Repainting the rack

For the rack I’ve been working on previously, I decided the rust and tarnish wasn’t acceptable and I should repaint it.

I know I could easily send it away and have it spraypainted (or even powder coated) professionally for not too much, but I’ve never sprayed metal before and I decided to use this as a learning exercise.

Here’s the steps involved I used. If I wanted to I could have done a lot more afterwards with cutting and polishing, but I was happy with the effect.

  • Clean the surface, remove all dust/cobwebs/dirt, etc
  • Wipe the surface with isopropyl alcohol.
  • Sand the metal with 80 grit sand paper, remove any trace of rust
  • Sand the metal with 180 grit sand paper, remove any trace of previous scratch marks, etc.
  • Sand the metal with 400 grit sand paper
  • Clean with isopropyl alcohol again (some people suggest priming the metal after this step, but my paint is an all-in-one and I decided to skip this)
  • Wet sand with 600 grit sand paper (wear latex gloves to stop oil from your hands)
  • Wet sand with 800 grit sand paper (wear latex gloves to stop oil from your hands)
  • apply paint per instructions, I used 2 coats separated by an hour, with little bits of touching up where needed.

Here’s what it looked like when I stripped it all down and started sanding:

sanding metal

The side panels being painted;

side panels being painted

The main frame being painted:

Main frame being painted

Painted and reassembled;

Main rack painted

Close up on the various colours. The finish isn’t perfect, but I’m pretty happy with it for a first go. The hammertone on the top and sides came out nicely too.

close up on the colours

And reassembled and powered up:

reconnected and powered up

I know what you’re thinking, and yes; This smart, elegant set of atomic clocks would be a tasteful addition to any living room.

All the sanding was pretty tiresome, but totally worth it. All up it was less than a week to go from getting the rack to having it re-painted and assembled in my house.

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