Paint for Press - Gen. Inquiry

Hey all, have a question off the top of my head for yinz. For those of you who restore presses, what kind of paint do you use?

We used a paint before for some cast steel parts that was originally a gov’t issued paint for mailboxes from way back when; I couldn’t tell you what it was if I tried, but it was the best darn paint for heavy stationary machinery that I ever used. We used it on some foot shears and large breaks, and the paint stood up to even hammer blows for shaping sheet metal. Any hints on what this might be and if I can get it in black - please let me know.

So dish it out, what kind/brands do yinz use?

Log in to reply   3 replies so far

Tractor paint from a farm supply store. It’s generally pretty tough stuff.

I have repainted several presses, and recommend that you prime the metal with a primer that is specifically designed for cast-iron. Here is a link to the product I have been using.

It is like painting with glue, and if you can paint it without much thinning it fills the roughness of sand castings. Use this primer only in a very well ventilated area. I have used sign-painter’s brushes called Deer-foot Fitch brushes, or Angled Fitch which is designed for painting rough surfaces. You will find that the rough castings are sometimes difficult to get paint into, and having the right brush helps a lot. The Kem-Kromik comes in white, and brick-red colors. I bought the white and had it tinted to resemble the color of cast-iron. The compatible enamel is way too glossy for an old press.

Over this you can pretty much use any oil-based enamel, but remember to rough the surface with Scotch-Brite pads if more than a day passes between coats (this goes for primer as well as top-coat). I have had good luck with paints as varied as Rustoleum, and 1-Shot sign paints (the sign paints have a lot of pigment, and cover very well). You really don’t want anything shinier than a semi-gloss paint. Very glossy presses can be distracting.


image: RHoeFoolscap1855_A.jpg


I’m checking it out now! Thank you, Paul!