9 Best Spray Paints for Metal | Reviews & Buying Guide

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The demand for spray paint has increased in the last 15 years and while we use it on everything from art projects to home repairs, there are many brands available on the market. From rust to gold, here are the best kinds of paint for different purposes.

Spray Paints for Metal

Spray paints are one of the best ways to change the color or texture of any surface. They work great on metal surfaces like your mailbox, garden gate, or front door and can be used for interior and exterior projects.

Many different types of metal paint exist, each with its benefits and drawbacks. Some options include acrylic paint, latex paint, enamel paint, and more! Which style is best for your project depends on what you want to do. 

Read this article to learn more about 9 of the most popular metallic spray paints available today!


9 Best Spray Paints for Metal Compared

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Best Spray Paints for Metals | Reviews

1. Rust-Oleum Gloss Protective Enamel (Best Overall)

Pros
  • 6-pack spray cans
  • High coverage
  • High output tip
  • Vast color choice
Cons
  • Nozzle may drip

2. Krylon Premium Metallic Spray Paint (Best Value)

Pros
  • No brush strokes visible in the finish
  • Perfect metallic coverage is easy to achieve with this paint
  • High glossy finish in a variety of colors
  • It can be dry to touch in 10 minutes or less!
Cons
  • Check color before use

3. Krylon Shimmer Metallic Paint

Pros
  • You can apply it to almost any surface
  • Brilliant, sparkling finish with no brush strokes visible
  • Durable and dries to touch in 15-30 minutes
Cons
  • A few complaints about it malfunctioning or not working upon arrival.

4. Krylon Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint for Indoor/Outdoor Use

Pros
  • All-in-one gloss finish for indoor and outdoor projects
  • Fast drying time, can be touch dry in 20 minutes or less!
  • Durable and designed to withstand high heat and cold.
  • Perfect for various surfaces, including metal, wood, craft foam, glass-ceramic, and more.
Cons
  • A few complaints about the paint clumping or running

5. Rust-Oleum Specialty Metallic Gold Spray Paint

Pros
  • Rich, glossy metallic shine
  • 6-pack
  • No brush strokes!
  • Dries to touch within 15 minutes.
Cons
  • A few complaints about the nozzle not working well/spitting paint out.
  • Indoor use only

6. Chase Brilliant Finish Metallic Spray Enamel

Pros
  • Brilliant, sheen-free finish with no chipping or flaking.
  • Water-resistant
  • Indoor and outdoor use
  • Suitable for use on most metal surfaces, ceramic tiles, and glass tiles.
Cons
  • Expensive

7. Krylon COLORmaxx Spray Paint and Primer

Pros
  • 12 oz can with a push button that sprays in any direction for fast coverage.
  • Does not require two different cans (paint and primer).
  • Up to 20 minutes dry time before touch-up.
  • 25 sq. ft coverage per can
Cons
  • Some complaints regarding color not being gold
  • Can lose pressure

8. Montana Cans Gold Matte Spray Paint

Pros
  • Massive choice of 214 colors
  • Low pressure can for easier use
  • Metal, plastic, fabric, wood, and ceramic can all be painted with this color.
  • High-cover acrylic lacquer paint base provides reasonable flow control for easy application without cracking or bleaching.
Cons
  • Stiff spray handle which makes it hard to work

9. Dupli-Color Blue Metal Cast Anodized Coating

Pros
  • High gloss anodizing allows for heat resistance up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Fan spray nozzle makes application easy while it’s thin, and even film provides good coverage.
  • 30 Minutes dry time, 1 Hour handling time.
Cons
  • Some complaints of improper size can lead to problematic usage.
  • Difficult color matching

Video: How to Spray Paint Metal


Spray Painting Metal Buying Guide

Spray painting metal surfaces is a great way to add flair and character to your home. Whether this is on an old rusty mailbox or the railing of a staircase, you can create something unique in minutes! However, not all spray paints are created equal, but many different types will do the job nicely.

Here are some things to consider before you begin:

What to look for when buying spray paint for metal surfaces:

– The viscosity of the paint. Thinner paints are better for detail or small spaces like drawers, while thicker colors cover larger areas.

– Amount of coverage. Check your product’s claims about how much area it can cover and what method (vertical, horizontal).

– Dry time. How long will your paint take to cure? It’s essential to have dry time before you handle the metal.

– Heat resistance. Knowing what temperatures your paint can handle without losing its color or texture if you live in a warm climate or use it on automotive jobs.

– The size of the spray nozzle and how much control it gives you. Bigger nozzles are better for covering large areas, while smaller nozzles are better for detail work.

– Amount of cleanup involved after use. If your paint requires mineral spirits to clean up, consider using protective clothing and rubber gloves if you don’t want to make a mess in your workshop! Spray paints with lower solvent content may also be easier on the environment.

– Color choice. Whether it be silver, black, or a color of your choosing, make sure you can get the color you want from the brand’s selection! Colors may vary by brand and line, so look around for any differences if this is important to you.

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Different types of spray paints and what they’re good for

Gloss paints are known for their sheen, allowing any object painted with them to have a shiny finish. These paints are commonly found in many different colors and finishes, making it easy to find the perfect shade for your next home improvement project!

Satin spray paints are semi-glossy, giving objects a smooth, shimmering look without the extra shininess that gloss paints have.

Matte finishes are great for making objects look more rustic, natural, or even primitive, depending on the brand you buy. These are generally good for painting furniture pieces, metal signs, and doorknobs.

Enamel paint is a varnish-like finish known for its durability and flexibility against heat. These paints are great for outdoor projects like weatherproofing your mailbox or painting the interior of your car.

Acrylic paint is commonly known as spray paint but can vary in its formula depending on the brand you buy. Some types will need to be applied with a brush, while others can get by with just one coat sprayed onto the surface.

Glitter paint is an extremely shiny and reflective pigment with tiny flecks of glitter suspended into the base color. These paints can be great for home decor and projects like putting a coat on your favorite vase!

Krylon K03928000 Candy Grape Shimmer Metallic Paint, 11.5 ounces

Dry time

It’s important to consider how long it will take to be both touch and handle dry after spraying it onto your surface. This will vary by brand, so make sure to check the can’s label for any specific details regarding this. It will also differ significantly on the weather conditions, location, and object you’re spraying.

Durability

While your first instinct might be to spray paint any metal item with a glossy silver, consider what kind of exposure they will get. If the surface you’re painting is constantly going to be outside and exposed to harsh weather conditions like rain and sun, you should look into getting more resistant paint and have in-built rust protection characteristics.

Many exterior spray paints are also UV protective, which can help your paint job last longer and look better for much more extended periods.

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Heat resistance

If you live in a warm climate, consider looking into heat-resistant spray paints. This will allow you to use them externally and as protection against hot metal surfaces such as your car or motorcycle’s exhaust pipe! If you’ve ever felt a hot metal object in the summer, you know how important this can be for your safety and comfort! Not every spray paint is for automotive use, but there are several to choose from that are great for this purpose.

Ease of cleanup

After you’re done using your spray paint, it’s essential to consider what kind of cleanup you will need to do after. If you used a gloss can of spray paint with mineral spirits as the solvent, your surface would be smudgy and sticky until it is cleaned up with water and soap.

On the other hand, if you use acrylic paint with acetone as a solvent, you can wipe away the excess paint with a damp paper towel! This will allow for easier cleanup after your project is complete.

Knowing these differences and choosing the best metal spray paint can make all of the difference in your next home improvement project!

spray paints for metal

Coverage

The coverage you get from your spray paint cans will vary and mostly depend on the surface you’re spraying and how much paint is in the can. Usually, it ranges anywhere between 12 sq ft to 25 sq ft, and the more color it contains, the better coverage you should expect to receive!

Other factors that could affect your coverage include:

What type of project are you doing? How many coats do you need to put on the surface? How big is that surface? Is it a flat or round object you’re painting? Are there any bumps and ridges you need to consider spraying paint onto?

Remember that each type of spray paint can come in different sizes, so even if you choose the same brand as someone else, your coverage might be different!

Cans of spray paint will provide the best and most consistent coverage for your project. Brands like Rust-Oleum, Krylon, and Valspar make very reliable spray paints that come in various can sizes. These cans tend to last through multiple home projects before needing to be restocked with more color.

Paint markers and spray paint pens provide minimal coverage and can be great for quick touch-ups or marking measurements before you cut out a stencil. You can also use them to draw on surfaces like metal, glass, or wood.

Spray paints are waterproof after it’s dried for about 24 hours. If you’re painting an object, you plan on putting it outside, and you should follow the manufacturer’s directions to ensure your paint is fully cured.

You don’t need to worry about applying a specific number of coats with spray paints. Most brands will claim that 2-4 coats are necessary, but it’s really up to you and the desired look you’re trying to achieve. For example, if you want a chipped and worn metal effect, you should consider applying fewer coats than if you wanted to achieve a mirror-like metallic shine!

Different types of spray paints will have other drying times before they’re ready for additional coats. Check the can label to see what kind of wait time is necessary between coats before beginning your project!

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Cost

The cost of spray paints can vary greatly depending on your project and the brand you choose. Spray paint usually ranges anywhere between $3 – $25 per can, and they come in various colors!

It’s also important to consider what size spray can you need for your project. If it’s a large surface like a car or motorcycle, you might need a much larger can than someone trying to paint a mailbox.

Paint markers and spray paint pens are the cheapest options for painting metal surfaces. Most cost around $6-7 per marker and will last you through multiple home improvement projects! They also come in a wide variety of colors that can coordinate with any project or color scheme you have going on.

Paint markers and spray paint pens are excellent options for someone looking to try out painting metal before making a more significant investment. They’re straightforward to use and provide excellent results, but their small size can limit your ability to do large projects with them alone.

Color matching

This can be a bit difficult with spray paints, but they’re worth the effort. Because of their application method and consistency, most spray paints will have a metallic look when appropriately applied. It’s always best to test out your color on a small hidden surface before using it for your entire project!

When purchasing spray paint, remember that you can’t always rely on the color swatches shown to you by a store employee or printed online. Different colors can look much different when applied to metal, and each type of paint could also come in different colors. It might take some trial and error before you find the perfect shade!

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Things you should know about using spray paint indoors vs. outdoors.

Outdoor spray paints are made to withstand all kinds of weather. They’re often made using a different formula than indoor-only paints, and they can be washed away with even the slightest hint of moisture! Make sure you read the can carefully before purchasing spray paint for your outdoor projects.

You don’t have to worry about applying indoor/outdoor spray paint more than once. Because of their thicker formula, these spray paints will cover a large surface area with only one application.

You shouldn’t have to worry about covering your walls or surfaces before applying indoor/outdoor spray paint. The coat you use will usually come out opaque and not leave any kind of splotches or patches of color throughout your project!

Montana Cans Montana 400 ml Color, Gold Matte Spray Paint

For the best results, using indoor/outdoor spray paint is usually advised. Because they’re made to take a beating outdoors, they typically have a thicker formula that will produce fantastic results without any kind of prep work on your part. The can label should always tell you if the paint you’re purchasing is meant for interior or exterior use.

Some types of spray paints are only appropriate to use in certain areas. Always check the can for any warning labels or suggested surfaces that should be used with your color.

If you’re using your spray paint inside, make sure you have a mask and a fan on! It’s always best to do this type of work outside, but if it’s too cold or rainy, you can set up an exhaust system to circulate the smell of your paint.

If you’re painting outside, make sure you have a place to hang your item where it won’t be disturbed! You don’t want any dirt or insects from the ground getting stuck in your project before it’s dry. You’ll also need to consider the weather conditions. If the environment is too hot or wet, your paint might not adhere to it, be too windy, and your item might dry before you’re finished!

Make sure to use a drop cloth if you’re going to be painting outside. Any old sheet or large piece of fabric will do the trick just fine. You’ll want something that can cover a large area and absorb any paint that may get on the ground beneath it.


Frequently Asked Questions

Does spray paint stick to metal?

Yes! Spray paint is specially made to stick to all kinds of surfaces, including metal. It’s a much thicker formula that can adhere to any smooth metallic surface. Depending on the type of metal you’re using, however, your results may vary.


Can you spray paint over painted metal?

Yes. Spray paint is strong enough to stand up to all kinds of weather conditions, so you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged after time passes. If the surface underneath your aerosol paint isn’t remarkably smooth, however, there’s a chance that your old color will be bumpy and uneven.

To prepare your metal surface for spray painting, follow these steps.

Step 1: Using a stiff wire brush, remove any rust, bumps, and blisters from the surface. You don’t need to go crazy, but the smoother you can get to the surface, the better.

Step 2: Fill any holes with an epoxy filler and wait until it fully dries.

Step 3: Using fine-grit sandpaper to rough up the surface will help the spray paint adhere better and mean less chance of cracking or peeling.

Step 4: Remove any dust and small debris with a clean rag soaked in mineral spirits.

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How long does spray paint take to dry on metal?

Depending on the type of spray paint you use, it can take anywhere from an hour to three days for your project to be completely dry. If you fail to plan accordingly, you might end up with a mess!


How do you smoothly spray paint on metal?

If you want a smooth finish on your metal surface, you’ll need to use good-quality spray paint. Make sure the can says it’s formulated for an even and smooth application, as well as being a low-pressure can. Some brands also have different-sized nozzle tips that are more suited to particular projects.


Conclusion

Spray paints are great for home improvement projects. You can use them to change the color of your mailbox or your front door, and they work great on metal surfaces like the railing of a staircase.

There are several different types of spray paints, all with their benefits and drawbacks. Some options include acrylic paint, latex paint, enamel paint, and more! Spray paints are an easy way to update any space in your house that has seen better days without having to do too much hard labor yourself.

To help narrow down your choices, we recommend that you consider all of the different types available and their pros/cons before making a decision.


Here are some other articles you may like:

Best Way To Remove Spray Paint | 5 Different Methods

How to Clean an Airless Paint Sprayer | 6 Easy Steps

7 Best Professional Airless Paint Sprayers & Buyers Guide


Here are our favorite professional airless paint sprayers

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Walter Snyder

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