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Clear coat or Lacquer Truck Box?

I was given a Delta brand truck tool box from a friend. It is white right now as that is how they come from the factory. I would like to remove the paint somehow and lacquer or clear coat the bare steel. I have seen metal that has been brushed by a wire wheel and then lacquered. That is the look I am trying to achieve. I also need help on what to use to remove the existing paint. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


John Hurston
- Phoenix, Arizona, USA

If you haven't already found a way to do this, you can use PPG's DAU-75 clear coat. Prep the bare steel with acetone [on eBay or Amazon] prior to spraying. It adheres well, and looks great. It's a little expensive though.

Since are are also in the Phoenix area, you can get it at Specialty Paints. There is one on Bell, and one on Miclintock just north of University in Tempe.

Trent Mitchell
custom furniture - Tempe, Arizona

I need to lacquer some rust free mild steel drums for outside use. Is there an application I can buy and apply by hand or is commercial dipping the only real alternative?

clare cherry
- West Sussex UK
June 13, 2011

2K Clearcoat

(affil links)

June 15, 2011

Hi, Clare.

The best clearcoats would be the two-component type that body shops mix just before spraying. For yard art you could buy the cans of each component, mix them, and brush them on.

But there are also spray cans with the two components in one can .
You "activate" these cans to mix the two components together, then you have a limited numbers of hours to complete the spraying (because the coating doesn't "dry"; rather, a chemical reaction between the two components causes the coating to harden. Other than that, there are 101 brands of single-component sprays and brush-ons available.

There is a limit to what a clearcoat can do for you in terms of corrosion resistance though. The steel on automobiles is exceptionally corrosion resistant, not because of the clearcoat, but because of the whole multi-step process: engineering for no exposed welds or seams, mechanical preparation, galvanneal coating, phosphatization pretreatment, electropaint priming for 100% coverage, finish coat applied in a cleanroom for no particles, and the clearcoat. So don't expect years of rust-free service on bare steel simply from a clearcoat. Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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