mccahill mobile

Structural Steel Painting Services

Structural Steel Beam Painting & Metal Painting in Chicagoland, Northern Illinois, Northwest Indiana and Southern Wisconsin

As a structural steel painting contractor, McCahill Painting Company helps clients properly restore, maintain and extend the life of their structural steel buildings and other steel assets. Our comprehensive structural steel abrasive blasting and structural steel painting services restore and preserve assets including structural steel beams, girders, joists, canopies, storage tanks, staircases, catwalks, railings and more. Whatever the structure, we have the specialized training and expertise to remove corrosion, old paint and contaminants and apply an attractive, protective new paint finish to your steel assets.

Video: Industrial Sandblasting and Painting of Structural Steel

Safety and respect for the work environment are non-negotiable priorities on every job we perform. Our team is trained and licensed to work safely in demanding work environments and skilled at using elevated work platforms, lifts and other specialty equipment often necessary when painting structural steel. Our industrial painting for steel structure methods deliver outstanding results while protecting your work environment and minimizing disruption.

Why structural steel?

Structural steel is an excellent building material valued for its strength, durability, cost effectiveness, fire and moisture resistance, and relative low maintenance. Structural steel is tough, but atmospheric elements will rust and corrode structural steel, slowly compromising its strength and appearance. To protect structural steel beams and other structures, professional maintenance and painting (or coating) is essential.

How corrosion and rust damages structural steel

When steel structures are left unpainted or are painted improperly, the steel is exposed to corrosive atmospheric and environmental elements like moisture, chemicals and salt. These corrosive elements exist both indoors and out and slowly corrode the steel, creating unsightly rust and scale buildup and degrading the integrity of the steel itself. If left unprotected, the steel will not only look unsightly but will slowly thin and eventually fail due to continued corrosion.

How to protect structural steel

The single best way to prevent corrosion and preserve your structural steel assets is with professional application of a protective paint or coating. Simply throwing on a coat of paint will not do, as paint applied improperly will quickly fail and allow corrosion. McCahill Painting has extensive experience and training in preparing and painting structural steel to ensure a durable finish that delivers the highest level of protection from future corrosion.

How to get rid of rust on structural steel beams and other steel structures

If steel has already corroded, professional abrasive blasting and cleaning should be performed to completely remove rust, scale and buildup prior to painting. Skipping or cutting corners on this step will always lead to early paint failure and further corrosion of the steel. McCahill Painting has the equipment and highly trained team to provide a variety of abrasive blasting options including vapor blasting, sandblasting and soda blasting, as well as professional power washing using hot water and cleaning agents if needed. The specific processes used depend on the condition and goals of each project.

Video: Rust Removal and Painting of Structural Steel

The McCahill Painting Process for Restoring and Painting Structural Steel

In any structural steel painting project, it is the preparation process that largely determines success. McCahill Painting never skimps on prep work, and you can see our meticulous preparation process in steps 1-3 below. It’s our no-fail formula for consistently creating finishes that are attractive, highly resilient and extremely durable. Paint is important, but preparation is key!


1. Blasting, Grinding, Sanding and Scraping

Abrasive blasting

When significant corrosion has occurred, the first step in refurbishing structural steel beams and other steel surfaces is usually abrasive blasting. In this process, abrasives are blasted at the steel to remove rust, mill scale, loose paint and other contaminants to create an ideal surface profile for the new paint or coating. McCahill Painting is highly skilled and experienced at safely and effectively sandblasting, soda blasting and vapor blasting structural steel. The precise blasting method used will depend on the condition of the structural steel and the work environment.

Power grinding, sanding and scraping

In cases where corrosion and buildup are mild, blasting is not necessary and the debris can be removed by any combination of power grinding, sanding and scraping with hand tools. In most cases, the surface would first be cleaned via power washing or hand washing before sanding or scraping. This is important because sanding or scraping on a dirty surface can push dirt and other contaminants into the existing paint film, ultimately causing adhesion issues with the new paint.

Video: Industrial Sandblasting and Painting of Structural Steel

2. Cleaning

After blasting and sanding, the structural steel surface must be thoroughly cleaned to remove any remaining abrasive, dust or residue. Depending on the project, we may power wash the surface using hot water, hand wash the surface, and/or apply a chemical solvent to achieve a clean surface ready for primer.

3. Priming

Applying a high-quality primer is the final step in ensuring a structural steel surface is fully prepared to be painted. Primers assist in paint adhesion by forming a binding layer that is better prepared to receive paint. Specialty primers such as a two-component epoxy mastic industrial primer can convert iron oxide (rust) into a solid, paintable surface. McCahill Painting is highly knowledgeable in selecting the best primers for each project, and we always apply them exactly per the manufacturer’s specifications.

4. Painting

Lastly, we apply a high-performance paint finish to the structural steel. The exact paint product used is selected to meet each specific project’s requirements and can include properties like abrasion resistance, water resistance and gloss retention. As with primer, the paint is applied exactly per the manufacturer’s specifications. This level of precision in the application is extremely important in achieving a durable, attractive and long-lasting finish. Once the paint is applied, the structural steel looks like new and is protected from rust and contaminants for years to come.

Why choose McCahill Painting for your structural steel restoration and painting?


100%, across the board—we respect your space, your staff, your time, your schedule and your budget.


The safety of our employees, your staff and your property is always #1. Our crew is trained and licensed to work safely in demanding work environments and skilled at using elevated work platforms, lifts and other specialty equipment often necessary when painting structural steel. We employ a rigorous safety training program and update our equipment and gear regularly.

One-Stop Capabilities

We’re experts in all phases of structural steel restoration including abrasive blasting, rust removal, power washing/cleaning and painting, so we can manage your project and ensure our high standards are met from start to finish.

Consultant Mindset and Custom Solutions

Our experienced and knowledgeable team takes the time to understand your project goals and recommend the best possible solution to restore and preserve your structural steel assets. We’re bringing you more than 40 years experience and feel it’s our obligation to speak up when there may be a better approach, a different product to consider, or any way to enhance the aesthetics and durability of your results.

100% Client Satisfaction

We aim to leave our customers elated with our work. It’s not a goal, it’s a standard expected to be met on every job.

McCahill Painting restores and paints steel structures in many environments including:
  • Power plants and utilities
  • Oil refineries
  • Chemical plants
  • Water treatment plants
  • Silos and storage tanks
  • Factories and manufacturing plants
  • Food processing facilities
  • Warehouses and distribution centers
  • Healthcare and pharmaceutical facilities
  • Commercial buildings
  • Schools and universities
  • Sports arenas and stadiums
  • Auditoriums
  • Bridges and overpasses
  • Aircraft hangars and transportation facilities

McCahill Painting is an ISNetworld Member Contractor, underscoring our commitment to safety, training, and sound business practices. We are also members of the Society for Protective Coatings, Painting Contractors Association, and Three Rivers Manufacturers’ Association, where our crew members receive comprehensive training for work in the manufacturing setting.