Can You Spray Paint Stainless Steel?(6 Steps DIY Guide)

by Katie Williams

If you want to paint a stainless steel surface, you came to the right place! This complex guide will touch upon all the aspects you need to take into account during such a painting process.

You can paint stainless steel surfaces with no hassle as long as you pay attention to certain aspects.

What paint will stick to stainless steel?

In theory any type of paint will be suitable for stainless steel but not all of them will resist the test of time in the same way. Consider the fact that steel is nonporous so paint will not be absorbed by this type of material. Because of this aspect, you will need to use a primer that is metal-etching before you add the paint so you prepare the surface for the final color.

It is recommended to use a paint with two parts eproxy as a coating for your stainless steel object. This type of paint will give it a very aesthetic final shine and it will last longer than other paints. Keep in mind that you want not only an aesthetic result but also a durable one.

Paint Stainless Steel

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How well does paint stick to stainless steel?

If you use a standard paint and no primer, you can expect it to chip over a short period of time. Such a paint will not resist more than a few months, especially if you use or move the painted stainless steel object a lot. Without the primer, your paint will not adhere to the stainless steel material enough and it will naturally crack.

When you apply a primer before the layer of paint, you can expect it to last much longer. There are primers made especially for this type of painting that enhance the resistance and even the shine of the final coating.

What is the best way to paint stainless steel?

If you have your mind set on painting a stainless steel surface, here are the steps you need to follow to be successful! Gather your equipment before you start the painting process so you have everything handy and ready to use.

1. Prepare your painting area

Cover all the areas you don’t want to paint including your floor and other pieces of furniture. Doing so is even more important if you are planning on applying the paint by spraying it, which increases the risk of staining other surfaces as well. Also, remove all the hinges, screws or hardware from the piece you want to paint, unless you want to paint those too.

2. Abrade your stainless steel

If you are painting over other materials such as wood, you won’t need to take this step. But if you don’t abrade your stainless steel surface, the paint will not stick to it properly. You can use a wire brush to scour your stainless still until you get the roughness you want.

If your metal is newer and not so worn out, you can also use a hand sander to obtain the same result. If you use a hand sander though, you will need to take breaks to clean the debris and dust before you continue the process.

3. Clean the surface

Your stainless steel has to be clean when you apply the primer and paint. You don’t want any residue to be trapped between the metal and the coating. Choose the proper cleaner to remove the type of residue that might be on your metal surface.

A degreaser based on ammonia is ideal for getting rid of grease and oil while for drier types of residue such as dust, you can simply wash the surface with soap and water. Allow the metal to dry entirely before you apply the coating.

4. Apply primer

The quality of the primer you use is even more important than the quality of the paint. Choose a primer that is made especially for stainless steel surfaces. Also consider the color of the primer as it should be compatible with the color of your pain.

If the primer is darker than the paint, your final shade will also be darker. The best type of primer to use is white primer as it allows you to paint whatever shade you want over it.

5. Apply paint

Choose the painting tools you want to use while the primer is drying. You don’t want to apply paint over a layer of primer that didn’t dry out entirely so, check for this aspect before you move on with your painting process.

Regardless of the tools you use, being them a brush, a roller or a sprayer, pay attention to not paint over other surfaces. Apply even layers of paint over the entire area of the object.

6. Give it time to dry and apply wax

Once your paint coating is completely dry, you can apply a thin layer of wax for extra protection and shine. While applying wax is an optional step, it does give your stainless steel a beautiful finish and it increases the durability of the paint. You can apply the wax with a clean sponge, wiping it over the entire area.


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How can I change the color of stainless steel?

Stainless steel is popular for its corrosion-free nature. But if you want to change the color of your stainless steel item, it will depend on whether it was painted or not before.

Repainting your stainless steel surface

If your item was painted, you will need to remove the paint until you reveal the stainless steel original surface again. De3pending on the size of it, and the layers of paint added to it, this can be more or less difficult. You will have to scrub the surface untyil you reach the initial metal and keep scrubbing in order to eliminate all the paint.

When your stainless steel object is completely clean of any paint residue, you can follow the steps in this guide and repaint it in the color you want.

Change the stainless steel shade without paint

You can also modify the color of your stainless steel surface by using a flame. You will need a torch, gloves and goggles to protect yourself during the process.

Apply the flame as evenly as you can over the stainless steel surface. You will need a flame with a temperature of minimum 400 degrees F to change the shade of the steel. the higher the temperature, the more blue or purple your steel will turn like. At lower temperatures you can expect hues of yellow or gold.

If you choose this method, make sure to not use temperatures more than 640 degrees F because you don’t want your surface to turn black. Also, if you are looking for an even shade on the entire stainless steel area, maintain the temperature of the torch constant for the entire time you are using it.

Your colors will look much better when the surface is cooled down so give it time to lose the heat effect before you decide if you are satisfied with the result.


Is there stainless steel paint?

There is no specific paint made to accommodate stainless steel especially. But there are types of 2 in 1 products that could ease the painting process significantly.

These products include both primer and paint in one box and they are ideal for beginners. However, you might find that these products come with their own disadvantages compared to the traditional painting method presented in this guide.

While such a product is easy to apply and it will take less time to dry, on the long run, you might find that it is not as resistant. Using a separate primer before applying your final paint coating is one of the best ways to make sure you end up with a result that withstands the test of time.

But, if you are only planning on painting a small surface of stainless steel, 2 in 1 products such as the Rust-Oleum’s Painter’s Touch could turn out to be the best choice. You can find such products at hardware stores as well as online and they come in a wide range of colors that you can choose from according to your preferences.

Final thoughts

With the information in this guide you will be able to modify the color of any type of stainless steel surface. Pay attention to the quality of the products as they will be the ones that define your final result.

Applying the primer and paint properly is another important detail to keep in mind. But with the right tools and painting equipment, you can change the appearance of any item made of stainless steel in your house.

As for the torch method, you want to try that only if you are familiar with using a torch and you have the protection equipment you need. Always put your safety first! Get creative with vibrant shades for your stainless steel surfaces and give your place a new design!

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