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Can You Spray Paint Stainless Steel?

Is your stainless steel looking dull? Do you want to make it more durable? Spray paint can solve these problems. We have researched every aspect you need to know about spray painting this material.

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Yes, you can spray paint stainless steel. However, stainless steel is only compatible with epoxy and oil-based paints. You must follow specific procedures when spray painting to ensure superior adhesion to the metal surface.

Painting stainless steel involves several factors you must consider before starting your project. In this article, we will identify the types of paint to use, the preparation, and the steps for painting stainless steel. If you want to find out more, continue reading!

Is Painting Stainless Steel Necessary?

Painting color top coat on steel structure with spray gun at industrial factory.

Stainless steel, in its bare state, is appealing to the eye. However, some homeowners find it more visually appealing to add color and decide to paint it. But it isn't necessary to paint stainless steel. Painting it is considered an enhancement.

The location where the stainless steel is installed, its durability, and its visual appeal are just a few factors influencing the type of paint and the number of coats that should be applied.

There are benefits and drawbacks to painting stainless steel. Spray paint can make it more durable, prevent corrosion, and add color. However, paint can deteriorate unevenly depending on the structure's exposure to sunlight, the cost of the paint, and how it was applied.

Difference Between Steel and Stainless Steel And Why It Matters

Steel is a strong alloy made of iron, carbon, and other elements. Steel is the preferred substance to employ as a building material because of its strength, toughness, ductility, weldability, and durability. It rusts in wet environments and is not heat or corrosion-resistant.

An alloy of iron, chromium, and other components makes up stainless steel. It has a more appealing appearance than regular steel and is more heat resistant. This element makes it suitable for the production of kitchen items. It is also highly resistant to corrosion and does not rust in moist environments.

Steel and stainless steel can be painted with a similar painting medium because the materials are specifically designed to adhere to metal surfaces.

What Type Of Paint Can You Use For Stainless Steel?

Hand with spray paint gun, What Type Of Paint Can You Use For Stainless Steel?

There are specific types of paint that work on stainless steel: epoxy and oil-based. It is essential to use these products since they are the only materials that adhere to stainless steel.

Epoxy Paint

When spray painting stainless steel, epoxy paint is highly recommended due to its superior adhesion. This paint is exceptionally durable and resistant to solvents and other chemicals. Furthermore, it is impact-resistant, preventing chipping and breaking, and can withstand high temperatures.

Check out this epoxy spray paint on Amazon. 

Oil-Based Paint

Oil-based paint is typically the first option when painting stainless steel since it is durable, does not easily discolor, and can be easily cleaned. It is available in brush- and roller applications. However, it's important to note that this isn't an ideal option if you intend to paint sizeable stainless steel surfaces.

Factors to Consider Before Painting Your Stainless Steel

Here are the factors you need to consider when painting stainless steel to ensure proper adhesion and avoid future problems.

Clean The Surface

To properly prepare the metal surface for painting, use mineral spirits to remove any oil, dirt, or impurities, and then use a rust-inhibitive primer.

For surfaces that are not damaged, dust should be removed with a dry, clean cloth. The surface should then be de-glossed with light sanding, and mineral spirits should be applied to ensure good adhesion.

Check out these mineral spirits on Amazon.

Scrape Your Stainless Steel

You should also check for peeling paint, rust, and small holes and dents. If the surface was previously painted, scrape off loose and peeling paint. You can use robust cleaning agents to remove paint easily. However, some cleaning agents can potentially cause paint-adhesion problems.

Check to see if there is corrosion on the metal before you begin to paint. If there is rust, sand the area, clean it with a brush, then prime it with a premium primer.

Check out this primer on Amazon.

Repair the holes and dents in the steel by sanding the affected area until the metal is visible, then wipe the surface with mineral spirits and a degreaser.

To repair minor damage, directly inject the appropriate epoxy-based material into the dent or hole. Any larger dents or holes should have epoxy filler applied to the edges. Apply epoxy to the mesh, from the perimeter to the middle of the hole.

Preparations For Painting Stainless Steel

Now that you know the considerations, you can prepare the tools you need for spray painting stainless steel.

Safety Gear And Painting Tools

In preparation for spray painting stainless steel, you should wear a mask, goggles, and gloves. Make sure to purchase high-quality paint and buy the right painting tools.

Remember these tips:

  • Spray paint provides the smoothest look.
  • A roller brush will add a little texture.
  • A paintbrush will add a lot of texture.

Find A Suitable Work Area

Finding a suitable area to work in before starting to paint is essential. It should be a well-ventilated space. Ventilation is important because spray paint can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat. 

Wax And Newspaper

You will need wax to use as a final seal after painting. Make sure to purchase high-quality wax used for metal works. Use newspaper to protect any areas that you don't want to paint.

How To Spray Paint Stainless Steel

Staining wood with white spray gun.

Here are the steps for spray painting stainless steel:

1. Apply a primer to the steel: Priming your steel can produce better results when applying spray paint. One coat of primer should be enough for the entire area. Let the primer dry before you start painting.

Reminder: You must hold the nozzle 12 to 18 inches away from the stainless steel and spray in one direction.

2. Apply the paint: Make sure to shake the can of spray paint before using it. Let each layer of paint dry completely before adding a new one. You should apply at least two to three coats when spray painting stainless steel.

Allow the final coat of paint to dry completely. You can check the paint can for information on drying time.

3. Apply the wax: Once the steel has dried, you can wax it. Apply a thin coat of wax over the entire painted area and let it dry until it appears hazy. Then clear away the wax with a clean, dry cloth.

What Is The Best Technique For Painting Stainless Steel?

Worker painting on steel wall surface by airless sapray gun for protection rust and corrosion.

You can apply paint with a brush or use spray paint with stainless steel. That being said, what is the best way to paint the material?

Spray Paint

The advantage of spray paint is that it saves time when painting. The spray paint provides uniform, even coverage with thin and thick paints, and it can produce a high-gloss surface. 

Spray paint, however, needs additional preparation before you can begin. Spray paint can waste a lot of paint; it can utilize 30% of paint. Considering that numerous sprays may be purchased for various uses, using this is too pricey from a cost perspective.

Brush Painting

Unlike spray paint, which needs extensive preparation, painting with a brush can begin immediately. To avoid wasting paint, use a brush. In terms of cost, brushes are affordable.

However, painting with a brush takes a lot of time. It is advised to use thick paint for coverage because thin paint is difficult to control and can result in paint drips. It might also be challenging to reach confined spaces with a brush.

Can You Spray Paint A Stainless Steel Sink?

Kitchen sink and faucet

All types of steel are painted the same way. Most sinks are made of steel and are non-porous, which is a term for materials that do not allow the flow of liquid or air.

This makes it difficult when it comes to painting because most of the paint will not adhere to the surface of a stainless steel sink. It is a must to know the considerations and the preparation before you spray paint your stainless steel sink.

Before painting, turn off your water supply, remove the sink, and clean it. This will make painting easier. For an old sink, use 150-grit sandpaper and sand the sink until it looks new. For a new sink, apply a primer to help the paint stick to the sink.

You should use spray paint when painting a stainless steel sink. This will give the sink's surface a clean, smooth finish. Additionally, it guarantees that you are painting your sink with a consistent layer of paint thickness.

You should add wax once the sink has been painted and dried. Remove any remaining wax by wiping it off.

In Closing

Spraying your stainless steel with the proper epoxy or oil-based paint can make it more durable. You should keep in mind safety procedures and other factors as you paint.

If you found this post helpful, check out these related articles:

5 Best Scratch Removers For Stainless Steel Sink

Can You Spray Paint In High Humidity?