Dec 2, 2006 at 5:35 am #1220523
Will RietveldBPL Member
@williwabbitLocale: Southwest Colorado
Does anyone have a good way to paint titanium stakes (like blaze orange) so the paint really sticks?
I lost a couple of those $2 puppies last summer and resolved to paint them blaze orange so I can see them a lot easier.
Of course I can buy the anodized stakes, but they are a lot more expensive.
I tried painting the stakes without a primer, but the paint came off fairly easily. Then I tried priming them first with XO Rust red primer. The primer coats the stakes very well and seems to stick well. But the paint did not coat and stick to the primer very well.
Anybody know of a better way?Dec 2, 2006 at 6:16 pm #1369155
I am sure someone has a source… but I would suggest something the “shop” did for us in the Navy: Plastisol. It’s like a rubber/plastic, like that on pliers and other handtools. If you limit the portion dipped in the plastisol, you can limit the weight gain. Good luck.Dec 2, 2006 at 6:32 pm #1369157
Here is a link to a Froogle Search for products… Some are made by Rustoleum, etc. There is a chance it could be found in a Boat/Marine store, or perhaps a Big Box.Dec 3, 2006 at 2:20 am #1369179
@ianwrightLocale: Photo - Mt Everest - 1980
Most metals need a specific etch primer designed to chemically ‘etch’ into the metal, then the paint can hold onto the primer.
An etch primer for titanium might be either non-existent or extremely expensive. This might be one reason why they anodise them, the other reason is that no matter how well you got paint to stick to the stakes, the paint is still sitting ON the stakes and can therefore be scratched off whereas anodising puts the colour IN the metal and can’t really be scratched off.
So buying the anodised ones would possibly be the cheapest option that will work.
Another option is to get some adhesive vinyl as used by sign makers for computer cut lettering. You could wrap the vinyl around that stakes adding of course a tiny bit of weight. The vinyl though not totally durable will probably do better at holding on than a poor paint job. And it could be replaced.
If you want to do this to help you find or see the stakes easily (as opposed to the pose factor), you could just wrap a 1′ or 2′ strip around the top of the stake. This means the vinyl won’t get brutalised so much.
What you call blaze orange (fluorescent) would stand out like dogs ‘globes’ hanging from a rear vision mirror.Dec 3, 2006 at 9:09 am #1369200
@pivvayLocale: Rocky Mountains
They do paint titanium bicycles on occassion so I’m sure there is some way to make it stick.Dec 3, 2006 at 10:36 am #1369209
Rick DreherBPL Member
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
I’ve tried reviewing mil-specs without finding much specificity, only a general sense that prep includes a solvent+acid bath and likely as not, some roughing of the metal surface. I’ve been trying to find a specific reference to the use of zinc chromate on Ti with no success, but note it’s commonly used on aircraft.
There’s a lot of fascinating, useless information out there such as this: “Blast coating method: new method of coating titanium surface with hydroxyapatite at room temperature.”
I’d consider the electric shrink-wrap tubing approach or my even lazier use of flourescent colored string tied to the hook.Dec 3, 2006 at 1:33 pm #1369220
Jan RezacBPL Member
@zkoumalLocale: Prague, CZ
The hi-vis stakes in the BPL shop are not anodized, but actually somehow “painted”.
Unlike aluminium, the color of anodized titanium is caused by interference of light on surface layer of titanium oxide. This layer is created by the anodic oxidation in an electrolytic cell. For more info, see:
or google it yourself.
I’ve tried the process at home with success, but unfortunalely I can’t go to the higher voltages to get brighter colors… I was surprised how easy it was.
The coating on the stakes is, in my opinion, some sort of industrial painting, probably hardened at high temperature (like the powder coatings used on cars, bicycles…)
If you’re not a perfectionist, the easiest way to make them more visible is to wrap the hook of the stake with a bright-colored tape, or attach a short loop made of hi-vis string/webbing/fabrics. And what about a retroreflexive tape to make it shine in the dark?Dec 6, 2006 at 2:06 pm #1369718
Joe KusterBPL Member
Try Epoxy based paint.
On BGT a reviewer talks about painting their own Ti stakes vs the Lazr ones. The Lazr ones had better painting, but at least the epoxy stuff he tried worked moderately well.Dec 7, 2006 at 2:18 am #1369782
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> On BGT a reviewer talks about painting their own Ti stakes vs the Lazr ones. The Lazr ones had better painting, but at least the epoxy stuff he tried worked moderately well.
Yep, that was me. I used an Epoxy primer paint in yellow, and it stuck quite well. But you do need to clean the pegs carefully first. The pegs may have a faint trace of oil on them from the bending process.
However, yellow may not be the best colour: it can blend in with some dried grasses. Oops! so …
Later on, and this is not in the BGT Owner Review, I painted black rings on the primer with Humbrol model paint – basically an ordinary enamel. It stuck very well, and the contrast in colours made the pegs stand out even better.
RogerDec 7, 2006 at 1:55 pm #1369861
I found some fluorescent powder paint in the fishing section of a local sporting goods store. I heat the stakes in the oven. Dip the hot stake in the paint. And return it to the oven to cure. They have held up for three years with only minor chipping.
DanaDec 19, 2006 at 9:20 pm #1371652
Ken T.BPL Member
I am using colored heat shrink tubing (about an inch) on the top of the shaft below the curve. lasts so farDec 19, 2006 at 9:25 pm #1371653
@crazypeteLocale: Above the Divided Line
Try soaking the stakes in vinegar first…then prime…then paint.
Thats standard metal painting procedure…maybe it will work on titanium…Feb 2, 2007 at 7:42 am #1376867
Tried the heat shrink tubing (3mm from electricians store) – worked a treat! Thanks Kenneth!Feb 2, 2007 at 8:15 am #1376872
I had the same issue and purchase the Hi Vis Lazers …. in tall grass I still have had a problem finding them …
Tie a piece of Triptease or other reflective cord on the stake, kind of like what MSR Groundhogs have.
It not only helps you to pull the stake out, but it will also stand out when you shine your headlamp on it.
I use EZ Line from Gossamer Gear … just because I don't have any Triptease laying around.
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