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Best Practices

Did you know that the Association for Materials Protection and Performance AMPP (formally NACE) estimates that approximately 75% of coating failures are caused by improper surface preparation?
Keep reading for the basics of a successful coatings project as well as tips and tricks to make it easier.
You can also check out our weekly YouTube series that will be going over each step.

At Everbrite, our customers are often curious as to why we ask what their project is, and this is because all projects are different in terms of preparation and application. The most common used phrase in our office is “It depends”  there is no one size fits all solution for our metal restoration customers. “It depends” on the substrate, “It depends” on the surface condition, “it depends” on the environmental conditions, etc. We want every project to be successful, which is why we take time to guide our customers (from small home projects to large architectural projects) on how best to prepare the substrate and apply our coating for maximum protection.


Formulated to protect architectural surfaces as well as copperas and copper art. This protective coating has UV blockers and anti-oxidants to protect copper.


Ideal for metals that gets high use or is exposed to constant handling. It has Anti-Oxidants but is a thinner, more scratch-resistant coating that is practically invisible, even on highly polished metal with a mirror finish.


Ideal for surfaces that gets high use or is exposed to constant handling to reduce microbes. CrobialCoat is a combination of ProtectaClear and Microban Antimicrobial technology.

Steps for a Successful Coatings Project
  1. Identification of substrate and appearance goals
  2. Establish appropriate environmental conditions
  3. Clean and prepare substrate
  4. Applications of coating
  5. Maintenance of coating

Identification of Substrate and Appearance Goals

  • All substrates need specific preparation and coating, there is no one size fits all approach. This is why at Everbrite Coatings we are sure to ask each customer what their project is. It helps us guide them to proper preparation methods, amount of coating needed, and application suggestions. It is important to understand what the goal for the surface preparation is. For example, for copper, does your client want a bright “new shiny penny” look, or to protect a patina? Do you want to encapsulate the rust on metal for a rustic architectural finish, or clean off the rust and restore the metal to its original look? Understanding the goal of cleaning and coating the surface is imperative. Doing a mock up for your customer ensures they understand what the results looks like and allows them to give you feedback so everyone is satisfied with the end product. 

Establish Appropriate Environmental Conditions

  • While most coatings have a wide range of environmental conditions for successful application, there are certain items to be aware of which, if ignored, can cause a coating failure.

  • Temperature: Most coatings can be applied between 40° and 100°F, however successful adherence truly depends on the surface temperature, not the environmental temperature. The surface temperature must be below 110 degrees .  For novices who may not have a temperature gun at their disposal, an easy way to test for heat, is to hold your hand against the metal. If you can’t hold the back of your hand on the metal for 10 seconds without it burning, it is too hot to coat. The coating will not adhere properly and will end up flaking off. If the surface is too cold, condensation can present and this will cause blushing behind the coating. Blushing is caused by moisture trying to escape from the substrate and pushing the coating away, causing a milky white appearance.

  • Dew Point: It is an important indicator for surface preparation. The environmental temperature must be 5-10°above the dew point (the temperature where condensation starts to present).  This ensures there is not condensation sitting on the surface which will cause failure. You can find the dewpoint in any weather app. 

  • Ambient Humidity: Coating with an ambient temperature of above 80% can also cause blushing as metals may have absorbed some of the moisture in the air. It can also slow the drying and curing of the coating.

  • High winds: Blow debris onto the surface, or into the drying coating leaving debris stuck onto the surface. Overspray while applying is also an issue, causing coating to be stuck on unintended surfaces and loss of coating.

  • Overall environmental conditions must be monitored throughout the day to ensure that the changing temperature and conditions do not change to an unfavorable condition. 

Proper Preparation for the Surfaces 

  • Painted metal that is dull and oxidized must be cleaned completely and the oxidation must be removed, this can be achieved with our Prep Pads, 000 synthetic steel wool pads and water.  These pads remove chalk and oxidation but are soft enough to not damage the painted surface below. It is important to use synthetic steel wool as it does not leave shards of metal that will rust, like real steel wool does. 

  • Bare metals should be polished or cleaned to the desired look.  This can be achieved with a metal polish or polishing cloth.  Any acids used to clean a metal MUST be neutralized before coating. If not, the acid will continue to change the appearance of the metal below the coating.

  •  For bare metals a final solvent wipe is important to ensure that the surface is completely clean and dry. The solvent not only helps wash away any dust or pollen that has settled, but also draws out any moisture in the metal to help ensure that there is no moisture that will affect the drying of the coating.

Substrate Issues

  • The substrate to be coated must be sound. Peeling, cracked or flaking paint must be removed from the substrate before it is coated. If old paint or coating is present and is not fully adhered to the substrate, it will lift once the new coating is applied.  

  • For rusted metal that is to be sealed and preserved, it is important to knock down any bloomed or flaking rust getting it as smooth as possible before coating. Rusted metal is extremely porous and will absorb more coating than a clean or painted surface. 

  • Any contamination or residue of previous coatings, wax, sealants, cleaning materials must be removed before adding a new coating. Any residue that is present when a new coating is applied will prevent that new coating from adhering to the surface, causing a “failure” of the new product. 


Everbrite Coatings can be applied to completely clean and dry surfaces by painting on with a natural bristled or solvent rated brush, gliding it on with an applicator pad or a lint-free cloth, rolling on with a high-density foam roller, spraying on the coating or dipping the object into the coating.

Refinishing with Everbrite Coatings is a simple 2 step process. First, the surface is cleaned and any polish or cleaner residue is removed. Second, the Coating is applied to refinish and protect the surface. Complete instructions come with every order and are available on our website.


Everbrite Coatings are one part coatings so there is nothing to mix. They are self leveling, will blend to themselves and are very easy to work with.



Everbrite Coatings are protective clear coatings that provide a barrier between surfaces and the UV rays, tarnish, salt corrosion as well as oil on fingers, stains or minor scratches. Surfaces with Everbrite Coatings protection should require minimal cleaning and maintenance.  Here are cleaning guidelines to follow: 


ITEMS NEEDED: Microfiber towels, very mild detergent, 2 buckets



  1. Use a very small amount of Dawn OR EZ Prep in a bucket of water. 

  2. Dampen a microfiber towel from the first bucket of water and soap. 

  3. With a damp (not dripping wet) microfiber towel, wipe the surface clean. 

  4. Fill a second clean bucket with water. Dampen a second microfiber cloth. 

  5. With the second damp microfiber cloth, wipe clean. 

  6. Dry all excess moisture from the metal with a clean dry microfiber towel. 


  • Solvent based chemicals or cleaners

  • Citrus based cleaners

  • Stainless steel spray cleaner 

  • Any abrasive cleaners 

  • Abrasive pads or cloth

Have additional questions, please call us at 800-304-0566 or 916-852-0200 anytime from M-F 8-5pm PDT, except on major holidays. You can also use our live chat option to chat now, or fill out the form below:

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