Tips For Painting Metal

by Marina Ingrit

I got a new garden bench but wanted to customize it a bit so it would better fit in with the existing outdoor decor. The bench is metal. If you don’t follow the right steps the paint on metal won’t last, especially if it repeatedly gets sprayed with sprinklers. I have learned that the hard way over the years 🙂 Here are my tips for painting metal!

This post is sponsored by HomeRight but all opinions are 100% my own. This post also contains affiliate links.



Ever since we re-landscaped the front yard and got rid of one of the flowerbeds, it has seemed a little plain over by the fence. I like that I don’t have to weed that long flowerbed anymore, and the grass seed came in nice and thick. But the lawn area was practically begging for a garden bench. I finally found one I liked that fit all my requirements. It needed to be lightweight so one person could move it when it was time to mow, it needed to be inexpensive, and I really wanted something simple and not too traditional. It just needed a tiny makeover!


Tips For Painting Metal

Tip #1

When prepping anything for paint, I think it is a good idea to lightly sand it. It helps gives the surface a texture that the paint can grip. This bench had a powder coated surface with a matte texture, and one could argue that sanding wasn’t necessary, but it doesn’t hurt to take a few extra minutes with a fine grit sandpaper. If your metal surface is shiny, you will most definitely want to sand really well.



Tip #2

Put your project on a tarp to protect your work area. I am shocked at how many painting videos I see on instagram and Facebook where people are painting on their sidewalk or deck without anything under their project. Even though this time I did it on my grass, I still didn’t want to live with painted grass until the next time I mow. Plus, the tarp protects my project from getting dirt or grass on the wet paint.



Tip #3

Don’t paint metal outside when it is HOT. When metal is in the sun it heats up quickly and if you apply paint while it is hot, the paint will bubble. If you are doing a project during the summer like me, find a shaded spot and/or do the project in the morning or evening when the temperatures are cooler.

Tip #4

Put scrap wood under your project so it is elevated up off the tarp a bit. This will keep your project from sticking to the tarp. If you have ever skipped this step, you probably have gone to lift your project off the tarp and took a thin layer of paint off the tarp with you. Then you have to scrape the paint off the edge or your project. I have been there!



Tip #5

Use an oil based paint. I have used water based enamels for metal before but only if the piece was going to be used indoors and it wasn’t a highly used piece that wouldn’t get lots of wear and tear. Since this bench will get sprayed by sprinklers and get lots of handling, it needed an oil based paint.

Tip #6

Use a quality paint sprayer to apply the paint. I used the Quick Finish sprayer from HomeRight this time because of how easy it is to clean. Cleaning oil based paint up is a bit of a pain, but is SO MUCH EASIER with this sprayer since all the washable parts detach from the non-washable motor. GENIUS!


Quick Finish Sprayer


I chose navy blue to match the window boxes and planters around the house.

Tip #7

Let the paint dry completely. If there happens to be any drips because you got to close with the sprayer, lightly sand then down and then spray a little more paint over that area.



Look at that finish! So smooth and pretty 🙂




Now the lonely stretch of grass in front of the fence has a cheery blue garden bench. It s a perfect place to sit in the shade while watching the boys show off their skateboard tricks and bike jumps.


The other side of this fence is my Secret Garden!



HomeRight has offered to giveaway one of their NEW Quick Finish Sprayers! Enter below using the Rafflecopter widget. Email me if you have any issues entering. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You must be at least 18 years old to enter. You must be a resident of the USA to enter. The giveaway will go from July 26, 2020 until August 4, 2020.  The winner will be chosen by and will be notified by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be chosen. The shipping of the prize is the responsibility of the company, in this case HomeRight.

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