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Painting Titanium Stakes
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Will Rietveld
(WilliWabbit) - MLife

Locale: Southwest Colorado
Painting Titanium Stakes on 12/02/2006 06:35:22 MST Print View

Does anyone have a good way to paint titanium stakes (like blaze orange) so the paint really sticks?

I lost a couple of those $2 puppies last summer and resolved to paint them blaze orange so I can see them a lot easier.

Of course I can buy the anodized stakes, but they are a lot more expensive.

I tried painting the stakes without a primer, but the paint came off fairly easily. Then I tried priming them first with XO Rust red primer. The primer coats the stakes very well and seems to stick well. But the paint did not coat and stick to the primer very well.

Anybody know of a better way?

E. A.
(yalacasa) - F

Locale: Cheeseland-Midwest
Re: Painting Titanium Stakes on 12/02/2006 19:16:48 MST Print View

I am sure someone has a source... but I would suggest something the "shop" did for us in the Navy: Plastisol. It's like a rubber/plastic, like that on pliers and other handtools. If you limit the portion dipped in the plastisol, you can limit the weight gain. Good luck.

Edited by yalacasa on 12/02/2006 19:17:44 MST.

E. A.
(yalacasa) - F

Locale: Cheeseland-Midwest
Plasti Dip on 12/02/2006 19:32:07 MST Print View

Here is a link to a Froogle Search for products... Some are made by Rustoleum, etc. There is a chance it could be found in a Boat/Marine store, or perhaps a Big Box.

Edited by yalacasa on 12/02/2006 19:33:26 MST.

ian wright
(ianwright) - F

Locale: Photo - Mt Everest - 1980
Painting titanium on 12/03/2006 03:20:15 MST Print View

Most metals need a specific etch primer designed to chemically 'etch' into the metal, then the paint can hold onto the primer.

An etch primer for titanium might be either non-existent or extremely expensive. This might be one reason why they anodise them, the other reason is that no matter how well you got paint to stick to the stakes, the paint is still sitting ON the stakes and can therefore be scratched off whereas anodising puts the colour IN the metal and can't really be scratched off.

So buying the anodised ones would possibly be the cheapest option that will work.

Another option is to get some adhesive vinyl as used by sign makers for computer cut lettering. You could wrap the vinyl around that stakes adding of course a tiny bit of weight. The vinyl though not totally durable will probably do better at holding on than a poor paint job. And it could be replaced.

If you want to do this to help you find or see the stakes easily (as opposed to the pose factor), you could just wrap a 1' or 2' strip around the top of the stake. This means the vinyl won't get brutalised so much.

What you call blaze orange (fluorescent) would stand out like dogs 'globes' hanging from a rear vision mirror.

Edited by ianwright on 12/03/2006 03:26:39 MST.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Painting titanium on 12/03/2006 10:09:30 MST Print View

They do paint titanium bicycles on occassion so I'm sure there is some way to make it stick.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Painting Titanium Stakes on 12/03/2006 11:36:18 MST Print View

Hi Will,

I've tried reviewing mil-specs without finding much specificity, only a general sense that prep includes a solvent+acid bath and likely as not, some roughing of the metal surface. I've been trying to find a specific reference to the use of zinc chromate on Ti with no success, but note it's commonly used on aircraft.

There's a lot of fascinating, useless information out there such as this: "Blast coating method: new method of coating titanium surface with hydroxyapatite at room temperature."

I'd consider the electric shrink-wrap tubing approach or my even lazier use of flourescent colored string tied to the hook.

Jan Rezac
(zkoumal) - MLife

Locale: Prague, CZ
Anodizing vs. Painting Titanium on 12/03/2006 14:33:05 MST Print View

The hi-vis stakes in the BPL shop are not anodized, but actually somehow "painted".

Unlike aluminium, the color of anodized titanium is caused by interference of light on surface layer of titanium oxide. This layer is created by the anodic oxidation in an electrolytic cell. For more info, see:
or google it yourself.

I've tried the process at home with success, but unfortunalely I can't go to the higher voltages to get brighter colors... I was surprised how easy it was.

The coating on the stakes is, in my opinion, some sort of industrial painting, probably hardened at high temperature (like the powder coatings used on cars, bicycles...)

If you're not a perfectionist, the easiest way to make them more visible is to wrap the hook of the stake with a bright-colored tape, or attach a short loop made of hi-vis string/webbing/fabrics. And what about a retroreflexive tape to make it shine in the dark?

Joe Kuster
(slacklinejoe) - MLife

Locale: Flatirons
Re: Painting Titanium Stakes on 12/06/2006 15:06:57 MST Print View

Try Epoxy based paint.

On BGT a reviewer talks about painting their own Ti stakes vs the Lazr ones. The Lazr ones had better painting, but at least the epoxy stuff he tried worked moderately well.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Painting Titanium Stakes on 12/07/2006 03:18:12 MST Print View

> On BGT a reviewer talks about painting their own Ti stakes vs the Lazr ones. The Lazr ones had better painting, but at least the epoxy stuff he tried worked moderately well.

Yep, that was me. I used an Epoxy primer paint in yellow, and it stuck quite well. But you do need to clean the pegs carefully first. The pegs may have a faint trace of oil on them from the bending process.

However, yellow may not be the best colour: it can blend in with some dried grasses. Oops! so ...

Later on, and this is not in the BGT Owner Review, I painted black rings on the primer with Humbrol model paint - basically an ordinary enamel. It stuck very well, and the contrast in colours made the pegs stand out even better.


Arthur Dickson
(browneider) - F
Painting Titanium Stakes on 12/07/2006 14:55:34 MST Print View

I found some fluorescent powder paint in the fishing section of a local sporting goods store. I heat the stakes in the oven. Dip the hot stake in the paint. And return it to the oven to cure. They have held up for three years with only minor chipping.


Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
painting stakes. on 12/19/2006 22:20:15 MST Print View

I am using colored heat shrink tubing (about an inch) on the top of the shaft below the curve. lasts so far

Peter McDonough
(crazypete) - F

Locale: Above the Divided Line
Re: painting stakes. on 12/19/2006 22:25:06 MST Print View

Try soaking the stakes in vinegar first...then prime...then paint.

Thats standard metal painting procedure...maybe it will work on titanium...

Chris Cowell
(chris_swansea) - F

Locale: Wales
heat shrink tubing on 02/02/2007 08:42:02 MST Print View

Tried the heat shrink tubing (3mm from electricians store) - worked a treat! Thanks Kenneth!

mark henley
(flash582) - F
Tie a yellow ribbon on 02/02/2007 09:15:56 MST Print View

I had the same issue and purchase the Hi Vis Lazers .... in tall grass I still have had a problem finding them ...

Tie a piece of Triptease or other reflective cord on the stake, kind of like what MSR Groundhogs have.

It not only helps you to pull the stake out, but it will also stand out when you shine your headlamp on it.

I use EZ Line from Gossamer Gear ... just because I don't have any Triptease laying around.