Our objective on this job was to re-coat the external metal cladding for a Citreon showroom. The existing cladding coating was structural sound but had lost its punchy look over the years to UV damage and staining. We worked directly with Citreon management to build a specification that suited their budget and time scale. Due to Citreon running a customer facing business, speed was an important factor for them. Causing minimal disturbance to Citreons business was vital in our planning.
After understanding Citreons requirements we specified a paint system by PPG. PPG Selemix is a 2-pack coating which is very quick drying, gives a top quality finish, and can be applied in one coat.
Stage 1: Safety
Safety was key during this project as we had to work around the public and the employees of Citreon. Great lengths were taken to separate the public from our work areas. This included redirecting the public to temporary footpaths and restricting our work program to quieter times of the day when there was less footfall.
Stage 2: Cleaning and preparation
To test the integrity of the existing Plastersol paint we conducted several adhesion test over the cladding. The results showed that the existing cladding was sound so there was no need to strip it back to bare metal.
Old signage that was screwed into areas of the cladding had left many screw holes with jagged edges. Our team filed the metal back to a flat surface and applied a 2K metal filler. The 2K filler was then gently sanded back by hand in order not to disrupt the shape of he cladding panel.
Once we were satisfied that the old screw holes had disappeared we applied a gentle alkaline degreaser over all the cladding panels and washed it off with a 3000psi pressure washer. This insures that we have a perfectly clean substrate for the new coating to adhere to perfectly.
Stage 3: Masking
Although we only use paint systems and equipment that generate little to no overspray, Citreon management had some concerns that overspray might land on there windows and cars. We put the managements mind at rest by wrapping the majority of the building that wasn’t going to be sprayed. Also, we insisted that all of the brand new cars on display outside were moved to the other side of the building.
Stage 4: Spraying
Due to the nature of PPG Selemix, the spray application has to be timed perfectly in order to get the finish that Citreon expected. PPG Selemix is a 2K paint which means as soon as the base and the harder are mixed together it starts chemically drying. On top of this, we were operating in the peak of summer. In very warm conditions like this, once the paint hits the substrate it can dry almost instantly and leave a finish that is patchy. For these reasons we had to complete the spray process before the sun was at its highest in the morning.
The spray equipment used was an Air Assist gun. This works the same as an airless gun but with the added feature of introducing a steady flow of compressed air over the exiting paint. This means that the finish is closer to car body level with the benefit of being having a large throughput of paint to cover large areas. This system is ideal for flat panel cladding.