If you’ve ever attempted to paint over galvanized steel, you probably know that it doesn’t adhere the best. The layer of zinc on the steel protects it from corrosion, but it also rejects paint. This leads to the paint eventually shedding or peeling off.
Fortunately, for anyone who has ever wanted to paint galvanized steel, there is a solution! You can add a coat of paint to your galvanized steel as long as you have the right tools and follow along with these four steps.
1. Clean the Surface
You want to make sure you are removing all the buildup of dust or dirt that can affect the way the coat of paint lays on the metal. No matter what the material is, it is difficult to apply a proper layer if you’re brushing off bits of leftover particles.
2. Use Your Secret Weapon
The secret weapon of the galvanized steel painting process is: white vinegar. Yes, you read that right! Like most, you probably already have white vinegar on hand as a cleaning solution for your home. White vinegar is effective and non-toxic which is much safer to use rather than an industrial solvent. All you need to do is apply the vinegar on a clean rag and then simply wipe down the galvanized surface. The great thing about vinegar is that it has an acidity that will react with the metal, promoting pain adhesion.
3. Choose Your Type of Paint
We recommend priming the surface before painting. After the primer is applied, you will need to decide on the type of paint. Many like to use acrylic latex paint, which is not designed for galvanized steel specifically, but can still work with a primer. However, paints that are made for galvanized steel do require less prep work and adhere better than other types of paint. Our one pro tip here is to stay away from alkyd-based paints or oil-based paints as those may not work well for the project.
4. Go to Town and Paint!
Galvanized steel is a great material for a variety of uses and painting it gives you the ability to alter your steel aesthetically to fit its surroundings. Are you painting your galvanized steel? Send us your photos! We’d love to see how your project turned out.