Primer Guide: The Best Primer Paint For Metal Surfaces

If you’re looking for primers that will work well on metal surfaces, then this is the article for you. We have researched and discovered the best primers for metal surfaces so that you don’t have to. This guide provides information about all types of primer–water-based, oil-based, epoxy, and automotive–so there’s something in here for everyone!

The best primer for metal: Comparison Table

ImageProduct 
Best Choice
Rust-Oleum 7582838 review
Rust-Oleum 7582838
  • Dries quickly within 15 minutes
  • For any metal surfaces
  • Oil-based paint
  • Color: grey

Check Price
Best Rustoleum for metal
Rust-Oleum 7780502 Metal Primer review
Rust-Oleum 7780502 Metal Primer
  • Dries to the touch in 2-4 hours
  • Low price, big volume
  • Oil-based paint
  • Color: white

Check Price
Best white primer paint
Zinsser
Zinsser 02004 Bulls Eye 1-2-3
  • Dries to the touch in 35 minutes
  • Excellent stain blocking resistance
  • Water-based formula
  • Can be used with any oil or latex topcoat
  • Color: white

Check Price
For Fast Work
Krylon K05524007 review
Krylon K05524007
  • Dries fast within 20 minutes
  • For wicker, metal, plastic, glass, and more
  • Solvent based
  • Color: ivory

Check Price
Best bonding primer
Rust-Oleum 285011 review
Rust-Oleum 285011
  • Dries to the touch in 30 minutes
  • Low odor, low VOC
  • Water-based paint
  • Color: white
Check Price
Universal
Rust-Oleum 365358 review
Rust-Oleum 365358
  • Dries to the touch in 30 minutes
  • any surface including wood, plastic, metal, fiberglass, concrete, wicker, vinyl, and more
  • Oil-based paint
  • Color: Matte Arctic Gray
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When Should You Use A Metal Primer Spray Paint?

Primers for metal surfaces can be used to prepare a surface that you want to paint. Primer is essential because it gives the next coat of paint something smooth and level to adhere to. If your primer does not provide a good bonding surface, the topcoat will peel or chip off easily, making this a waste of time and money!

Primers for metal surfaces come in different types, so there’s one out there guaranteed to accommodate everyone’s needs. Let us help you find yours today!

Why Use primer paint for metal?

A primer is a paint or other coating used as the first layer of paint applied to an object. It creates a smooth, even surface for your topcoat and makes it easy for this next coat to stick well. Primers are available in all types, including water-based, oil-based, epoxy, and automotive primer spray paints. If these primers do not suit your individual needs, then we have other products and information on how to use them available here: How To Get The Best Results from Your Paint Project. When priming any project, remember all surfaces should be clean and dry.

When Should You Apply Primer?

Primers provide an excellent surface for the paint to adhere to, so you must do everything possible to ensure your primer can bond with the metal properly. Some of the most common times when people would want to use a primer on their metal surfaces are:

  1. Before painting new steel tools like shovels and rakes
  2. When using oil-based products such as some stains or paints over bare metals (primer helps them bind)
  3. When working outside, oxidization can occur on brand new items (this will help protect against rusting).

To get the best results from your paint project, you should always prime any surface before painting. If it’s a small job and you only need one can of primer spray paint, then that may be all you need… but if not, don’t worry! We’ve reviewed many different types of primer and will help you pick the best one for your metal surfaces.

What Are The Different Types of Spray primer paint for metal?

There are several different types of spray paint primers for metal surfaces available on the market. This article will look at each one in detail to understand what makes them unique and used.

  1. Primer for metal surfaces – this is a base coat that prepares the surface to be painted.
  2. Paint primer for metal surfaces is explicitly designed for painting metals, including aluminum and zinc alloys.

Oil-based

Oil-based paint primers are good at hiding imperfections on the surface while providing an even finish with higher corrosion resistance than water-based paints. The downside of oil or alkyd-based primer is that they take longer than water-based primers to dry completely, increasing your working time during the application and reducing productivity if you need multiple coats before applying final finishes.

Water-based

Water-based spray paint primer for metal surfaces – these contain acrylic resins as their only binder. Hence, it has very low VOC (volatile organic compound) emitting, which is considered suitable for the environment. It also dries very quickly and can be used to paint directly on top of rust without stripping it first, like what you need to do with an oil-based primer.

The downside, however, is that water-based primers are less durable than their oil counterparts because they cannot adhere well in high humidity conditions since the acrylic resins have poor resistance to weathering.

Acrylic

Acrylic spray paint primer for metal surfaces – these are water-based primers containing a small percentage of organic solvents, which improves adhesion and extends working time so you can apply multiple coats before applying final finishes. It is also known as “solvent resistant” because the solvent in it evaporates slower than other types, thus making it ideal when using oil-based paints since they cannot be applied over alkyd or epoxy unless the surface has been adequately primed with an acrylic primer first.

However, this type contains more VOC emissions than its counterparts, so look elsewhere if you need low-emitting products!

How To Choose The Right Spray primer paint for metal For You?

There are several factors to consider when choosing the suitable spray paint primer for you. These include:

Surface Type and Texture

The surface texture of your project can determine what type of spray paint primer is best suited for it. If you need a smooth finish, then pick an oil-based or urethane primer; if you want something with more grip, try out solvent-based primers instead.

However, understand that there might be some tradeoffs regarding how long both types last on metal surfaces before requiring reapplication (i.e., the oil base usually lasts longer). For example, epoxy/polyester will give you a smoother feel while providing exceptional adhesion. Still, the downside is a shorter lifespan than other options because it tends to yellow with age.

Temperature

Primers have a minimum temperature required for the paint coatings that follow; they will stick properly, so be sure yours can withstand your intended environment. If you’re doing an outdoor project where temperatures drop below freezing, avoid using water/alkyd primers.

They tend to lose their adhesion when subjected to cold weather conditions or use something else instead (i.e., automotive primer).

Rust Protection

Most of us want our metal projects and surfaces to look good and last long without having them succumb to rusting or corroding prematurely; however, if we aren’t careful about choosing the right type of spray paint primer for metals like steel and aluminum – especially those that are high in alloy content – this could affect the outcome of our project.

For instance, epoxy/polyester primers will provide excellent rust protection while also ensuring that your paint doesn’t peel or chip off easily so long as you get it applied correctly (not too thin or thick).

Amount Of Work Time

Most spray paint primer products have a work time limit to ensure proper application before drying up and becoming unusable. If you choose one that’s going to take a more extended amount of time for it to dry thoroughly on metal surfaces, then make sure you’re capable of working around it in order not to ruin anything further down the line.

Alternatively, if getting your primer done quickly is more important than all other factors combined, then make sure to pick something that has a very short work time limit.

Surface Temperature

If you’re working with metal surfaces during the summer months, try to find primer products that are suitable for hot or warm environments since they’ll be less likely to harden up too soon on your surface of choice before doing what needs to be done (i.e., painting).

On the contrary, when it’s winter and cold where you live, opt for one that can withstand the low temperate conditions, especially if using solvent-based primers, which tend not to dry out as fast compared to their oil-based counterparts in colder climates.

Airless Spray Vs. Gravity Feed

There will always be a debate between airless spray paint primer products and those that are gravity-fed; however, there is no correct answer to this question since both can work great depending on what your painting project requires. The main upside for airless spray paint primer products is that they’ll give you more control over coating output (i.e., how much or how little). Still, gravity feed options will save you money on materials used during application (less waste).

If you’re still unsure about which type of spray paint primer might be best suited for your needs after reading through all these factors, then feel free to ask an expert at our online project.

Best primer for steel Reviews

Rust-Oleum 7582838: 3 reasons why Rust-Oleum Professional Gray oil based metal primer is the best

Why Rust-Oleum Professional Gray Primer is the Best primer paint for metal?

Rust-Oleum Professional Gray Primer is an oil-based primer perfect for any metal, wood, concrete, masonry, or other surfaces where you want to take corrosion protection and tough finish into account. The high-quality formula meets two times the paint’s durability with proper maintenance. It dries in 15 minutes and can be used indoors/outdoors to cover up to 14 square feet.

Top benefits of Rust-Oleum Professional Gray Primer

  • Easy to apply
  • Brownish color that matches most surfaces
  • Exterior metal primer
  • Protects against corrosion and weathering

The best primer for metal surfaces should be durable, rust-resistant, and easy to apply. Rust-Oleum Professional Gray Primer is all of these things.

The formula comes in an oil-based paint that provides twice the protection of regular paint alone. It dries quickly, can be used indoors or outdoors, and even matches most colors with its brownish color. The high-quality product also protects against corrosion and weathering to last a long time with proper maintenance.

Top Features

  • Primer for any metal surfaces
  • Comes in oil-based paint, providing twice the protection of regular paint alone
  • Dries quickly; can be used indoors or outdoors; matches most colors

Rust-Oleum Professional Gray Primer is an excellent option for metal surfaces.

The oil-based paint provides twice the protection of regular paint alone with its high-quality formula. It dries quickly, can be used indoors or outdoors, and even matches most colors with its brownish color. The primer also protects against corrosion and weathering to last a long time with proper maintenance.

Rust-Oleum Professional Gray Primer Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Easily applied
  • Resistant to corrosion and weathering
  • The Colour matches most surfaces
  • Protects against corrosion and weathering

Cons

  • Initial smell
  • Expensive

My experience using Rust-Oleum Professional Gray Primer

I had never tried Rust-Oleum Professional Gray Primer before, but I had heard it was the best primer on the market. When I was preparing to refinish my headboard, I decided to try it out. I bought new spray paint and some strips of wood and got started on my project right away.

It turned out that the primer went on easily and dried quickly. The color matched my wood and metal surfaces nicely. It also protected them against corrosion and weathering well. This best paint primer for metal has all the qualities that would make it even more desirable, but be careful because it is expensive!

Should you buy Rust-Oleum Professional Gray Primer?

Rust-Oleum Professional Gray Primer is an excellent option for metal surfaces. The oil-based paint provides twice the protection of regular paint alone with its high-quality formula. It dries quickly, can be used indoors or outdoors, and even matches most colors with its brownish color. The primer also protects against corrosion and weathering, so it can last a long time with proper maintenance. If you want a product that will stand up well over time, this might be your best bet at protecting your home from damage. I do recommend this product!

Krylon K05524007 COLORmaxx Spray Paint and Primer: The best metal primer for rusty metal

What is Krylon K05524007 COLORmaxx Spray Paint and Primer?

Krylon K05524007 COLORmaxx Spray Paint and Primer is a commercial-grade, versatile all-purpose paint with the most reliable coverage on the market. Whether your project is an indoor or outdoor DIY project like painting furniture or restoring surfaces (wicker, metal, plastic, glass, and more), this primer and spray paint is perfect for any coating application.

It can be used as a rust protector for different types of materials such as craft foam paper mache fabric paper and hard surfaces like concrete floors, cabinets window frames, furniture shelves trim boards decking fences, gates patio roofs decks garden art aluminum siding railings, tree trunks, stonework rocks patios brick walks backboards pool surround tile pools table tops bars countertops light fixtures garden statuary grills barbeques.

What are the benefits of Krylon over other brands?

Krylon K05524007 COLORmaxx Spray Paint and Primer delivers premium coverage with superior color. This primer provides paint that is easy to use in any weather condition, even when it’s hot or cold outside. It also has a unique formula that dries fast within 20 minutes, ideal for your DIY projects, especially if you want quick results without having to wait long before using your items again. The no-drip spray tip helps you apply this product effortlessly without creating a mess on surfaces that don’t require heavy coats of paint like plastic, metal, or wicker furniture pieces. Compared to its competitors, Krylon has a broader color range to provide you with more options.

What is the main benefit of using Krylon K05524007 COLORmaxx Spray Paint and Primer?

For your metal surfaces, whether for wicker furniture or other types of metals like wood, plastic, glass, etc., use this all-purpose primer that can also be used as spray paint on any outdoor or indoor surface application. It’s easy to use (even when it’s hot outside), dries fast within 20 minutes without the hassle, and provides excellent coverage, including rust protection!

Krylon K05524007 COLORmaxx Spray Paint and Primer Pros and Cons

Pros

  • easy to use in any weather condition
  • Krylon has a broader color range to provide you with more options
  • don’t require heavy coats of paint like plastic, metal, or wicker furniture pieces
  • dries fast within 20 minutes

Cons

  • Sometimes it does not cover well
  • You can still see the original color after covering

My experience using Krylon K05524007 COLORmaxx Spray Paint and Primer

My experience is about how I never thought my metal surfaces would need a primer. I had always heard that people would just paint their metal surfaces, but I was wrong. My first time using this product was when I painted my yellow dresser. The dresser looked so beautiful after painting it with this primer, and it took me less than 20 minutes to do! As for metal surfaces, I would recommend using Krylon K05524007 COLORmaxx Spray Paint and Primer to make sure your surfaces will look their best.

Should you buy Krylon K05524007 COLORmaxx Spray Paint and Primer?

If you want to paint metal surfaces, I would highly recommend Krylon K05524007 COLORmaxx Spray Paint and Primer. It’s easy to use in any weather condition, even when it’s hot or cold outside, which means that DIYers won’t have trouble painting their projects any time of the year. This primer provides paint that is easy to use in any weather condition, even when it’s hot or cold outside, so you can get your project done with little hassle! You also don’t need heavy coats of this product on plastic, metal, or wicker furniture pieces because one coat will do the job beautifully! The no-drip spray tip helps reduce messes while applying this all-purpose primer that can be used as a rust protector.

Rust-Oleum 7780502 Metal Primer Review: A best oil-based metal primer

What is Rust-Oleum 7780502 Metal Primer?

Rust-Oleum 7780502 Metal Primer is an oil-based primer that creates a flat white finish perfect for any type of topcoat. This durable primer bonds well to exteriors like metal, concrete, masonry, and more, providing excellent adhesion. Whether the results are indoors or outdoors, rust-oleum 7780502 will provide lasting protection and beauty.

Top benefits of Rust-Oleum 7780502 Metal Primer

  • Protects surfaces from corrosion by creating an excellent bond with materials
  • Provides a durable protective coating that is oil-based
  • Dries to the touch in 2-4 hours and covers up to 90 sq. ft.

Best Features of Rust-Oleum 7780502 Metal Primer

  • Rust-Oleum 7780502 Metal Primer provides excellent protection against corrosion.
  • Oil-based bonds to surfaces like metal, concrete, and more provide lasting protection

Rust-Oleum 7780502 Metal Primer Pros and Cons

  • This prevents surfaces from rusting. It forms a strong bond with metal and other materials.
  • This paint is for protecting things that are made of metal. This paint is oil-based and it is durable.
  • Requires only two to four hours to dry and can cover up to 90 sq. ft.

Cons

  • No Cons to this price and quality

My experience using Rust-Oleum 7780502 Metal Primer

I had an experience with Rust-Oleum 7780502 Metal Primer that I greatly appreciated. Recently, I was on the hunt for a good primer for my metal surfaces. I wanted it to be durable, protective, and easy to apply – something that would last and would give me great results every time. I researched and found that Rust-Oleum 7780502 Metal Primer meets all of these specifications and more.

I was pleased with how well this primer went on – it was quick and easy to use and dried quickly. It smelled good and covered up well for such a thin coat. It made my metal surfaces look fantastic! This product is so easy to use, and I think it has great value.

Should you buy Rust-Oleum 7780502 Metal Enamel?

If you’re looking for a durable, protective primer that’s affordable and provides excellent results – The Rust-Oleum 7780502 Metal Primer may be just what you need.

This product is very versatile because you can use it on multiple surfaces like metal or wood without any issue. It also has excellent durability once dried, plus it smells good when applied which isn’t always common with such strong products. This paint goes above and beyond in its quality; making this an awesome buy! If you want something reliable, look no further than Rustoleum 7780502 metal primer!

Rust-Oleum 285011, White Stops Rust Universal Bonding Primer: Why do you need one when painting your metal surfaces?

  • Exterior/interior use, great for galvanized steel, wrought iron, railings, furniture, laminate, PVC, porcelain, masonry, glazed brick, and more
  • Low odor, low VOC water-based formula has excellent wet adhesion in moist or humid environments
  • Dries to the touch in 30 minutes and covers up to 10-12 sq. ft.
  • Prevents rust and corrosion for enhanced durability
  • The white finish creates a strong bond to prepare the surface for any topcoat

What is Rust-Oleum 285011 White Stops Rust Universal Bonding Primer?

Oleum 285011 White Stops Rust Universal Bonding Primer is a water-based paint primer that is low odor and low VOC. Use to prepped surfaces before applying any topcoat of paint, the primer prevents rust and corrosion from occurring, maximizing durability for exterior or interior use. It will dry to the touch within 30 minutes and can cover up to 10-12 sq ft to allow full coverage with any topcoat of your choosing.

Top benefits of Rust-Oleum 285011 White Stops Rust Universal Bonding Primer

  • Low Odor
  • Low VOC
  • Prevents Rust and Corrosion

If you are looking for a primer that is low odor, low VOC and prevents rust and corrosion then look no further.

Best Features of Rust-Oleum 285011 White Stops Rust Universal Bonding Primer

  • This best spray paint primer for metal has low odor, and low VOC and prevents rust and corrosion.
  • It will dry to the touch in 30 minutes and covers up to 10-12 sq ft.
  • You can use it for exterior or interior use with any topcoat of your choosing.

Rust-Oleum 285011 White Stops Rust Universal Bonding Primer Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Water-based paint primer is low odor and low VOC
  • Prevents rust and corrosion, maximizing durability for exterior or interior use
  • Low Odor Primer – Low VOC PRIMER
  • The primer will dry to the touch in 30 minutes and covers up to 10 sq. ft.

Cons:

  • Sometimes come with factory rejects and don’t work

My experience using Rust-Oleum 285011 White Stops Rust Universal Bonding Primer

I was at a store looking to buy a metal primer, and the sales associate recommended that I use Rust-Oleum 285011. My first experience with Rust-Oleum 285011 went very well, as it dried to the touch in 30 minutes and covered up to 10 sq ft. I also experienced no problems with the product and since I had such a positive first experience, I’ll likely be buying it again.

Should you buy Rust-Oleum 285011 White Stops Rust Universal Bonding Primer?

It’s important to take the time and do your research before picking a paint primer for metal surfaces. Whether you are looking for an exterior or interior use, low odor, low VOC water-based formula that prevents rust and corrosion on galvanized steel, wrought iron, PVC furniture or any other surface then look no further than Rust-Oleum 285011 White Stops Rust Universal Bonding Primer.

A Comprehensive List of the Pros and Cons of Rust-Oleum 365358 Paint

  • Works on virtually any surface including wood, plastic, metal, fiberglass, concrete, wicker, vinyl, and more
  • Oil-based formula with excellent adhesion prevents rust and resists fading and chipping for a long-lasting finish
  • Fast-drying formula dries to the touch in 30 minutes and covers up to 15 sq ft per can
  • Prevents rust and corrosion for enhanced durability
  • Provides an attractive, rich, shimmering metallic look on surfaces

What is Rust-Oleum 365358 Universal Metallic Spray Paint 24 colors?

Rust-Oleum 365358 Universal Metallic Spray Paint 24 colors is an aerosol spray paint for metal surfaces. This self-priming, quick-drying formula includes a protective clear coat to shield the color from chipping and fading. The hydrophobic OX Platinum DFT creates durable protection in almost any climate condition, while the rich metallic finish transforms rusty metals into dazzling creations with ResistaTac photopolymer technology that can be used on wood, plastic, fiberglass, concrete, wicker, and vinyl surfaces.

A built-in straw provides easy application of wide pattern lines with virtually no overspray; reducing waste and saving time when you are spraying large areas like your garage or porch railing with Rust-oleum’s Fine Finish Tip (sold separately). This Rust-Oleum Universal Metallic Spray Paint is available in 24 colors like silver, gold, red, and more.

Rust-Oleum has been providing paints, coatings, and other products since 1921 to homeowners looking for value-added solutions to their home projects. They offer a full line of coats including stains, wood finishes, primers oil-based, water-born acrylics as well as epoxy.

Top benefits of Rust-Oleum 365358 Universal Metallic Spray Paint 24 colors

  • Protects from rust and corrosion
  • Easy to use – just attach a straw for wide pattern lines with no overspray
  • Available in 24 colors

Pros:

  • Aerosol spray paint for metal surfaces with OX Platinum DFT technology
  • Hydrophobic coating resists rusting and fading
  • Resistance photopolymer provides a durable finish that protects from chipping or peeling

Cons:

  • Some users have noted that the product may not be compatible with all metals

My experience using Rust-Oleum 365358 Universal Metallic Spray Paint 24 colors

Returning from a recent trip, I found myself in need of a new project. My car was in desperate need of a paint job and the metal surfaces were perfect candidates for Rust-Oleum 365358 Universal Metallic Spray Paint. The metallic look was exactly what I wanted and the quick-drying formula allowed me to get up and running quickly.

The color was vibrant and covered the small surface area with ease, even without using a primer like I typically would. The paint dried to the touch in 30 minutes and only took about an hour to dry completely. I did not experience any issues with overspray or any chipping for that matter, which is uncommon for spray paint. All in all, this was an excellent first experience with Rust-Oleum 365358 Universal Metallic Spray Paint. I will be using it again in the future for sure!

Should you buy Rust-Oleum 365358 Universal Metallic Spray Paint in 24 colors?

Rust-Oleum 365358 Universal Metallic Spray Paint is great to spray paint for metal surfaces. This aerosol paint offers excellent adhesion and protection that resists rusting, fading, and chipping while also providing an attractive, rich metallic finish.

The built-in straw makes it easy to apply wide pattern lines with no overspray which saves time when spraying large areas like your porch or garage railing. It’s available in 24 colors as well as other products such as primers oil-based, water-borne acrylics, and epoxy from Rust-oleum has been providing paints since 1921! If you’re looking for a new project this summer the protective clearcoat may be just what you need!

How to paint metal surfaces with a spray can?

best primers for metal surfaces

At first glance, it seems that spray can paint a part very easily. This is true, but there are certain rules to follow.

Shake the can

Shake the can thoroughly for a few minutes before spraying to ensure that all components are mixed and the mixture in the can is uniform. If this is not done, the result may be very different than expected. For example, the color of the applied paint may not match the stated color because the different color pigments, which have separated during storage, have not been mixed and as a result, only one of the pigments is atomized. It is for good stirring when shaking that metal balls are found in the enamel bottles.

Keep a distance

When painting, the distance from the can to the surface should be within 25-30 centimeters. This is approximately equal to the height of two cans without caps.

If you paint from a shorter distance, there is a greater chance of dripping.

If you paint from a greater distance, almost all of the solvent will evaporate in flight and the paint will land on the surface in dry pollen.

Do not hesitate or there will be drips

To make the paint lay evenly, it should be applied in quick uniform movements, starting and ending each movement beyond the boundaries of the surface to be painted. If this is not done, there will be runs at the stopping points of the can, the paint will lay unevenly.

Perpendicular coats

If painting in several layers, it is desirable to apply each subsequent layer perpendicular to the previous one, for example, one layer by horizontal motion, and the second vertical. This will result in a more even coating.

Thick coat – the risk of stains

Two thin coats with intermediate drying time are better than one thick coat – thin coats dry faster and there is less risk of running down.

Blow out the spray head

To avoid clogging the spray head, blow it out immediately after use by turning the can upside down and spraying until the compound stops flowing. The compound is enamel, not propellant gas!

FAQ

Can I use Rustoleum metal primer on wood?

Yes, you can! Just prepare your wood surface before painting. We recommend using Zinsser 02004 Bulls Eye 1-2-3.

Final Thoughts On Findthe ing best primer for metal

A primer can make or break your paintwork; it is the most important step in ensuring you get a good finish. The right product will provide an even, durable base that holds on tight to metal surfaces without flaking away under heat and humidity conditions. As with any painting project, preparation is key! That means sanding off rust, dirt & grease before priming so that adhesion occurs.

This guide has some great information for those getting into spray-painting but there are many more options available – if you have further questions about finding one of these products for yourself, please, ask them in the comment block below.

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