Refinishing Steel Raft Frame - Mountain Buzz

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Old 03-02-2019   #1
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 1
Refinishing Steel Raft Frame

I have an old 2005 Outcast Pac 1300 fishing raft with the original steel fishing frame. I just got a new bladder for the floor from Aire. I was going to sell it on CL but have decided to fix it up instead.

I'm not sure if it's anodized, galvanized, etc. Parts of the raft have rust particularly around the welds. I'm trying to decide whether it makes more sense to spot treat the issue areas or to strip the entire finish off of the raft and repaint it.

A few questions for the experienced people on the forum:

1) If just spot treating, what is the best way to address rust on a steel raft frame?

2) If stripping the entire finish, what kind of paints are going to hold up to the use on a raft frame?

First time poster and relatively novice rafter (bought the raft just under 2 years ago but only used it 7-8 times). Any advice appreciated, thanks! If photos will help, happy to take some and post.


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Old 03-02-2019   #2
Rick A's Avatar
Henderson, Nevada
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 169
It sounds like you have a steel frame so it may be galvanized or maybe not, but I've never heard of anodized steel. When folks talk about anodized metal it is usually aluminum which doesn't rust. Aluminum can do some weird things when attached or stored in contact with dissimilar metals that do rust though.

If you plan in painting your steel frame or any surface for that matter proper preparation of the surface and using a primer designed to adhere to the surface you are painting and compatible with the type paint you are using are the most important factors in a good paint job.

They make paint especially for galvanized steel and acid etching primer for anodized aluminum. As far as rust you should be able sand it off with sand paper if it's rusting through then you have problems paint isn't going to fix.
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Old 03-03-2019   #3
athelake's Avatar
Newman Lake, Washington
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Most of the steel welded frames are made out of galvanized EMT. The rust spots on the joints are most likely caused by the galvanizing being burnt off during welding. You can wire brush the rust and use a galvanizing spray paint on the joints.

You can also paint, powdercoat or use bed liner on the steel frames. The galvanizing should be worn enough that you won't need a special primer for paint.
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Old 03-03-2019   #4
k2andcannoli's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 945
I used to have a pac 1100 frame. Broke the hell out of it, welded it back up, broke it again and decided i needed a real cat frame. Your frame is fine for a raft but the thin walled cheap tubing they used in the modular frames is too weak for a whitewater cataraft .

Frame is powder coated black, not to my knowledge is any part galvanized. Cheap grinder and some flap discs to remove the rust, acetone, primer, and paint is all you need.
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Old 03-23-2019   #5
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 13
Your frame is definitely steel since itís rusting. You need to remove the old coating and any old rust, then recoat with something.

I just bought Rust Bullet for my project (automotive axles).

Havenít tried it yet, but I have used their main competitorís stuff, POR-15. It does seem to cure very hard and prevent rust. I wouldnít recommend POR-15 in this application without a top coat since itís not UV stable.
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Old 03-23-2019   #6
MT4Runner's Avatar
Kalispell, Montana
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Depends on the old coating. If it has adhered well, you probably don't need to remove it. If it's flaking off, then get the rest off.

Tip: a wire wheel in an angle grinder works wonders to remove old paint. Wear a dust mask. You can get an angle grinder on sale at Harbor Freight for $15. Buy a knotted wire wheel. Also get a full face shield ($10) and some welding gauntlet gloves ($6)

As athelake said, it's likely galvanized. If you're down to old galvanized, it has probably oxidized enough that primer will adhere. If you remove the old paint, you'll probably shine up the galvanized below it, and you'll need an acid primer.

Tip: you don't need acid primer. Muriatic (swimming pool acid/toilet bowl cleaner) will both oxidize the metal enough to let the primer get a good grip. Simply wear rubber gloves and wipe it on with a rag. Let it bubble for 10min and rinse it off well with water. When the water dries, you'll see the galvanized is no longer shiny, and it feels slightly rough. Primer will stick well.

Originally Posted by Mikerson View Post
Your frame is definitely steel since it’s rusting. You need to remove the old coating and any old rust, then recoat with something.

I just bought Rust Bullet for my project (automotive axles).

Haven’t tried it yet, but I have used their main competitor’s stuff, POR-15. It does seem to cure very hard and prevent rust. I wouldn’t recommend POR-15 in this application without a top coat since it’s not UV stable.
I've used POR-15 on 4 raft frames, my raft trailer, a horse trailer, ammo cans, propane tanks, and 4 hockey goals. It's tough stuff. I HIGHLY recommend it for a bonding/penetrating primer. I also agree that it's not a top coat.

Tip: use POR-15 as a primer. You should use a catalyzed paint over it. Use their HardNose paint, or: go to the auto body paint supplier in town and buy a pint of alkyd enamel hardener. It will cost you $30+, but will last over several projects.

Then go to Home Depot or Ace Hardware and buy regular oil paint in the color you like. Also buy a quart of naphtha.

Mix 10 parts paint, 2 parts naphtha, and 1 part hardener. Brush, spray, or roll on (use more or less naphtha if you're spraying, but this is the right ratio for brush/roll. The naphtha lets the brush/rolled paint flow out smooothly, then flashes off to let the paint cure. The hardener makes the oil paint dry to the touch faster, and also catalyzes it harder. I rarely use bomb cans for anything now.

This frame is POR-15 primer, yellow HardNose paint, covered by GlistenPC clear with gold pearl flake. When I redo it, I plan to use a bigger glitter flake, and might try some photochromatic powder in the clear! (disappears when it gets hot)

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