Unique, Powerful Architectural Steel Paint

For structural steel designs, metal buildings & features, bridges, AESS, etc.

STEEL-IT Architectural Paint and Its Uses.Saturated with our proprietary 316L stainless steel micro-flake agent, STEEL-IT® heavy-duty architectural coatings block corrosion, wear, and UV. Showing a smooth or satin “burnished steel” finish that channels the rugged aesthetic of steel, STEEL-IT is 50% real stainless steel on drying. Climate-proof, it endures 10+ years or indefinitely in outdoor environments anywhere, with easy minimal touchup by our spray aerosol product. Get a free sample; find a distributor; or query us today.

Architectural features, surfaces and structures painted with STEEL-IT

Our coatings are mainly polyurethane and epoxy paint systems (with our environmentally friendly yet highly durable high solids, low VOC epoxy paint in the mix). STEEL-IT has the visual simplicity and appeal of raw steel. Because of exacting chemical requirements imposed by its exceptional standard of durability, STEEL-IT comes in just three colors: namely, in two shades of gray and now also in black. The colors are distinctive, attractive, matte, low gloss. (If in doubt about details, use the contact form to get in touch.)

Diverse architectural examples of STEEL-IT

STEEL-IT Paint’s Architectural Durability

The reason for STEEL-IT’s extraordinary durability and longevity is its innovative, chemically produced microstructure, consisting of a lattice of tightly bonding micro-particles of 316L steel (of just one level of magnitude above the nanometric), causing the coating to grip hard onto the underlying material and to form an extraordinary protective armor over it. The coating adheres hard to any metal, as well as to most nonmetallic, nonporous surfaces that are amenable to sandblasting. STEEL-IT works fine on metal, wood, stone, Masonite, fiberglass and other nonporous architectural and building materials – for protection against corrosion and scratching and for an impressive metallic appearance. (STEEL-IT is not recommended for use on cement, due to the latter’s porosity.) STEEL-IT products have somewhat diverse technical properties and performance profiles; please use the contact form to let us know the details of your application, for some relevant advice.

Interior and exterior applications of STEEL-IT

STEEL-IT Paint and Architectural Steel

In architecture, proverbially, “form follows function.” STEEL-IT is a vivid embodiment of this truism, since its visual character, its texture and its functional properties derive from its most important formative ingredient, 316L stainless steel. Since 1974, Stainless Steel Coatings Inc. takes pride in serving the architectural industry with paints that boost the life expectancy of structural steel, while at the same time authentically exhibiting its beauty.

STEEL-IT enables the architect’s style to shine through, especially where structural steel features – whether interior or exterior – are exposed to the eye. The coating has been used extensively by architects and builders to robustly enhance architectural designs, while maintaining the look and feel of the underlying steel. STEEL-IT coatings can be used to treat exposed steel in both interior and exterior settings to protect metal from corrosion, while presenting a neat, sober “steely” look. STEEL-IT, typically though not necessarily used in combination with actual steel, is commonly counted on to protect and underscore a variety of architectural items and features, including walls, sidings, window mullions, stairways, fire escapes, outer doors, hand railings, structural beams, steel platforms, decking and walkways. The paint also looks appropriately great – while doing what it does best – on steel bridges, pylons, parts of skyscrapers, airport hangars, construction cranes, and on the above-water architecture of ships and other vessels. The technicalities of our products vary; please engage our paint selector widget to start zeroing in on the product that works best for your plan and tasks.

Our ARCAT specifications can be viewed here.

Miscellaneous architectural uses

Architecturally Cost-Efficient: Benefit of 361L Steel for a Fraction of the Price

When it comes to structural steel, AESS (Architecturally Exposed Stainless Steel Designs, which we love) and other any architectural uses of steel, “material specification” – that is, the choice of specific alloy grades for an architectural design implementation – has significant short- and long-term monetary implications. The typical dilemma of choice is between carbon steel and stainless steel. They are both architecturally beautiful, but stainless steel is much more durable. For our purposes, durability means a construction material’s ability to last a long time, resisting rust, chemical and atmospheric corrosion, scratching, chipping, abrasion, and mechanical and UV wear. Although its longevity offers long-term cost benefits, stainless steel – considering the short term – is roughly four times more expensive to buy per ton of weight than ordinary carbon steel. Today, carbon steel remains the steel of choice for AESS and construction, because of its lower cost: initial cost is often an issue for architects. However, it is becoming increasingly clear to both professionals and the public at large that in many cases the service life of steel structures just cannot be compromised. Accordingly, the market share of stainless steel in architected building is steadily growing. Of course, within the stainless-steel alloy grades, too, there is variation of cost and durability (these are correlated).

Enter STEEL-IT, the mighty equalizer! Our top-of-the line, uniquely protective paint overcomes this dilemma of choice by offering an elegant and effective solution to the equation that pitches price against durability. Simple: build your design in carbon steel or another cheaper steel, and upgrade it to 316L stainless steel’s durability and extend the structure’s life expectancy by coating it with STEEL-IT. In terms of durability alone, this is nearly the equivalent of a stainless-steel conversion, but without the latter’s prohibitive cost. If durability (as defined above) is a must, STEEL-IT provides a shortcut to it, eliminating the need to shell out for the expensive 316L alloy. Remember that the definition of STEEL-IT best known in industry is simply “Stainless Steel in a Can” – and it is 316L, and it lives up to its promise. Moreover, due to its chemistry, STEEL-IT’s durability can in some of its aspects improve on the resistant properties of actual 316L steel. To believe it, simply request a free hard sample and test in your preferred ways just how tough it is. STEEL-IT reduces your expense up front to a fraction of the cost of 316L stainless steel, and it adds significant value to your project by extending your architectural structure’s life cycle.

More examples of STEEL-IT in Architecture

Why Architects Love STEEL-IT

Giannina Zapattini, Project Manager, Studio 804 Center for Design Research Project, comments: “Our decision to use STEEL-IT came after a long period of consideration and experimentation with many steel treatments and products such as galvanization, powder coating, marine coatings, wax treatments, oil finishes, Permalac, Smart Coat, Rust-Oleum, and Sherwin Williams’ Diamond Clad. With the exception of the STEEL-IT Epoxy System, none of these products were able to offer the combination of reliable interior/exterior protection, flexibility, ease of application, high solids (required for LEED), and a steel-like finish.”

And Dan Rockhill, Distinguished Professor of Architecture, University of Kansas, has this to say about our coatings: “STEEL-IT has a nice quality to it and still expresses the steel. It has a look that bridges between raw steel and galvanized. We love the product because it gives you the flexibility to put the building together, weld, and then go back through and paint everything. That gives you a homogenous finish throughout and, importantly, avoids having to weld galvanized steel. As we all know, once you weld galvanized, you have to touch up with cold galvanizing – that’s a terrible look!”

STEEL-IT protecting steel structures

If you are an architect and have a shipping address in the US, you are entitled to a free STEEL-IT sample. Avail yourself of it now! Fair warning: we have a high conversion rate among architects, meaning that a high percentage of architects who ask for this attractive little freebee end up becoming our clients. We literally have a stainless-steel-clad reputation, and Stainless Steel Coatings Inc. has lived up to its name and promise since 1976, to global satisfaction. We are confident that there is no other architectural paint quite like STEEL-IT out there on the architectural coatings market. Prove us wrong! We have looked for it ourselves and have not found it. Our competition has copied many of our claims and boasts of equally “stainless” virtue, but talk is cheap, while honest-to-heaven protective durability is rare among the stainless steel paints. We have analyzed and tested our competition’s products. Without naming any brands or pointing any fingers here, we have been openly challenging our competitors to an objective, measurable comparison study with third-party verification, but so far we have not heard from any takers. If you know of any, let’s hear from them! Meanwhile, you can use the contact form on this page to message us your questions or doubts. Let us discuss them and find you the best solution.

Architectural balcony with a STEEL-IT coated door

By the way, did we say that STEEL-IT stops chemical corrosion and mechanical wear dead? It does, indefinitely. When it comes to steel, there is stainless, then there is 316L stainless, and then there is STEEL-IT – “Stainless Steel in a Can” – much cheaper but just as good in some crucial ways. Our trusted distributors await you!