Can You Spray Paint Metal? It’s Easy If You Do It Smart

Metals are widely used in our daily life. When metals get old for long-term use, it requires new paint. Well, spray paint is the best for painting jobs, but it is difficult to do when it’s about metal surfaces. As we know, metals are prone to oxidation and rust. So, the question can arise in your mind, Can You Spray Paint Metal?

Yes, you can spray paint metal surfaces. Firstly, clean the surface properly. Then, sand the surface and wipe any rust or dirt from it. Prime the surface well. Before painting, these steps will ensure good paint adhesion. Choosing a suitable spray paint for metal is also essential.

Here, you’ll get your answer with the more necessary information, including step-by-step guidelines. So, check it out now! 

Interesting Read: Why Is My Spray Paint Bubbling? Real-World Problem and How To Fix It

What Kind of Spray Paint Can You Use on Metal?

While you’re painting on a metal surface, the main task is choosing a suitable spray paint.  Because all types of spray paint won’t stick well to the metal surface.

Mainly, oil-based enamel spray paints and water-based acrylic paint are best for metal. You will find some special benefits of each painting. Like,

  • Oil-based enamel paints are best for durability. They are water-resistant and rustproof also. That means it helps to protect the metal surface from moisture and rust. Although this type of paint requires a long time to dry, it lasts longer over the years.
  • Water-based enamel paints are best for indoor metal surfaces. Choose the bright acrylic color option for indoor metal surfaces.

Tips: Don’t choose poor water-resistant and heat-resistant spray paint. Before purchasing spray paint, check the label and instructions.

Do I need a primer for Spray Paint on Metal?

Primer is an essential thing that you must need for a metal surface.  Before applying a paint coat, you should use primer on metal for the following reasons-

  • Primer helps to adhere the paint well on the metal surface. 
  • It resists moisture and prevents oxidation.
  • Using a primer will ensure long-lasting or permanent paint.
  • Pre-painted metal requires a primer. It ensures the paint will have a better bonding with the surface.

Can you spray paint metal without sanding?

Before painting, sanding is an important step to have a smooth and even surface. As you know, metal surfaces consist of dirt, dust, rust, or other impurities. Generally, sanding helps to remove deep rust from metal surfaces. 

Without sanding, rust and other impurities remain on the metal surface. As a result, it will be a rough surface texture after painting. You’ll have to apply more coats to have a smooth surface. 

It’ll waste your time and energy. Again, the paint will be less durable. Therefore, if you want to get a smooth surface and durable paint, then sanding is the standard move. 

How To Spray Paint on Metal – Step-by-step Solution 

To spray paint on the metal surface, you need to follow some basic instructions. These are- 

Step 1: Prepare the necessary tools

Before starting a paint project, make sure you have all the necessary tools. It will prevent mess during work. Also, it saves time and energy. The tools that you need are-

  • Primer
  • Spray paint
  • Moist rag
  • Methyl spirit
  • Sandpaper
  • Garbage bag
  • Newspaper
  • Protective glass
  • Hand gloves

Step 2: Clean the metal surface

At this stage you need to prepare the surface for painting. So, cleaning is necessary. Although the metal object is new, it should be clean before applying paint. In this step, take a moist rag and methyl spirit.  Clean the entire surface using a methyl surface. 

Step 3: Remove rust and lose paint

Take a look at how deep the rust has gone. If there is light rust, then remove it with sandpaper.

Again, if the rust is extreme, then remove it with a rust removal chemical. After that, remove the loose paint or old paint with a putty knife or a wire brush.

Step 4: Sand the surface

Sanding is necessary on metal surfaces to have a smooth surface. Here, you need to sand the surface using 120 grit sandpaper. Sand the surface until it gets a smooth and even surface. Finish the sanding process with 200-grit sandpaper.

Step 5: Apply primer on the surface

Before priming the surface, select a well-ventilated room or area. Must cover the surface of the place or room where you paint the metal object. 

Otherwise, the place will become dirty after the painting project. Therefore, use a newspaper or garbage bag.

Now, use masking tape to cover the metal surface’s unwanted area (where you don’t want to paint).  Now, take a suitable primer and hold it between 6-8″ from the metal object. 

Then, start applying the primer. Let it dry for 10-minutes. Then, again apply another coat of primer and wait for 10 minutes. 

Note: Wear a protective glass and hand gloves during applying primer and paint coat. 

Step 6:  Apply a paint coat

Finally, shake the paint pot from bottom to top until it mixes well. Hold the spray paint at least 10-12″ from the metal object and apply a coat. 

Apply a thin coat with a sweeping motion from left to right. Wait for at least one hour. Agin, apply a second coat with the same process. If it does not cover the surface well, recoat 2 or 3times more.

That’s all for spray painting on the metal surface. 

Spray Paint metal

How many coats of spray paint can you apply on metal?

Apply at least 3-4 coats of spray paint on metal for better protection and smoothness. After cleaning the surface, applying a primer coat is the first coat on metal. 

You can also apply 2 coats of primer for better performance. Then, you can apply a paint coat, also known as a top coat. You can apply a clear coat over the paint coat.

Can you spray paint metal door handles?

Yes, you can spray paint on metal door handles. If you prepare the surface with proper sanding and priming. After sanding and priming, the paint will stick to the door handles well. 

The paint will be durable too. Choosing a suitable primer and spray paint is also necessary. Choose an oil or enamel-based spray paint for metal door handles. 

Can you spray paint metal hardware?

Yes, you can spray paint metal hardware easily. Choose a metallic spray paint first. Clean the surface very well and then sand it with sandpaper. Make sure there’s no debris, oil or grease, or rust.

 After that, prime the surface well and apply a fresh coat of spray paint. You can also paint the small metal hardware like screws with spray paint.

Can you spray paint the metal railing?

Yeah, you can spray paint metal railing.  Before painting, sand the railing and remove rust, debris, and oil. Then wipe it down with a clean cloth. 

After that, prime the surface to ensure protection and better durability. Apply a coat of spray paint and get a shiny look on the metal railing.

Can you spray paint metal furniture?

Spray paint is the fastest way to paint metal furniture. It’s really so easy to transform old furniture into a new look. 

Just clean and sand the surface lightly to remove any dirt or debris. After that, apply a primer and paint coat. Wait at least 15 minutes between applying another coat. 

Can you spray paint a metal bed frame?

You can easily paint a metal bed frame if you have a metallic primer and spray can. Mainly, oil-based and water-based paints are suitable for metal bed frames. Oil-based paints offer long-lasting performance, but they take longer to dry.

Best Spray Paint for Metal

Well, spray paint is the easiest way to transform a metal object with a shiny look. No doubt, professionals recommend spray painting over other paint methods for metal surfaces. 

Now, what is the best spray paint among popular brands? Let’s take a look at what you should pick for your spray painting project-

Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover

Rust-oleum spray paint is the best choice for professionals and beginners among other brands. It is mainly an oil-based paint. 

It is absolutely suitable for metal surfaces. Although it takes a longer time to dry, it offers long-lasting paint. 

Rust-oleum takes 20 minutes to dry (touch dry) and covers up to 12sq feet per can. It offers the best performance for both interior and exterior metal products. 

Krylon Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint

Krylon Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint is an ideal choice for metal. This spray paint consists of primer, which makes your work easier. 

You’ll have a smooth and shiny metal surface with fresh coats without applying a primer. It is suitable for both interior and exterior projects. It takes 20- minutes dry to touch and cover up to 25 sq ft. 


Spray painting on a metal surface is so easy to do when you know the tricks. As a beginner, our step-by-step guidelines could be a great help for you!  Ensure that you select the best primer & spray paint for metal to make your effort more valuable. 

If you’re not confident enough, then take the help of a professional painter or artist. It’ll save both your energy and time. 

Hopefully, you  get a clear answer on, “Can You Spray Paint metal?” Let us share the experience of this painting project in the comment section.