A step-by-step guide to painting metal

Many metal elements that have lost their original shine can be easily restored. All that is needed is a little free time, proper preparation of the substrate and good metal paint. Here's what you need to know about painting metal to get a satisfactory and long-lasting result.

This article will tell you:


  1. Which metal paint will be best,
  1. How to prepare a metal substrate for renovation,
  1. A step by step guide to painting.


Which metal paint will be best?

Before you start restoring metal, purchase the right products – in this case, a good metal paint is essential. There is a wide range of products for different conditions to choose from – it is important to consider their properties and purpose in order to match them to the type of object to be renovated and its place of use.

There is a very large choice of metal paints and enamels. To renovate small decorative elements, the water based and quick-drying Śnieżka Moje Deko acrylic enamel is ideal, and to paint metal constructions such as fences, the Supermal Chlorinated Rubber Enamel will prove useful – not only does it deliver a decorative effect, but it is also weather-resistant and has enhanced scratch and impact resistance. Metal garden furniture or windowsills will be perfectly coated by the water- and detergent-resistant Supermal Oil and Alkyd Enamel (read Expert’s advice: principles for working with oil and alkyd paints). If required, there is also Śnieżka Anti-Rust – acts as a primer, undercoat and topcoat and can be applied directly to rusted substrates.


Expert's advice

Depending on the type of metal paint you choose, it may also be necessary to use an anti-corrosion primer. If the metal is in good condition, 3-in-1 paints often do not require such a primer. However, Śnieżka Supermal acrylic emulsion or Supermal Oil and Alkyd Enamel are best applied to substrates previously coated with a suitable product – Śnieżka UREKOR S in this case.

How to prepare a metal substrate for renovation?

The key to long-lasting metal paint jobs is proper metal surface preparation. Every steel or cast-iron item should be washed and dried before applying decorative and protective coatings. It is then necessary to remove any loose parts of the old coat and rust, which can be done with a wire brush, sandpaper or, for larger areas, a sander. This will improve surface adhesion. See the “Polishing metal” guide on our blog!


At a later stage, the metal should be de-dusted, wiped with a wet cloth, any greasy stains should be removed – petroleum ether can be used for this purpose, for a good degreasing product see also https://www.dekoratorium.pl/pl/Produkty/Emalie-i-spraye/Farby-na-dach/SNIEZKA-Na-Dach-Preparat-Do-Czyszczenia-Dachu/p/000000000091010630 The cleaned and dry substrate is now ready for the application of new coats.


A step-by-step guide to painting

When painting metal, a specific order must be observed, and the instructions given on the product label (primer and metal paint) must be followed. Step by step instructions:

– prepare the substrate – clean it, remove old loose metal paint and rust, if necessary, degrease and dry the substrate. If the metal is in good condition and you want to use rust paint, all you need to do is remove the largest, loose rust spots from the substrate,

– apply a suitable primer to the substrate, especially if it is in poor condition. An anti-corrosion primer binds the substrate, evens out absorbency and at the same time protects metal against corrosion re-appearing,

– apply the chosen paint to the metal, starting with the more difficult to reach areas whilst paying attention to sharp edges. Remember to do this after the primer has matured. Mix the enamel thoroughly, work in the correct temperature and humidity range, allowing as much time as necessary between coats. Sometimes 1 hour will be required and sometimes even 24 hours. Please refer to the product technical specification for detailed application recommendations.


Painting metal is an easy way to restore damaged elements to their former glory. The right metal enamel and a step-by-step approach to renovating metal surfaces ensure that the results last for a long time.