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Metal Primer

A good metal primer will make working with metal, both inside and outside, easier than imagined. The Paint Shed has a handpicked selection of metal primers which provide robust performance in almost any paint job.

Find the ideal metal primer for your next job, and always be guaranteed the best price possible when shopping for metal primers at The Paint Shed.

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  1. Little Greene Intelligent All Surface Primer
    Little Greene Intelligent All Surface Primer
    From £22.50 £18.75
  2. Tikkurila Everal Aqua Primer
    Tikkurila Everal Aqua Primer
    From £18.95 £15.79
  3. Dulux Trade Metalshield Quick Dry Primer White
    Dulux Trade Metalshield Quick Dry Primer White
    From £43.79 £36.49
  4. Farrow and Ball Metal Primer and Undercoat
    Farrow and Ball Metal Primer And Undercoat
    From £26.63 £22.19
    Coo-Var All Metal Primer Grey
    From £7.86 £6.55
  6. Dulux Trade Metalshield Zinc Phosphate Primer
    Dulux Trade Metalshield Zinc Phosphate Primer
    From £43.79 £36.49
  7. Tikkurila Rostex Super Akva Light Grey
    Tikkurila Rostex Super Akva Light Grey
    From £27.84 £23.20
  8. Coo-Var Red Oxide Metal Primer
    Coo-Var Red Oxide Metal Primer
    From £29.12 £24.27

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You should always prime a surface before painting, and metal is no different. A metal primer, especially if used as an undercoat on existing paint, will give any new metal paint the best chance possible to adhere and develop over time. 

A good checklist to follow in deciding whether to use a metal primer is as follows:

  • Is the metal in bad condition already?
  • Is this new metal?
  • Is this metal located outside?
  • Is this metal already rusted?

If you answered “Yes” to any answer of these questions, you should be priming. Luckily, primers only ever need to see you using one coat to get the job done.

Zinc Phosphate primers are formulated to have improved corrosion resistance. This makes them a good choice when you’re looking to prime exterior metal surfaces like fences exposed to the elements that run a higher risk of rusting quickly.

You never want to prime a surface without firstly giving it a good clean up. It is quite common for previously painted metal to show signs of rust if the paint has chipped away in some corners and left the metal exposed to the elements. If you need to get rid of rust, using a Rodo Wire Brush can prove to be very handy.

Grease will not let you get away with applying a primer normally, and you’ll want to try and remove any grease or oil from metal before applying a primer. Zinsser Universal Cleaner & Degreaser is a great product that blasts away oil, grease, oxidisation, and a whole host of other substances that would usually be difficult to scrub off.

Different metal primers have varying drying times, but a decent primer will need a couple of hours to adhere, protect, and be ready to paint over. With the Dulux Metalshield products we have in stock, you would be looking at a drying time of around 2 to 3 hours before you could apply your first coat of metal paint. 

Most domestic radiators have a maximum surface temperature around 80°C, although you should check with the manufacturer what maximum temperature your radiators get to before applying a suitable metal primer. The Metalshield primers in stock can be used on heated surfaces up to 90ºC, although we recommend checking that a primer is suitable before use.

You can take a look at our full range of metal paint here. While almost any metal paint can be used alongside these primers, the Dulux Trade Metalshield Gloss & Satin Tinted metal paints are complementary products which work fantastically on all metals.

Painting metal or a new surface for the first time? Our Tips & Advice section has helpful articles to let you get to grips with new surfaces. If you need any help at all with a  product, get in touch with The Paint Shed team here.