Has anyone painted their robots?

We were sitting around yesterday, and just thought it sounded like a good idea to make our robots stand out, then realized we had no idea of how to do it. Robots get hit a LOT, and we really don’t want to have paint flecks dropping onto the field. It seems like that could violate some sort of rule about damaging the field or something.

We have a combination of steel and aluminum on our robot, if that matters. The current theory was that we could just take all of the metal, pieces, hang them on wires and spray paint them with Rustoleum. That should hold up for at least the three days we’re driving around at Worlds, I think.

If anyone has advice, we would really appreciate it. Do we need to sand-blast the metal? Put on multiple coats? Use something else? Will the steel and aluminum look different after being painted? We really don’t have time to get everything powder coated. Really, it should only take us two or three days to dismantle, spray paint and rebuild our robot.

Does anyone think I need to put this on the official Q&A? Karthik said we could paint our robots last year, but I don’t think anyone asked for this one.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

We painted ours and had no problems. The metal had to be washed with dish soap first to keep the paint from getting fisheye in it. You need to prime it first for a good finish, even the cheap WalMArt primer will work fine. We had no chipping of flaking problems, just a few scratches on the front from shoving matches.

You’ve probably seen ours: http://team323z.weebly.com/uploads/1/0/0/6/10062475/_4385255_orig.jpg

(That’s our old bot. It all painted.)