paint for a rack?

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Aug 12, 2002
I just finished welding up a cargo rack for my fj60 and was wondering if anyone had a suggestion concerning what kind of paint would be best for it. I need something that won't scratch or flake off easy. I know a lot of manufacturers actually dip theirs. Is there an easy application finish that would work for me?

If there's a decent powdercoater near you, you might want to check into it. *Good* powdercoating is very durable, especially in an application exposed to the elements like a roof rack, and since black is probably the most common color used by most powdercoaters, you stand to get a very good deal on it.

FWIW, I just took my roofrack apart and had the steel superstructure powdercoated for $60, I thought it was well worth it. I replaced all the hardware with SS at the same time. Here's a close-up shot of the work:
I did my conferr in Duplicolor truck bed coating which is black, I really like the way it came out. Seems to be a fairly durable surface and has good adhesion so far. I have yet to put it on the truck and test it with the elements and UV so that I can't comment on. Most auto stores have it in spray cans, used about 3 cans and 2 coats I think. It was powdercoated from the factory and started rusting fairly quickly within the first few years I have owned it. I do live by the beach though where there is more salt in the air.

I painted our con-fer with a rubberized undercoating, it's non-slip and has been durable.
I have also used the rubberizzed undercoating, it does work well, I used it on many of the cab seat brackets etc that sit on the floor and will constantly be kicked etc. so I needed something that was ding resistent. If you are going to use undercoating buy the 3M stuff, MUCH better than the cheap stuff.

Whatever you use, your prep work is the most important step. The best process is to sand blast if possible. If you bought the steel for your cargo rack new, then there's a good chance that it has a translucent coating on it. That's mill scale (FeO) and NOTHING will adhere to it. Mill scale is inherent in the manufacturing process for hot rolled steel. There are a few ways to remove it:
Mechanical - sand blasting or sanding. Don't sand unless you want a great shoulder workout, it will take you a while.
Chemical - Phosphoric Acid and/or Hydrochloric Acid. There is a high concentration of phosphoric acid in CLR (yea the As Seen On TV stuff). You have to give it some time to work. Since submerging your rack isn't possible, then you can put it in a plastic swimming pool and use a brush to keep the surface wet with it. Expect to spend a couple of hours doing it.

With all that said, prep on new hot rolled steel is a pain in the a$$, so I'd think that you may want to very seriously consider 60seriesguy's suggestion to powder coat. They will bead blast the part before their process. Even if it costs you $100, it is probably worth saving you the prep work. You will get far better adhesion from powercoating rather than any 1 component coating (aresol can).
If you can find a powder coater to do it in for $100 or less as all means do it. The time and money to do it yourself will be more. The first step in the powder coat process is an acid bath, then powder coat sprayed on and then its baked on. For $60 I couldn't get it there fast enough.

Did my rack out of aluminum...weld, install, and go.
My advice, FWIW, There are a lot of guys that sand and/or soda blast. They charge by the hour. My FJ40 was $180 for the whole thing, disassembled. Sand will take off rust and soda only removes paint, won't even harm chrome or glass. Rust is not an issue for you on this particular part. Call someone from the Yellow Pages, if you have no other source, and take your part to him on a job. I would have it primed with urethane primer then sprayed with Imron. &nbsp:Done...period.
I believe powdercoaters do their own prep with an acid bath. Your only problem will be finding a powdercoater that has the right sized equipment to handle the roof rack, that's why I suggest the Imron route.
There you go, FWIW
Ed Long
Powdercoat it. I spent hours preping, priming and painting mine with HardHat Flat black. First few times I used it the paint scratched off and now I have rust. I am planing on powdercoating.

powdercoat is the way to go.. but i doubt you will get out of there for less than 100 bucks.. that is the minimum set up charge out here in denver
Hey mtnman, you have any pics you could send me? I'm thinking about making a rack this summer for my 60. Thanks, if you do, and if not, could you just give me a general description, like did you find a design to copy or something?


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