Painting Metal and How to Prepare Weathered or Rusty Metal for Painting

Summary: Find out how to paint metal that has weathered and become rusty. This project is not just about how to paint metal, but what to use to remove rust and how to prepare the metal surface before you start painting. Find out how to protect the metal once you have painted it.

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How To Paint Metal

There are many products on the open market for painting metal; from new metal surfaces, to curing rust on old surfaces.

The process of painting metal is much the same as painting any other surface ‘it is all in the preparation’. Remove all dirt and rust which tends to occur on bare metal very quickly. You can use a wire brush, emery paper, wire wool or a scraper if required. Use a cleaning solution to remove grease or any other residue and allow the surface to dry thoroughly. Use an oil based primer to seal the metal. Make sure you allow the primer to dry thoroughly before applying any layers of paint to the surface of your object.

If you are painting a new metal surface that is in good order, then all types of finish paint will work fine.

If you are painting onto a surface of metal that has weathered, or begun to rust, then one would advise the use of a hammered paint finish. This paint is of a harder finished surface and more durable therefore protecting the already corroding metal beneath.

It is sometimes advisable to use metal spray paints as a good finish is easier to acquire than with a brush.It is also advisable to practice your spraying on another surface first just to get the hang of spraying paint. Spray paints come in varying finishes including glossy, flat or textured. It's always good practice to work with spray paints in a well ventilated work area.

For larger areas i.e. painting sheet metal walls, painting large metal garage doors, large storage containers etc, it is probably better to use brushes or even rollers to cover the area.

As always at DIY Doctor with the use of any chemicals that could have a negative reaction with the contact of skin or eyes we always recommend the use of the appropriate safety equipment: eye protection, masks, gloves and overalls.

The video below shows how to use a paint spray gun in short strokes to keep the paint covering even.

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