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How to paint an evaporative cooling unit

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New Contributor

How to paint an evaporative cooling unit

Having my roof changed from tiles to Woodland Grey colorbond and we currently have an evap cooler in terracotta. Without having to replace a perfectly good working unit is there a way to paint it in the same colour? Has anyone changed their cabinet before either with paint or spare parts?

It's a Seely Braemar The material is Permatuf (a product brand name) Polymer which I guess is a plastic resin of sorts(!?).
Although they state it will last 25 years Im happy to paint over that with a long lasting colour so i don't have a big red mushroom on top!
What type of paint for material?
Does it need primer and what for type of material?
What is best to clean before primer/paint? 
Does it need additional coats?
As it's on a roof and at the rear of the property (not overly visible) im happy to brush paint rather than spray. But if they are easy enough to remove the covers i can do this.

Ideally it would be good to replace all the polymer (cabinet and skirt etc) but they don't tend to sell these as parts - just an entirely new system (about $2-3k).

Many thanks for your help.

 

 

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Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How to paint an evaporative cooling unit

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @gpop. It's fantastic to have you join us and many thanks for your question.

 

From my experience, the Squirts range of spraypaints has the best adhesion to plastics. White Knight Squirts Medium Grey 310g Spray Paint would appear to be the closest to woodland grey in their range. The product is self-priming and doesn't need a pre-coat. I would advise you to clean down the unit with sugar soap and a scourer. Rinse the unit down after cleaning and allow to dry before coating. You'll need to avoid spraying into the unit and potentially covering over and blocking the radiator fins.

 

If you wished to paint with a brush, I believe using a water-based self-priming exterior paint like Dulux Weathershield would be the best option.

 

I would advise doing a test section in an inconspicuous area to check how well it bonds to the surface. As you are dealing with a relatively unknown polymer I don't believe any paint supplier will be able to guarantee how well their paint will bond or how long it will last.

 

Please let me know if you need further information or had questions.

 

Mitchell

 

 

 

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New Contributor

Re: How to paint an evaporative cooling unit

Excellent. Thanks Mitchell.

Although Dulux Weathershield does contain primer I was also wondering if applying a straight up exterior primer prior to the Dulux WS would help extra with the paint bond. Does it work that way or is that just layering for the sake of layering?

Having (just now) been quoted $1.6k for the polymer casing alone (an entirely new unit is 2.5k installed!) I'm opting for the paint option for under $200.

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Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How to paint an evaporative cooling unit

Hi @gpop,

 

I apologise for the delay in my reply. I believe using a product such as Dulux 1 Step Prep Multi-Surface Undercoat before the Weathershield would enhance the bond. As mentioned above I would still advise doing a test section to confirm that the undercoat bonds well to the surface.

 

If you would like to take some before and after photos of your work I trust our members will be interested in seeing your results.

 

Mitchell

 

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Re: How to paint an evaporative cooling unit

Process:

  • Sugar soaped the unit twice allowing it to dry between each wash
  • Applied Taubmans 3-in-1 prep interior/exterior undercoat. The tin was 2L - probably uses 50-60% on 2 coats across 2 days
  • Applied Dulux Weathershield Low Sheen in Woodland Grey. The tin was 4L - Applied 2 coats before the new roof went on
  • Applied a further 1-2 coats of the Dulux post roof completion (the roofers used the aircon a lot for boxes of bolts and generally holding on etc) - this meant that a few scrapes and chips were appearing. In total used about 50-60% of the paint.

Project undertaken October 2020 - will provide an update if I start to see the paint flaking or any obvious signs of weather-wear
I probably spent 2 hours per coat. I only used 50% of the paint vols.
So far - I'm super happy with the outcome and from a few metres away on the ground you can't see any imperfections! :smile:

 

Tips:

  • You can use a small roller, but I found a brush a lot easier to use and was able to get into the 'vents' of the louvres easier.
  • On this model of unit you can be quite generous applying paint around the louvres without getting any onto the filters inside.
  • Safety first - Depends on your roof pitch you may need to consider having rails installed - the roofers had already installed ours before we started.
  • Wear good grippy shoes - roofers recommended skate shoes (they were using fairly cheap ones from adidas brand). I found the tiles were super easy to clamber around on (I'm already quite an agile spider monkey) but climbing on colorbond is a completely different game - its super slippy in other shoes. (I was also bare foot but the skate shoes better).

 

 

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Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How to paint an evaporative cooling unit

Hi @gpop,

 

That looks fantastic! You must be very happy with your work and rightly so.

 

Many thanks for updating us on the completion of your project and providing some great instructions for members to follow. I'm sure they will really appreciate the thorough detail.

 

We look forward to hearing about the other projects around your home and garden and can't wait to see what you contribute next.

 

Mitchell

 

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Experienced Contributor

Re: How to paint an evaporative cooling unit

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