Gail Marcengill

Water fountain

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Paint like they use on the oil platforms at sea?

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Sheet metal does not narrow things down much Titanium sheet will need no coating, gold or platinum, will not  either; copper may need it depending on what you want it to do and stainless steel may not require much either.  Are you near a coast?

My suggestion is to build it from materials that need minimal maintenance over time. If you are in the USA the cost of maintenance can exceed the cost of the materials after a short while.

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That's a tough one as steel wants to rust; are you willing to have the whole thing hot dipped galvanized?

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Is the pool  feature buried in the ground, or is the entire  installation  above ground? Perhaps a rubber  coating  AND a sacrificial zinc anode?

Good luck, Robert Taylor

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8 hours ago, medieval said:

Spray on cold galv....available at Home Depot. 96% as effective as hot dip galvanizing 

I'd be interested in hearing about data that supports that claim, especially from sources other than the manufacturer.  Don't get me wrong, I've used similar products myself it has it's place but comparing to HDG seems like a wild exaggeration.  

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1 hour ago, Judson Yaggy said:

I'd be interested in hearing about data that supports that claim, especially from sources other than the manufacturer.  Don't get me wrong, I've used similar products myself it has it's place but comparing to HDG seems like a wild exaggeration.  

ditto

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I use it as an electrician to patch the scratches on cabinets and pipe,  it does seem to hold up very well.  But I also would like to see some data about long term.

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12 minutes ago, Steve Sells said:

I use it as an electrician to patch the scratches on cabinets and pipe,  it does seem to hold up very well.  But I also would like to see some data about long term.

how moist of an environment have you used it in Steve?

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Mainly underground and on meter bases in the rain, a few garden waterfalls, and once on play ground equipment. ( I made monkey bars for my niece ) I am in Indiana, pick an environment except desert; and we have it,  nearly daily !

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12 hours ago, medieval said:

Spray on cold galv....available at Home Depot. 96% as effective as hot dip galvanizing 

In terms of anode protection yes, zinc is zinc.

But hot dipped ads more zinc and has a better bond.

If there are chemicals involved the zinc paint could fall behind even more

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56 minutes ago, Steve Sells said:

Mainly underground and on meter bases in the rain, a few garden waterfalls, and once on play ground equipment. ( I made monkey bars for my niece ) I am in Indiana, pick an environment except desert; and we have it,  nearly daily !

I've used it on exterior mechanical supports to touch up areas that required field joints of hot dipped parts. Seems as though the failures of the coatings are always at the touched up areas before the shop hot dipped areas. 

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I've had pretty good luck with the spray galvy in environments where there's no mechanical abrasion, the stuff just isn't as hard as hot dip or electro plated so it will scratch or rub off a LOT faster. It's still a pretty decent product, there's also a spray zinc primer I've heard decent about but haven't used myself. No test lab type data on the stuff though, either type.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Something I know about.  I work on boats that come out of the water every 3-5 years.  Lots of them are older houseboats with steel pontoons.

Stay away from the spray on rubber.

I would do this 1 of two ways  It would help if I had a pic

1(what I would do)- Install a rubber pond liner.  Attach it to the upper rim and put a frame on it to hide the liner edges.  You will not have to worry about making sure the basin is water tight.  this is the easiest way to keep the basin from rotting out.  For the sculpture I would spray on the galvanize stuff.  If you want to the steel to show through and look like steel coat it well with several coats of water proof poly.  You will have to repaint it though, often.  For the area where the water will be coming out of or in constant contact I would find marine bottom paint.  Not the anti fouling stuff, the bitumen stuff. This is the cheapest.  There are MUCH more expensive things out there but not necessary.

2-Bitumen paint the basin.  Two coats and make sure you put it on thick near any seam, and corner. Also put it on the areas that will be getting the most water.  Waterproof poly the rest to keep the look of the steel.  This will have to be replaced over time.

If this is going to be an outside fountain make sure you get the poly that is suitable for being outside.

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No one has mentioned the powder coating, ... And that's a good thing.

While powder coating ( or rubber "bedliners" ) provide short-term protection, in the long run, they trap moisture between the coating and the steel.

Without a LOT more information, it's really not possible to make an intelligent recommendation.

But generally speaking, it seems ill-advised to use mild steel in any application that will be continuously exposed to the elements.

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First choice:  powder coating - expensive

Second:  marine paint and primer. 

Third:  Use automotive paint and primer with a top clear coating.  

Good luck

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Powder coating has not been a good choice for out shop. Looks good when new but is there is any abrasion or chips that compromise the coating, water gets under the power coating and rusts, blistering the coating away from the metal. Only fix we have found is to sand blast the entire piece and apply another type coating that can be touched up if needed.

Nothing is permanent but you can slow rust down with proper maintenance and staying on top of any small areas of compromise to the coatings that you apply.

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