Finishing Arc Welding Projects is all about how careful you were throughout the project!
You can't cover up poor design & workmanship with paint!
Finishing The Job:
1) Check your weld "starts & finishes" & fill in any depressions.
2) Chip all slag off & then brush it.
3) Do any grinding & sanding as needed. This is for both safety AND looks. Round the corners and edges.
4) I use a 4 1/2" right angle grinder at home. Even though it's not as heavy duty as the big grinders, it's MUCH easier on your arms & hands!
5) If you're grinding off welds, check for cracks & pitting. You can grind them out then re-weld & re-grind. Doing this is up to you, it can depend on how strong the welds need to be, & how important good looks are to you.
6) Grind, sand, prime, paint: Remember that if you have a rough looking finish & don't smooth it up, you'll just have a rough looking finish of a different color later!
7) Adding decorative pieces like knee bracing, fancy cut-outs, etc, can help the looks, even if they're not needed for strength.
8) Material type & size can effect how the job looks. Big hurkey materials can detract from the looks. And I feel that in most cases square tubing looks better than pipe (plus it's easier to fit & weld).
9) Note that after welding, you should be priming or painting fairly soon to prevent rusting.
Below are photos related to the tips I just mentioned:
Photo by: "japanese craft construction at flickr.com"
Not a great finish: I would have welded over the undercut weld, & did more grinding/sanding before painting.
Photo by: "rocketjim54 at flickr.com"
A good weld & a good finish!
Photo by: "spannar00ni at flickr.com"
She's looking closely and doing a caring job!
Photo by: "andy c at flickr.com"
What can I say? It doesn't get much better than this job!
Photo by: "howdeedoodat at flickr.com"
Another good example of caring about your work!
Finishing arc welding projects is more then just the paint job at the end!
Paying attention to design, order of assembly, doing good welding, & doing the grinding & painting are ALL part of what your finished project will look like. AND HOW SAFE IT WILL BE!