View Full Version : Pullup Bar Paint

Brian Wilson
10-28-2008, 07:24 AM
So our pullup bars are black steel, 1.5" S40. We got them from a plumbing supply company, so they were beat up and slightly rusted when they arrived. We sanded them and painted them with a high gloss black paint, several coats.

Problem is, the paint has completely worn off in less than two months in some spots. I'm guessing this is just the friction of a lot of pullups and the chalk causing this - but the black steel is now just steel colored steel in a lot of spots.

What I'd like to know is what kind of paint (specifically - brand/type/etc) to coat their pullup bars and how well it's stood up. Here's a picture of our pullup bars for reference: http://lh3.ggpht.com/potomaccrossfit/SQAJKFMSxrI/AAAAAAAACBc/gj23-myo6ks/s512/IMG_0080.JPG

Randy Tarasevich
10-28-2008, 07:58 AM
Why would you paint pull-up bars?

Brian Wilson
10-28-2008, 08:04 AM
The worn areas are tearing up peoples hands - and not in a good callous developing way. When I trained down at CFVB they had a real high gloss paint on there pullup bars and theirs were also really thick like ours. The grip development is tremendous, plus they are a little more sturdy. Problem with ours though is that they are too rough and tearing people's hands up.

Bobby Perkins
10-28-2008, 08:23 AM
Sand them.

Rustoleum them.

Athletic tape (or other kind of tape) them.

Andrew White
10-28-2008, 08:26 AM
I used to work at a paint and coating supply store in Phoenix so I have a couple of suggestions.

1. Don't paint them. The steel should wear like out-door monkey bars and should be fine. Also think that many of the old York barbells were untreated steel and they are still going strong and people love the feel. This will require a little bit of proactive maintance on your part to knock down an rust that begins to form but this should be manageable. This will also require you to sand down the bars, but at this point you have to do that anyway. If you were to paint over what you have on there now the flaking will continue. Remeber - any coating you apply to a surface is only as good as the coating it is going over, so if you paint over paint that is flaking it doesn't solve the problem.

2. If you feel you have to paint the bars, get an epoxy coating. This stuff is harsh, smells bad, and is a pain to work with but if you get the right product it is designed to be used on driveways and in high-traffic industrial areas. It should be heavy duty enough to stand up to the wear you will put it under. However, you need to properly prep the bars for painting which will require you to completely sand them down to bare metal before painting. However, you should do that anyway.

If you are looking for a specific product I would use Benjamin Moore's M38,M39 series epoxy coatings. Like I said, they are a nasty product, smell bad and are a pain to work with. However, they should be readily available in any area and will stand up to the wear you will have.

Also, remember; I have not done this myself but I did manage a paint/coating supply store for several years and those are the products/product type I would recommend. Any other questions let me know.

Andy Shirley
10-28-2008, 09:56 AM
Any way to take them apart and get them powdercoated?

Brian Wilson
10-28-2008, 11:57 AM
Any way to take them apart and get them powdercoated?

There's nothing stopping us from doing that, where would I go to find somebody to do it? Any idea on cost/time?

Brian Wilson
11-26-2008, 08:41 PM
We sanded them a little and put two coats of rustoleum on it, pretty good to go now. I want to avoid tape as my time in the USMC has led me to believe that tape is great when it's new, but when it gets grimey, it turns super slippery.

For now the rustoleum seems good, so we'll just keep rolling with that.