertain whether your metal is ferrous or nonferrous, use a magnet to test it. Ferrous metals are magnetic, and nonferrous metals are not. It is also not suitable for use on asphalt or bituminous surfaces. Iron oxide red primer is an anti-corrosion coating designed to stop rust formation. It can be applied directly over a rusty surface and is most ideal for exterior use. Iron oxide red primer can be covered with most conventional topcoats once it fully dries.

Surface Preparation

Before painting with iron oxide red primer, make sure all substrates are clean and free from grease or oil. Use a degreasing solution to remove these materials and allow the surface to dry. A clean surface ensures that the paint applied after the primer adheres properly. After cleaning, remove all loose and flaking material by scraping with a paint scraper, wire brush or by sanding. For some metals, flame cleaning or grit blasting may be necessary.

Application and Drying Time

When applying iron oxide red primer, use a brush or a short pile roller. Thinning is not normally required if applying with a brush or roller. If you use an airless sprayer to apply iron oxide red primer, thin the primer 10 to 15 percent by volume with acetone, xylene or synthetic reducer. Begin thinning with as little solvent as possible and add more as needed until you achieve the right consistency. Spray iron oxide red primer onto the surface with a minimum working pressure of 2000 psi. Use at least two coats of iron oxide red primer to provide an adequate base coat to your metal. Each coat will be dry to the touch in about 2 hours, but not fully cured for about 6 hours. Iron oxide red primer will not be ready for an overcoat until it dries for between 16 and 24 hours. Always check the manufacturer’s label for specific instructions on drying times.


Iron oxide red primer, like other paints and coatings, should be used with standards and safe working practices in mind to avoid injury or hazards while handling. Iron oxide red primer is flammable, so keep it away from sources of ignition such as open flames and cigarettes. Before you begin working, ensure you have adequate ventilation. Either work outdoors, or open all windows in your work space and make use of exhaust fans. Wear a respirator or a painter’s mask to avoid breathing in vapors and spray. Safety goggles, gloves and protective clothing should also be worn. When you’re through painting, do not discard unused paint down drains or other water courses. Dispose of iron oxide red primer at your local hazardous waste depot.

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