A Complete Guide on How to Paint Metal

A Complete Guide on How to Paint Metal


Painting metal surfaces seems intimidating to many people as unlike in the case of wood, you also must deal with stubborn rust and there are numerous things you need to keep in mind to paint a metal surface.

However, the truth is that painting metal is just like painting any other surface if you know what you are doing. Do you want to spruce up your vintage metal etagere or chair at home but don’t know where to start? Keep reading to know everything about metal paints and painting metal surfaces.

Use safety guards 

You must use a dust mask, protective glasses, gloves and earplugs when you are painting a metal surface. Make sure that you are painting in a dry and well-ventilated space.

Observe the metal 

Before you use spray paint for metal, you must study the metal surface and understand if the metal can be restored at home, or the rust is too much to handle and you would need professional help.

Clean the metal 

You must wipe the metal with a dry cloth or use mineral spirits to clean the dirt and grime on the metal that will affect the adhesion of the primer.

Sand the metal 

Buy scuff pads and scrape the metal to ensure that you get a smooth surface to apply primer. Remember to immediately clear out the residue so that it doesn’t stick on the freshly cleaned surface.

Remove rust 

Use a rust remover and read the label behind it to understand the procedure you need to follow to remove as much rust as you can. Remember to not use water to clean the rust as it does more harm than good to the metal.

Invest in a metal primer 

Invest in a primer that is formulated to use on metal surfaces for best results. If you feel that your metal surface is still rusty, then you can consider using a zinc chromate primer that is designed to be applied on a rusted surface. You also need to ensure that the primer you use is compatible with the metal paint that you buy. A pro tip is to use an oil-based primerfor your metal surfaces as moisture can seep through a water-based primer and ruin your metal. Let the primer dry fully as per the drying time mentioned in the label of the tin before you start painting.

Choose the type of primer 

You can buy a spray primer if you want to prime a surface quicker and most efficiently. However, make sure that you don’t use a spray primer outdoor on a windy day. It is also advisable that you shake the primer spray properly before spraying it on the metal surface.


You can decide whether you want to choose a water-based metal paint or an oil-based one. Oil-based metal paints are more durable and last longer. However, water-based paints come in spray bottles and are easier to use. If you are using spray paint for metal, then it is advised that you hold the can at least 6 inches away from the surface and use sweeping motions to ensure that you cover the entire surface evenly. A pro tip is to apply several light coats instead of a few thick coats.

Dry completely 

Metal paints require almost two days to cure fully so make sure that you give your freshly painted metal items enough time to dry. Make sure that while they are drying, they are kept away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.

Use a lacquer sealer 

 Spraying a lacquer sealer on the metal is a great way to not only protect your metals from moisture but also to make your metal surface appear super glossy.

Visit the Asian Paints website to get high-quality metal paints at the best price ever!

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