How to Paint Galvanized Metal

Galvanized metal is difficult to paint because it's coated with a layer of oil to prevent white rust. Alkyd and oil-based paints may seem to stick at first, but the oily layer eventually "sheds" the paint. Beside this, the zinc content of the galvanized coating reacts with paint's binder to create a film that causes the paint to peel [source: Sherwin-Williams]. Therefore, it's important to follow the correct procedure when painting galvanized metal.

Here's what you'll need to paint galvanized metal so that the paint won't peel off:

Here's how to paint galvanized metal:

  1. Wash the metal thoroughly with hot soapy water.
  2. Rinse the metal and let it dry completely for several hours.
  3. Rinse the metal with a weak solution of water and ammonia and allow it to dry.
  4. Remove any handles or other attachments from the metal.
  5. Sand the entire metal surface thoroughly, including crevices and dents.
  6. Wipe the entire surface with the tack cloths.
  7. Apply the primer as directed, covering the entire surface of the metal. It's best to start at the top and work down, section by section.
  8. Wipe off any drips that appear as soon as possible.
  9. Let the primer dry according to the directions.
  10. Inspect the surface carefully to make sure it's completely coated with primer.
  11. Read the directions on the container of metal paint.
  12. Apply the metal paint -- which should be the same brand as the primer -- according to the product directions.
  13. Let the paint dry according to the directions.
  14. Inspect the surface carefully to make sure it's completely coated with the paint [source: Do It Yourself].