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Clear Coating Stainless Steel?

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Q. I have a kitchen range (stove/oven combo) with stainless steel knobs. The markings on the knobs have mostly worn off in just one year. So the manufacturer sent me replacement knobs. I was hoping to protect the knobs with a clear coat to prevent this from happening again, or least delay the process. What is the best product (or type of product) to use? It would need to be heat resistant and durable. Ideally be ok exposed to grease and stand up to degreaser cleaners. Preferably does not yellow. Or maybe this is asking for too much?

Tomo Sakai
- Newton, Massachusetts
April 4, 2022

2-component Automotive Clearcoat

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A. Hi Tomo. We don't like to suggest brands here ( huh? why?), but single-component clearcoats like Everbrite [a supporting advertiser] should be very helpful and are very easy.

Two-component clear coats like automotive clearcoat are probably the most durable, but require mixing the two parts in proper proportion and applying immediately. If you go with two-component you'll need disposable plastic mixing cups and disposable brushes because there's no practical way to clean up, there's only disposal.

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
April 2022

April 7, 2022

A. Tomo,
A common "home remedy" for this kind of thing is clear nail polish.

ray kremer
Ray Kremer
Stellar Solutions, Inc.
supporting advertiser
McHenry, Illinois
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⇩ Closely related postings, oldest first ⇩

Q. I have a stainless steel top on my dining room table and it shows each and every fingerprint (grease). Is there a way to put a clear coating on the stainless steel, to avoid the greasy prints? I want to preserve the integrity of the surface, though. I would like it foolproof, with no chance of bubbles of air or brush strokes. Something self-leveling? Something do-it-yourself?

Susan Heersema
- Chicago, Illinois

A. Lacquer. Clean the surface extremely well, if you lacquer it will prevent most streaking. Use a light ammonia [on eBay or Amazon] solution and rub hard in the direction of any brushed finish. If its polished stainless then take it to a finisher. Frankly nothing will be finger print free.

Kurt L [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Brooklyn New York

Need FDA approved clear coat

Q. I am looking for an FDA approved clear coat that can be used on a stainless steel surface. I have spent many hours online, and have not yet been able to find an answer to this question. If anyone knows of a product or a company out there that can help me with this, it would be most appreciated.

James Flanagan
hobbyist - Hollywood, California, USA

A. Try a company called Carboline -- they specialize in metal tank lining for potable water systems and should have a product designed for stainless steel. Good luck!

James MacGowan
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
May 31, 2013

Removing clear coat from stainless steel hood

Q. The hood over my cook top came with a clear coat. It is very difficult to clean as I was told not to use any harsh cleaners but instead wipe with cooking oil. This worked ok for a while but now after 7 years there are some breaks in the clear coat and it is more difficult to clean. I think the clearcoat should be removed. What should I use to remove it? Do I need clear coat?

David Kent
consumer - Springfield, Massachusetts

A. You can try any solvent(!) based paint stripper.Without lacquer maintenance can be more complicated. Hope it helps and good luck!

Goran Budija
- Cerovski vrh Croatia
January 7, 2008

Transparent etch primer for stainless steel?

Q. I would want to know how we can achieve the necessary PU clear coating adhesion on Stainless Steel? I have tried using Asian PPG clear coat but it peels off easily. I can't use Primers because I want the appearance of Stainless Steel to remain. are there any "Transparent Etch Primers" which can keep the appearance of steel intact?

Alok Rajput
- India
September 11, 2009


- MIDDLETON, Tennessee
February 9, 2011

Q. Hi,
I built a utility trailer out of stainless hoping it will last a lifetime. I don't want to paint it a color because I want to show-off the stainless. Reading here it sounds like if I paint it with something like Rustoleum Clear it will peel or turn into an ugly mess. Any ideas of how to protect it, or is protection even required?


wm hughes
- Bethesda, Maryland usa
March 17, 2014

A. Hi William. Ideally, stainless steel should be passivated. Without getting into long and debatable explanations of what passivation is, it removes the tiny traces of plain steel on the surface that can initiate rusting.

You may be able to do this yourself with citric acid formulations -- try contacting Stellar Solutions [a supporting advertiser] There are water-thin single-component clearcoats that oughtn't peel such as ProtectaClear from Everbrite [a supporting advertiser]


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
March 2014

Q. Hello,

I work with SS304 grade materials for some industrial products. We have encountered certain instances where these SS304 parts have shown to be rusting. Customers expect SS304 materials to be corrosion resistant even though it is not the case to be in aggressive atmosphere. What is the solution to this? Is there a less expensive and easy to apply coating which will not compromise the aesthetics of the parts? Our volumes are also limited. Please suggest.

Raj Kovil
- Mumbai, India
February 20, 2015

February 2015

A. Hi Raj. I think the first question is whether the stainless steel has been properly passivated.


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

A. I agree that the passivation is the way to go, when it comes to stainless. But if you must coat stainless, I'd use Imron clear [adv: Imron clearcoat on eBay] . It's a linear aliphatic two-part polyurethane that combines characteristics of polyester and acrylic. It was developed by Dupont, but Dupont recently sold off its coatings division, and I think it is now made by Axalta Coating Systems.

By the way, Imron is highly chemical resistant. It's also chip resistant and UV resistant. It's used to paint aircraft, boats, vehicle undercarriage, industrial components, bridges, etc.

Robert Eidschun
- Victor, New York, USA
March 13, 2015

A. Raj,
Stainless is at best corrosion resistant steel, not corrosion-proof steel. Customers frequently do not understand this but it is the job of the supplier to inform them, especially when the site is clearly a highly corrosive environment. The customer would need to perform passivation treatments regularly to keep their stainless looking nice. Fortunately with citric acid products this is safe and easy.

I never tell anybody that they shouldn't clear coat their stainless, but I do tend to point out that if you are relying on a coating for corrosion protection anyway, there is little point in using stainless to begin with. Also, most coatings do have a lifetime expectancy; if and when the coating does eventually start to crack or fail, the corrosion sites caused tend to be worse and harder to deal with than if it were just bare stainless.

ray kremer
Ray Kremer
Stellar Solutions, Inc.
supporting advertiser
McHenry, Illinois
stellar solutions banner
March 16, 2015

Corrosion Protection coating on SS-202 grade Fasteners

Q. We need SS Fasteners for use in Solar Support Structures which use Hot Dip Galvanised Steel as well as Pre-Galvanised steel members. As the fastener diameter is M6 to M10 it is not possible to use hot-dip galvanised fasteners. Hence we have to opt for SS fasteners. Some clients have told that plain SS fasteners may not be compatible with galvanised steel members over a long period of time, like 25-30 years. Hence some sort of protective coating is required on the surface of SS fasteners which not only provides some corrosion protection but also makes the SS fastener compatible with galvanised steel members. In the market some Fastener suppliers are offering such SS fasteners but as a customer I am unable to ascertain what type of "Protective Coating" I am required to pay for.
Need to know something about the type and process of applying this protective coating on SS fasteners, supposedly made out of SS 202 quality steel. Also why actually there is the need for such a coating?

Rajendr Singh
Fabricator and Galvaniser - Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
September 8, 2015

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