You can always hire a professional, but sometimes there’s nothing more satisfying than doing a little home DIY. Regular painting is essential to keep parts of your home attractive and long-lasting. Whether you’re looking to touch up your house’s exterior details or starting an art project, it’s important to choose the right spray paint for metal.
The 9 best spray paints for metal are made from a durable base, which allows the dried paint to resist rust, discoloration, and regular wear and tear. Some of the best spray paints for metal include Rust-Oleum Universal Enamel, Krylon Premium Metallic, POR-15 Top Coat, and Seymour MRO Industrial.
We’ve found the 9 best spray paints for metal, for any job you might have around your home. Each paint has a detailed breakdown of its qualities to find the right spray for your job. We’ve also included instructions for the application so you can get the painting job done correctly.
1. Rust-Oleum Universal Enamel Spray Paint
If you’re searching for a great all-rounder paint, then the Rust-Oleum Universal Enamel Spray Paint could fit your needs.
It lives up to the name of universal, with the option to apply it to various materials, including metal, vinyl, fiberglass, and wood. There are 24 different colors to choose from, ranging from satin black to matte harvest orange, suiting any project or decor.
- Works on virtually any surface including wood, plastic,...
- Oil-based formula with excellent adhesion prevents...
- Fast drying formula dries to the touch in 30 minutes...
- Prevents rust and corrosion for enhanced durability
It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The paint particularly excels in exterior applications because it is resistant to fading, UV, and rust. Therefore, you can confidently use Rust-Oleum on metal that will be in full sun. You can expect that after using this paint that your metal structure will resist sun damage for several years.
The paint is oil-based, which is one of the most popular options for painting metal. The oil adheres easily, covers imperfections, and is resistant to damage and regular wear and tear. Oil-based paint is often criticized for drying slowly, but the Rust-Oleum Universal dries in just 30 minutes after application.
Rust-Oleum Universal is a 2-in-1 spray that includes both the paint and a primer. Primer is essential for long-lasting paint on metal because it increases adhesion and increases protection against rust.
The spray paint has an innovative and user-friendly design. It has a comfort grip trigger, which is designed to ease pressure on the finger and reduce pain during long jobs. It also has a flexible angle spray that works even upside down, allowing you to use the metal paint in hard-to-reach places.
Each can cover up to 15 square feet (4.5 ㎡), and the paint is available as a single can, six-pack, or pack of two.
One criticism of this paint is that it sprays in a mist. This is great if you’re trying to cover large areas quickly, but could pose a problem if you’re trying to paint on a windy day. Furthermore, you will need several coats to get an even covering of your metal surface.
Some users have also reported that they experienced dripping from the can during use. However, this seems to be isolated to some cans and not an inherent design fault.
If your priorities are ease of use, universal applicability, and long-term durability, Rust-Oleum Universal should tick all of your boxes.
2. Rust-Oleum American Accents
If your top priorities are speedy coverage and indoor detailing, then Rust-Oleum American Accents could be your best option.
The paint features Advanced Cover Technology, which dries a lot faster than most oil-based paints. You will only need a couple of coats to fully cover metal, wood, plastic, unglazed ceramic, etc. Furthermore, each coat can dry in just 20 minutes, which is ideal if you’re looking to quickly complete your job.
- Ideal for interior use on virtually any surface...
- Provides long lasting protection with any-angle spray...
- Dries to the touch in 20 min and covers up to 12 sq ft...
- Superior durability with smooth, full coverage and...
It is oil-based, which makes the paint resistant to damage and long-lasting. It can also easily stick to most metals, with a full-color coverage across multiple colors that range from flat black to gloss key lime. This makes it a great choice if you’re looking for a simple resistant coat or to add colorful detail.
Rust-Oleum American Accents is best suited to indoor applications. It shines if you’re looking to paint door hardware or other small details. While it can be used for exterior metal details, you will need to repeat coats every year to maximize color and durability.
The paint is a 2-in-1 paint with primer, meaning that you will need minimal preparation to get started.
However, it’s important to prepare the metal by sanding with sandpaper and wiping it down with a clean cloth whenever using spray paint. This allows the paint to stick more easily to the metal and result in the best long-term color.
Like other Rust-Oleum spray paints, the American Accents has a unique design that is ergonomically designed to put less pressure on your hands. It can also spray from any direction, which is great if you have tricky projects.
Each spray can covers 12 square feet (3.6㎡), and you can buy the cans individually or in a six-pack.
This isn’t very much coverage compared to other brands or other Rust-Oleum paints, so it might not be the most economical option if you are looking to paint a larger metal structure.
However, if you’re looking for speedy application and rich color, then the Rust-Oleum American Accents paint could be up to the task.
3. Krylon Premium Metallic Spray Paint
An attractive metallic finish that excels inside is the main drawcard of the Krylon Premium Metallic Spray Paint.
It preserves your metal surface’s integrity while adding extra shine and sophistication in shades that include original chrome, copper brilliance, gold, and silver foil. This allows you to keep true to the original shade of your metal structure or add extra glamour.
- METALLIC FINISH SPRAY PAINT – Embrace a sleek,...
- DEEP, LUSTROUS FINISH – With a very smooth, high...
- CHROME METALLIC SPRAY PAINT – A metallic accent steps...
- FAST DRY - The perfect addition to your craft supplies,...
Krylon Premium Metallic paint can also be sprayed on wood, plastic, plaster, glass, ceramic, paper, or wicker. It’s a DIY-style paint that shines if you want to create and perfect art projects or small details inside your home. It is, however, unsuitable for exterior use.
The finish is designed to emulate metal plating, rather than paint on top of a surface. This glossy finish gives it an edge over similar metallic paints that don’t have the same shine and reflection level.
This paint is perfect for quick jobs, with a dry to touch time of 10 minutes and a dry to handle time of 2 hours. This is extremely quick compared to many other spray paints on the market, allowing you to complete multiple coats in just a blink.
Each can of Krylon Premium Metallic can cover up to 20 square feet (6㎡). This is a generous amount compared to similar brands, so perfect if you need to spray paint larger projects or multiple items.
The paint advertises itself as acid-free, and it has a neutral pH level of 7. This means that it is less likely to cause harm to your skin if you accidentally make contact.
However, you should always follow standard safety procedures while painting, like wearing gloves, safety goggles, or a full-face respirator for full coverage. Some users have complained that the paint has a powdery finish that comes off on their hands after drying time. However, you can reduce paint chalking by cleaning the metal surface and covering it in a high-quality primer before painting.
We recommend using the Rust-Oleum Professional Primer to prime. You can also easily prepare the metal surface before priming, using light sandpaper or a metal brush to remove old paint or rust.
If your top priority when choosing a spray paint for metal is an attractive finish that looks properly metallic, then Krylon Premium Metallic might be the right choice for you.
4. POR-15 Top Coat Spray Paint
If you’re looking for professional-grade metal spray paint that can be used directly on multiple metal surfaces, including cars, then POR-15 Top Coat Spray Paint should fit the bill.
POR-15 Top Coat has a direct to metal (DTM) paint that doesn’t need primer or undercoat to adhere. It can be used on bare metal or surfaces that have already been painted, with the same result. This makes it a versatile addition to any painter’s toolkit.
- Fit Type: Vehicle Specific
- Special Features: Direct To Metal U.V. Resistant
This spray paint emphasizes durability, with a chemical compound that protects against rust and erosion. It thrives in exterior applications, where it brings a shiny coat to metal that also forms a barrier against moisture.
POR-15 recommends using their POR-15 4504 together with the Top Coat Spray Paint. When you apply the coating before using the spray paint, it forms long-lasting protection against damage.
POR-15 recommends the following steps to use their Top Coat most effectively:
- Clean your metal and remove any dirt, oil, grease, and wax.
- Let it dry and prepare your surface with 320 grit sandpaper.
- Use rust preventative coating and wait 2-6 hours.
- Apply Top Coat.
POR-15 Top Coat takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes to dry to the touch. For additional coats, you will need to wait anywhere from 1 to 24 hours.
The spray paint is available in 12 different colors, including chassis black, safety yellow, red oxide, and flat gray. Each aerosol should be able to cover 30-40 square feet (9-12㎡), and you should use several light coats to cover your metal surface.
It can take up to 3 or 4 days for POR-15 Top Coat to reach total hardness, so it’s recommended to wait this long to observe the true results.
It is a little more expensive than similar spray paints for metal, so this could be a drawback if you’re looking for a bargain. However, you are paying extra for this spray paint’s durability and its resistance against all exterior damage.
If you have a heavy-duty paint job that needs to stand up against the test of time, then POR-15 Top Coat could be your saving grace.
5. Seymour Industrial MR High Solids Spray Paint
Seymour Industrial MRO High Solids Spray Paint is a professional-standard paint that can stand up against exterior pressure.
It has a lead-free base optimized to protect the surface against any corrosive chemicals, oil, rust, and wear and tear from exposure to the elements. It holds up against the hottest and most humid weather conditions and any abrasions. This makes it a great choice if you live in a desert or tropical climate prone to storms.
- 3-4 times the coverage of standard aerosol spray paint
- Does not run or sag
- Protects against rust, weather, oil, gasoline and most...
- Resists abrasion and heat
The paint is enamel-based, which means that it dries to a hard shell-like texture after it has dried. It’s shiny and easy to clean, making it a great option if you’re looking to paint doors and their frames, window frames, outdoor furniture, or the deck in your backyard.
It sticks easily to various materials, including steel, aluminum, glass, caulk, wood, plastic, and porcelain. This makes it a great spray paint for various projects around your home and yard.
Compared to other spray paints on the market, Seymour paint is designed to impact the environment negatively. Instead of the standard solvent-based polymers, the paint has water-based and high solid-resins.
The paint can be used without primer, allowing it to stick to any surface easily. This makes it a great option if you’re looking to save time and money on your painting job.
It is also completely free from lead, cadmium, chlorinated solvents, chromates, and mercury. While no paint is good for the environment, you can feel relatively guilt-free if you choose the low impact Seymour variety. It’s also safer for you to use, although you should still use personal protective equipment just in case.
The Seymour Industrial MRO paint is excellent value for money, covering three to four times more space than standard aerosol spray paints. It also has single-coat hiding, meaning that you can cover old paint or the original surface in just one coating. However, if you want the most attractive look, you will need to apply at least a couple of coats.
Some users have complained that the paint does not match the lid color of the aerosol can. Therefore, you should try to get a test of the color before applying it to your metal projects. However, it is available in a wide range of colors, covering everything from aluminum to ryder yellow.
If you’re looking for industrial-strength spray paint for metal that can withstand any environmental damage, you should consider Seymour Industrial MRO High Solids.
6. Plutonium Paint Ultra Supreme
Plutonium Paint Ultra Supreme could be the right spray paint for you if you’re looking for a quick-drying formula and excellent coverage.
The aerosol can has a unique design that helps you to complete painting projects as quickly and as efficiently as possible. The nozzle has an innovative nozzle that allows full control even when holding the can upside down. It can spray in a full 360 degrees, allowing you to paint even the trickiest metal shapes.
- Ideal for use on metals, masonry, wood, wicker, paper,...
- Ergonomic seamless can and unique valve system allows...
- Mold, mildew and fade resistant with superior UV...
- Due to its high pigment load Plutonium can provide up...
You can choose from multiple spray patterns with the Plutonium Pro-Cap Kit. It allows you to choose from 1/16″ to 10″, making it fully customizable to your specific project needs. The paint adheres easily to multiple kinds of metals, paper, rubber, wood, masonry, and plastic. Regardless of the material, it has an attractive satin finish that makes the surface stand out.
It’s designed for fast jobs, with each coat of paint drying in just 3-5 minutes. It achieves this with a high volume low-pressure design that is optimized for speed and accuracy. Most spray paints take at least a couple of hours, so Plutonium could be ideal if you’re running on a tight deadline or wanting to complete a job finally.
Plutonium is an environmentally-friendly brand that tries to reduce their ecological impact. They manufacture their aerosol cans in such a way to minimize the carbon footprint, which could be a real drawcard if you are concerned about climate change.
The paint is suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Its chemical composition is resistant to UV light, which is great if you need to paint a metal structure that will be sitting in full sun. Plutonium paint maintains its vivid color and resists weathering, for pleasing long-term results.
It is a modified acrylic paint that can be used easily with other brands or varieties of spray paint. This makes it a great choice if you have a structure that has already been painted before. Its formula allows the paint to resist cracking, peeling, dripping, and chipping, for an attractive and durable coating of any metal surface.
Plutonium isn’t as well known as the other brands like Rust-Oleum or Krylon, but it’s a great alternative if you’re looking for speedy and reliable spray paint for metal.
7. Rust-Oleum Hammered Metal Finish Spray
Rust-Oleum Hammered Metal Finish Spray is focused on its finish, which eliminates imperfections and completely prevents rust.
The paint is designed to be used either inside or outside. However, it truly excels on exterior structures made from either metal, wood, concrete, or masonry. Its chemical compound is resistant to weather and corrosion, ensuring that paint finishes are long-lasting.
- Weather and corrosion resistant coating protects...
- Oil-based formula provides a durable protective coating...
- Dries to touch in 2 to 4 hours and covers up to 15 sq...
- Excellent resistance to abrasion, fading and chipping
It has an oil-base, which allows it to adhere to metal surfaces easily. The base serves a dual purpose of protecting the metal and preventing rust without other rust-prevention sprays. You can also apply it directly to rusted surfaces, allowing the paint to start its protection from scratch.
Rust-Oleum Hammered has a moderate dry time, with dry to touch achieved in just 2 to 4 hours. This makes it a good choice if you have a little more time to complete a project requiring multiple coats of paint.
The Hammered metal finish is both attractive and practical. It is available in 12 different colors, including copper and gold, with each shade minimizing surface imperfections and bringing new life to metal surfaces. It is particularly suited to outdoor furniture and items like wheelbarrows, railings, and wheel rims.
Like other Rust-Oleum aerosols, Hammered Metal Finish has a user-friendly design that reduces strain on the fingers. This comfort tip and a wide finger pad help you complete long projects with minimal discomfort. It can also be sprayed in any direction to reach the crevices and cracks of any shaped project.
Some users have complained that you need to use multiple shades to achieve the true Hammered metal look. Paired with the fact that each can yields only 15 square feet (4.5㎡), you might go through a lot of cans if you have a larger project.
This means that Rust-Oleum Hammered might not be the best choice if you’re on a budget. However, if you’re seeking durability and an attractive finish with minimal effort, it could be a great option.
8. PintyPlus Evolution Spray Paint
If you’re looking for a diverse but simple acrylic spray paint for metal, it could be worth considering the PintyPlus Evolution Spray Paint.
It is a multipurpose spray paint with an enamel base that allows it to stick to metal, cardboard, paper, wood, and acrylic. It is suitable for outdoor and indoor projects, making it a versatile addition to any DIY-ers shed. Whether you’re making a metal sculpture or doing up your garden furniture, the PintyPlus Evolution is suitable.
One of the best features of the PintyPlus Evolution paint is its rapid drying time. It fully dries after 15 minutes, and you can add new coats after just 5 minutes, which makes it ideal if you’re impatient or short on time.
Each aerosol can can deliver up to 22 square feet (6.7㎡). You can cover your metal structure in as little as two coats, making for an extremely quick job that won’t use too much paint from the can.
The paint is available in multiple colors, from anthracite gray to traffic red. They cover both decorative and maintenance-appropriate colors, making it a good choice for artists and construction workers alike.
One of the PintyPlus spray paint’s drawbacks is that it isn’t particularly resistant to heat, UV, or rust, unlike other brands. However, if you’re looking to paint indoor features or outdoor items in the shade, this won’t be a concern. It’s also compatible with anti-rust spray for added protection.
You will also need to prepare your metal surface and use a primer before applying PintyPlus spray paint. We recommend the Rust-Oleum Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer Spray, which is specifically designed to prime for spray paint.
If your paint job’s main priorities are quick application, value for money, and diversity of use, you might find the ideal spray paint for metal in the PintyPlus Evolution.
9. Krylon Lacquer Spray Paint
If you’re looking for an extremely hard lacquer finish on your metal surface, you should consider the Krylon Lacquer Spray Paint.
Lacquer paint differs from other spray paints. It is hard, durable, and glossy, but it must be treated differently from other kinds of paint. It is most commonly used to spray paint cars because it creates an effect of depth. However, it can be used on many other metal bases, wood, glass, or ceramic.
- Ultra-hard finish
- Moisture-resistant. Fast dry
- For use with wood, metal, wicker, wrought iron, glass,...
This kind of paint is thicker than the other classic oil or enamel paints on this list. It easily shows imperfections if not applied correctly, so it is essential to clean and prepare your metal with sandpaper and a primer.
Lacquer paint also dries a lot faster than enamel paint. The Krylon Lacquer Spray Paint is fast-drying to the touch in 15 minutes and eventually dries fully to a hard enamel shell. This is a huge benefit if you need to finish your paint job as quickly as possible.
It can be used either inside or outside. The Krylon paint is moisture-resistant, making it a great option to stand against the elements. It also fairs well in the kitchen or bathroom because of these properties.
It’s sophisticated but simple enough to be used in the home or by commercial tradespeople. Whether you’re a professional or a beginner to home DIY, the Krylon spray can be a reliable and easy to use lacquer paint.
Some users have reported that the finish has small bubbles in it. You need to be mindful of lacquer paint that it can dry like this if you don’t apply it correctly. It’s important to spray thick layers quickly and suitably prepare the metal to remove any scratches, bumps, or dirt.
If you’re willing to do the preparations and use the paint correctly, then the Krylon Lacquer Spray Paint could be a good option for you. It would reward you with a thick, durable coating that is attractive and resistant to damage and wear and tear. If aesthetics and durability are your priorities, this is a solid option.
In this article, we’ve covered the best spray paints for metal on the market. They range from traditional oil to enamel-based, with some that are specifically designed to withstand erosion, UV, and rust. Others are more suitable for indoor use and can add an attractive detail to your door hardware or art projects.
Rust-Oleum and Krylon are two of the leading brands for metal spray paint. However, there are gems found in lesser-known brands, with intuitive designs and highly durable chemical compounds.
Most importantly, if you are going to spray paint metal, remember to protect yourself with equipment like goggles, gloves, and a respirator. By taking some simple steps to prepare yourself for the paint job, you can make sure that it is a successful and safe one.