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If you have rusty patio furniture or peeling metal decorations around the house, you can restore them so they look almost new. With the right preparation and paint, you can prolong the life of any metal surface while protecting it from future damage. Spray paints are convenient to use, particularly on irregular surfaces, but it’s imperative that you choose a product that is compatible with the item you’re restoring. Our roundup of spray paints for metal, from products that resist rusting to those that are super durable, will help you make the best choice.
1. Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel
When it comes to spray paint, Rust-Oleum is a long-time go-to brand for professionals and hobbyists alike. Its protective enamel spray is number one on our list for its versatility, ease of use, and resistance to rust. You can use this paint on interior and exterior metal objects after laying down a coat of primer, and its nozzle applies the paint evenly and with little effort. This paint isn’t super-fast drying, but the results will last a long time, especially if you seal it with a clear coat.
2. Krylon ColorMaster Paint and Primer
Krylon’s product comes in matte and flat finishes, but we especially recommend its metallic, gloss, and satin paints. These give your surfaces varying levels of subtle sheen with beautiful depth and richness, so if you are very particular about your metal’s shine, this is a great option to consider. The paints can be used for indoor and outdoor projects, and they dry in about 10 minutes so you can layer your coats relatively quickly. This is technically a combination paint and primer, but it’s not designed specifically for metal, so we recommend laying down another primer first for the best results.
3. Seymour High Solids Spray Paint
Since its founder invented aerosol paint in 1949, Seymour has been a leading manufacturer of spray paints, particularly ones for commercial and automotive uses. This is an industrial-grade paint that dries to a shield-like layer. It’s incredibly durable, resisting not only nicks but also heat and high humidity. Use a primer for best results, and you’ll have extra-resilient metal surfaces that can be safely placed outdoors.
4. Dupli-Color Metalcast Coating
If you want to transform an old metal piece into a jazzy work of art, we recommend this body paint from Dupli-Color. It produces striking anodized effects that make surfaces look pearlescent and almost appear to color-shift. It’s primarily intended for use on chrome, but it can be applied to other metals with the right prep. You have to lay down not only a primer but also a base coat, as this paint is nearly transparent, adding a special tint to the surface. But with patience and proper handling, you can achieve a high-gloss metallic look that will turn heads.
5. Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover
This product from Rust-Oleum is pricier than many of our other picks, but it’s a worthy investment that will save you time. Suitable for both interior and exterior metal surfaces, it is a primer and paint in one, which means you can use it straightaway after some prep (like cleaning and sanding). Although it is thick, it dispenses easily from the nozzle and in many cases can accomplish a job in one or two coats. Like all Rust-Oleum products, it also prevents rust from spreading, and it is UV-resistant, too, so you can place metal furniture, sculpture, and other objects outdoors without worry.