How to paint wood to look like metal

Written by kittie mccoy
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How to paint wood to look like metal
(Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Painting wood to look like metal might sound complicated, but you can easily render a metallic look by using metallic spray paint. These paints create the colour and shine of metal on nearly any surface, including wood. You must properly prepare the wood and add a clear coat to ensure that the metallic paint adheres properly and lasts for years.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Dry cloth
  • Alcohol-based primer
  • Paint brush
  • Metallic spray paint
  • Latex-based polyurethane

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  1. 1

    Sand the wood with 220-grit sandpaper to prepare the surface for primer. Wipe away any dust created during sanding with a dry cloth.

  2. 2

    Apply a coat of alcohol-based primer to the wood with a paint brush. These primers are sometimes referred to as shellac primers. Don't worry about tinting the primer to match your paint; a plain white primer will work just fine.

  3. 3

    Shake your can of metallic spray paint thoroughly to mix the paint.

  4. 4

    Spray the paint onto the wood starting at the top, using a back and forth motion, constantly moving the can of paint to apply a thin coat of paint. Continue to apply thin coats of paint until you cover the entire wood surface. Let the paint dry.

  5. 5

    Brush a coat of clear, latex-based polyurethane with a high-gloss finish over the dry metallic paint, which adds extra shine and protects the metallic paint.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep the spray can moving constantly while painting or you will apply too much paint to one area, which will cause the paint to drip and ruin the metallic finish.

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