While I have no doubt that Tommays did things the 'proper' way we had success painting a mast with Awlgrip on one of our last boats. We sanded to bare metal, did a vinegar wash (read mild acid) and then applied Awlgrip's 584(?) primer and a topcoat. We were advised to coat the mast as thinly as would provide coverage since it was a fairly flexible rig and a thick coat of paint might tend to crack. We sprayed with a borrowed HVLP setup with a pressurepot gun (similar to what bathtub refinishers use)
I saw the boat last year, more than 10 years after the job and the mast still looked pretty good.
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"