Best Spray Paint for Steel – Top 7 Picks, In-depth Buyer’s Guide, FAQs, Pros, Cons & More

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Generally, all spray paints work well on metal. However, it can be quite the task to find one which offers the best results and protection against the elements. 

To help you get around this, we have compiled the top 7  spray paints for metal and steel.

Top Pick

Coming in a plethora of colors and finishes, this spray paint performs well on both indoor metal surfaces and outdoor projects. This metallic spray paint is highly durable and has a premium finish.

Runner Up

If you’re in the market for rust-resistant metallic spray paint, a can of this oil-based aerosol provides a durable and protective finish that resists corrosion and flaking. It is easy to use and is UV resistant.

Also Great

Formulated to be extremely adhesive, this spray paint for metal surfaces bonds well to a wide range of indoor and outdoor surfaces. It also gives a high-quality finish that comes in multiple options.

Now that we have reviewed the best ones, let’s look into detailed reviews of each of the top 7 best spray paints for metal surfaces and steel.

#1: Most Durable Spray Paint for Steel - Krylon K05356507 ColorMaster Paint + Primer Review

This paint and primer combination spray is formulated to be very durable and give good coverage. The high-quality finish provided by this spray paint revives the subtle metallic shine, making the surface look fresh. 

Moreover, this paint dries fast, allowing you to finish your paint job quickly.

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Krylon K05356507 ColorMaster Paint + Primer

 

Type of Finish: Available in multiple finish options, ranging from gloss satin to semi-gloss to matte. Therefore, it gives you more flexibility in your steel painting project.

Durability: Owing to its high durability, this spray paint is viable for both indoor and outdoor surfaces. It is greatly unaffected by moisture in the environment.

Lifespan: This paint can be expected to last long, as it adheres firmly and puts up well against the elements.

Viable Paint Surfaces: Since this paint is good for both indoor and outdoor surfaces, you can use it freely on outdoor metallic surfaces, such as steel. Besides metal, it shows good results on surfaces like wood, plastic, glass, plaster, and more. However, we recommend you always prepare the surface adequately.

  • Multiple finish options available
  • Durable
  • Adheres well 
  • Multi-surface oil-based formula
  • Fast drying
  • You may still need a primer for steel surfaces.

Most Durable Spray Paint for Steel

The Most Durable Spray Paint for Steel is Krylon K05356507 ColorMaster Paint + Primer because it adheres well to a vast range of surfaces and provides good protection against rust and degradation, allowing you to use it on your outdoor steel painting projects.

#2: Best Rust-Resistant Spray Paint for Steel - Rust-Oleum 7784830 Stops Rust Spray Paint Review

If you want to paint a steel surface that is exposed to vast quantities of moisture, this spray paint is an excellent option as it is extremely resistant to rust. This enamel paint can be used on multiple indoor-outdoor surfaces. 

On top of being UV resistant, this spray paint is easy to use and its nozzle provides a smooth, even finish.

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Rust-Oleum 7784830 Stops Rust Spray Paint 

 

Type of Finish: Available in multiple colors and finishes that focus around a glossy finish, thus adding a subtle shine to your steel painting project.

Durability: As it is oil-based enamel paint, this spray holds up very well against corrosion and chemicals. 

Lifespan: If applied and maintained correctly, this oil-based paint can last multiple years without showing signs of wear. 

Viable Paint Surfaces: We recommend you use this aerosol to paint metal and steel, to give high quality, corrosion-resistant finish. However, it shows good results on plastic too.

  • Rust prevention
  • Durable, protective finish
  • Easy to use
  • Coverage of up to 15 square feet
  • UV resistant
  • Paint may take a relatively long time to dry due to the oil-based formula

Best Rust-Resistant Spray Paint for Steel

The Best Rust-Resistant Spray Paint for Steel is Rust-Oleum 7784830 Stops Rust Spray Paint because it offers very high chemical and rust protection, making it an ideal option for your outdoor steel painting project.

#3: Most Adhesive Spray Paint for Steel - Krylon K02732007 Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint for Indoor/Outdoor Use Review

Owing to its super-adhesive formula, this paint and primer stick firmly to a multitude of surfaces. This makes it a great option for painting your outdoor steel painting project. Moreover, its spray tip is designed to reduce finger fatigue and give a smooth spray with high coverage. 

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Krylon K02732007 Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint for Indoor/Outdoor Use

 

Type of Finish: Available in numerous finish options, such as gloss, satin, metallic, and matte.

Durability: Since this paint is designed to bond firmly to the target surface, it resists flaking and chipping, making it very durable.

Lifespan: Our tests determined that this paint can last quite a long time if applied correctly, giving a long lifespan to your painting project.

Viable Paint Surfaces: This paint is good for several surfaces and objects. It works great on steel and metal furniture. As a bonus, it shows excellent results on plastic, wood, PVC, and more.

  • Extremely adhesive
  • Good coverage
  • Smooth finish
  • Paint dries quickly
  • Resistant to chipping and flaking
  • The paint may be runny

Most Adhesive Spray Paint for Steel

The Most Adhesive Spray Paint for Steel is Krylon K02732007 Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint for Indoor/Outdoor Use because of its paint+primer formula that ensures the paint bonds well to the intended surface.

#4: Best Multi-Surface Spray Paint for Steel - Rust-Oleum 249122-6 PK Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover Review

If you’re tackling a steel paint job but also expect different surfaces to be involved in the painting project, this multi-surface spray paint from Rust-Oleum is an excellent option. It bonds well to a vast range of surfaces while providing long-lasting protection. 

Moreover, this fast-drying paint offers high coverage, allowing you to get your project done in minimum cans of spray paint.

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Rust-Oleum 249122-6 PK Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover

 

Type of Finish: A glossy finish that adds a gleam to your steel paint job.

Durability: Being designed to work on multiple surfaces, this spray paint is inherently durable. It resists wear and provides long-lasting protection.

Lifespan: Since this is oil-based spray paint, it has quite a long lifetime.

Viable Paint Surfaces: Being a general-purpose paint, it works well over on a wide range of different surfaces, such as metal and steel, wood, plastic, plaster, and more.

  • Multi-surface
  • Outdoor and indoor use
  • High gloss finish
  • Low odor
  • Coverage of up to 12 square feet
  • Paint may splatter
  • The spray nozzle may clog up

Best Multi-Surface Spray Paint for Steel 

The Best Multi-Surface Spray Paint for Steel is Rust-Oleum 249122-6 PK Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover because it bonds well to several different surfaces while offering solid protection against wear.

#5: Best High-Heat Spray Paint for Steel - Krylon K01618777 High Heat Satin Black Review

If you’re aiming to paint steel that is exposed to high temperatures, this Krylon High Heat paint is a great bet. With constant temperature resistance of up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, this spray paint does not yield under high temperatures. 

Moreover, it is thoroughly durable and dries quickly.

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Krylon K01618777 High Heat Satin, Black

 

Type of Finish: A satin finish. However, the finish options are limited.

Durability: Formulated to withstand high temperatures, this paint is very durable. It is insensitive to fluctuations in temperature, making it a great option for use on surfaces exposed to heat.

Lifespan: Owing to its durability, this spray paint has quite a long lifespan. However, the lifetime will be reduced if it is continuously exposed to high heat.

Viable Paint Surfaces: Intended for spray painting metal and steel. We do not recommend using it on any non-metallic surface. It is best for use on metal and steel surfaces exposed to high temperatures, such as cooking grills and fire pits.

  • High heat resistance
  • Fast drying
  • Durable
  • Long lifespan
  • Resists runs and drips
  • Limited color options
  • Only for use on metal and steel

Best High-Heat Spray Paint for Steel

The Best High-Heat Spray Paint for Steel is Krylon K01618777 High Heat Satin Black because it can withstand exposure to high temperatures of up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, making it excellent for use on your high-heat steel painting project.

#6: Best Glossy Spray Paint for Steel - Dupli-Color MC201 Blue Metal Cast Anodized Color Review

This enamel aerosol gives a protective, glossy metallic finish that is heat resistant. It features an EZ Touch Fan Spray Nozzle that makes the application a simple and easy task. Moreover, since it gives an anodized finish, it offers significant protection against rusting.

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Dupli-Color MC201 Blue Metal Cast Anodized Color

 

Type of Finish: A  professional high gloss finish that adds a clear shine to your painting project.

Durability: This durable paint comes with significant resistance against heat, making it ideal for use on automotive metal and steel near the hot parts. 

Lifespan: This paint has a significantly longer life. If applied and maintained properly, this spray paint could last up to a decade.

Viable Paint Surfaces: Since they are very durable, these spray paints can be used on a vast range of metallic surfaces that are subjected to harsh conditions. They are primarily intended for use on metal and chrome.

  • Glossy metallic finish
  • Durable 
  • Rust protection
  • Dries up quickly
  • Heat resistant
  • Very thin, may splatter

Best Glossy Spray Paint for Steel

The Best Glossy Spray Paint for Steel is Dupli-Color MC201 Blue Metal Cast Anodized Color because it offers a deep, high-quality finish that adds a premium shine to your steel painting project.

#7: Best Coverage Spray Paint for Steel - Seymour 620-1415 Industrial MRO High Solids Spray Paint Review

This industrial-grade paint displays high protectivity on metal objects. It is extremely durable and easily withstands heat and moisture. Moreover, a single can on this paint gives excellent coverage, meaning you won’t need to purchase too many spray cans during your steel painting project.

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Seymour 620-1415 Industrial MRO High Solids Spray Paint

 

Type of Finish: A glossy finish that comes in numerous color options.

Durability: These spray paints are very durable. They provide protection against heat, moisture, and chemicals, making them an excellent option for outdoor steel projects or machinery.

Lifespan: Since this is an industrial-grade paint, it has a long expected lifetime. 

Viable Paint Surfaces: Mainly intended as paint for metal surfaces. Therefore, we recommend you use this spray paint for steel and metal objects.

  • Durable
  • Heat resistant
  • A protective coat of paint
  • Excellent coverage
  • Does not run or drip
  • The spray may be difficult to control

Best Coverage Spray Paint for Steel

The Best Coverage Spray Paint for Steel is Seymour 620-1415 Industrial MRO High Solids Spray Paint because a single can of this spray paint gives as much coverage as up to four standard aerosol cans. This allows you to get the job done in a minimum number of cans.

best spray paint

Buyers’ Guide

Type of Paint:

To ensure your steel painting project goes as planned, you need to carefully select the right type of paint. You need to consider the surface and the target environment for your project. 

For example, if you intend to put your steel article outdoors, you definitely want an oil-based or acrylic metal spray paint that can withstand the temperature and moisture fluctuations. An indoor-use paint will not be adequate in such an environment and may quickly fade. 

However, if you plan on keeping your project indoors, you may be better off using a paint that is intended for indoors and thus excels in other relevant areas. 

Durability:

This, too, mainly comes down to the environment your article will be exposed to. A steel object put outdoors under the shining sun will be exposed to UV radiation and will thus need to be painted with a metal spray paint that is durable and UV resistant.

An article placed outdoors or near water will be a target of corrosion. Therefore, you’ll want spray paint that provides solid protection against rust for extended periods of time.

However, if you plan to keep the article indoors in a safe environment, it may be a better idea to trade that extra durability for another feature, say, extra colors.

Heat Resistance:

If you’re aiming to tackle an automotive paint job and plan to be painting steel and metallic objects near the hot engine and exhaust parts, you definitely want to get a paint that can hold up well against high heat and temperature fluctuations. 

Otherwise, the applied paint will quickly degrade, fade and start to flake off. Your paint job won’t last long.

Similarly, if you wish to paint a steel cooking appliance, you should aim to get a high heat-resistant metal spray paint. 

However, if you are certain that your article will not be exposed to high temperatures, it’s a good idea to save on that extra feature and invest in another feature.

Drying Time:

Although this may not seem like an obvious factor, depending upon the environment you are painting, it can be crucial to the final quality of the paint. If you are painting in an area safe from weather elements then this won’t be much of an issue. 

However, if you are painting outdoors, the moisture and heat can have a great impact on the finish. Therefore you want to finish the paint job as fast as possible.

Each metallic spray paint will have its own drying time. However, as a general rule; water-based spray paints dry at a much faster rate than their oil-based counterparts.  

Ease of Use:

An uncomfortable spray nozzle can prove to be a major hindrance to even the most experienced spray painters. Therefore, to ensure your paint job goes as smoothly as possible, it’s a good idea to perhaps look for something easy to use, to ensure your project is free of paint spots and drips. 

Such spray paints come with specially designed spray tips and valve systems to give you optimal control and minimize finger fatigue.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Can you use normal spray paint to paint metal surfaces?

Yes. Generally, you can use normal spray paint for spray painting metal surfaces. However, the results will greatly vary depending upon the spray paint used, the surface, and the prep work done on the surface. An unsanded and dusty metal surface will prohibit the paint from sticking on properly. Therefore, be sure to thoroughly clean the surface.

What is primer paint?

Primer paint is a special coating used to prepare the surface before the actual process of painting. It allows the paint to stick better, as well as protecting the article being painted.

What kind of paint do you use on metal?

You can use various kinds of paint for spray painting metal. However, they will each give different results. Owing to their superior durability, oil-based spray paints work the best on metal and last the longest. Water-based acrylic paints work well too.

Does metal need to be primed before painting?

Although it may not be absolutely necessary all the time, we recommend you use a primer before painting metal as it ensures the paint sticks better. Primer is especially needed if you intend to paint an object that will be placed outdoors.

How to spray paint metal?

  • Start off wearing all the appropriate safety gear, such as goggles, gloves, and a mask. Position yourself and your painting equipment in a well-ventilated, clean area. If possible, ensure the temperature and moisture content of that area remain constant.
  • Before you start painting, it is always a good idea to separate whatever you need to paint from the rest of the parts. Dismantle the object and separate any parts that you don’t want paint getting over (such as the cushions on steel chairs).
  • However, it may not be possible to separate everything. Therefore, cover any unwanted areas using old newspaper and masking tape.
  • Using sandpaper or steel wool, carefully sand the article. This is to get rid of any old paint and corrosion. While sanding, it is a good idea to start gently and increase the pressure as you see fit.
  • After the sanding is complete, wash the surface, if possible, and use a cloth to dry the surface and get rid of any dust.
  • Before you begin the painting process, make sure the surface is smooth and dry to the touch. 
  • Apply a coat of primer to ensure your paint sticks well. Next, apply the clear coats, if you have any.
  • Lightly sand the primer and clear coat layers before you go in with the color coats.
  • While applying the paints, we recommend you several thin layers instead of a few thick layers. This will lead to a smoother finish. Keep the spray tip about 12inches away.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes between each coat, allowing time for drying. 
  • After applying the final color coat, apply the final clear coat and then let it dry for at least 24 hours before touching the paint. 

How do you keep spray paint from chipping on metal?

After preparing the surface well, we recommend you apply a coat of primer. This will help the paint stick well. While painting, use swift strokes to apply multiple thin layers. Give each layer sufficient time to dry. Finally, to keep the paint from chipping, apply a clear coat after the final color coat has dried.

Final Verdict 

To conclude our article, we are going to leave you with our favorite choice for spray painting steel. After careful analysis, we have decided on Krylon K05356507 ColorMaster Paint + Primer as our number one pick. 

It comes in a vast range of finishes and revives the paint on your steel project, giving it a new fresh look. Moreover, it sticks on firmly and its durability means it provides protection against corrosion and heat.

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