University of Georgetown Metalwork

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Founded in 1789, Georgetown University is the oldest Catholic Jesuit university in America, but when painted metal handrails and risers outside student resident halls started showing their age, renovation was accomplished cum laude using the latest coating technology from Tnemec Company. “The condition of the existing metal and paint was very poor and not aesthetically pleasing,” recalled Tnemec coating consultant Todd Guntner. “The owner wanted to repaint the existing structures and the architect convinced the university that Tnemec coatings were the right products for the project and would provide many more years of service than received from the last paint job.”

After a thorough evaluation of the coatings on the metalwork, Guntner found more than 50 percent of the structures exhibited paint failure. “This is a prestigious university and that particular part of the campus just didn’t look like Georgetown,” Guntner observed. “The project involved removing all of the old paint from ferrous and galvanized metal with chemical strippers, which was going to be costly for labor, so the owners were looking for a long term solution.”University of Georgetown Metalwork Image 1University of Georgetown Metalwork Image 2University of Georgetown Metalwork Image 3

After the metal surfaces were cleaned, they received two coats of Series 27WB Typoxy, an advanced generation, high solids water-based epoxy that is excellent as a tie coat on previously painted surfaces. This innovative coating, which is thinned with potable water for ease of application, offers nearly 100 percent solids by volume, is virtually odor free and has extremely low volatile organic compound (VOC) level. The cured film forms a very hard surface that can be topcoated by many Tnemec waterborne and solvent-borne coatings. “The contractor really appreciated the product’s low odor,” Guntner noted.

For maximum color and gloss retention, Series 1071 Fluoronar, an advanced thermoset solution fluoropolymer, was used as the finish coat. “It’s hard to imagine the difficulty of this job,” Guntner emphasized. “The project required 75 gallons of Fluoronar for all of the exposed metal on the project, most of which is located just outside the student dormitories overlooking the sights and sounds of Georgetown. The owner definitely wanted low maintenance coating protection to ensure the dorms are attractive and meet student expectations.”

“The two coatings worked perfect together,” Guntner added. “The architect and owner felt good about achieving a long-term solution and everybody has raved about it.”

project information

Project Name

University of Georgetown Metalwork

Project Location

Washington, D.C.

Project Completion Date

August 2008


University of Delaware, Georgetown, D.C.


Smith Group, Washington, D.C.


Hunt & Walsh Painting, Manassas, VA