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.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. 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)