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man painting metal red

Do You Need Metal Paint Primer?

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Are you looking at that old metal patio furniture, wondering if you could paint it and avoid having to buy something new? How much work will be involved and will you need a metal paint primer? Many staunch do-it-yourselfers love to paint and won’t hesitate to take a brush to anything in sight but when it comes to painting metal, there can be a certain amount of intimidation involved. After all it’s not quite the same as painting wood.

When it comes to painting metal, the need for a primer can often be determined by the metal’s condition. If the metal has previously been painted, and the paint is in good condition, then a metal paint primer is not needed. However, if the paint is peeling, eroding, or if the metal has never before been painted, then a primer is warranted.

Dealing with Moisture and Rust

A metal paint primer is particularly needed if any part of the metal will be exposed to moisture, such as metal patio furniture. If the metal is not primed, water can seep in and oxidation will start to happen. This will lead to metal’s biggest enemies: corrosion and rust. Primers will help protect against both.

Some metals aren’t easily painted and require a metal paint primer. Aluminum, for instance, can often be difficult to paint: the surface is not adhesive enough and the paint may flake off. A primer will provide a good base and help the paint adhere.

If you are painting metal that has already begun to rust, a metal primer is an option. Another option is to thoroughly clean the metal and remove the rust. When this is not possible, a primer should suffice. Certain types of primers can convert rust to salts, which have better adhesion properties.

Which Type of Metal Primer Should you Use?

If you decide a metal primer is necessary, you have a choice between two basics: a rust paint primer and a galvanized metal paint primer. A rust paint primer is ideal for stabilizing and minimizing rust and making the rust easier to paint over. A galvanized metal paint primer is ideal for painting aluminum-like metals.

While a metal paint primer is not always required it is necessary when the metal is being painted for the first time. Even if the metal has been painted many times before, you may still find a primer beneficial. It will help your top coat to adhere better and may actually make your finished project last a lot longer.

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