Best Spray Paint for Metal

Spray paint is a quick and easy way to paint objects and materials without the disadvantage of brush strokes and a slow-drying process.

However, not all spray paints are designed for metal use. Some will simply slip or chip off quickly, some won’t be able to resist the high temperatures from machinery, and others aren’t designed for outdoor use.

You need to consider the type of metal surface you are wanting to spray paint on. Outdoor metal items will have different requirements to indoor metal items due to exposure to the elements. The color, drying time, and durability of the spray paint all need to be considered so you don’t waste your time and money.

Luckily for you, we’ve got you covered! We have researched to find the best spray paints for metal surfaces – from outdoor spray paints to decorative spray paints.

We understand the importance of finding the best quality spray paint that can stick to and cover metal surfaces with good coverage and durability.

OUR TOP PICK

Krylon K02744007 Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint

Krylon K02744007 Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint

Krylon is one of the most reputable brands for spray paint, and this product is no exception. This is an all-rounder spray paint with every function all in the same can, which makes it ideal for a variety of surfaces including metal, wood, plastic, PVC, and more.

This spray paint is an all-in-one product that can be used for both indoor and outdoor surfaces with high-quality durability. It is designed to cling to a variety of surfaces with its high-quality adhesion technology, which is imperative for metal surfaces.

As well as this, it is equipped with rust protection that is ideal for maintaining the quality of the metal surface.

It’s not often that spray paint can be used for both indoor and outdoor surfaces. This is because some spray paints aren’t designed to withstand weather conditions such as rain, snow, harsh winds, and debris. This spray paint, however, is designed for maximum durability regardless of the surface placement.

As for color, there are many options available to suit a variety of decorative purposes. Each can is 12 ounces and it takes 48 hours for the paint to properly cure. The paint will be dry to the touch within 20 minutes without drips, which makes the clean-up process much easier.

Pros

  • Indoor and outdoor – Suitable for both indoor and outdoor surfaces
  • Versatile – Fast adhesion to a range of surfaces, including metal, wood, and plastic
  • Quick dry time – Dry to the touch within 20 minutes and fully cured in 48 hours, which is much faster than regular paint

Cons

  • Matte finish – Paint has a matte finish, which will need a lacquer for a shiny finish if that is a preference

BEST METALLIC SPRAY PAINT FOR METAL

Rust-Oleum 249131 All Surface Metallic Spray Paint

Rust-Oleum 249131 All Surface Metallic Spray Paint

Next to Krylon, Rust-Oleum is another leading and trusted brand in the spray paint world.

They have created the ideal metallic spray paint with this product, offering over 20 different shades. Metallic shades are a great choice for effortlessly creating a standout feature piece in a room or garden.

This spray paint can be applied to a range of surfaces, including metal, plastic, fiberglass, concrete, vinyl, and wood. This is because the formula is oil-based, so it is waterproof and rust-resistant and designed to cling to any surface with full coverage.

This is ideal for indoor and outdoor metal surfaces, as it won’t fade or chip against weather conditions.

This is a fast-drying paint that is dry to the touch within 30 minutes and a full-cure drying time of 48 hours.

The spray nozzle is also ergonomically designed to spray at every angle so you can reach tight spaces easily, however it has a tendency to clog when sprayed upside-down.

Pros

  • High-quality metallic – Over 20 metallic shades to create a feature item or piece of furniture
  • Fast drying time – Dry to the touch within 30 minutes
  • Versatile – Suitable for a range of surfaces including metal, wood, and plastic

Cons

  • Clogged nozzle – 360° nozzle might clog when sprayed upside-down

BEST SPRAY PAINT PRIMER FOR METAL

Rust-Oleum 7769830 Stops Rust Metal Primer Spray Paint

Rust-Oleum 7769830 Stops Rust Metal Primer Spray Paint

When it comes to metal surfaces, it is imperative that you find a spray paint that has a primer feature or a good-quality primer by itself.

For ultimate durability and reassurance, we recommend buying a separate primer like this Rust-Oleum product.

This primer is suitable for all types of metal – from heavily rusted surfaces to smooth and fresh surfaces. As the name suggests, this primer is designed to prevent rust and to make rust-covered surfaces suitable for painting.

This is down to its oil-based formula that is ideal for withstanding harsh weather conditions. This is most ideal for outdoor metal surfaces such as a grill that needs rust sealing or a metal shed that needs a new boost of color.

Of course, this isn’t a spray paint that offers color, so you will have to purchase your chosen color separately. The beauty of this, however, is that you can use virtually any spray paint because the primer has made the surface paintable.

Pros

  • High-quality primer – Makes any surface paintable for any kind of spray paint
  • Rust-resistant – Prevents rust and smooths out rust-covered surfaces so they can be painted on
  • Oil-based formula – Durable for withstanding harsh weather conditions such as rain and snow

Cons

  • Not a colored spray paint – Just a primer, a spray paint needs to be purchased separately

BEST SPRAY PAINT FOR OUTDOOR METAL

Krylon Outdoor Décor Spray Paint

Krylon Outdoor Décor Spray Paint

When you have a metal surface that resides outdoors, you want to be assured that your spray paint can withstand the elements that the environment has to offer. This includes every weather condition, debris, and potential knock-overs just to name a few.

That’s where this Krylon Outdoor Décor spray paint comes in. Designed specifically for outdoor surfaces, this spray paint is weather resistant within one hour of application due to its oil-based formula. It can be applied to a variety of surfaces, including metal, brick, concrete, terracotta, and glass.

This spray paint comes in 17 different colors for a range of decorative purposes. This is ideal for adding a splash of color to a yard or porch – for example, restore your dull grill to a bright red color, or change the shade of the metal wall-mounted light.

Pros

  • Outdoor use – Designed specifically for outdoor use due to its durable formula
  • Good color range – 17 different colors to enhance and decorate outdoor metal surfaces
  • Versatile – Appropriate for application on a range of surfaces, including metal and concrete

Cons

  • Not suitable for fabric – Good for many surfaces except for fabric

BEST DECORATIVE SPRAY PAINT FOR METAL

Rust-Oleum 249124 Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover

Rust-Oleum 249124 Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover

Sometimes, a piece of furniture or surface needs a splash of color to liven up a room, garden, or porch.

Spray paint is an effortless way to spruce up the interior or exterior design with standout features – for example, give your metal gnome or Buddha a new coat of color to make it stand out!

This Rust-Oleum product is one of the easiest spray paints to use due to its 2X coverage. Spray a variety of surfaces (metal, wood, plastic, etc.) at twice the speed and twice the amount of coverage than other spray paints! It dries to the touch within 20 minutes and fully cures in 48 hours.

This spray paint comes in a large range of color options, so you are bound to find your ideal shade of red or green for livening up your garden chair or grill.

The gloss finish allows for a fresh and professional appearance, which is also durable enough to resist chips and flakes from weather and debris.

Why not change the color of your car and save some money on a paint job when you can do it yourself with spray paint?

Pros

  • Wide range of colors – Every color available in multiple shades
  • Oil-based formula – Designed to withstand weather conditions and debris without chipping or dripping
  • Great coverage – Very high coverage with 2X Ultra Cover formula that cuts the spraying time in half

Cons

  • Stiff nozzle – Nozzle can be stiff which may be uncomfortable for the fingers during long usage

Best Spray Paint for Metal Buying Guide

Benefits and Downfalls of Spray Paint

Spray paint is often preferred by DIYers because of the advantages of spray paint in comparison to regular paint.

The first is the time it takes to cover a surface with a chosen color. Spraying paint is somewhat lightyears faster than applying paint with a brush or roller, and takes much less time to dry as well due to its lightweight nature.

Spray paint requires no tools for application, meaning you aren’t left with any pesky paintbrush strokes that can be almost impossible to amend.

It also has an oil-based formula which means there is a lack of drippage during the application, and it is designed to withstand the elements for outdoor and indoor use.

However, when looking to buy spray paints, it’s important to consider the downfalls. Spray paint is incredibly convenient, however much more expensive than paint for large surfaces as you will need to buy several canisters.

It is also very toxic and needs to be used with all of the necessary protective gear – including gloves, long-sleeved clothing, goggles, and a mask.

spray paint for metal

Spray Paint on Metal Surfaces

Spray paint can be a quick and easy way to spruce up a metal surface, whether it’s the bonnet of a car or a garden chair.

However, due to the texture of metal, it’s important to know what to look for in a spray paint for metal surfaces.

Wooden surfaces are easier to spray paint due to the crevices and pores that help the paint cling to the texture. Metal, however, is non-porous and therefore isn’t as easy for the paint to stick to.

The top priority is to find a spray paint that has premium adhesion and is oil-based. Oil-based paints are much harder to chip and flake off and can withstand weather conditions such as rain, snow, and extreme sun.

You will also need to consider where the chosen metal surface is. Indoor metal surfaces are easier to spray, but outdoor surfaces need a different level of understanding.

Consider whether the spray paint will be able to withstand the hot temperatures that metal can amount to. Also, rust-resistant paints are the best shout for outdoor metal surfaces to increase the longevity of the quality.

How to Prep Metal for Spray Paint

Before anything, make sure you are wearing the appropriate protective gear. The ground and surrounding areas should be covered appropriately with newspaper or trash bags.

Also, make sure to paint the surface in a well-ventilated area away from other objects that could get covered. Outdoors is the best option.

  1. Clean the surface: Wash the surface to rid dust and debris. Allow it to air dry and wipe it down again with a dry cloth. Then, remove any rust with sandpaper to provide a smooth surface. You should also remove any leftover paint with a scraper or knife.
  1. Sand the surface: A smooth surface is paramount to spray paint on metal. Use sandpaper to make sure the surface is evenly smooth in every area. Spray paint will pick up rough textures like rust and bumps.
  1. Prime the surface: If your chosen spray paint doesn’t come with a 2-in-1 primer and paint function, make sure to spend time on primer the surface with a spray paint primer. This will help the paint adhere to the surface.
  1. Masking tape: Cover the areas you don’t want to paint with masking tape.
  1. Paint: Shake the canister well and test it on newspaper or scrap paper to make sure you have the right color. Hold the spray paint around 12 inches from the surface to provide an even coverage – further away will be too patchy and closer will be too wet and make the paint drip.

How to Remove Spray Paint From Metal

As metal is a non-porous surface, it is surprisingly easy to remove spray paint from metal. You may decide the color isn’t right or the application could be better, and you would like to start over.

The first step should be to try to scrub the paint away with warm soapy water and a sponge or cloth. If this doesn’t work, there are other ways to budge the paint.

To clean small metal objects, find a pot that the object can fit into. Fill the pot with cold water and baking soda, and let the object simmer in the water for 30 minutes. The baking soda should target the paint, which will eventually float off!

Large metal objects and surfaces will require a paint thinner or paint stripper. Follow the instructions according to the bottle, leave it on for a while, and then scrub away with a cleaning brush. Make sure to wash the surface properly afterward to get rid of any harsh chemicals.

FAQ’s

Do you need to prime metal before spray painting?

It is important to prime a metal surface before spray painting it. This is because metal surfaces are non-porous and therefore the spray paint might have trouble sticking to a smooth, non-textured surface.

Primer helps with the adhesion of the spray paint and also works to prevent rust on the metal, which will ultimately extend the lifespan of the spray paint on the surface.

Can you spray paint over painted metal?

Whilst it is possible to spray paint over painted metal, this is not recommended. The best results will come from smooth metal surfaces that have been rid of rust and remaining paint.

This can be removed with a scraper or knife. Chipped paint is not ideal to spray paint on top of, because the spray paint will pick up this texture obviously and it won’t be easy to hide.

Can you paint metal without sanding?

You will need to sand a metal surface to make sure the surface is completely smooth. Spray paint is very quick to apply and will be hard to avoid non-sanded areas, and will pick these up to provide an uneven texture.

For the best results, it is recommended to sand metal surfaces prior to spray painting them. Indoor metal objects that are smooth already, however, won’t require sanding.

Does spray paint stick to metal?

As long as the metal surface has been prepared suitably, spray paint can definitely stick to it!

Spray paint will stick to virtually any surface, but it will stick best to metal surfaces with a primer. Primer will provide a better adhesive surface for the paint to stick to.

How do you keep spray paint from chipping on metal?

It’s all in the preparation. The metal surface needs to be cleaned and sanded down to an evenly smooth texture and then primed properly with a spray paint primer.

Not only will the primer help the adhesion, but it will also protect the metal from rust and will enhance the durability of the spray paint to prevent chipping.

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