Can You Paint Galvanized Metal

Painting over galvanized metal has benefits and is known as a "duplex system". The paint adds additional corrosion protection and creates a new aesthetic appeal. Despite the various galvanized zinc finishes (read: types of galvanizing) paint will adhere well to them all.

Car manufacturers use the electro galvanization process to construct the painted bodies of automobiles, explaining that layers of paint attach better to a smooth surface. Despite this, painting is frequently done on weathered hot-dipped galvanized surfaces with little surface preparation. A weathered hot-dipped galvanized steel surface that has naturally occurring zinc patina layer is excellent for paint application, According to ASTM D6386 Standard Practice for Preparation of Zinc (Hot-Dip Galvanized) Coated Iron and Steel Product and Hardware Surfaces for Painting.

For painting any galvanized steel bucket, tub, container, or surface follow these instructions. These instructions can be modified and are best as a guide.

Wash the surface well with a degreaser. Any dishwashing soap works fine. It can be helpful to use steel wool for removing any brown rust and to gently soe the surface to help paint stick.

  • Rinse the galvanized container. Remove all the soap and residue or the paint will not stick the the surface.
  • Allow at least 1 hour for the bucket to dry.
  • Bring your galvanized container to your painting location. This area should be well ventilated (outside is the best idea) and care should be taken to protect floors and furnishing with drop cloths.
  • We recommend priming your bucket with etching spray primer. Allow primer to dry for at least 3 hours.
  • Durable enamel paint is recommended for the next painting coat. Allow to dry.
  • A clear coat spray can be used to set the base paint coats and any painted stencil designs.