Painting a substrate.



Ok, so I want to try something a little different from my norm for a substrate. I was thinking a piece of sheet metal like I used for my art board. The kind you get from Home Depot. I still would like to use my com art water based paints to do the work. How should I prep the surface. I want to start with a white back ground.Should I just get some enamel spray paint and go at it? or is there some other method that would be better?
Im after a smooth surface that isnt paper. The illustration boards tick me off. even the super low tack painters tape seems to damage it so masking is a PIA. I will need to do a fair amount of masking in my next project.
A primer or base coat is the way to go. I have painted several pieces of metal with enamel or lacquer white/black for base coats. Even works if done lightly on poster board. Then just get some red or grey scotchbrite pads,scuffing pads, and scuff the surface and wipe down with a tack cloth.

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Hi Raberd!
mate if you're wanting to paint sheet metal, if there's no paint on it already then you'll want to apply an etch primer - you can probably get away with even using a 2 in 1 etch and high fill primer or something like that? If it's high fill primer then rub it flat with 1200Grit sandpaper and base coat the color you would like as the base.
Depending on what you're doing with it, you may even get away with just applying your basecoat color straight over the etch primer. i know i've painted on sheetmetal panels that just had 2k white on them and the adhesion was fine with heavy masking.

- Etch primers are for bare metal and use a chemical action to adhere.
- High fill primers are to fill imperfections/ scratches and to provide a flat base for base coat

hope this has helped!
Thanks guys, yeah that helps. Im about to embark on a project that will actually have a foreground AND a background, not just a floating skull on paper. I my practice portions of the final project on paper first just to see how difficult its going to be...
Is the com art (or any water based paint) going to lay down ok on an enamel base paint? Am I about to experience the nastiest paint skate of my life?
It may be a good idea to get a second small panel, prep both the same, and just practice on one. If you do not let the paint fully cure, you can spray it with windex , then wipe it clean and have a never ending metal practice panel. Then you get the feel for painting on metal versus paper. They are 2 different animals.

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after you let the base color cure out. scuff it like you would on a car with a good paint job but want graphics painted on it.
Enamel hold up well , That is all we had back in the day...LMAO
Ugh, I mapped out my "big project" tonight on paper and I think I'm trying to jump too far ahead again. It might be more than I can chew right now. I need to build my confidence not crush what I have now. Might be time to break that Koi fish back out and beat it...