Canvas may be the best medium for projects involving acrylic paint, but acrylic paint may be used on various surfaces. Acrylic paint is highly adaptable and simple to use on any surface, free of wax or oil. Although preparing a surface for acrylic paint might be challenging, quick-drying acrylic paint is the ideal medium for practically any job, even painting on metal. This paper has been gathered from reputable sources to give you essential information to help your metal project succeed.

Although applying acrylic paint on metal can appear complicated, it is a relatively straightforward procedure. While working with metal surfaces might be scary, with some simple preparation, acrylic paint can completely change your metal project.

Is Acrylic Paint Suitable for Metal?

Acrylic paint only works well on metal when the surface has been properly prepped. Acrylic paint enhances the enjoyment of painting and is appropriate for various applications. This implies that acrylic paint may be used on various surfaces, including garage doors, patio furniture, fences, screens, stools, shelves, and cupboards. This is due to the paint’s reasonable price and the fact that it doesn’t require any special tools or equipment to apply.

Can you use Acrylic Paint on Metal?

It is feasible to paint with acrylics on metal, but preparation is necessary beforehand. You may simply complete many fun tasks when applying acrylic paint on metal. Acrylic paints are among the most popular forms of paint. They have a good amount of popularity as a result of their excellence, effectiveness, and adaptability. Both pros and DIYers adore them since they can be used on many surfaces.

What Kind of Paint Can You Use on Metal?

Several kinds of paint may be applied to metal. Acrylic paint is the most popular kind of paint. On metal surfaces, however, you may also use various kinds of paint, including enamel, water-based paint, and paints with an oil basis.

Water-based paint for metal

Metal surfaces may be painted with water-based paint or regular acrylic paint. This kind of paint dries rapidly and is simple to use.

It can resist a lot of wear and tear and is also highly resilient. Both latex and acrylic formulations of water-based paint are available.

Water-based paint is a wonderful option if you’re searching for paint that will give you a high-gloss finish.

However, you want to think about utilizing acrylic paint if you like paint that has a more matte finish.

Oil-based paint for metal

Another excellent option for painting metal surfaces is oil-based paint.

This acrylic exterior paint is quite robust and resistant to abuse. Additionally, it is resistant to fading and chipping.

Acrylic paint for metal

Another excellent option for painting metal surfaces is oil-based paint.

This acrylic exterior paint is quite robust and resistant to abuse. Additionally, it is resistant to fading and chipping.

Spray paint for metal

Acrylic spray paint is an additional excellent metal paint. This paint may produce a smooth, uniform surface and is simple to apply.

There are oil-based and water-based spray paint formulations available.

It’s crucial to pick a spray paint for metal that is made especially for use on metal surfaces, such as outdoor acrylic paint. Otherwise, it’s possible that you won’t find what you’re searching for.

Enamel paint for metal

Another excellent option for painting metal surfaces is enamel paint. Enamel paint dries to a strong, glossy sheen, a significant benefit over acrylic paint when used on metal surfaces.

In contrast to other forms of paint, it can be challenging to apply uniformly and might take longer to dry.

Steps To Use Acrylic Paint On Metal?

  1. Gathering necessary materials

A drop cloth

Maintaining the cleanliness of your workspace and your possessions by properly preparing the location where you will be working is essential. If the space is small, put a tiny piece of plastic or a similar impenetrable barrier between your project and the surface you are working on. Use canvas or plastic drop cloths for bigger spaces.


At several points during this procedure, cleaning cloths are helpful. It will be easier to complete your job if you have a few. To get a flawless finish, microfiber material may easily capture dust from your project.

Painter’s tape

While using painter’s tape to keep paint from getting on specific parts of your project may seem like an extra step, it will be time well spent. When painting adjacent surfaces, painter’s tape might be useful for protecting surfaces that you don’t want to get paint on. Painter’s tape is designed to protect surfaces from harm when removed and doesn’t leave any sticky residue.


Before painting, cleaning the metal surface of dust and dirt is an essential step in the preparatory process. After sanding and scraping your craft, wipe up any dust or leftover materials using a cloth dipped in warm, soapy water. While soap and water could be sufficient for simple tasks or on clean surfaces, some operations call for a cleaning agent. Cleaning solutions are made to cut through tenacious grease buildup or residue.


When working on any metal project, gloves come in helpful to shield your hands from paint and dust. Have a box of disposable gloves close by hand to swap out between tasks during your endeavor.

A wire brush

An effective way to remove old paint, rust, and other debris that may have accumulated on your surface is using a wire brush containing firm wire bristles. For cleaning difficult-to-reach nooks on your metal object, various-sized brushes, such as the smaller-sized wire brushes shown below, may be helpful.


After scrubbing the surface with a wire brush and before painting, the surface should be smoothed up with fine-grit sandpaper to remove any lingering paint or rust. For metal, a 150-grit sandpaper is advised.


For a few reasons, primer is required on your sanded metal item. It applies a protective coating to a metal surface, hiding existing rust and preventing further corrosion. Additionally, it serves as a coherent foundation to draw and hold the paint. Traditional priming paint can be messy and inconvenient, but spray primer coats your surface evenly and smoothly.


For varied surfaces, versatile acrylic paint is offered in various forms. The best specialists advise using acrylic spray paint on metal objects. On metal utilized outdoors, exterior or outdoor acrylic paints should be applied, as seen in the second example below.


If acrylic spray paint is unsuitable for your project, you can paint it using a paintbrush instead. To reach confined locations, it can be essential to use paintbrushes of various sizes.


To protect against moisture and scratch and to give your product a polished appearance, sealers are applied to finished, dried projects. It is not essential to use a sealer if external paint is utilized because the sealer is already included in exterior paint. Long-lasting protection is possible when using conventional acrylic paint and if additional protection is necessary.

  • 2. Remove corrosion or outdated paint

Using a wire brush, as mentioned above, guarantees that the whole metal surface is clear of old paint, corrosion, or residue after gathering all of your items. The whole metal surface, including tiny cracks, should be scrubbed clean using any of the sizes depicted above. Sand the surface with fine-grit sandpaper, as demonstrated in the prior example, after brushing the entire surface thoroughly. Continue until the surface is touchably smooth.

  • 3. Ensure that the surface is clean.

After scraping and sanding away old paint and rust from your old surface, dust and debris must be fully removed. Cleaning the freshly scraped surface thoroughly with soap, water, and a cloth is the best way to accomplish this. Suppose the surface requires more than a basic cleaning, cleaning solution, such as the one indicated above. It is an excellent method to break up any stuck-on residue or remove minute dust particles. Allow the surface to dry thoroughly.

  • 4. prime surface

Over a freshly cleaned and dried surface, apply two layers of primer. Spray primer is a quick and easy way to apply uniform primer applications to your project. Allow the primer to dry completely in between applications.

  • 5. Paint surface

After your primer has dried fully, you are ready to paint your surface. Acrylic spray paint may produce a smooth, uniformly coated appearance. Two coats of paint should be applied, with each coat dry between applications. As previously said, always use exterior or outdoor acrylic paint if your metal object will be placed outside.

  • 6. Seal the surface

As previously stated, a sealer is not always required. Exterior paints already contain a sealer, so no additional sealer is required. In addition to providing long-lasting protection, the sealer may give your product a glossy appearance.

How To Seal Acrylic Paint On Metal?

Because acrylic paints are porous, they are not totally waterproof. A sealant is required to completely waterproof metals. Sealers and varnishes are widely available in the acrylic paints business. Apply sealant to get a scuff-resistant paint finish and enjoy protected metal surfaces for many years.

Water Based Acrylic Paint For Metal

Using water-based acrylic paints to paint the metal is a terrific idea. They are, nevertheless, suitable for indoor metal furniture and surfaces. The dry period of such paints is quite short. However, sealing and priming are required. Water-based paints are ideal for beginners and do-it-yourselfers. These paints perform poorly in comparison to oil-based paints.

Can I Use Acrylic Paint on Metal without a Primer?

The answer depends on several situations and factors, which I have addressed below. You may do this without using a primer when painting the metal using oil-based paints. Because of corrosion and dampness, the paint will not adhere properly.

Primer helps acrylic paint adhere securely even under harsh weather conditions.

Similarly, acrylic paint has a spongy or porous texture and is made up of water-resistant components. Because it isn’t totally waterproof, I usually recommend adding a primer to keep it from rusting over time.

However, priming is not required in the case of stainless steel metals. Because it is already rust-proof, you do not need to apply any extra priming. As a result, constantly examine the metal type to determine whether or not to apply paint. If you need a primer, look into the best primer for acrylic paint on metal.

What Is The Dry Time For Acrylic Paints On Metal?

The dry time varies depending on the paint and the manufacturer. Acrylic paints on metal take roughly 24-48 hours to completely cure. It doesn’t need sealant if you give it enough time. Acrylic paint requires a shorter drying time when used on external patio furniture. For further information, see How to Paint Rusted Metal Quickly.

How Do You Make Acrylic Paint Dry Faster On Metal?

You may speed up acrylic paint on metal drying time by doing a few things.

Apply thin layers: When painting metal, it is critical to utilize thin layers. This will aid in the drying of the paint.

Work in a warm, dry area: Acrylic paint dries best in a warm, dry setting. The paint may take longer to dry if the temperature is too low or the humidity is too high.

Use a hairdryer: A hairdryer may be used to speed up the drying process. Just be careful not to get it too near to the paint since this might cause it to blister.

Use a fan: Another option to speed up the drying process is to use a fan. Ensure the fan isn’t blowing directly over the paint since this might cause it to dry unevenly.

Fast-drying acrylics: If you want to paint that dries rapidly, go with a fast-drying acrylic. These paints are meant to dry rapidly and might be a wonderful alternative if you’re in a rush. Liquitex Fast-Drying Acrylic Paint is an excellent example.

What Should I Do to Protect Painted Metal?

Metal is prone to scratches and other types of damage. Painted metal is especially susceptible since the paint can peel or fade over time.

You may add a sealer or topcoat to help protect your painted metal goods. Sealants form a protective barrier between the paint and the metal, preventing scratches and other damage.


In conclusion,  However, understanding how to correctly prepare, paint and seal acrylic paint on metal is time well spent. Your freshly-painted goods will last for years. To avoid chipping or peeling, prepare your surface and use high-quality paint.

If you want an extra layer of protection to your metal project, try adding a sealer spray after the paint has set.

You can change that old piece of metal into a stunning work of art by following a few simple steps in our acrylic painting instructions! Have fun with your acrylic painting.



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