People use spray paint on items for a variety of reasons. But today we will be talking about metal specifically because it’s one of the most common components that usually get spray painted on. Whether you want to refresh your metal furniture, fix that scratch on your car or even just seal your grill against rust, you’ll want to choose the right spray paint that can suit your needs.
Some spray paint can protect against rust, corrosion, peeling and more. Some spray paints give off different finishes. There’s even waterproof spray paint, if you use it on cars and metal items that stay outside. Read on to learn about using spray paint on metal, safety tips and more.
Top 3 Picks
The Krylon Fusion All in One Spray Paint is our favorite and best overall because not only does it look good (matte), but it also protects against rust and corrosion. Plus, you can choose from different finishes and there’s no peeling.
The Rust-Oleum is our runner up because like the Krylon, it also prevents rust and corrosion. We love that it has a nice satin finish, and you can choose from multiple colors.
We didn’t want to leave out this Krylon spray paint because it looks pretty on all metal objects thanks to its metallic finish. You can also choose from multiple colors as well.
Can you use any spray paint on metal?
Enamel and oil-based paint is best for metal as it will stick to metal and looks better on metal. Other types of paint don’t fare as well on metal.
How to prepare the metal for spray paint
Remove old paint
Before you start any prep work, you’ll want to remove the paint if possible. There are a variety of paint scrapers and other tools out there that will help remove the paint for a much easier job. If you do the surface prep before the removal of paint, you may not get the result that you are looking for. So, it’s very important that the old paint is removed before you do prep work for the new color.
Prepare the Surface
You just can’t take a piece of metal and start spray painting it. Not only will it look awful, but it may also not stay on and eventually peel due to all the dust and debris. So, you’ll want to sand or brush off any loose paint or rust spots. If you are going to be painting a shiny object, you’ll want to use a metal brush and sandpaper to scour and make the surface dull until it looks like it’s somewhat scratched, like a coin. You do not need to over scour the surface, just lightly will do and will help the paint bond.
Clean the Surface
You’ve done the prep, now it’s time to clean the surface. You will want to take a dry cloth and start wiping off any dirt and debris. If there’s anything stubborn still sticking on the surface, you can use a wet cloth, but you’ll want to make sure the metal is completely dry before you start spray painting.
You are now done prep work to get your metal ready for a fresh new color of paint. You’ll want to make sure you have everything required for safety (more on that later) and you’re good to get started.
Spray Paint Safety
While it may be very convenient to just pick up the can and start spraying, you’ll need to take some safety steps. Getting paint on your skin, eyes or anywhere can be very bad and you’ll probably need medical attention if precautions are not taken. Here are some safety tips that you should be aware of:
Even though some spray paints say it can be used indoors, out of precaution you should always be in a ventilated area. In fact, it would be best to wear a face mask so that you don’t inhale the fumes. Spray paint fumes can be very bad if you are inhaling it. We actually strongly recommend that you do all your spray painting outside, if you can, to eliminate the chance of inhaling the paint fumes
Paint has chemicals in them that will cause some sort of damage to the skin. It can burn the skin if it’s left on you or cause a severe allergic reaction, if you’re allergic to the spray paint. So, you’ll want to wear gloves to make sure you are protected from the paint.
You’ll want to wear a mask while spray painting because it’ll protect you from inhaling the fumes. It’ll also make sure you don’t get paint in your mouth by accident. You can wear a breathable disposable mask or those N95 masks. Just make sure it’s fitted properly, and you’ll be good to go.
There is always an off chance that paint can get in your eyes. So, it’s probably a good idea that you wear safety glasses to protect you from that and from the fumes.
Here are some extra safety tips that you should keep in mind:
- Never paint near anything with heat or fire. This is common sense. Spray paint cans are highly combustible, and most paints are made out of oils, which would ignite a fire.
- Keep the spray paint can away from heat sources. Store it in a dry, dark and cool place.
- There’s absolutely no reason why you should be painting wires or anything electrical related. Unless you are using a HIGH HEAT paint to paint something like a lightbulb, just stay away from electrical things while painting.
- Keep the spray paint WHOLE. There’s no reason to puncture it or cut it.
- Keep out of reach of children and pets. This is a no brainer. There’s no reason that a spray paint can should be within a child’s or pet’s reach.
Projects you can do with spray paint
This is actually one of the most common DIY projects that people use spray paint on. You can choose from a variety of spray paint colors. It’s fairly easy to paint a metal chair. All you need to do is prep and clean the metal chair then you spray paint it outside on a tarp (or a sheet that you don’t care about) then you’re done! Metal chairs look great either indoors or outdoors.
More Metal Chairs
Similar to the first project idea we posted, this one requires you to sand these chairs down and prime them. While you absolutely don’t have to, it’ll look a lot better when the extra things are done.
Spray painting both tables, chairs and even outdoor futons can be fun. You’ll have to do the usual prep of getting the surface ready and then clean. Then you can choose whichever color you want to spray paint the furniture with and away you go. You’ll probably want to use waterproof spray paint to make sure that the furniture doesn’t rust since they will be staying outside.
Black Spray paint on Metal Furniture
Side tables, coffee tables, and stands are sometimes metal. Sometimes they’ll need to be retouched or you’ll want to paint them a completely new color. You can do the standard prepping, cleaning, and then take them outside for their spray paint job. There’s so many spray paint options that you can use for indoor metal furniture. We recommend leaving it outside at least a couple of hours so that the fumes will go fully away by then.
Metal Outdoor Furniture
Similar to the outdoor furniture, you can spray paint these to whatever you want. Choose the color you want and then you’ll need to prep. Then you can paint. You’ll want to wait a couple hours or so to make sure that it’s safe to sit or use before using.
5 Best Spray Paint for Metal Projects
If you are looking for an all-in-one spray paint, the Krylon K02754007 is the paint for you. It is matte black in color, so whichever you need black, this will look beautifully on it. The good news is there’s already primer in it, so there’s no need to mix anything. You can use this spray paint either indoors or outdoors and can spray from any angle. Part of all in one, is the 5 x adhesion, as in, it bonds to metal, adheres to wood and clings to plastic. Krylon guarantees that there is no peeling and that there’s rust protection, so it’ll look good for years to come. This spray paint has a quick drying time of 20 minutes. If matte isn’t your forte, there are also the options of gloss, hammered, satin, flat and textured for you to choose from. It’s a really good black spray paint for any project that you’d be taking on.
- All in one
- No peeling
- Can be used indoors or outdoors
- Quality issues reported by users
Here is another spray paint spray that has primer mixed already by Rust-Oleum. The Rust-Oleum 249122-6 spray paint comes in a 6 pack, so you get your value for money. You’ll get the color black, and the finish type is gloss. Not only can you use it on metal, but you can also use it on plastic, vinyl, drywall, wood, masonry and more. It’s an oil-based formula and it can be used indoors. When you’re finished painting, it quickly dries in 20 minutes, and it does cover up to 12 feet per can.
- Gloss finish
- 20-minute dry time
- Can be used indoors
- Peels easily
If you’re wanting that extra touch to your metal furniture or anything else, you’ll be happy with the Krylon Premium spray paint. While this one is chrome, there are different colors that you can choose from to get that metallic look. The finish will be chrome as well and it can be sprayed on wood, plastic, metal, ceramic and more. It dries as fast as 10 minutes but has a 2 hour cure time. This spray paint has coverage up to 15-20 feet. It’s a great paint spray if you want that chrome finish on whatever you are trying to paint on.
- Metallic look
- 10-minute dry time
- Different color choices to choose from
- Paint peels easily
We have another Krylon spray paint if you are interested in making either your furniture or whichever looks metallic. It is an enamel/brushed finish, and the color is brushed nickel. There are other color options for you to choose from if you don’t like this particular color. You can use this on wood, plastic, metal, paper, ceramic and more. This paint spray has a EZ touch conical tip for easy spraying, so your fingers don’t hurt trying to spray it. Another good thing, like most of the paint sprays we’ve rounded up today, is that it’s already mixed with primer, so it’s ready to go. This spray paint dries in 10 minutes or less and has coverage up to 15-20 feet.
- Dries in 10 minutes
- Brushed look
- Different colors choices to choose from
- Paint peels easily
Finally, we have the Rust-Oleum enamel/oil spray paint that may be worth having as part of your paint tools. It comes in a variety of different colors, if you don’t like the color (Black) for this one. It can work on any surface such as metal, wood, plastic and more. In the same formula, there’s also an adhesive with rust protection which is good if you worry about needing to touch up often. The finish would be like satin, so keep that in mind. It dries in 30 minutes and can cover up to 15 feet per can. To use this spray paint, you’ll want to shake the can for a few seconds until you hear the battle rattle and undo the red safety clip from the trigger.
- Rust & corrosion prevention
- Choice of different colors
- Satin finish
- Spray tip can leak or malfunction which can cause issues in using it
There are so many metal things that can use a spray paint job. Everything from metal furniture to a car’s exterior, the possibility is limitless. There are all kinds of finishes that you can choose from, all kinds of colors, there’s even waterproof spray paint, high heat spray paint, and more. You’ll have to decide what you’ll be using it for and then you can make a decision from there. If you’ve found this guide about spray paint, especially for metal, useful, feel free to let us know, if you like in the comments below!