What Kind of Paint Do You Use on Metal Surfaces?

Whether you’re a professional or a DIY dabbler, you probably already know that different types of surfaces require different types of paint as well as different methods of preparation depending on the material to achieve the best possible results.

Painting a metal surface is very different than traditional painting and, while painting metal isn’t necessarily a hard task, there are a wide range of products available specifically for metal priming, painting and finishing. Knowing the best product types to pick can make things tricky.

We’re here to offer some insight into what to look out for when choosing what to use when painting your metal surface.



Metal Surface Preparation

A good finish requires a good base. Before we consider discussing the type of metal surface paint fit for your job, you must ensure your preparation process is perfected. No matter which metal surface finish you decide upon, you won’t achieve the best results without the perfect starting point!

Start by checking if any rust is present on your metal. If so, wire brushing will be necessary to remove any loose or flaking material. Next, sand down your metal surface smooth and apply a primer. For metal surface primer application, we recommend Cut Edge & Corrosion Primer for previously rust-affected metal and RSL Resuprime ZP, a solvent free epoxy resin zinc phosphate metal primer, for other metal surfaces.


Metal Surface Painting

Your choice of paint for your metal surface will depend on several factors including the type of metal surface you are painting and requirement for durability and resistance.

There are two main types of metal surface paints that most will choose between when looking for a metal surface paint; latex paint and oil-based paint.


Latex paints for metal surfaces

Latex paints are non-flammable and fast drying. This paint type includes vinyl or acrylics within their ingredients. Most latex metal surface paints are simple to touch-up and clean later, however, this paint type does not adhere well to smooth metals and therefore is unfortunately not considered highly durable for a wide variety of metals.

Latex paints require a heavier preparation process than oil-based paints. Most latex paints will require you to prime your metal surface to avoid rusting. As well as this, you must be sure to have thoroughly cleaned your metal with methylated spirit applied on a clean cloth to rid your metal surface of any oil or grease residue. Even if your metal is new, grease and oil may still be present and heavily compromise the durability of your latex paint.


Oil-based paints for metal surfaces

Oil-based paints are arguable the industry-favourite for painting metal surfaces for several reasons. Compared to latex paints, oil-based paints are far more durable (with most being rust-resistant), versatile and easier to clean. The only frequent complaint regarding oil-based metal surface paints is that they take considerably longer to dry than latex paints. But, if you have the time to spend, it may be worth the wait!

We recommend using oil-based paints for your metal surfaces. In particular, we highly recommend using  Syn Oxide paint for painting metal surfaces. With extremely advanced durability, the lead-free paint acts as an outstanding weather shield, offering protection against external factors. This paint is easy-to-apply, needs minimum preparation, and assures effective results.

No matter which paint you ultimately decide to use, don’t forget to invest in a quality primer like Cut Edge & Corrosion Primer or RSL Resuprime ZP before getting to work to ensure your paint lasts!



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