Metal paint for outdoor use: types of materials and their advantages

In order for iron street structures to serve for a long time, they need special protection. It is in this situation that paint for metal is used for outdoor work. But is it enough to just paint the metal and what composition is best for this? What paint should you buy to guarantee iron protection from atmospheric precipitation? How to apply the compositions correctly and what work should be done beforehand? You will find answers to all these questions in our article.

Metal paint for outdoor use: types of materials and their advantages
Outdoor metal paint

Why paint metal?

B In everyday life, the most relevant issue is the protection of street iron structures: the metal does not like high humidity, under its influence it oxidizes and begins to collapse. If the iron is not protected, then the structure will quickly lose its original strength.

The process of processing iron surfaces is not as simple as it might seem at first glance:

  • the metal has a smooth surface, which means it has very low adhesion to any paintwork materials;
  • Not all paints can protect against water damage.

In order not to waste your money and buy a material that is guaranteed to protect your gate or the base of the canopy from the effects of precipitation, we will understand the proposed compositions.

Metal paint for outdoor use: types of materials and their advantages
The result of poor-quality metal painting will be a structure damaged after a short time


These compositions do not belong to the decorative type and should not be used as a topcoat. The primer only prepares the surface for painting, adding a layer of additional protection. The use of a primer is quite important, since it performs several functions at once:

  • enhances the adhesion of the metal to the finishing layer;
  • prevents the oxidation process;
  • enhances the protective properties of the paint ;
  • reduces the consumption of the main paintwork.

There are a great many primers for metal on the construction market, but before processing the structure, it is important to figure out which problem should be eliminated and which paint properties to enhance. Let's highlight the main types of primers for metal and describe what they are used for.

Metal paint for outdoor use: types of materials and their advantages
The composition of the primer depends on the degree of metal damage

Table 1. Types of primers (characteristics).

Primer type Brief description of the composition
Passivating Convert the metal to a passive state in relation to the environment.

The main active ingredient is chromates, a nuance in their quantity in the composition. A low percentage of chromates in the primer will reverse the effect and accelerate the corrosion process.

Insulating Form a thin protective film on the iron surface. They are usually epoxy or alkyd based. A very budget option, recommended for use on ferrous metals.

Phosphating Such primers are essentially passivating, but are suitable for work on non-ferrous metals. In everyday life, they are best known as primers for zinc, because they are most often used for processing galvanized iron.
Protective Mixtures include phosphoric acid in the composition, form a protective film. Suitable for working on surfaces damaged by corrosion.
Inhibiting New formulations.

They are even produced on a water basis, for this reason they are easy to use. They slow down the process of corrosion that has already begun.

The use of a primer will not only protect the metal from corrosion, but will significantly extend its service life.

Important! Primers can have different chemical bases and it is important that the composition does not conflict with the material of the main decorative coating.

Metal paint for outdoor use: types of materials and their advantages
Primers for metal are always colored, so that the treated area is clearly visible

Prices for various types of primers for metal

Primer for metal

Types of paints

Question, which paint to choose for painting metal can be confusing.

Modern hardware stores offer a very wide range of compounds for metal work. We will arrange all paintwork materials, dividing them by composition and operational characteristics.

What you need to know about the paint you plan to use:

  1. Scope. The paint is intended for work inside the building or it will calmly withstand external application, that is, temperature drops and high humidity.
  2. Toxicity level.

    There are probably no completely safe compositions for dyeing metal. This is due to the properties of iron itself. Still, you should know how toxic the material is in order to use the correct personal protective equipment.

  3. Thermal stability. This quality will be especially relevant if a heating or chimney system is planned for painting.

  4. Chemical inertness. All paints are capable of withstanding the effects of active chemicals to varying degrees. Determine how important this indicator is in your case.
Metal paint for outdoor use: types of materials and their advantages
Paint for metal for outdoor use allows you to protect the surface from the aggressive effects of precipitation, sun and temperatures

After as the list of the most important qualities is determined, we proceed to the choice.


This type of paint is made on the basis of drying oil, so the composition is quite environmentally friendly and does not have a pungent odor.

Oil paint has gained particular popularity due to its low cost. This is where the advantages of oil paints end.

The disadvantages include:

  • the shortest service life, the coating will require renewal after 2 - 3 years;
  • exposure to UV rays, paint in the sun quickly loses color saturation and gloss;
  • minimal anti-corrosion characteristics, the metal is practically not protected from moisture and continues to rust even under the paint.

When used outdoors, the coating will quickly lose strength and shine, and is suitable only for short-term solutions to the problem.

Metal paint for outdoor use: types of materials and their advantages
Oil paints create a beautiful but short-lived coating


The first thing comes to mind when mentioning nitro paints - it's a terrible pungent smell.

In many countries, nitra is prohibited for use. In Russia, the places of its application are limited by law. The composition cannot be used for work in preschool institutions, hospitals, schools, sanatoriums.

The material is highly toxic and flammable. Working with nitra indoors without strong ventilation is hazardous to health.

This type of paint is susceptible to moisture. As a result of working in high humidity conditions, whitish spots will appear on the decorative coating.

Advantages of nitra:

  • very short drying time, literally a few minutes;
  • does not require a thinner, the formulations are sold ready-to-use;
  • low material consumption and low cost.

Currently, nitro paint is most often sold in cans, which simplifies the process of applying the material as much as possible.

Metal paint for outdoor use: types of materials and their advantages
Nitroenamels are characterized by fast drying time


Well-known PF enamels based on alkyd - pentophthalic varnish.

This base creates an excellent, durable protective layer. Enamel has undoubted advantages:

  • resistance to atmospheric precipitation and temperature extremes,
  • formation of a layer with high anti-corrosion qualities,
  • long service life of the coating,
  • low cost.

Note! Initially, PF enamel was created specifically for processing metal surfaces. Professionals advise to buy paint made according to GOST, and not according to TU for dyeing iron.

There are few drawbacks to the paint, but they are quite noticeable.

The compositions have a pungent unpleasant odor, which immediately indicates that the paint is toxic and burns well. The choice of the color of alkyd paints has some limitations.

Metal paint for outdoor use: types of materials and their advantages

Alkyd compounds are distinguished by their versatility: the same paint is suitable for work on concrete and metal

Prices for various types of alkyd paint

Alkyd paint


Acrylic compounds have already proven excellent themselves in working with concrete and wood, but they began to be used for metal processing not so long ago. The problem was that acrylic is diluted with water, and the metal rusts from water.But this type of paint creates an excellent durable layer that perfectly tolerates high temperatures and does not change color under ultraviolet light.

Special additives were added to the composition, which neutralize the process of interaction of metal with water, and acrylic has taken its special place in metalworking.

Advantages of acrylic paint:

  • environmentally friendly, safe, non-toxic;
  • easy to apply;
  • unlimited designs and colors;
  • long service life;
  • high corrosion resistance.

For the first time after finishing work, the tool is easily washed from paint with plain water. This greatly simplifies the use of household spray guns to apply material to the surface.

Metal paint for outdoor use: types of materials and their advantages
Acrylic compounds are not toxic, which means they are safe to use

Prices for various types of acrylic facade paint

Acrylic facade paint


For domestic use, two-component compositions are often used.

It is the difficulty in kneading and the short life of the composition that limits the use of the composition. In addition, paints are quite expensive. Also, the disadvantages include the toxicity of the material.

At the same time, the advantages of epoxy coating are undeniable:

  • high level of strength;
  • coating elasticity;
  • almost 100% chemical inertness;
  • excellent adhesion;
  • not sustaining combustion processes;
  • minimum consumption, one coat is sufficient.

Note! Epoxy ground enamels are popular with builders, which create a coating resistant to the effects of gasoline, engine oil, salt water, etc.

Metal paint for outdoor use: types of materials and their advantages
Epoxy compounds have a high chemical resistance

Alkyd paint

Prices for various types of epoxy paint

Epoxy paint

Other options

By the name it is not always possible to understand acrylic or epoxy. For example, friends advised using hammer paint or rust enamel for painting. Let's describe the most popular formulations, their constituent substances, and as a consequence the properties of paintwork materials.

Hammer paint

Another name for paint is blacksmith paint. The composition can have a different base, both alkyd and acrylic or epoxy.

It is sold most often in cans, after application it forms a very characteristic coating, visually resembling a surface beaten with a hammer, hence the name.

Metal paint for outdoor use: types of materials and their advantages
Recognizable effect: hammer paint on metal gates

The effect itself is achieved by adding degreased aluminum powder to the base paint. In fact, all the properties of the paint depend on what composition was taken as the basis.And the hammer effect gives its advantages:

  • perfectly hides small surface defects;
  • improves thermal characteristics;
  • increases resistance to water and temperature extremes.

Note! Aluminum powder only enhances and improves the properties, the main level is set by the forming agent of paintwork materials.

Metal paint for outdoor use: types of materials and their advantages

Anti-corrosion compounds

Another common name is rust paint. Epoxy one-component compositions that significantly reduce the cost of metal cleaning work. The composition of these paints includes anti-corrosion additives that provide durable protection against rust and at the same time create a decorative coating. Paints can be glossy or matte, while this does not change their performance properties.

Advantages :

  1. It is possible to work with such compositions at a large temperature range from -20 to + 80 ° С, which makes it possible to paint communication systems associated with water supply.

  2. Before application, the metal does not require special cleaning or priming, while the result is a durable coating that is resistant to moisture and dirt.
  3. Manufacturers claim a service life of about 8 years. In fact, the paint lasts longer, only slightly reducing the protective properties.

The compositions have disadvantages and the main one is the price. In addition, surfaces that are in direct contact with drinking water cannot be treated with this type of paintwork.

Metal paint for outdoor use: types of materials and their advantages
Anti-corrosion compounds form a dense film on the metal surface

Rubber paint

Option acrylic composition. In appearance it resembles liquid rubber or mastic, but the technical characteristics of the finishing layer are different from rubber. It is quite simple to work with such a composition, it is not toxic, because it is water-dispersible. At the same time, there are certain additives in the paint that give the paint layer the following properties:

  • elasticity,
  • high strength,
  • resistance to low and high temperatures (range - 60 / + 50 ° С),
  • not susceptible to high humidity.

The paint does not require special surface preparation before application.

It is an excellent waterproofing agent. Due to this property, it is very often used for painting metal roofing materials.

Metal paint for outdoor use: types of materials and their advantages
Rubber paint is an excellent material for processing a metal roof

In a special article, we will consider all the characteristics and application features of the recently appeared and which has already won the trust of both professional builders and ordinary people, rubber paint.


In order to paint metal in outdoor conditions, and at the same time get a reliable and durable protective coating, you must adhere to certain rules. Perhaps this will seem superfluous, but there are clear standards for painting metal surfaces, prescribed in Construction NIPs.

To begin with, even before choosing materials, you should inspect the surface and assess its condition.

Metal paint for outdoor use: types of materials and their advantages
Measures for painting are not complicated, but strict adherence to technology guarantees a high-quality and durable coating

Determine the quality of the metal

At this stage, you should evaluate the surface, but besides this, you need to understand what kind of metal will be painted. In everyday life, ferrous and non-ferrous metals are used, and a separate line should be highlighted black processed metal, for example, galvanized. For each of the 3 types, professionals recommend their own paintwork materials:

  • for the processing of structures made of ferrous metals, including galvanized ones, it is better to choose alkyd compounds in outdoor conditions;
  • for non-ferrous metals is suitable epoxy material, and it is better not paint, but colorless varnish.

If the metal has already been painted before, and the layer of old paint has become firmly ingrained and it is impossible to remove it, then the material is selected that does not conflict with the old coating.

Metal paint for outdoor use: types of materials and their advantages
Before starting work, assess the degree of damage to the metal, as well as the presence and composition of the previously applied compositions

Sequence of work

On how well the surface will be prepared before painting. The strength and durability of the coating depends. The specificity of painting metal, especially in outdoor conditions, is that the interaction of unprotected iron and moisture from the air should be minimized. That is, all work should be carried out one by one without delay.

Step 1.

Surface cleaning. First of all, the treated surface is cleaned of dirt. All street dust must be swept away to assess the condition of the metal. In places of oxidation, iron is cleaned with a wire brush or abrasive. The use of angle grinders with a special nozzle will simplify the work process.

In addition to dirt and rust, the metal should be cleaned from various chemicals, that is, degreased.

Metal paint for outdoor use: types of materials and their advantages
There are various ways to remove old paint and dirt from metal: manually, using chemicals or using power tools

Step 2 Priming. At this stage, special primer-enamels can be used, or the first coat of paint can be applied. The difference is that the soil will improve adhesion, reduce the consumption of the main paintwork and at the same time reliably protect the metal. You can do without special formulations, just paint will be applied in more layers.

Experts advise to really compare the financial costs and possible risks and buy a primer. This is especially true when performing outdoor work.

Note! To improve the performance properties, the primer can be applied in several layers. Each next one is applied after the previous one is completely dry.

Metal paint for outdoor use: types of materials and their advantages
For damaged metal, use primers with additional anti-corrosion properties

Step 3.

Coloring. You can choose any tool for painting: brush, roller, spray gun - it all depends on the surface area and the type of paint. The specificity of metal surfaces is that the paint is not absorbed, which means that you should not apply the composition in a rich layer, because smudges will appear.

Metal paint for outdoor use: types of materials and their advantages
The paint is applied in any convenient way on the dried soil

Depending on the covering ability, the compositions can have a different number of layers recommended for application ..

. Read the instructions on the bank carefully. In addition, the air temperature at which it is better to paint will be indicated there.

Video - The effect of stripping when using different brushes for the grinder

Coloring nuances

To , in order to choose the right composition for working on metal, it is quite enough to clearly understand in what place and on what basis the painting will be carried out. A few simple tips from professionals:

  1. Radiators and pipes of the heating system should be painted cold, that is, before the onset of the working season.

    In this case, the paint is selected heat-resistant, with a possible operating temperature up to 150 ° C.

  2. Surfaces of non-ferrous metals must be treated with a suitable primer before painting.
  3. When handling organic solvent-based paint, use personal protective equipment and a well-ventilated area.
  4. Make sure the tool is suitable for your paint. Not all metal compounds can be applied with foam rollers or natural brushes, in addition.

    Quick-drying compositions are not always worth producing with a spray gun, you can spoil the mechanism.

Video - The process of processing a metal garage door with paint PF 115


The abundance of various materials in hardware stores allows you to paint metal with high quality, even in the street. A carefully selected composition from a reliable manufacturer, as well as a thorough surface preparation, will allow not only beautifully and tastefully decorate external metal structures, but also reliably protect them from destructive influences.


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