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Paint for Metal Surfaces

Many people get a little worried when painting metal, as it feels as though everything is shrouded in mystery over what products to use, how to prep, and whether you need to use specific paints to achieve the desired results. At The Paint Shed, we have a range of paints for metal surfaces in stock, with some fantastic products from brands including Dulux Trade & Rust-oleum.

Be sure to check through the entire range to see which products will be best suited to the metal paint job you’re getting ready for. Remember, orders over £50 can qualify for free delivery (restrictions apply) and if you need metal paint right away, simply click & collect from your closest Paint Shed location.

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What paint do I need to use on metal?

Without diving into the deep end and getting confused over all the different types of metal paint on offer, your first point of action should be to think about what properties you need. You’ll want to ask yourself:

  • What type of surface am I painting on?
  • What do I want my paint to do?
  • Am I painting inside or outside?
  • What kind of colour and gloss would I prefer?

Knowing these and having a good idea of how you want the finished job to look, will help make your choice easier. Remember, we have filter options on the left side of this page to narrow down your selection.

Colour and texture are also incredibly important. The most common colours for metal surfaces are white and black. Brands like Dulux do fantastic whites such as their Dulux Once in Eggshell Brilliant White & Gloss White, while Crown has their top-selling Crown Trade Stronghold Exterior Black Gloss.

Some products can be mixed to order in many different colours, you’ll find these products have a colour wheel highlighted beside the paint can.

What paint should I use if I'm painting metal outside my house?

When looking at metals like fences, gates and garage doors, it is common to opt for glossier tones provided by the likes of Johnstone’s Gloss or Dulux Trade High Gloss. If you’re working on metal doors outside but don’t want a high gloss, Sandtex’s Black Exterior Eggshell is a great choice.

What paint should I use if I'm painting metal inside my house?

Interior metal surfaces often look best with muted tones, so a simple matt or eggshell like Farrow & Ball Estate Eggshell or Rustoleum Multi-Surface Matt White might be best. Most interior metal paints are formulated a little differently to be lead-free or contain a lower VOC content. 

How long do metal paints take to dry?

It will depend on the product you choose and whether it is water or solvent-based. Some primers and undercoats are touch dry within 30 minutes, while other metal paints (especially interior paints) need at least 4 hours before you can add another coat.

What do I need to touch up a radiator?

If you’re looking to paint over a radiator, many of the products you see on this page will work without a hitch. If it’s the case that you’re looking for a quick coat on a radiator you’ve already removed loose and flaky material from, Coo-Var Radiator Enamel is water-based and fast drying.

What do I need to get metal ready?

When painting a metal surface, you’ll need to account for the following:

  • If the metal is bare or already primed
  • If the metal is stained
  • Whether you’re painting outdoors or inside
  • The current colour on the surface

We have over 20 metal primers in stock and recommend looking through the most popular to get an idea of which one will work best for your situation. Popular options include Crown PX3, Bulls Eye 1-2-3, and Farrow & Ball Metal Primer.

Need help with exterior paint? Contact The Paint Shed

If you need help finding the right product for your paint job, you can visit our Tips & Advice section, or get in touch with the customer team directly here.