Commercial Cladding Refurbishment – The OneCan Solution

Specialist coating manufacturer Bradite, advises on what to consider when refurbishing commercial and industrial cladding.

Cladding - the profiled exterior and predominately metal finish to industrial and commercial buildings, is mostly coated in the production process which gives it a life of approximately 20 years before it starts to discolour. Both flexible and adaptable, it can be over-painted at any point during its lifetime, the process normally being relatively quick with minimal disruption.

Suitable Surfaces

Most of the commonly encountered external cladding on buildings can be treated with Bradite One Can. Steel and non-ferrous metals must be properly prepared and primed while wood, fibreglass, concrete and mineral substrates should be free of contamination, dust and efflorescence. Suitable existing epoxy and polyurethane coatings should be cleaned and abraded as necessary.

Most external cladding will last for a period of between 10 and 20 years before any maintenance is needed. The deterioration is usually gradual and will move from simple chalking or colour fading, to failure of the coating. This is followed by corrosion of the protective zinc or aluminium alloy under the decorative coating and finally by failure of the steel substrate itself. When the steel substrate itself has failed, it is usually by perforation or excessive steel thinning by corrosion. This is when the cladding needs to be replaced.

Up until the corrosion and failure of the steel substrate itself, Bradite’s OneCan can be successfully used to upgrade the cladding and extend its life .

Fast drying Bradite One Can, the first all-purpose water-based primer and finish in one can is an interior and exterior, anti-corrosive, quick drying, low odour, low VOC, primer, undercoat and finish. It offers the decorator a single pack, direct-to-substrate paint that provides superior stain locking and adhesion properties.

One Can also gives excellent anti-corrosive protection making the product ideal for application to all metals, both ferrous and nonferrous, including brand new galvanised steel.

The high performance coating will give protection to many other substrates including: cladding, UPVC, powder coated metal, steel, and timber including fencing, garden furniture and sheds.

One Can is easy to apply and is touch dry after one hour and recoatable after four. There is no need for buying additional primers and undercoats, One Can can be used as both a priming and finish system, so each job can be completed in double quick time. The product is also compatible with all water and oil-based finish coats. No longer will three different cans be required and its superior adhesion properties means One Can may be used with confidence on all manner of substrates.

It is available in eggshell and matt finish in the full BS and RAL colour range.

Atmospheric Exposure Conditions

In an Industrial environment, corrosion is mainly caused by a high level of airborne sulphur dioxide or other pollution from industrial and domestic processes combined with high moisture levels.

In a Marine environment, corrosion is mainly caused by a high level of salt, carried as salt spray and combined with high moisture levels. Salt spray can be carried up to 3 kilometres inland depending on the prevailing winds.

One Can has proven excellent performance in both of these exposure conditions.


It is essential to ascertain that current cladding coating still has good adhesion, before over coating. This can be checked by carrying out a cross hatch adhesion test on a sufficient number of elevations (differently exposed elevations may give different results). Where the adhesion is insufficient, the elevation should be completely stripped of old coating, and repainted.


As in any decorating project, good preparation is the key to a successful finish. Bradite recommends high pressure water cleaning to remove all loose and flaking paint, salts and other contaminants. A detergent like Bradite TD39 should be used combined with scrubbing and high pressure water cleaning to remove any oil contamination not removed by high pressure cleaning alone. Rusted and damaged areas should be blast cleaned.

An intact area of galvanised steel or aluminium substrate should be primed with Bradite WP45 All Metal Primer. Care must be taken to ensure that the minimum thickness given in the available data sheets is achieved on the edges of the cladding profile as well as the flat surfaces. It is advised that application by brush and roller may not achieve the required dry film thickness and may then require extra coats.

Application of the surface coating should always be avoided under adverse weather conditions and in particular, low temperatures. Rain on the surface shortly after application can affect the final appearance. Application should also be avoided in areas exposed to direct sunlight as this may accelerate the drying and affect the application.

Additional Preparation and Procedures

The life of all protective systems can be prolonged by ensuring that the dry film thickness of the paint system on all welds, sharp edges, bolts, nuts and other fixings is at the correct level. This can be achieved by giving extra stripe coats of each coat to more sensitive areas.

For improved performance, all welds and sharp edges should be mechanically ground to a radius of 2mm or more and all pittings filled by welding or with the use of a suitable filler.

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