Paints are used not just to decorate surfaces, but so as to prolong the shelf life of various materials, especially metals. One type of paint that can efficiently do those things in the fastest way possible is spray paint.

The oil-based type is the most common and the most famous choice among spray paints. Besides the durability and stain resistance it can offer, it can also cover surface imperfections with ease. However, it is relatively more expensive compared to other types of spray paints.

On the other hand, enamel spray paint is also a notable choice due to its heat resistance. With the right primer before application, enamel spray paint can also be as durable as oil-based types. Moreover, it is also capable of a terrific stain-resistance property.

Spray paints can also come in different finishes, with flat or matte and glossy being the top choices. Flat paint or matte paint is not reflective and can cover imperfections in the surface upon application. However, given its nature, it has no sheen and is not moisture resistant. Glossy, on the other hand, is smooth and more stain-resistant. It is easy to wipe and wash, resulting in an easier cleanup. Moreover, due to its ability to reflect light, it can create one of the best lustrous finish designs. For this category, the  Rust-Oleum Stops Rust spray paint is an excellent choice. This paint has an exceptional antique brass finish design and is also best suitable for excessively used products such as bikes, mailboxes, and many more.

Due to these differences, looking for the most appropriate spray paint for your project can be challenging.  With this, to save you from the laborious work of assessing all the top brands of spray paints for metal, we give you this comprehensive review. Here are the top picks we ranked for your convenience.

Best Spray Paints for Metals Comparison & Rating

Spray Paints for Metals

Features

Rust-Oleum 7274830 Stops Rust Metallic Spray Paint, 11 oz, Antique Brass, 11 Ounce
  • antique brass
  • 11 ounces
  • metallic flakes mixed in the paint
Krylon K02732007 Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint for Indoor/Outdoor Use, Matte Black, 12 Ounces
  • matte black
  • 12 ounces
  • 5 times stronger adhesion
Krylon K05160202 ColorMaster Paint + Primer, Flat, Black, 12 oz.
  • black
  • 12 ounces
  • fusion of primer and spray paint
Dupli-Color EMC204007 Purple Metal Cast Anodized Color - 11 oz.
  • purple anodized
  • 11 ounces
  • best for automotive body painting projects
Rust-Oleum 249122-6 PK Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover, 6 Pack, Gloss Black
  • black
  • 12 ounces
  • general-purpose spray paint

1. Rust-Oleum 7274830 Stops Rust Spray Paint

Rust-Oleum 7274830 Stops Rust Metallic Spray Paint, 11 oz, Antique Brass, 11 Ounce
Specifications:
99% Overall

Brand

Rust-Oleum

Color

Antique Brass

Size

11 ounces

Coverage

15 square feet

98%
quality
99%
Overall  appearance
98%
ease of use
99%
value for money
Pros:
  • Sheens an extra dazzle to metal components.
  • Have actual metallic flakes mixed in the paint.
  • Features a weather-resistant capability.
  • One of the most durable and corrosion-resistant paints.
  • Ideal for ferrous, non-ferrous metal, and wood surface.
Cons:
  • Not ideal on galvanized metal.
Final Take:

The Rust-Oleum Stops Rust spray paint indeed fascinates our team with its distinctive characteristics. It has an antique brass metallic color and has actual metallic flakes that are mixed right in the spray paint. Through the help of these flakes, the sprayed metal surface becomes weather-resistant and stops rusting ultimately. Due to its composition, this spray paint is best suitable for items that need extreme protection such as mailboxes, bikes, and more. 

For more comfort, the spray paint is designed with a wide finger pad and an any-angle tip which allows you to spray at any angle you desire. This makes it one of the most convenient spray paints on the market.

Another great thing about this product is its fast-drying feature. Just after 10 minutes of initial coating, the paint will dry. Nonetheless, it is still suggested to let it sit for at least 24 hours to get optimum protection from the coat.  

And since it has an enamel additive composition, applying a Stops Rust Primer provides added corrosion protection and adhesion to the spray paint. To apply, ensure that you are in a well-ventilated area with a temperature between 50-90°F and a humidity level of less than 65%.

2. Krylon K02732007 Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint

Krylon K02732007 Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint for Indoor/Outdoor Use, Matte Black, 12 Ounces
Specifications:
98% Overall

Brand

Krylon

Color

Matte Black

Size

12 ounces

Coverage

25 square feet

98%
quality
98%
Overall  appearance
98%
ease of use
98%
value for money
Pros:
  • Features a 5 times stronger adhesion.
  • Offers maximum rust protection.
  • Easy to use since it has a big spray tip.
  • No priming required.
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors.
Cons:
  • Not suitable for surfaces where the dried excess peel-off paints have the tendency to be ingested.
Final Take:

Krylon K02732007 can provide good adhesion once its paint film penetrates the roughness of the surface. This results in mechanical interlocking once the paint dries, as discussed by Edward M. Petrie on materialstoday.com. This might be the principle contemplated by Krylon with its Fusion all-in-one spray paint.

Its five times stronger adhesion really satisfied our team as we tried and tested it on a metal surface. It has a strong matte finish that’s very nice, smooth, and thick. And just like the Color Master Paint, Krylon Fusion is also a primer and spray paint at the same time. Therefore, priming the metal surface is no longer required. Simply diffuse the paint using its big button spray tip and you’re done.

It easily sprays with its “spray-at-anyway” feature. The spray tip can rotate at 360 degrees, making it flexible enough to reach every metal surface’s nooks and cranny areas. It is also fast to use since it can cover up to 25 square feet, hence less time is consumed in painting a wide metal surface. 

Apart from metal, this spray paint also bonds with wood, plastic/ceramic, PVC, and other material. There are also 52 other color variations available on Amazon. 

Meanwhile, for best application conditions, it is recommended to be used from temperatures ranging from 55°F to 75°F and with a humidity level below 60%. Hence, applying outside this range may impact the result. Furthermore, it takes 20 to 120 minutes for the paint to dry off. Despite its slightly longer drying time, the result is worth the wait and will definitely provide an exquisite flat color finish.

3. Krylon K05160202 ColorMaster Paint + Primer

Krylon K05160202 ColorMaster Paint + Primer, Flat, Black, 12 oz.
Specifications:
97% Overall

Brand

Krylon

Color

Black

Size

12 ounces

Coverage

15 square feet

98%
quality
97%
Overall  appearance
96%
ease of use
96%
value for money
Pros:
  • Comes in a fusion of primer and spray paint.
  • Fast drying paint that only takes 10 minutes.
  • Has a durable Covermax technology.
  • Delivers crisp and brilliant colors.
  • Great for indoor and outdoor application.
Cons:
  • Quite challenging to reach different angles.
Final Take:

Krylon Color Master boasts its durable Covermax technology. This feature delivers a better cover for imperfections without relying on shading or fillers upon application. This ensures a clean, crisp, and even distribution of colors on metal surfaces.

It can be used indoors and outdoors and apart from black, there is also a wide range of colors available besides this one we reviewed. Once applied, the paint will settle just after 10 minutes and will completely dry after an hour. The spray paint is also convenient to use since it is equipped with an easy-spray tip. As to the paint’s durability, the team also gave an excellent rating to Krylon. The oil-based component lasts long and can easily be thinned and cleaned using mineral spirits. It has UV exposure protection to prevent excessive sun damage on the finished surface.

Furthermore, the spray paint is efficient to use within 8-10 inches away from the surface of the material. It can also reach up to 15 square feet, so consider painting at a humidity level below 85 degrees for the best result. To re-apply for further coatings, we recommend doing it within 4 hours or after 24 hours upon the initial coating. This is to ensure a smooth and flawlessly flat black finish touch. Moreover, Color Master is a combination of paint and primer at the same time. This will surely save your time in prepping the metal plate.

4. Dupli-Color EMC204007 Metal Cast

Dupli-Color EMC204007 Purple Metal Cast Anodized Color - 11 oz.
Specifications:
96% Overall

Brand

Dupli-Color

Color

Purple Anodized

Size

11 ounces

Coverage

15 square feet

96%
quality
97%
Overall  appearance
95%
ease of use
95%
value for money
Pros:
  • Has an easy touch spray nozzle.
  • Produces striking colors.
  • Great for automotive body painting.
  • The color of the spray paint is anodized.
  • It is oil, gas, and heat resistant.
Cons:
  • To achieve the best result on metals, the right prep is needed. It needs to have a primer and a base coat before applying this spray paint.
Final Take:

Before you purchase this product, it is important to know that it is a pigmented paint and is nearly transparent. The color goes stronger as you apply additional coatings to the surface. For bare metals, it is recommended to degrease it with PW100 Prep Wipe or PS-Prep Spray and a DAP1690 Self Etch Primer before applying the first coating. Otherwise, the anodized color effect will not be achieved at best. However, if you are a beginner with this type of spray paint, try to read the SDS that is downloadable through the website of the brand. Once you master the turning point of using this product, a marvelous shiny surface will surely amaze you.


What we further love about this spray paint is that it is heat resistant up to 500 °F. It can resist oil, gas, scuffing, chipping, and fading too. And since it is enamel-based, overcoating can be done even if the material being painted has been priorly coated with lacquer paints. 

Furthermore, you can assure a fatigue-free finger with its  EZ Touch 360° Fan Spray Nozzle feature. The spray tip rotates at 360°. This can change the direction of the fan spray horizontally, vertically, or at any angle that’s comfortable for the painter. For best results, apply the Metal Cast in temperatures between 60 °F and 92 °F and at a humidity level of less than 60%. It is also one of the fastest drying paints that can give you great results within 3 hours.

5. Rust-Oleum 249122-6 PK Painter's Touch

Rust-Oleum 249122-6 PK Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover, 6 Pack, Gloss Black
Specifications:
95% Overall

Brand

Rust-Oleum

Color

Black

Size

12 ounces

Coverage

12 square feet

96%
quality
95%
Overall  appearance
95%
ease of use
94%
value for money
Pros:
  • A general-purpose spray paint.
  • Features any-angle spray system.
  • Sports the breakthrough Double Coverage Technology.
  • Fast drying and easy to use.
Cons:
  • Pricier as compared to other brands.
  • Not applicable to galvanized steel.
Final Take:

Since 1921, Rust-Oleum has been the solution for DIYers and professionals alike when it comes to protective paints and coatings. With the brand’s Painter’s Touch spray paints, you can expect the durability and gloss you are looking for. It is also an oil-based formula that has a low odor.

It has two times the coverage as compared to other Rust-Oleum general-purpose paints and dries faster. Its wide finger pad spray tip avoids finger fatigue; hence resulting in faster working time. It is also very straightforward to use due to its any-angle spray system. Meanwhile, every can of spray paint can reach up to 12 square feet when held at 10-16 inches away from the target surface. 

Once applied, it will take at least 24 hours to completely dry. To re-apply another coating, the waiting time is within 1 hour or after 48 hours. It resists chips and provides long-lasting protection to the surface, too. Apart from this, it is water-resistant, rust-resistant, and has protection from UV and other forms of corrosion. Hence, the paint can be used indoors and outdoors. 

For proper drying, work on a temperature between 50-90ºF (10- 32ºC) and a humidity level that is below 65%. Take note further that this spray paint is not suitable for objects that may be exposed to 200ºF or more. Lastly, to clean up unnecessary paint excess, you can use xylene or mineral spirits.

Best Spray Paints for Metals - Buyer's Guide

type

There are a variety of ways in how we can classify paints. They may be classified according to their composition, place of application, finish or look, and bases. 

Oil-based spray paints are the best choices for painting metal surfaces. For example, the Krylon Color Master and Krylon Fusion All-in-One. These types of spray paints are durable, stain-resistant, and can cover surface imperfections with ease. On the other hand, paints with enamel additives such as Dupli-Color Metal Cast need to have a primer first before applying the first coating. Yet, they are more heat-resistant.

cleanup

Whether the purpose is to remove excess paint on brushes or to thin the coated paint, paint thinners and mineral spirits are the solutions for enamel and oil-based paints respectively. The difference between the two is that mineral spirits are the term used to describe the product’s composition while paint thinners is a general term for anything that thins paint. What makes the mineral spirit distinct is that it is often blended with additives such as trimethyl benzene (benzene), a colorless chemical. While these terms are interchangeably used, it is a must to remember that a certain type of spray paint requires a distinct type of cleaning agent, too.

Dry Time

Fast-drying spray paints are very convenient to use. It saves your time from waiting too long to see the result of your work. However, take into account that the application condition of every spray paint contributes to the time that it takes to dry the painted material completely. Typically, it takes 10 minutes to 48 hours to dry on a metal surface. For the shortest dry time to touch a painted surface, we recommend the Krylon Color Master as it only takes 10 minutes. Meanwhile, it takes an hour to completely dry.

Finish

One classification of paints is the type of finish it can provide. They can be flat or glossy. At any rate, the sheen degree of a paint is determined by the amount of light it reflects. Shiny finished paints reflect lights the most.

Spray Coverage

The distance that spray paint can reach is one of the aspects of fast painting. Every can of paint is labeled with specific spray coverage. It is usually measured in square feet. However, take note that these labels only serve as your guide to estimate the surface coverage and the number of paint cans that you need to purchase. Always go for an extra if you are supposed to deal with large objects.

Best Spray Paints for Metals - FAQs

Is there still a need to apply a primer before the metal is spray painted?

Primers help the spray paint to ensure better adhesion of paint to the surface. However, know that some spray paints do not need to apply a separate primer because it is already mixed with the paint itself. Therefore, it is essential to know if the paint that you will be using already integrates primer or not.

How does humidity affect the spray paint application?

Humidity is the measure of water vapor concentration that is present in the air. Therefore, high humidity means that there is more moisture in the air. This results in a longer drying time for the paint. Further, humidity goes hand in hand with the temperature that prevails while painting. When you apply spray paint at a very low temperature with high humidity, the paint finish may crack or lift. Above all, it is best to follow the recommended application condition that is specified for every product description.

Is spray paint dangerous to skin and lungs?

Getting spray paint on the skin may cause irritation or burns. At the same time, long-term exposure and inhalation of spray paints may cause headaches and dizziness. Therefore, it is extremely important to follow safety precautions on application conditions and wearing proper protective gear to prevent these incidents from happening.

Can I spray paint over painted metal?

Yes, you can. However, proper rust removal and preparation are crucial before applying any paint to the coated metal surface. Once rusts, clouds of dust, and other unnecessary components are removed, apply the primer and apply the new layer of paint.

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Author

Jimmy Black started his career as a construction and carpenter foreman. After years of hard work, he decided to go on his own. Now, Jimmy is one of the trusted experts at SolidSmack who knows at first glance whether your hammer would do a great job or not. He still involves himself in various construction projects and works for individual clients. Behind formalities, he enjoys being a father to two lovely kids who keep on asking him why they can’t quit school and travel the world like Dora The Explorer.