Beautifying a gate, fence, or anything else made from metal isn’t without its challenges. Buy the wrong sort of paints and you’ll find yourself going through the painstaking process of having to clean it all off and starting from scratch all over again.
When you factor in that a lot of metalwork has ornate details that are hard to reach and cover properly with a paintbrush, and the entire process becomes even more difficult.
You also run the risk of leaving visible brush marks behind which will completely ruin the aesthetics of whatever metal surface your painting.
So, what’s the solution?
The answer comes in the form of spray paints that are created specifically for use on metalwork. There are quite a few to choose from too and, although that may seem like a good thing, can create some confusion over which is the best for your project.
That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you! Below, you’ll find our pick of the 5 best spray paints for metals.
We’ve also included a super-useful buyer’s guide that is designed to take any of the confusion out of the shopping process and help you find the best metal spray paint the first time around.
Best Range of Colors
|Krylon COLORmaxx Spray Paint & Primer||
Most Realistic Metallic Finish
|Krylon Fusion Metallic Spray Paint||
Best Shimmer-Effect Finish
|Krylon Shimmer Metallic Spray Paint||
Best Budget Spray Paint
|Rust-Oleum Metallic Spray Paint||
Best ‘One-Coat’ Spray Paint
|Montana Can Black Metallic Spray Paint||
5 Best Spray Paints for Metals
Krylon COLORmaxx Spray Paint & Primer
No matter what you’re working on, Krylon COLORmaxx Spray Paint & Primer has a huge range of colors to choose from. It’s suitable for use on metal, as well as plastic, glass, ceramic, and more.
So, if you’ve got any leftover paint at the end of your project, you know you’ll be able to use it on another project without having to purchase a separate can.
This spray paint features rust-protection properties, which makes it perfect for use on both indoor and outdoor surfaces. So, even if you live in an area that gets particularly bad weather, you can rest assured that your outdoor metalwork will continue to look as good as new whatever the elements throw at it.
It’s also super easy to use. The extra-large push-button spray-tip gives you the ability to work quickly and efficiently without creating any hand fatigue.
It’s also dry-to-the-touch in under 20 minutes, so you don’t need to worry about a sudden change of weather ruining the finish. This quick-drying process also makes it ideal for outdoor projects in areas that are used regularly by children and pets.
A single can of Krylon COLORmaxx will easily cover up to 25-square feet of metal. This gives you excellent value for money and, depending on the size of your project, means that you’ll likely have some leftover paint that you can use for future touch-ups.
- Huge range of colors – gives you the opportunity to find the perfect color for the project you’re working on
- Multi-purpose – can be used on metals, ceramic, plastic, glass, and more
- Anti-rust – features anti-rust properties so it’s a great choice for outdoor projects
- Quick-drying – is dry-to-the-touch in under 20 minutes
- Great coverage – a single can gives you 25-square feet of coverage
- Cap too secure – some people found that it was quite difficult to remove the cap initially. However, once it was off, it loosened up and became easier to remove.
Krylon Fusion Metallic Spray Paint
This Fusion Metallic Spray Paint is another fantastic choice from Krylon for painting metal. It can also be used on a variety of other materials including glass, ceramic, and plastic. This makes it a fantastic all-round spray paint for multiple projects.
Unlike COLORmaxx which comes in almost every color imaginable, Krylon Fusion is designed for creating realistic metallic colors and finishes on metalwork.
The variety includes aluminum, black stainless-steel, copper, gold, rubbed bronze, silver, brass, and more. So, if you’re looking to transform a sad looking, white-metal gate into something completely different, you’ll find the realistic metal finish you need.
This spray paint also features anti-rust properties, so it’s perfect for outdoor projects. It’s easy to use as well, and the can features a large push-button that allows you to work without your hands getting tired or aching.
One can of Krylon Fusion gives you enough spray paint to cover up to 25-square feet, so it’s ideal for larger projects. Or, if you’re working on something smaller, you’ll have plenty left over for future retouches. It also dries in under 20 minutes and gives you a drip-free finish.
- Realistic metallic finish – comes in a variety of metallic colors that are perfect for creating a realistic metallic look
- Multi-purpose – suitable for use on metal, glass, ceramic, and a variety of other materials
- Rust-resistant – ideal for using on outdoor projects such as metal fences or gates
- Easy to use – features a large push-button that allows you to work comfortably at all times
- Large coverage – gives you 25-square feet of coverage from a single can
- Limited color range – only available in classic, metallic colors. So, if you’re looking for something brighter, you’d be better off with Krylon COLORmaxx
Krylon Shimmer Metallic Spray Paint
If you’re looking for a spray paint that gives you that shimmer-effect finish, then Krylon’s Shimmer Metallic Spray Paint is exactly what you need. As its name suggests, this spray paint gives your metalwork a shimmer-finish that adds an extra dimension to your project, giving it a modern look while still remaining highly realistic.
It’s available in six colors; Silver Shimmer, Purple, Candy Razz, Candy Pear, Candy Blue, and Black. This gives you the option to choose the best finish for your project regardless of how traditional or quirky you’re going!
The finish this metallic spray paint provides is highly durable too, so it’s ideal for outdoor projects on objects that might get battered by the elements. And, to make it even tougher, it also provides a rust-resistant finish.
You won’t need to worry about waiting hours for it to dry either, as a single coating will be dry-to-the-touch in under 20 minutes. One can of this spray paint will cover up to 25-square feet too, making it perfect for larger projects and offering your excellent value for money.
- Shimmer-effect finish – adds an extra dimension to your project and offers a modern, shimmer finish while remaining realistic
- Available in six colors – from traditional black and silver to fun colors like Candy Razz, there’s an option for every project
- Durable – provides a highly durable, rust-resistant finish
- Quick-drying – one coat of this spray paint is dry-to-the-touch in under 20 minutes
- Large coverage – gives you 25-square feet of coverage from a single can
- Needs more than one coat – some people found that while this spray paint gave them the shimmer-effect they wanted, it took a few coats to get the desired results
Rust-Oleum Metallic Spray Paint
When you’re working on a large project, it’s important to keep your budget in check as the cost of purchasing multiple cans of spray paint can soon add up.
But, with Rust-Oleum Metallic Spray Paint, you’re offered a fantastic budget option that, despite being so inexpensive, offers excellent coverage and protection.
It provides a weather and corrosion-resistant coating to metal, so it’s ideal for outdoor projects. It can also be used on various other materials too, including wood, concrete, and masonry. So, if you want to match as many things together as possible in your garden, this is the perfect choice.
A single can of Rust-Oleum Metallic Spray Paint provides up to 15-square feet of coverage. It also dries in under 20 minutes and, to add to its realistic appearance, it also contains actual metallic flakes that give your project a brilliant, shiny finish.
It’s also resistant to abrasion and chipping, offering you a fantastic all-round durable finish that can withstand even the harshest weather conditions.
It’s even UV resistant, so there’s less chance of it fading over time. You’ll save even more money here as you’ll need to retouch your project less often.
- Budget-friendly – is the least expensive choice on our list, so it’s a good option for working across larger projects or if you’re simply trying to stick to a budget
- Weather and corrosion-resistant – perfect for use on outdoor projects, even in areas that suffer from particularly bad weather
- Realistic finish – contains metallic flakes that provide a highly realistic finish
- UV-resistant – is less likely to fade over time, so you won’t need to worry about retouching too regularly
- Good coverage – one can provides up to 15-square feet of coverage
- Only available in one color – while the charcoal color is realistic and traditional, it isn’t a good choice if you’re looking for more vibrant colors
Montana Can Black Metallic Spray Paint
If you’re looking for something that provides great coverage from a single coat, this Montana Can Black Metallic Spray Paint is the best choice.
It was originally designed for graffiti artists to get excellent results from a single spray and, over the last few years, it has become a popular choice for DIYers and crafters.
It also provides a non-drip finish, so you’ll be guaranteed fantastic results and reducing the chances of the paint dripping onto any other surfaces once you’ve applied it. This spray paint is virtually odorless too, so it can be used indoors or outdoors without creating an unpleasant smell.
The winter-proof properties of this metallic spray paint ensures that your outdoor projects, such as metal gates or fencing, are able to withstand harsh weather conditions without showing any signs of damage.
The 50ml size doesn’t make it the largest can of spray you’ll ever come across, and if you’re working on a large project you’ll need more than one. However, as you rarely require more than one coat, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and effort.
It’s also got a super-quick drying time and produces hardly any noise when in use.
- Single-coat application – saves you time and the effort of having to apply multiple coats
- Non-drip finish – gives a smooth, perfect finish every time and stops paint from dripping onto other surfaces
- Odorless – can be used indoors or outdoors without creating a bad smell
- Winter-proof – capable of withstanding the elements without showing any signs of damage
- Quick-drying – dries in a super-fast time so is perfect for applying to projects in areas that get a lot of use
- Expensive – this is an expensive spray paint, but it’s a fairly justified price for the one-coat coverage and winter protection
When you’re purchasing spray paint for metals, there are few things you need to keep in mind.
From the aesthetics of the finish to the durability of the paint, giving a little extra thought to certain things before purchasing will help you find the best choice for your project.
Below, we’ll take a look at some of the most important areas to focus on when choosing your spray paint.
Color & Finish
This goes without saying really, but you need to make sure you’re choosing the right color for your project. Spray paints that are designed for metals come in a variety of colors and finishes, and finding the right one for your project will give it the perfect appearance that you’re looking for.
If you’re looking for a highly-realistic finish then it’s a good idea to choose a color that mimics traditional metals such as black cast-iron, silver, or bronze. You should also choose a metallic finish or a paint and primer mixture.
If you’re going for a more vibrant color, then the world is your oyster! Many spray paints for metals come in a range of bright, vivid colors that can really add some fun and personality to your project.
A shimmer finish will also give it a metallic finish and add an extra dimension without looking unrealistic.
Just as you would with any paint you’d apply to a wall, spray paints are available in a range of styles including gloss, matte, and the aforementioned shimmer. Again, getting this correct will add to the realism of your project and give everything the finish that you want.
As a rule, metal doesn’t really have a glossy finish so it’s usually a good idea to go for a matte finish. And, if you’re looking for a realistic effect on a more vibrant color (or you simply want to add a little sparkle to a traditional metallic color), a shimmer-effect is a good choice.
Of course, it’s really all down to personal preference. So, if you’d like a gloss-effect then there’s nothing to stop you from achieving it. You just need to make sure the spray paint you’ve chosen can do this for you.
This is something that’s commonly missed when thinking about spray paints, with many people getting hung up on the color and finish instead.
However, the durability of the paint is incredibly important as it will ultimately determine how long it will last before you need to touch it up.
Luckily, lots of spray paint for metals have durability covered. Some have weather and corrosion-resistant properties that prevent the paint from chipping or wearing away over time. Some have rust-resistant properties that don’t only stop the paint from looking bad but act as a protective coating for the metal itself.
Some spray paints for metals are even UV-resistant, which means they’re less likely to fade over time. This is a great feature to look for as you’ll find there is less of a need to retouch it.
Durability isn’t as important for indoor projects as it is for outdoor projects, where the paint will be subjected to rain, wind, snow, and whatever else Mother Nature throws at it. But it’s still worth looking into if you’d like your indoor project to look fantastic for many years to come.
Generally speaking, the quicker your spray paint dries, the better. This is particularly important when you’re painting outdoor metal, as you’ll be racing against the elements!
Most spray paints will be dry-to-the-touch in under twenty minutes, which is ideal if you’re concerned about the weather suddenly turning. It’s also a really good thing if you’re working on a project in an area that gets a lot of foot traffic.
All it takes is one inquisitive child to come crashing through your newly painted garden gate and your project is ruined, and they are covered in paint!
You can get a surprising amount of coverage from a single can of spray paint. In some cases, one can of spray paint will offer up to 25-square feet of coverage! This is ideal if you’re working on a larger-scale project.
It’s a good idea to measure what you’ll be working on and checking the coverage before you order, though. The last thing you want is to run out of spray paint halfway through a project.
If you’re unsure, it’s usually best to order more than you think you might need, too. This will give you the scope to apply multiple coats if necessary and, even if you don’t need to, you’ll have more of the exact same color and brand leftover for future retouches.
Finally, it’s important to set yourself a budget when you start shopping for spray paint and sticking to it as closely as you can. The price of spray paint can vary quite a bit between brands, with some only costing a few dollars while others can cost upwards of $20 per can.
Don’t rely solely on a brand name, either. It’s worth checking through all of the features and points we’ve listed above. When you do this, you may find that you’re able to source a fantastic spray paint for metal that can do everything a better-known brand can do, but at a fraction of the cost!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you spray paint metal?
Yes, you can spray paint metal! You need to make sure that you’re using a spray paint that has been designed for metal though, otherwise, it won’t stick.
Even if it does, you’ll notice that it doesn’t last as long and you’ll soon find yourself having to repaint the metal. For the best spray paints for metal, take a look at our list above.
Do I need to apply a primer to metal before painting it?
While it’s not always necessary to apply a coat of primer before painting metal, it’s generally considered good practice to do so. If you’re looking to save time, you can purchase a spray paint for metal that contains paint and primer.
However, if you don’t have the time (or the inclination) to apply a primer before painting, it’s not a huge issue. Most spray paints for metal are super durable and designed to withstand the elements all by themselves.