If you’ve ever tried to paint a galvanized metal surface, you know that it doesn’t work all that well. The truth is that paint will not adhere to galvanized steel. The layer of zinc left on the metal after the galvanization process is meant to reduce corrosion, but it also rejects paint, eventually causing it to peel or shed.
Fortunately, there is a solution. You can still add a coat of paint to your galvanized metal surface as long as you have a few important household tools and you follow these simple steps:
1. Clean the surface
The goal is to remove any dust, dirt, or other particulate buildup that could affect the texture of the metal surface. No matter what the material, it’s hard to apply a proper coat of paint if you’re brushing over bits and particles.
2. Introduce your secret weapon
The secret to painting galvanized steel is white vinegar. If you have a kitchen, then you probably already have this handy solution. White vinegar is both effective and non-toxic, so it is much safer to use than your average industrial solvent. All you have to do is simply apply the vinegar to a clean rag and then wipe down the galvanized surface. The acidity of the vinegar will react with the metal, treating the surface to promote paint adhesion.
3. Choose a type of paint
You may or may not need to prime the surface depending on the type of paint you choose. Some people use acrylic latex paint, which is not designed specifically for galvanized metal, so you will want to prime the surface before painting. Paints that are made for galvanized surfaces will require less prep work and will adhere better than other kinds of paint. Do not use alkyd-based paints or oil-based primer.
4. Paint away!
Now that your surface has been prepped and you have all the right tools, it’s time to paint. The painting process is actually very straightforward, because the surface of galvanized steel is relatively smooth and consistent.
Galvanized steel is a great material to use for a variety of tools, products, and projects, and it’s environmentally friendly. In fact, roughly 69% of steel is recycled in North America each year. Want to change the color? No problem. Just follow the steps listed above.
I liked it when you shared that it is great to get the right kind of paints that are made for galvanized surfaces as they require less prep work and will adhere better than others. It is important to get the right one for your application from a reliable supplier. I would like to think if a company needs to paint galvanized surfaces, it should consider getting the right steel paint from a reliable supplier.
I love reading your blog. Your blog post is very useful and adds insight for me. Thank you for sharing.
I want to get some nice metal hand rails installed, but I want to make sure that they can be made to be the right color. It makes sense that using the right materials for painting it would be beneficial! It’s good to know that white vinegar can be used to make it easier to paint.
I recently used chalkboard paint on a large 4×4 sheet of galvanized steel and did about 4 coats with drying in between but I did not use a primer or sand. After I used chalkboard pens, I discovered they will not erase or come off with any solvent. Should I have used a specific primer to smooth out the metal more before painting? Can I repaint over the chalkboard paint with a primer to start over or should I begin on the backside of the metal with no paint?
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I had no idea that white vinegar is used to paint galvanized steel. I thought I could just paint steel. So I will try and get some white vinegar before I buy some steel.
you don’t have to buy galvanized steel remember. Just buy non gal and you wont have the issue to deal with in the first place.
Useful information. Keep sharing!!!
Thanks for sharing the great information. I read this blog and must say the information that you shared in this blog is really very useful. Please post more blog related to “Mobile Stainless Steel Welding Services in Canada”
Thank you! Sounds silly but my husband made my bedroom “look” like a barn on the inside. I have cancer so I am unable to spend time outside and I LOVE barns. It’s adorable but I must paint it lol. I would have never guessed vinegar!! Thank you so very much! UGA Red coming soon ❤️
My Wife has cancer so I have designed her a stock tank pool for the patio with shade and privacy screens.
We stay home a lot and won’t go to the community pool with all the people so this will be a nice alternative to keep her from being bored and depressed about staying home on weekends.
I look forward to seeing some of your pics.
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