How to Spray Paint Metal

If you want to generate a slick, flawless painted finish on metallic surfaces, don’t use a paintbrush. Instead, spray paint metal using a can of oil-based enamel. Discourage runs and sagging by holding a consistent 8-inch distance between the spray nozzle and metallic surface. Prepare the surface by applying an etching primer, or flaking and peeling are bound to result. Ordinary water-based latex and oil-based primers won’t help very much; be sure to choose a self-etching primer specifically made for metallic surfaces.

By Jim Dugan
Professional Contractor
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    Tips & Warnings

  • When painting galvanized metal, it’s critical that you apply an acidic etching primer beforehand.
  • Never spray paint bare metallic surfaces, or the finish will ultimately peel away.

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