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  • Writer's pictureShannon Grimes

Preparing Metal for Coating | Helpful Hints for the Best Results

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

If you have read any of my other blogs (they are full of great information, I highly recommend them!) I have said that Everbrite Coatings are unique, there truly are no other products like them on the market. We have a variety of coatings for different projects and we make it easy to find the coating that is best for your project. We provide very detailed, but easy to follow instructions. We offer Technical Support and are willing to help you in any way possible, short of coming over on Saturday and working on your project with you!

☎️We do get a lot of calls from our clients. Most of them are happy as a clam in the sand, but there are times, every blue moon, when something goes a little wonky and a project does not turn out as planned. Most of the time, it's preparation related and we learn from our clients mistakes but we also get the opportunity to share them with others. A mistake is just that, an opportunity to correct, to learn and to teach others not to make the same error. I’m going to share the common mistakes and why the 3-4 step process is so important.

Cleaning your Substrate

Cleaning the metal with a mild soap 🧼 , like Dawn or EZPrep, is the first step of all our instructions, for every type of metal (except rusted metal). The amount of cleaning is going to depend on how dirty or oxidized the substrate is. If you are working on the garage door or a storage facility door that is in desperate need of cleaning, a mild soap wash with a Cleaning Brush or Prep Pad

is your best bet. The easiest way to check if you have cleaned properly is to perform what we like to call a “Wet Test”. Test your garage door, or other painted metals, by cleaning a small area (the size of a license plate) with a few drops of dish soap and a scrub pad / brush, rinse well. How your door looks wet, is how it will look when protected with our coatings.

🛑Other projects may not require as intensive cleaning as a garage or storage door but removing the dirt and oil is still very important to having the most clean substrate possible!


Polishing your project is not always necessary, if your finish is where you want it or it is already highly polished and you are trying to preserve that look, no need to polish anything!

⬇️If you did not use an acidic polish, you don’t even need to worry about…⬇️


If you do use a polish, try to get one that does not have an acidic base, like Midas Touch. Highly acidic polishes like Bar Keepers Friend or Never Dull will need to be neutralized, either with EZ Prep or 1 cup baking soda to one gallon of water. EZ Prep will rinse with no residue but baking soda/water will need some extra rinse time to remove the grit. Either method works great and is important because residual acids from the polish WILL turn black and you will have to start over from the beginning if this happens.

The Solvent Wipe AKA #1 Most Important Step

🛑Skipping this step will result in poor adhesion of the coating!🛑

DO NOT Solvent Wipe PAINTED METALS. The solvent wipe with xylene, xylene substitute, denatured alcohol, or pure acetone will remove any traces of residue. This step needs to be done immediately before coating unpainted metal. DO NOT dilute or rinse off the solvent or dry it with a leaf blower! Let it evaporate on its own, this may take 15-30 seconds. This step ensures a completely clean and dry surface. Xylene, acetone or denatured alcohol can be purchased from your local hardware store. Xylene is not available in all States, however there are plenty of xylene substitutes that will work great. Please….Don't use rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover purchased in the cosmetics department at the local pharmacy, it's not the same.


OK, here you are, at the finish line! 🏇See how easy it was? And if you are coating stainless steel appliances, you had even less to prepare! Now you just have to coat your project, at least 2 coats (depending on what you are protecting) and you won’t have to think about it again for a very long time. Application can be done several ways and it's best to use the one you are comfortable with. I cannot paint with a paint brush to save my life, and my dad was a painter! We send applicators with orders placed on our website or via Shopify (except aerosols) and they work great!

Regardless of what you use, a natural bristle brush, applicator pad, microfiber cloth or PreVal, our coatings are self leveling which means you will have a nice smooth finish when it is cured. The coating should glide on smoothly, and should not ‘skip’. If you feel like it's skipping, add more product but if it's dripping, use less. Drips are easy to fix and will self level. Drips can be removed by gently dabbing the spot with a paper towel or work cloth, don’t wipe it, just let the towel/cloth absorb the excess. The most important thing to do is….WALK AWAY!

Let it dry for 45-60 minutes⏱️, don’t work the coating as it settles. After 45 minutes to an hour, you will be able to add a second coat and if you need additional coats, wait 45 minutes to an hour between. When working with ProtectaClear dry times may be slightly longer. The number of coats is project specific so please ask one of our Coating Professionals if you have any questions. We are available via Live Chat, thru the comments section of the blog or by calling us directly @ (916) 852-0200. All our instructions can be found here.

Next, on Everbrite Ideas 💡….We Know Coating…and Customer Service

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