Can You Spray Paint Galvanized Metal? [Explained!]

Galvanized metal is a type of steel that has been coated in zinc, which protects the steel from corrosion and rust. Because galvanized metal is not as vulnerable to these problems, it is often used for outdoor applications such as fences, roofs, and decking. But, can you spray paint it?

Galvanized metal can be spray painted as long as the surface has been properly prepared through a process of washing, etching, or sweep blasting and you use a primer and paint specifically formulated for galvanized steel such as chlorinated rubber, alkyd, high-build epoxy, or vinyl-based paints.

Keep reading to learn more about how to paint galvanized metal, the supplies you’ll need, and important watch outs.

What spray paint works on galvanized metal?

Not all spray paints are created equal; some will work better on galvanized metal than others.

In general, basic acrylic latex-based spray paints are the cheapest and most widely available option. These types of paints will adhere to galvanized metal better, and they are fairly durable.

If you need more durability with your project, you’ll need to check out some heavy-duty options like high-build epoxy paint or vinyl-based paints. However, these types of paints aren’t typically found in a spray paint formulation.

It is recommended to check the details on the spray paint can to see whether or not it is alkyd or acrylic latex-based paint before purchasing it.

Another thing to remember when choosing spray paint for galvanized metal is the color. Most spray paints come in a variety of colors, but it is important to choose one that will show up well on the steel.

Darker colors are often better for galvanized metal, as they will contrast more against the natural grayish color of the metal.

What spray paint works on galvanized metal?

Will Rustoleum paint stick to galvanized metal?

Yes, Rustoleum acrylic latex spray paints will stick to galvanized metal very well.

If you want to use Rustoleum spray paints for your Galvanized metal, go with Rustoleum cold galvanized spray paint.

This is the best Rustoleum paint for galvanized metal. This zinc coating, which is composed of 93% pure zinc, provides excellent adhesion and durability on galvanized metal. I also recommend adding a universal or metal-specific primer to the mix for added protection and durability!

What kind of primer do you use on galvanized metal?

When painting galvanized metal, it is important to use a primer that will create a good surface for the paint to adhere to.

A good primer for galvanized metal is one that is specifically designed for this type of surface such as the Rust-Oleum Universal Primer. This primer can be used on bare and painted surfaces and is specially formulated for metal.

Another type of primer that works well on galvanized metal is the Valspar Galvanized Metal Primer. This primer also prepares both bare and painted surfaces, but it has a more textured finish that provides good hiding power to protect against rusting. Unfortunately, this paint isn’t available as a spray paint option.

No matter which primer you choose, make sure to follow the instructions on the can for the best results.

Once the primer has been applied, it is time to start painting!

What kind of primer do you use on galvanized metal?

How do you spray paint galvanized steel?

To paint galvanized steel, you must prepare the surface by removing any residual dirt and rust. A wire brush can be helpful for this task, but ensure not to damage or scratch away too much of the zinc coating in the process.

Once all the dirt has been removed from your metal roofing or decking, follow the process below.

Use hot soapy water to clean the metal:

You may want to wear rubber gloves and safety goggles when cleaning the galvanized metal. Mix a solution of hot soapy water in a bucket, then use paper towels or rags to wipe down the entire surface of your decking or roofing.

Hot soapy water will help remove any remaining dirt or grease so that the primer and paint will adhere better.

Use hot soapy water to clean the metal:

Rinse off with clean water:

Once you have wiped away all visible dirt and grime from your metal, rinse it with clean water to remove the soap. Rinse the metal until the water runs clear. Rinsing also helps to remove any chemicals that may be present on the surface of the metal.

Use a tack cloth to wipe the whole surface:

Get a clean tack cloth, and wipe the entire surface of your metal. This will remove any dust or particles that may have been left behind after cleaning.

Allow the metal to dry:

Make sure the metal is completely dry before you start painting. The paint may not adhere properly and could peel or chip away over time if it isn’t. Allow the metal to dry for at least 2 to 3 hours before you start painting.

Apply the primer:

Once the metal is completely dry, apply a coat of primer to the surface.

Simply follow the instructions on the primer can for the best results. Primer will help the paint to adhere better to the metal, and it will also help to protect against rust.

Wait for the primer to dry:

Make sure you pay attention to the instructions on your primer can and allow the primer at least 30 minutes to dry before you apply a top coat.

Apply the paint:

Finally, apply a coat of spray paint in your desired color. Make sure to follow all of the instructions on the can for the best results.

Allow the paint to dry completely before using your metal decking or roofing.


Spray painting galvanized metal is a quick and easy way to improve the look of your decking or roof. It can also help protect it from rust, corrosion, and other damage that may be caused by outdoor elements like rain or snow.

Whether you are looking for an inexpensive alternative to replacing old steel roofing or want to refresh some old steel railings, spray painting galvanized metal is the perfect solution.

Also read:
Why Do Spray Paint (Aerosol) Cans Rattle or Make Noise?

Why Do Graffiti Artists Use Spray Paint?



Can you spray cold galvanizing spray over rust?

No, you cannot. You will need to remove any rust first before applying the spray paint or primer.

How do you treat white rust on galvanized steel?

To get rid of white rust on galvanized steel, you will need to sand off the surface and apply primer. Make sure that the metal has been dried very well before applying primer.

Can you paint hot-dipped galvanized steel?

Yes, you can. In fact, it is recommended that you use a primer before painting galvanized steel. Ensure that the surface has been cleaned well and all the oils have been removed.

Can you use a brush to apply galvanizing spray?

Yes, you can use a brush to apply the galvanizing spray. It is best to use a brush with natural fiber bristles, which are not too long or stiff.

Is galvanizing spray paint anti-rust?

Yes, galvanizing spray paint can prevent rust on steel if the metal is treated with it before being exposed to the elements. It is recommended that you first use a primer on the steel’s surface, then apply the galvanizing spray paint.

Do you need to prime galvanized metal before painting?

Yes, it is recommended that you prime galvanized metal before painting.

Can you paint straight onto galvanized steel?

Yes, you can paint straight over galvanized steel. However, it is recommended that you use a primer first before using the latex-based paint.

Does galvanized paint work?

Yes, galvanized paint will work if the metal has been treated with zinc or oxide before painting it. You can also get corrosion-resistant paints which are specially made for galvanized steel.

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