Choosing the best paint for metal surfaces is important. You want to make sure that your surface will not be discolored or corroded by moisture, and that it also has a high degree of durability.

Most of the time, simple metal surfaces will simply be primed and painted with basic exterior house paint. But if your metal structure is outside, or if it will have harsh weathering conditions such as exposure to rain or snow, then you need special paint for metal surfaces.

In order to help you on your way in choosing the best paint for metal surfaces, read the tips below.

Epoxy Paint

Epoxy paints are another option for metal surfaces. They have the advantage of drying more quickly than other paint options which makes them a good choice if you’re planning on painting outdoors in hot weather conditions.

It takes much less time to complete coats so you don’t need as many layers before moving onto the next surface area like aluminum or zinc galvanized steel.

The downside is that epoxy doesn’t come in very many colors at all but this isn’t really an issue since most people use various types of topcoats anyway depending on what color they want their finished product to be.

Oil-Based Paint

Oil-based paints are also a good option for metal surfaces, and they have an excellent degree of adhesion to the surface which ensures that rust doesn’t form on your painted surface.

Oil also has great coverage but oil does take longer than latex or acrylics do to dry and other paints may not adhere to it as well which means you may need to reapply more frequently if your surface is exposed to moisture over time.

Oil paint is generally not as durable though because it’s possible for water or grease to get under the paint and cause corrosion or discoloration, so you may need to reapply oil paint more frequently depending on how often your door sees use.

Another downside is that oil paint is made with linseed oil. Anyone allergic should avoid them or speak with their doctor before using them on metal surfaces because the same precautions apply when painting wood furniture that can’t tolerate any type of paint.

Oil paints can be applied by brush or spray gun but since they’re thicker than latex/acrylic paints some people find them harder to work with than other options like acrylics if you want fine detail like intricate designs or logos. The upside is that, unlike epoxy, oils don’t need a primer if you want to use one color over another.

Latex Paint

Latex paints have the advantage of being easily applied with a brush or roller and they come in many colors, allowing for more versatility when designing your surface because they cover well even on uneven surfaces.

They’re also cheaper than other paint options but latex does need acrylic or enamel based topcoat so that it can be used as a durable sealant against corrosion from saltwater while still providing excellent coverage on any type of surface including aluminum, zinc galvanized steel, copper coated steel, stainless steel or carbon steel surfaces.

The downside is that latex doesn’t adhere very well to metal surfaces as epoxy does and the finish may not last as long although this isn’t always the case depending on the type of paint you’re using.

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paints are another option for metal surfaces because they can be applied with a brush or roller and come in many colors, allowing for more versatility when designing your surface because they cover well even on uneven surfaces.

Acrylics also require an acrylic or enamel-based topcoat so that it can be used as a durable sealant against corrosion from saltwater while still providing excellent coverage on any type of surface including aluminum, zinc galvanized steel, copper coated steel, stainless steel, or carbon steel surfaces.

The downside is that acrylic doesn’t adhere very well to metal like epoxy does which means you may need to reapply them more frequently if exposed to moisture over time since certain types of metal surfaces may corrode or discolor.

Water-Based Paint

Water-based paints are another option for metal surfaces, and they have the advantage of being easier to clean up than oil paint which is why some people choose them over other options like epoxy.

It’s not recommended though if you’re planning on using your surface outdoors because water-based paints don’t dry as fast as latex or acrylics do so it can be a bit more difficult when working in hot weather conditions since you need to wait longer before applying more coats.

The downside is that although easy to apply with a roller, brushes require an extra coat of varnish after application which means this type of paint isn’t ideal if you want detailed design work done because brushes would leave a visible line where it was last applied.

Enamel Spray Paint

Enamel spray paints can also work well with metal surfaces although they will only cover small areas and are best suited for small designs or logos because they need to be covered with acrylic or enamel-based topcoats afterward in order to provide protection from corrosion.

The upside is that this type of paint can dry almost instantly and it’s easy to apply so it doesn’t require a primer, making it ideal if you’re painting on uneven surfaces where applying other types of paints would inevitably leave bumps.

Conclusion

The main thing you want to do here is using a quality topcoat after application in order for your finish work to last longer than just a few days but depending on what kind of materials are being used, some types will require more upkeep than others while requiring fewer layers beforehand.

If all else fails, it’s best to ask a professional where they do metal coating work because they may have their own opinions on what works well for the type of surface or project you’re working with.