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How to Paint on Galvanized Metal Garbage Cans

Updated February 21, 2017

Rejuvenate the appearance of your garbage can by refinishing it with paint. If your garbage can is made of galvanised metal, consider an important point before you get started. Galvanised metal is treated with a zinc coating that prevents rust. This coating also inhibits adhesion. Treat the garbage can with a primer that is specifically formulated to etch galvanised metal. Once the can is primed, it will accept paint. Apply a particular finish, renowned for its durability, or the paint will peel at some point in the future.

Wash the galvanised metal garbage can with water-based soap, using steel wool. Rinse the garbage can using a hose and allow it to dry in the sun for two to three hours.

Place the can on a dust sheet.

Coat the galvanised metal garbage can with etching spray primer. Maintain 8 inches between the garbage can and the spray nozzle at all times. Allow the galvanised metal to dry for two hours.

Coat the galvanised metal garbage can with oil-based spray enamel. Maintain 8 inches between the garbage can and the spray nozzle at all times. Allow the galvanised metal to cure for 24 hours.

Warning

Don't use acrylic or latex primer on a galvanised metal garbage can, or the finish will flake. Maintain 8 inches between the galvanised metal and the spray nozzle as you apply, or the finish will sag. Never paint an unprimed galvanised metal garbage can, or the paint will peel. Thoroughly scrub the garbage can before priming, or adhesion problems may arise.

Things You'll Need

  • Water-based degreasing soap
  • Steel wool
  • Water hose
  • Towel
  • Dust sheet
  • Galvanised metal etching spray primer
  • Oil-based spray enamel
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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.