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Advice on Repainting Plow

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by GLS, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. GLS

    GLS Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    I am looking for advice on how to go about repainting my 7 year old western plow (7.5' Pro unimount). The paint is starting to come off in large pieces. I ran a search and found a couple of threads that stated western plows paint tend to flake off fairly easy.

    So, how do I go about repainting this? Do I sand/sandblast the whole plow? Do I just sand the rusty spots and touch it up? Or do I just forget about paint and let it rust?

    If you suggest sandblasting, can I rent one or do I have to buy one? Also, should an paint gun be used, or just plain old spray paint? I have an air compressor.

    Attatched below is a picture of the plow before this season. Since then, more paint has flaked off, especially on the backside.


  2. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    To do it right,it should be sandblasted,primed and painted.It will be hard to just paint it yourself without blasting it as you will be painting over the rest of the paint that will be ready to peel off.

    If you just want to clean it up,then a wire wheel and some red tremclad will help keep it looking decent until you can completly strip it and have it redone.
  3. szorno

    szorno Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    Scrape the loose stuff off, then a quick hit with a wire brush on the rustiest spots. Then just rustoleum primer and rustoelum Regal Red. It doesn't look as good as a proper re-finish but it is faster and cheaper, and serves the purpose of makeing it s little less likely to stick.:)
  4. Chief Plow

    Chief Plow Senior Member
    Messages: 201

    If it were mine, sandblast it then prime it, and spray it with the paintgun from an air compressor. ( I have a sand blaster ). If you don't have one, wire wheel as much of the rust of as you can, then sand the plow and prime and paint. We have one plow we tested with a paint called pro, or por 15 paint. It is supposed to seal against rust. After 2 seasons the plow looks great. P.S. looks as though your cutting edge could be replaced... Just my 2 cents

  5. Rooster

    Rooster Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 650


    Check out the website for por15 that Chief Plow mentioned.

    That paint is out of this world for stopping rust, not cheap for a complete vechile, but for a plow won't break the budget either.


  6. bds landscaping

    bds landscaping Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    i just repainted mine last year it came out nice. first i scraped off all the big pieces then i applied heavy duty paint stripper this worked real well then i sanded it for just about a full day(this is where a sandblaster would be grate if i knew how much time it would have saved me i would have rented one.)
    when i finnaly got around to painting it i put 4 coats of rust proofing primer and one thick coat of red.
  7. CPSS

    CPSS Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    You can get a small portable sand blaster for around $100. You must have a pretty good compressor. Use children's playground sand from Home Depot. Make sure its dry sand. Northern Tool has several small sand blasters. We use one and it sure beats a wire brush. Get a cheap paint sprayer ($40 at Home Depot or Northern Tools) and spray the primer, then a good quality oil based paint. Stay away from spray cans, it puts the paint on too thin.
  8. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    I sanded my plow down then sprayed an automotive primer 2 coats then 2 coats of red industrial primer then 4 coats of polyurethane paint.
  9. MLB

    MLB Senior Member
    Messages: 110

    Mine looked like that this fall

    I wire brushed and drill wheeled the rust spots. shot them with primer and then used up 5 partial cans of varius colors I had in the garage, then went over it all with two cans of red to cover. That built up the paint enough to seal the rust spot edges and I've been very happy with how it's held up this winter. Partner paid $300 to have his powercoated and it looks pretty, but for $10 in cans, I think I can keep mine pretty enough.
  10. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    Chances are, at 7 years old, the plow is painted, and you can follow all the advice given so far. Use a gasket scraper to scrape as much loose paint as you can. IF the plow is powder coated, that changes things a bit. If you paint over it, without prepping it properly, the rust will be back so fast your head will spin. Powder coating does not handle rust well. It allows the rust to spread like wildfire under it. That is one of the drawbacks to powdercoating plows, and any equipment actually. I recall the (some) manufacturers saying they wish they could still paint all their plows, but there is some type of EPA regulation making them use powdercoating.

    You'll know that it is powdercoated if you try using liquid paint stripper, and it does nothing.

  11. I repainted my Western a couple of years ago. This worked very well and stopped the rust.
    1) Took the plow to a fabrication shop that builds dump truck beds. They have an industrial sandblaster (cannon) that blasts the metal very hard and removes all rust. It leaves the metal rough like a the strike area on a book of matches. This is called profiling the metal. Cost me $25.00. (Had a couple of cracks fixed at the same time at additional cost)

    2) After the metal is profiled be sure not to handle it with your bare hands. You will see you fingerprints where ever you touch it. This is the oils in your hands entering the profiled clean steel. The paint won't adhere well in those areas so wear gloves.
    Take the plow home and blow all the blast media off of (black sand is what they use with the cannons)

    3) Go to an auto paint store and buy some "self etching primer" it is usually O.D. green. It sprays straight on the steel with no prep needed.

    4) Shoot on the red of your choice over the Self etching primer. No sanding necessary.

    5) The truck I did 5 years ago had rust much worse than yours.
    It has been used every year since and the only areas that have started to rust are the ones where the paint wore off due to plowing. It worked great was fairly quick and wasn't hard to do.
    Note: I used a cheap $25 spray gun I purchased at Lowes.
  12. Arc Burn

    Arc Burn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,141

    $25 to sandblast a whole plow? Not to bad indeed,it costs me over $25 just in sand to do them so I'd say thats a hell of a deal!
  13. Big Todd

    Big Todd Senior Member
    Messages: 126

    One of the larger contractors in the area that I know well, had all of their plows sandblasted and powdercoated at the begining of the season. I am interested in seeing how they held up this season, because I was thinking of doing that myself. I had my pro-wings blasted and powdercoated five years ago, and they still look great and the snow does not stick to them at all.

    Two years ago, I sanded the moldboard on my western. I got it as smooth as possible and ground off all the rust and rough spots down to bare metal. Then I primed it and painted it with the actual western paint. (you can buy it in gallons and shoot it with a spray gun). Two years later, it looks worse than it did before. I'm going to try something this summer, either painting it with a better paint, or powdercoating .
  14. columbiaplower

    columbiaplower Senior Member
    Messages: 311

    when sand blasting do you have the whole blade done or just the front? I just bought a used meyer (mistake? probley but it came on the truck) and the a frame has some rust..... how should i deal with that?
  15. columbiaplower

    columbiaplower Senior Member
    Messages: 311

    Big Todd- your problem might be this. When you sanded the blade, you made it too smooth so that when you painted it the paint didnt have a good surface to bond to.
  16. GLS

    GLS Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    Thanks for all of the helpful info guys:)

    I think I will either rent or buy a sandblaster and then coat it with primer and paint. I think I will put a clear coat on top of that.

    Rick - the cutting edge isn't as bad as it looks, I have the plow shoes down.

    Chuck - As a matter of fact, it is powder coated. Your right about the rust getting underneath it. I'll attatch a pic below that shows a bubble of paint ready to pop...the rest of the plow is doing this too. It cracks off in big pieces.

    One other question. When I sandblast this, should I just use play sand from home depot or use some type of abrasive (they had containers of this at tractor supply, also 10gal sand blaster for about $100--is this a decent price?).

    Thanks again

    Here's the pic of the bubble that is ready to crack:

  17. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    The stuff you want to get is called black beauty any place that rents or sells the sandblaster should have it .They do have different grains and the nozzel that is at the end of the gun.
    Some things that will help with sand blasting.
    1.Have a really good supply of air.
    2.A good blaster .
    3.The right nozzel and grain size or plastic beed.
    4. And a good suit the will cover your whole body and head.
  18. speedracer241

    speedracer241 Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    I hit mine with a DA sander with 80 grit this year.
    I used a self etching primer, sealer and Sikkens brand Autocryl. It has held up well, very few chips and scratches. I used a base clear system last year and it didn't hold up as wall as this year.

    Hell get it sandblasted and bring it on over, Ill paint it for ya.:D
    Mark K
  19. Bossplower

    Bossplower Member
    Messages: 89

    Cat 320

    Did the 4 coats of polly over the paint keep the snow from sticking?
  20. Arc Burn

    Arc Burn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,141

    I second the Black Beauty,comes in 100# bags and is MUCH cheaper than abrasives at TSC.I just picked up a dozen bags for a little under $7/ea.You need alot of air and at the very least a hood of some sort to cover your head and face.

    One of my blasters is a cheepie from Harbor Freight,10 gallon about $80,seems to work best with "fine" BB sand,be carefull as there are different grades of sand and a nozzle for each.