FAQ - Application Guidelines

The Rust Restoration Specialist !

Application Guideline

NOTE: For reference purposes only. For additional or more detailed information contact POR-15, Inc. or an Authorized Industrial Partner directly.


These guidelines cover the external and internal surface preparation and the coating of equipment or vehicles. These applications include, but are not limited to, structural steel and production equipment, coastal, offshore facilities, manufacturing and processing plants. Some the general items to be coated are steel structures and supports, piping, tanks, vessels, pumps and compressors.

Material Handling
  • Most POR-15 products are moisture cured and therefore react with humidity. Because of this, it is extremely important to limit the time the container is open and only pour out what material is needed
  • All POR-15 products should and must be stored in a covered shelter. Care should be taken to ensure that unused containers remain sealed and partial containers are properly resealed.
  • Ideal temperature range for storage: 50-75F / 10C-24C.
  • Use only POR-15 solvent for thinning. Substitutions nearly always compromise application and performance properties and will void any product warranty because other solvents typically contain water and impact curing mechanisms.
  • For roller or brush applications, Use a natural fiber brush or a natural or synthetic fiber roller cover with a 1/4 or3/8 inch nap.
  • Use POR-15 Solvent for clean-up.

Surface Preparation Standards

* View product data sheets to determine appropriate surface preparation methods

Modified SSPC-SP-1

A two-step preparation system using Marine Clean™ degreaser (step 1) and Metal Ready™ zinc phosphate (step 2) solution. This modification was developed due to the limited capabilities of SSPC I solvent cleaning and the difficulties associated with certain surfaces with blast or tool cleaning.



Surface preparation before and after Hand-Too Cleaning entails following SSPC-1. Remove all loose mill scale, loose rust and other detrimental foreign matter with non-power hand tools. Under SSPC-SP-2 it is not intended that adherent mill scale, rust, and paint be removed by this process. Mill scale, rust, and paint are considered adherent if they cannot be removed by lifting with a dull putty knife.



Surface preparation before and after Power-Tool Cleaning entails following SSPC-SP-1. Remove all loose mill scale, loose rust and other detrimental foreign matter with power assisted hand tools.



A white metal blast clean surface is free of all visible oil, grease, dirt, dust, mill scale, rust, oxides, corrosion products, paint, and other foreign matter. SSPC-SP-5 will result in the highest performance of a paint system since all surface contamination is completely removed.



Same as SSPC-SP-5 with the exception that satins from the removed rust and other surface contaminants are not completely removed. In addition, the surface will not necessarily be uniform in colour as it would under SSPC-SP-5.



A brush-off blast cleaned surface, shall be free of all visible oil, grease, dirt, rust, loose mill scale, loose rust, and loose paint. Tightly adherent surface matter (including rust, mil scale, and paint) may remain. Note: Not typically performed on surfaces subject to severe conditions.



Same as SSPC-SP-6 with the exception that any staining which remains should be minimal and occur uniformly over the surface; not concentrated in spots or areas.



This standard is suitable where a roughened clean, bare metal surface is required, but where abrasive blasting is not feasible or permissible. It differs from SSPC-SP-3, Power-Tool Cleaning, in that SSPC-SP-3 requires only the removal of loosely adherent materials, and does not require producing or retaining a surface profile.



Waterjetting is used to achieve a defined degree of cleaning of surfaces prior to the application of a protective coating or lining system. This standard is primarily for applications in which the substrate is carbon steel. However, waterjetting can be used on nonferrous substrates such as bronze, and aluminum.



Concrete must be at least free of contaminants, loosely adhering concrete, and dust, and should provide a sound, uniform surface suitable for the application of protective coating or lining systems.



An industrial blast cleaned surface shall be free of all visible oil, grease, dust, and dirt, traces of mill scale, rust, and coating. Traces of the above are permitted if they cannot be lifted with a dull putty knife. Shadows, streaks, and discolorations caused by stains of rusts, stains of mill scale, and stains of previously applied coating may be present on the remainder of the surface.



This standard is suitable where a roughened, clean, bare metal surface is required, but where abrasive blasting is not feasible or permissible. The surface shall be free of all visible oil, grease, dirt, rust, coating, oxides, mill scale, corrosion products, and other foreign matter. It differs from SSPC 11 because rust, paint, and scale may remain on the surface.
General Information
  • 1. Above-grade equipment generally requires protective coatings for atmospheric corrosion control and/or aesthetics.
  • 2. Internal protective coatings are frequently required in vessels and tanks to minimize attack from aggressive environments such as acids, caustics and produced fluids containing chlorides, carbon dioxide and/or hydrogen sulfide.
  • 3. Experience has shown that many of the premature coating failures are due to improper surface preparation coating system selection or coating application. Therefore, in addition to utilizing proven coating systems and products, using experienced coating application contractors is essential to the success of a coating job.
  • 4. POR-15, Inc. requires coating applications contractors to perform inspection duties and provide documentation on the following conditions on a daily basis: weather conditions, blast profile, applied wet film thickness of the coating and the total dry film thickness of the project. In addition to contractor-supplied inspection, some projects warrant having a POR-15, Inc. representative (or third-party inspector) on location to oversee the coating contractor’s performance. See application checklist for additional information.
  • 5. Typically, major projects warrant an experienced, qualified, technical advisor from POR-15, Inc. or an Authorized Industrial Partner on location to provide technical support during the first week or two of coating operations. Follow-up visits and inspection are frequently required.
  • 6. Essentially all coating projects, regardless of size, warrant pre-job coating meetings with representatives from POR-15, Inc., an Authorized Industrial Partner and coating application contractors in attendance. Such meetings are effective in reducing miscommunication and job delays.
  • 7. POR-15, Inc. specifications specify coating systems that have proven to be cost-effective in most situations. However, special conditions such as aggressive process environments or short-life projects may require coating system modifications in order to achieve specific project objectives. Also, the coating systems listed in these guidelines are only recommendations. Contact POR-15, Inc. or an Authorized Industrial Partner for more specific recommendations.
Surface Preparation
Pre-Cleaning of Surfaces

Prior to any surface preparation, all oil, grease, drilling fluids, salt, and other contaminants shall be removed (Modified SSPC-SP1) by washing with Marine Clean™ as specified. High pressure washing or scrubbing with bristle brushes, as appropriate, shall be used for initial washing. Then, a final thorough rinse with fresh water shall be employed.

Blasting Abrasives
  • Near-White blast cleaning (SSPC-SP10) shall be performed using medium or all purpose abrasive similar to Clemtex Black Grit #3, StanBlast Medium or 16/40 abrasive. Sweep or brush off blasting (SSPC-SP7) shall be performed with fine abrasive similar to Clemtex Black Grit #6, StanBlast Fine or 30/60 mesh abrasive. NOTE: Blast media shall not contain metallic components that can become embedded in the substrate during the blasting process.
  • All abrasives shall be selected so that they provide the required anchor profile. Deck coating and tank linings may require deeper anchor profile. Reclaimed abrasives should be angular (not rounded), free of oil, grease, iron oxide, etc. A minimum of 10% of the abrasive by volume should be replaced daily to ensure that contamination is kept to a minimum and the abrasive remains effective.
  • Abrasive blast equipment shall be capable of delivering a minimum of 95-100 psi simultaneously to every nozzle in use on the job.
  • Before any abrasive blasting, all clamps from stainless steel tubing, piping, conduits, etc. must be removed by the paint crew. Also, stainless steel instrument tubing and piping should be covered to prevent contamination before abrasive blasting begins.
Deeply Pitted Surfaces

Before a POR-15® base coat is applied, deeply pitted surfaces, will require at least rinsing with Marine Clean™ and fresh water and in some cases require re-blasting after the surface is dry to remove contaminating residue, which typically causes the blasted surfaces to rust. Pitted surfaces are then to be filled with POR-Patch™ or Epoxy Putty as directed.

All deep pits and holes shall be prepared and coated as follows:

  • Modified SSPC-SP1 or abrasive blast to white metal finish.
  • Fill with POR-Patch™ or Epoxy Putty, followed by POR-15®. In addition, PowerMesh may be used to provide additional structural reinforcement or where holes are too large to fill properly.
  • Complete specified paint system.
Grit Blasting Splash Zone

Splash zone areas or any surface wet by seawater shall be prepared for painting in the following manner:

  • Rough abrasive blast the surface to remove loose scale and heavy corrosion products.
  • Wash all surfaces, with 1500-psi minimum water pressure with Marine Clean™, that have been rough blasted with clean, fresh water for removal of salts deposited on the surface.
  • After the fresh water wash, the surface shall be blown-down with compressed air to remove the excess water. A check for salt should also be conducted to ensure that the surface is clean enough for final abrasive blasting. Near White Metal Blast should follow, as soon as possible, after the wash, to avoid further contamination from seawater.
Prevention of Damage from Abrasive Blasting
Peripheral Equipment

The coating contractor shall assure that all gauges, sight glasses, instruments, instrument tubing, instrument tags, vessel name plates, navigation aids and other items of equipment are protected from damage during abrasive blasting. Appropriate masking and protective shielding shall be employed.

Rotating Equipment

Rotating equipment shall be protected from damage by selection of appropriate surface preparation procedures and abrasives. Appropriate shielding, masking, use of filter media, and other protective measures shall be employed by the coating contractor to protect such equipment.

When surface preparation is required around and/or on compressors, turbines, engines, pumps, or any other sensitive equipment to abrasive blasting, do not use abrasive blasting. Use one of the following methods of surface preparation:

  • Ultra High Pressure water jetting, 25,000 psi and above
  • High pressure water blast, 10,000 to 25,000 psi.
  • Power Tool Cleaning (SP3 or SP11) and/or Hand Tool Cleaning (SP2)
Over Blast

During all blasting operations, the coating contractor shall exercise caution and employ masks, shields, etc. to assure that coated surfaces adjacent to the blast area are protected from over blast damage by stray or rebounding blast particles.


All areas outside the scope of work affected by over blast shall be sweep blasted and coated as specified by POR-15, Inc. at no additional cost to POR-15, Inc.

Additional Considerations
Surface Contaminants

All oil, grease, soil, dust or foreign matter deposited on the surface, after the surface preparation has been completed, shall be removed prior to painting. In the event that rusting occurs, after completion of the surface preparation, the surface shall be again prepared in accordance with the specified method.

Handling of Coating Material
  • All materials shall be mixed in accordance with the appropriate data sheet. Only POR-Solvent shall be used and there shall be no substitution of thinners, converters, or other materials.
  • The induction time after mixing prior to application of multi-component coatings, recommended by POR-15, Inc., shall be followed.
Handling of Coating Equipment

Spray equipment and hoses shall be thoroughly cleaned to prevent contamination of the coating material, which is being applied, from any residues from previously applied materials.

Coating Restrictions
  • The coating contractor should follow written recommendations for special surface temperature, relative humidity, and dew point requirements.
  • Surfaces shall not be recoated until the preceding coat has properly cured as specified. In general, the surface may be considered to be ready for recoating when the next coat can be applied without the development of paint film irregularities such as lifting or loss of adhesion to the undercoat. The minimum drying or curing time specified by POR-15, Inc shall be the minimum acceptable period.
  • The Splash Zone Areas of offshore platforms (waterline up to 4 ft) shall be blasted and the full coat system shall be applied on the same day. The coating contractor shall schedule blasting so as to avoid blasting more area than can be coated with POR-15® and top coated in one day
  • All other areas shall be base coated with POR-15® the same day that surface preparation has been completed. The coating contractor shall schedule blasting so as to avoid blasting more area than can be coated with POR-15® in one day.
  • In the event that work cannot be resumed for a period of time and the unfinished system is contaminated, it will be necessary to use a Marine Clean™ and fresh water wash, with 1500psi minimum water pressure, and abrasive blasting if rust has come though the existing coating. All oil spillage and grease, which may have accumulated on the surface, must be detergent washed per Modified SSPC-SP1 before blasting and painting operations are resumed.
  • Coatings must not be force cured under conditions, which will cause checking, wrinkling, blistering, formation of pores, or detrimentally affect its condition or appearance.
  • Newly painted surfaces shall be protected to the fullest practical extent from rain, condensation, or contamination, until the coating has dried.
  • All coats shall be applied at the specific range of DFT or WFT, which are specified by POR-15, Inc. In the event the required thickness is not achieved, additional coats shall be applied until the required thickness is obtained. Application shall be such that the film thickness will not affect appearance or service life of the coating.
  • Work shall be carried out in such a manner that there shall not be any unpainted areas left behind, or spraying over unprepared surfaces as the work progresses. Examples are:
  • - No painting should be done on beams unless both flanges and the web portions are completely prepared for painting. This means top, bottom, and sides.
  • - Tubular pieces shall be prepared for painting completely around the circumferences.
  • Surface temperature, ambient temperature, and dew point at the time of application shall be within the limits specified by POR-15, Inc.
  • All coatings shall be applied in a uniform and continuous film, free of holidays, skips, runs, sags and other defects.
Splash Zone Coating

If the full coating system is not applied during the same day, it will be necessary to:

  • Rinse all coated surfaces with Marine Clean™ and fresh water
  • Spot or overall re-blast and/or overall sweep if rusting is detected (Paint Inspector’s discretion),
  • Apply the full paint system.

All oil spillage, grease, or other contaminants which may have accumulated on the surface, shall be detergent washed per modified SSPC-SP1 before abrasive blasting and painting operations are resumed.

Alternate Application Procedures

Brush application of spot primer is acceptable provided proper thickness is achieved. Roller application of a coating is permissible if specified coverage rates are followed and if the manufacturer's data sheet allows roller application. Non-skids coatings containing holidays shall be removed and reapplied.

Special Coating Procedures
  • All flange edges, welds, nuts, bolts, edge of I-beams, and all other irregular surfaces with small radius features shall be coated with POR-15® using a brush.
  • All threaded surfaces shall be brushed with POR-15® prior to application of sprayed coats. All thread compounds or Teflon tape shall be removed. All thread protectors shall be reinstalled after topcoat has cured.
  • Feathered edges of existing coatings lifted by freshly applied coatings shall be sanded flush and sealed with a brushed coat of POR-15®. Following proper cure of the brushed coat, application of the specified intermediate or finish coat may proceed.
Spot Painting

Special care must be taken to avoid pinhole failures caused by loose, frayed edges of the sound coating at the outer edges of the blasted area. Before painting begins, feather edging of the loose, frayed coating must be done with great care by hand sanding or with knife-edge. Any old paint that curls or lifts, after application of the spot paint, shall be removed and the area repainted.

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The information contained herein is based on data considered accurate and reliable to the best of our knowledge and belief as of the date compiled. However no warranty is expressed or implied regarding the accuracy of these data or the results to be obtained from the use hereof.