How to paint metal

Justin
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How to paint metal

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Project Overview

Over the years, metal gates can rust and the paint becomes flaky. But it’s easy to give an old metal gate or any other metal decorations you have around the house a face-lift. By following our simple steps, you can give any rusted or fading metal objects a new lease of life.

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Remove excess paint

When you’re painting it’s a good idea to carry a damp cloth with you to wipe up any excess paint before it dries. Removing the excess paint means you are always painting onto a clean, flat surface instead of rough edges or lumps. That way you end up with a smooth, consistent finish.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Remove the old paint
2 Spray paint the metal with primer
3 Use a brush to paint your metal
4 Apply the second coat
  • Step 1. Remove the old paint

    Before you start, make sure you put down a drop sheet and wear a dust mask and gloves. There are a number of ways that you can strip the paint off. You can use a wire brush to scrape off all of the old paint. The other option is to use a cordless drill with a wire brush attachment, which is quicker and easier but you’ll need to put on your earmuffs. Or you can use sandpaper and some elbow grease to remove the paint. 
  • Step 2. Spray paint the metal with primer

    After you have removed all of the flaky paint, you are ready to paint. For wrought iron or steel in severe conditions you can use a primer. For aluminium and brass, use an SLS etch primer. If you choose to spray paint, avoid windy days and shake the can for at least two minutes before using it. When you’re spraying, use light even coats to cover the metal and slowly build up the layers until the metal is evenly covered.
  • Step 3. Use a brush to paint your metal

    If you plan to use a brush to paint your metal with epoxy enamel, stir the paint properly and pour it into another container. This will make sure the paint doesn’t dry on the lip of the tin of paint, which stops the lid from fitting properly. You can have this enamel paint tinted to the colour of your choice. Avoid putting too much paint on your brush or it will run or drip on the floor.
  • Step 4. Apply the second coat

    Make sure your finished product looks the best it can by applying a second coat. Always read the instructions on tin to find out how long to leave the first coat to dry, before you can apply the second coat. After you’ve applied the second coat, clean your brush using turpentine, so it’s ready to use for your next paint job.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Drill
  • Dust mask
  • Ear muffs
  • Gloves
  • Paint brush
  • Safety goggles
  • Wire brushes

Materials

  • Cleaner
  • Drop sheets
  • Paint
  • Sandpaper
  • Solvent

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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