How to Paint Steel Beams


If you have steel beams that appear out of place from their finished surroundings, you can help them blend in better by applying the correct type of paint. Because steel beams are nonporous, they are ill-suited for adhesion and require abrasion prior to application. Unfortunately, because steel is so durable, it is resistant to friction-based abrasion techniques. You must apply a special type of base coat, capable of etching the metallic surface. This will provide a tooth for the paint to adhere to and will prevent the steel from eventually shedding its new finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Water-based degreaser
  • Coarse plastic brush
  • Water hose
  • Wet rags
  • Heavy-duty fabric drop cloths
  • Galvanized metal etching primer
  • 3- to 4-inch latex paintbrush
  • Acrylic latex paint
  • Red oxide primer
  • Oil-based enamel
  • Clean the steel beam with a water-based degreaser, using a coarse brush. Rinse the beams with a water hose if they are located outdoors. Use wet rags if the beams are in the interior of the home. Wait 1 to 3 hours for the beams to dry.

  • Protect surfaces beneath the steel beam with fabric drop cloths.

  • Coat the clean steel beam with a galvanized metal etching primer, using a paintbrush manufactured for use with latex paints. Wait four hours for the primed steel beam to dry.

  • Clean the brush with water.

  • Coat the primed steel beam with an acrylic latex paint. Apply paint to the beam just as you did the primer. Wait two hours for the painted steel beam to dry. Add another coat if the etching primer shows through.

Related Searches

  • Photo Credit large steel girders image by Yali Shi from
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • How to Paint Metal

    Metal is a tricky surface to paint unless you prepare it first. Half the battle of a good metal paint job begins...

  • How to Finish Around Basement Beams

    You want to finish your basement with drywall, carpeting and the rest, but wonder what to do with the bare, rough and...

  • How to Decorate Post & Beam Homes

    A post and beam home is often chosen for its rustic nature and character, so it makes sense to continue this theme...

  • How to Paint Wood Ceiling Beams

    Wood ceiling beams give a room a rustic feel, but you cannot easily or cheaply remove the beams if you grow tired...

  • Finished Basement Beam Ideas

    Basement support beams provide vital structural support for your home, but the unsightly steel supports may interrupt the flow of your finished...

Related Searches

Check It Out

12 Tiki Essentials to Turn Your Bar Cart Into a Tropical Paradise

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!