Find the ideal paint for your metal surfaces, indoors and outdoors.
Paints made from oil are the most robust.
Choose oil-based paint when painting metal surfaces outdoors like fencing, patio furniture or barbecue grills for the backyard and commonly used indoor fixtures like kitchen cabinets or window frames. The price is typically higher than water-based paint ($20 to $50 for a gallon). It is formulated with pigments such as alkyds (synthetic resins) or plant-based oils and solvents (that emit odorous fumes during application) to form a waterproof coating that repels staining and water as well as scratches and dents. Paint made of oil is, however, susceptible to cracking or chipping. It also is prone to fade with time, so you should consider an option with built-in fade protection like Rust-Oleum’s Metallic Finish with Hammered ($12.98 each quart, at Amazon).
It will be easier to achieve a uniform appearance if you apply the oil primer (e.g. Rust-Oleum’s Clean Metal Primer, $8.98 each quart at Amazon). You can also put the oil paint directly on metal since it doesn’t contain water, so there’s no chance of corrosion. The absence of primer could save time when painting; however, you’ll have to wait a little longer until the oil-based paint is dry entirely (usually between six and eight hours).
Water-based paints are quicker drying times and less dust.
When painting light to moderately used indoor metal surfaces – think walls frames, sconces or guest room night tables, go with acrylic paint based on water that is a more affordable ($15 to $40 for a gallon), more fast-drying alternative as compared to oil paint. Acrylic paint comprises acrylic resins, pigments and water, releases less gas and can dry at a touch within less than an hour, forming an elastic coating resistant to chipping, cracking and discolouration. However, it’s more susceptible to damage from dents, staining, scratches, and scratches. The typical acrylic paint (BEHR PRO e600 Acrylic Paint, $23.98 per gallon at The Home Depot) also contains less organic matter than oil paint; therefore, it’s less likely to cause mildew or mould, which makes it the best choice for areas that are prone to moisture, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Remember that exposure to water-based paint directly on metal may cause it to rust and require an oil-based primer before application.
Spray paint containers provide full coverage for irregular surfaces.
Metal paints are available in large cans that can be used with rollers, brushes, or aerosol containers to spray the stain. Large cans could be the most economical choice when painting large, linear objects, such as fences or backsplashes. Spray paints (e.g. Rust-oleum Hammered Finish Paint, $8.74 to 12 oz. available on Amazon) are suitable for smaller surfaces with irregular contours, like the curved legs of patio chair lighting fixtures and poles for bed frames. Spray paint can be applied to metal surfaces more efficiently and in fewer strokes than brushes, eliminating the dreaded brush marks.
Choose rust-resistant paint on moisture-prone surfaces.
Rust may form on any metal composed of iron, or alloys of iron, such as steel, after prolonged exposure to air or humidity. If you intend to paint your outside furniture or décor or features in the interior, such as backsplashes that frequently come in contact with moisture or water, choose a paint specifically that is designed to stop the formation of rust (e.g. Rust-oleum Stops Rust Paint $13.19 for 12 OZ. from Amazon) to protect the appearance and strength that the steel.
Paint high-heat on areas that generate heat.
Paint an outdoor grill, radiator, fire pit surround, or any other appliance that generates heat. Water-based or oil-based paint can crack and peel in these appliances’ intense temperatures when in use.