How to Paint Galvanized Metal

How to Paint Galvanized Metal

Gregory Han
Aug 3, 2009

Q - I have an assortment of galvanized metal storage boxes, tubs, and magazine racks that I picked up from places like Pottery Barn when I was really into that look years ago. I've tired of them a bit, and am considering giving them a fresh coat of paint. Can I just paint them with water-based latex paint, and will the paint stick without making a complete mess?

I won't mind if the paint scratches off and wears down here and there with use, as it will probably just give it character, but I don't want to go through the bother of painting if big swaths of paint are gonna come up (I'm hoping you guys don't tell me to spray paint, which is not an option, since I don't have a backyard). I'm wondering other readers have any experience with this. I'm attaching some pics from the PB website, though they're not exactly what I have. I do have the mag rack from Victoria's kitchen (previous AT post), which is one of the items I am thinking of painting.

Sent by Lala

Editor - Lala, from our experience, we've noted that latex paint has trouble sticking to galvanized metal, and even when it does stick, in certain temperatures the paint will begin to blister and peel. Not necessarily the look we think you're looking to achieve.

You might want to give an oil-based metal primer and paint combination a try instead. Another option is to take you galvanized pieces to an auto paint shop and get a quote for painting your small pieces; it might be reasonable enough to warrant using them and they might find the project unusual/different enough to do it.

Has anyone else have had success painting galvanized metal without using spray paint?

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