How to Paint Metal in 5 Easy Steps

Even if you are a routine crafter or DIYer, portray metal is no effortless job. Steel is diverse from other painting surfaces due to the fact the paint does not adhere to the material easily. Plus, metal is broken in a different way from other supplies, which can make prep puzzling.

Because of how hard it is to paint metallic successfully you have to know what to do and what components to seem for. You will want to select paint exclusively created for metallic, but you also have to prep the metal ahead of you start painting it so that the paint sticks properly.

To learn how to paint metal in 5 effortless actions, preserve reading through.

Project Overview

Working Time: 3–5 hours
Total Time: 2 days
Experience: Beginner
Cost: $20–$50

Keep Yourself Safe

Just before you dive into painting steel, it’s crucial to hold your self risk-free. Working with metal places you at risk of inhaling wonderful steel particles or detrimental your eyes. You’ll want to use a dust mask, protective goggles, and gloves during the process. If you are using a rotary device throughout the scuffing procedure, you will want to spend in ear protection as effectively, this kind of as earplugs.

How to Paint Metal in 5 Easy Steps
Image Credit: Anshu A, Unsplash

What You’ll Need


  • Dusk mask/respirator
  • Googles
  • Gloves
  • Earplugs
  • Shoop rags
  • Scuffing pads
  • Wire brush
  • Wire brush attachment for drill (if needed)
  • Paintbrush
  • Drop cloth


  • Drop cloth
  • Rust remover (if needed)
  • Paint
  • Acetone
  • Rust remover
  • Mineral spirits

A Note on Preparations

Because of the challenges that appear with portray metal, you should prep the content first. Prepping the metal consists of eliminating aged paint, as effectively as cleaning off any rust, particles, and grease. Then, scuff up the surface area so that the primer and paint can actually adhere to the steel.

As soon as the metallic is totally cleaned and scuffed, the prepping is not more than however. You also have to primary the metal. Primer can't be disregarded if you want the paint to stick properly. We will go more than these preparing steps below in a lot more depth, but we wanted to emphasize their value.

In simple fact, prepping the steel is just as crucial as the true painting occupation. If you fall short to get the prep actions significantly, the paint will not stick properly, and the paint job will look shoddy and peel off of the steel over time.

Instructions – The 5 Easy Steps to Paint Metal

1. Remove Old Paint, Rust, and Debris

To commence painting metallic, you have to prep the metallic initial. This entails taking away any aged paint, rust, and particles stuck to the steel. To kick off the method, add a fall cloth underneath the metal. This will assist catch any slipping debris or paint.

Remove the aged paint and any rust by making use of a wire brush to take away any of the loose or flaking paint. If you’re obtaining difficulty eliminating all of the surfaces with a handheld brush, you can connect a wire brush to the prime of your drill or rotary device.

If the metallic is severely destroyed with rust, you will require to soak it initial in a rust remover. Stick to the directions of the rust remover to extensively clear the location.

Right after you have taken out the aged paint and rust, dampen a cloth and wipe the steel piece down. This will support to eliminate any dirt or mud caked onto the metal. Adhere to this action by wiping down the steel with an acetone-soaked rag. The acetone will eliminate any grease. Let it dry just before moving on to step two.

During this step, be extremely careful about how considerably water you are making use of. H2o does not successfully clear metallic. The only water that need to touch your metal at this point is in the dampened rag. Only use a rag dampened with water prior to utilizing a rag dampened with acetone for very best final results.

2. Scuff the Metal

Right after the acetone dries, you will want to scuff the metal using a scuffing pad. The function of scuffing the metallic is to create small etches in the metal’s surface that the primer can stick or cling to. You don’t require to scuff up the metallic seriously or hurt it. The tiny etches normally created on the metallic are ample to render the primer powerful.

3. Prime the Metal

Now that there are modest etches on the metal floor, you can apply a primer to the metallic. You will want to decide on a metal primer certain to your demands.

For instance, you ought to pick a zinc chromate primer if you could not eliminate all of the rust from step one particular. This primer is developed for coating rust. Even if you think you removed all the rust, this is the very best primer to pick for metallic since it guarantees the primer sticks, even if there is rust you seemed over.

Following you add the zinc chromate primer, include one more layer of self-etching primer for metal. Carefully go through the directions to make confident that the primer you choose is appropriate for steel. Furthermore, the primer need to be compatible with the paint you intend to use, regardless of whether it be oil-dependent or drinking water-based mostly.

Enable the primer to dry ahead of applying any paint. The primer dry time will rely on the model. So, go through the instructions totally to learn about the drying and heal moments for your specific primer. If your steel piece will be situated outside, add a next layer of primer following the initial coat dries.

4. Paint the Metal

Following the primer has completely dried, it is time to finally paint your metallic. You can paint metal with an oil-based mostly or drinking water-based mostly painter. You will also have the option to use spray paint or a bucket of paint that you hand brush onto the metal.

Spray paint is useful because it is very effortless to implement and takes considerably less time to complete the task. Nevertheless, hand-painted metallic has a more durable finish. Also, hand-painted steel is a very good choice if you are employing oil paints because they dry effortlessly. If you are organizing to set the steel outside, it’s best to hand paint the metal as a result, but, it is up to you to make a decision which paint technique you select.

The portray steps will depend on the sort of paint you decide on. Below is how to paint the metal making use of acrylic, water-dependent spray paint:

  • Shake the spray paint can several times. This mixes the paint.
  • Stand 6 to 12 inches away from the metal.
  • Spray the metal piece while you are moving the can in long sweeping motions. Do not hold the sprayer over one spot for too long because this will result in pooling.
  • If there is excessive dripping or pooling, wipe the affected area, backup, and start over again.
  • Apply three thin coats of spray paint using these methods but allow each layer to dry before adding another layer.

If you require the most durable finish, hand paint oil-based mostly paint on to the metal. Hand portray is a lot more tough merely simply because the layers can be thicker than with spray paint. This is what you will want to do to hand paint the steel with oil-based mostly paint:

  • Read manufacturers’ instructions to mix the paint correctly.
  • If the paint is too thick, add mineral spirits.
  • Apply one or two thin layers of paint using a natural bristle brush.

5. Let the Paint Cure

Last but not least, the very last point you want to do is enable the paint to remedy or dry. Most steel paint demands to treatment for 36 to 48 hours before you touch it. Make sure that the steel is positioned in a guarded area in which severe temperatures and weather conditions adjustments do not influence the drying approach.

Associated Go through: How to Paint Plastic in seven Effortless Actions (With Photos)

Final Thoughts

Even even though portray metal is more tough than portray other materials, it is a lot easier than you feel. As long as you pick the appropriate resources and prep the metal just before implementing your layers of paint, the paint task need to occur out expert looking and resilient.

If there is a substantial sum of rust that covers a big part of the metallic, you may want to think about contacting a professional. Nevertheless, this is not essential in situations the place only little parts of metal require to be painted.

Featured Image Credit score: zivica, Pixabay