Steel-It versus spray paint


Well-Known Member
Not looking for opinions, but factual experiences of using either product in the same area, and which one has held up better. I know surface prep plays into both so hoping for an area that got similar prep. Looking at coating some suspension pieces for both looks and corrosion prevention.


Well-Known Member
I finished a chassis with Steel-It not too long ago. I've previously used chassis blacks, POR 15, single stage urethane auto paint and Rustoleum.

Regular spray paint like Rustoleum from either a rattle can or sprayed doesn't last on a track or street car much less an off road vehicle. You can get single stage auto paint or POR for not too much more and Steel-It not too much more than that. I think it's a waste of time and paint to use regular rattle can.

Steel It to this point seems pretty chip resistant. So far better than chassis black or POR. Takes a week or so to fully cure. I've dinged it up moving parts around the first few days afterward. After it cures it's solid.

While it's a fantastic coating there are some downsides. Steel-It needs a really aggressive cut profile in the substrate prep. Where the others you can hit it with 80 or 120 and have it stick Steel-It wants a blasted substrate. The suspension parts I were able to get into the cab to blast flowed much better than the chassis I had to prep by hand. I used 36 grit flaps for the bulk with brown Scotch Brite and cartridge rolls for the hard to reach places. Some of the deeper 36 grit scratches and spots where rust had to be ground off didn't flow well. If you can afford it take the chassis to a blasting shop and have them prep it or blast it outside yourself. I don't have a place to blast a chassis outside.

Having done it now if I were building a ground up race truck no doubt I'd use Steel-It. On this project, which is basically a race legal/street legal trail truck I'd probably use something that would encapsulate the rust.. Taking a 25 year old rusted frame to bare metal with an aggressive enough profile for Steel-It is time consuming.