What Kind Of Paint To Use On An Iron Bed? [& Color Suggestions!]

Maybe your iron bed looks rusty, or you want to give it a refreshing touch-up with paint. Why not? We've gathered information to help you choose the appropriate paint for your iron bed, along with inspiring color ideas.

You should use water-based acrylic paint or oil-based paint on your iron bed. You can paint it in a classic shade, like black or white, to harmonize with the other colors in your room, or accentuate it with a bright color, such as yellow.

You can buy these types of paints in your local home improvement shop or online. Choosing a color doesn't have to be difficult. However, knowing the specifics about the paint and how to apply it is necessary. Continue reading for tips and color suggestions.

Ornate Metal Bed Frame, What Kind Of Paint To Use On An Iron Bed? [& Color Suggestions!]

What Are The Best Types Of Paint For An Iron Bed?

Painting your iron bed is a good way to stop it from rusting. You should know what paint to use on the iron for a lasting and effective coat. Also, the paint color you choose for your iron bed will give it character.

In general, the color gives off a vibe depending on the tone. Relaxing colors are preferable most in bedrooms, but you can use bright colors if you want to feel energetic in the morning.

Water-based Acrylic Paint

Paint brush with water based colorless lacquer

Water-based acrylic paint is advisable for painting indoor metal exteriors. This type of paint requires a primer and a sealer, though many acrylic paints come with a sealer to avoid damage or scratching.

This paint dries faster than other choices. You should read the package label for specific information on this type of paint and where to use it.

Check out this Montage Signature paint on Amazon.

Oil-based Paint

Oil-based inks in a tank of water prepared for marbling

Oil-based paint is ideal for metal exteriors. You can use it without a primer. It is the longest-lasting choice for painting your iron bed, as it is not water-based. However, it is more expensive than water-based paint. It also dries smoothly.

Check out this paint gloss white on Amazon.

Color Inspiration For Your Iron Bed

Iron beds often come in simple, plain colors that do not attract a lot of attention. Ivory, cream, and black are some common colors for iron beds. These colors are subtle and classy.

However, you can be flexible with the color of your iron bed. After all, it's yours! You can try other colors beyond the standard shades. Here are some other color options you may want to try on your iron bed:

  • Bold colors: Adding a refreshing touch to your iron bed can be a great decision. You can try midnight blue, powder blue, mint green, yellow, or even raw metal. The colors can add style and vibrancy to your bedroom.
  • Metallic colors: You can also choose to upgrade the color of your iron bed with metallic shades, such as bronze or pearl black. These darker tones can impart a sophisticated feel to your bedroom.

Check out this blue spray paint on Amazon.

How To Paint An Iron Bed

You have two options for painting your iron bed. You can either apply the paint with a brush or use spray paint. Before painting, you need to prepare your iron bed. If it has rusty areas, clean off as much rust as possible. You should also get rid of any old paint that might be on the bed.


Set up your iron bed either outside or in a well-ventilated area. You should paint your bed outside to avoid mess and paint splashes on the floor. You can also spread a large paper cover or cloth on the floor for indoor painting.

You need materials to prepare your iron bed before painting. Here is the list of items you will need:

  • Goggles
  • Dust mask
  • Wire brush
  • Rust remover
  • Scuffing pad
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Primer

Check out this metal primer on Amazon.

Be sure to wear a dust mask and goggles to protect yourself against bothersome debris and odors.

You can remove the rust and old paint from your iron bed using the wire brush and scuffing pad. Rust remover will help you get rid of any rusty areas. 

Wipe the bed down with the lint-free cloth. You should then apply the primer to protect the bed and prepare it for the paint. The primer will make the keep the paint solid and intact.

Spray Painting

Male hand holding a painter silver spray gun

Spray painting metal surfaces is a quick method that's recommended for beginners, although the paint does not last as long as other paint choices.

You can finish your paint project right away with spray paint. Here are the steps to spray your iron bed properly:

  1. Shake the spray paint can before use for half a minute. Test the color and consistency by spraying it on cardboard. Use an oil-based or water-based paint only.
  2. Position the can one foot away from the iron bed.
  3. Start to spray in a left-to-right direction to coat the bed evenly.
  4. Continue moving the spray nozzle to avoid drips or specks on the metal exterior. Wipe any extra paint using a dry lint-free cloth.
  5. Let the paint dry for 10 minutes. Check it with your finger to see if it's nicely dry before putting on another coat.
  6. Spray paint on the other side of the iron bed for even coating.
  7. Allow the paint to dry for 10 minutes before applying another layer of paint.
  8. Add a third coat to ensure an even, consistent look.
  9. After finishing the final coat, let the iron bed dry overnight for the best result.
  10. You may choose to apply a transparent coat to make your paint project glossy.

Check out this yellow spray paint on Amazon.

Painting With A Brush

Note that painting with a brush can be difficult for a beginner, although it creates a consistent, solid coating.

After preparing your iron bed, you can start applying paint with your paintbrush. Follow the steps below to paint  your iron bed successfully:

  1. Use a quality brush in painting your iron bed frame. 
  2. Cover the iron bed with a base coat paint or primer. Allow it to dry.
  3. Apply two coats of paint. Let the paint dry completely at each interval.
  4. You may add some effects if it's a plain color, like giving it some streaks or stripes with a rag to add personality. You can be playful.
  5. Apply the paint generously for even coating with light brushes at the beginning.
  6. Use a smaller brush to paint the corners and edges of your iron bed.
  7. Let the paint dry for three to four hours and do a touch test to see if it's already dry. You can put a fan beside the bed to expedite the drying time.
  8. Following the same process as with the spray method, apply the paint generously on the other side of the bed. Give it the same timeframe to dry.
  9. Apply paint for the second coating.
  10. Let the paint dry for about two days before setting the bed up.

Check out these paintbrushes on Amazon.

Painting Tips

Old chipped and peeling metal bedstead upsed as a trellis for beauitufl flowers

There are many factors to consider before commencing a painting project that will make your work easier. Read our guide to painting projects and what to keep in mind before painting your iron bed:

  1. If you're painting outside, check the weather for the day you plan to paint.
  2. Thoroughly check your bed for any damage so you'll know what materials you need.
  3. Work in a space that's clutter free to keep paint from getting on other items or pieces of furniture. You don't want to have to clean up excess paint.
  4. Estimate how much paint to use to prevent wasting it.
  5. The general brushing method is working with a consistent, straight stroke from one end to another, left to right and top to bottom.

Summing Up

Ornate Metal Bed Frame

Using the right paint for your iron bed is essential for lasting protection. You should use only water-based acrylic paint or oil-based paint. Oil-based paints provide a lasting coat for metal.

You can be playful in choosing a color for your iron bed. Choose a vibrant color to brighten your bedroom, or keep things classic with a deep, dark tone.

Find out more about beds and paint colors in these posts:

What Color Should My Bed Headboard Be?

How To Place A Bed In The Bedroom

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