What Type of Paint Can be Sprayed on Galvanized Steel?

Updated February 21, 2017

Most any type of paint can be sprayed onto galvanised steel, provided the steel surface is pretreated with a particular type of primer, capable of etching metallic surfaces. Without this primer, galvanised steel will ultimately shed painted finishes.


Amateur painters tend to undervalue the cleaning process. Do-it-yourselfers should wash galvanised steel with a water-based degreasing cleanser prior to priming.


Galvanised steel is ill-suited for adhesion. It requires a base coat of galvanised metal etching primer before it will accept paint. This type of primer is available in spray cans.


Although most any paint will adhere to properly prepared galvanised steel, acrylic or oil-based enamels are best suited because they provide strong durability and an attractive sheen.


Applicators should hold the can of spray paint or the spray rig nozzle eight inches from the galvanised steel as they apply.


Ordinary acrylic latex or oil-based primers are not appropriate for galvanised steel. These primers cannot etch the metal and will eventually flake.

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About the Author

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He has been writing professionally since 1999. He has 10 years of experience as a professional painting contractor. Lawrence writes for High Class Blogs and Yodle. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in history from the University of Oklahoma.