What Is the Best Way to Spray Paint Black Metal Into White?

Prepping the surface is essential to spray painting.
Prepping the surface is essential to spray painting. (Image: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Since black is such a bold color, it can seem out of place in a room that has a soft color theme in it. Black metal on an object such as a lamp, photo frame or a chair may clash with a soft palette of colors. Fortunately, you do not need to replace an object that has black metal; instead, just pick up a can of spray paint and some other items and give the black metal a makeover so the item is more visually appealing to you.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic sheets
  • Sandpaper
  • Rags
  • Mild soap
  • Sponge
  • Primer
  • Spray paint

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Sand the surface of the object with 120 grit sandpaper to remove rust. Dust off sanding debris with a clean rag.

Wash the object with a mild soap and a sponge. Painting on a dirty surface will result in poor paint adhesion as well as an uneven surface. Let the object dry.

Shake a can of high quality primer designed for dark metals for 10 seconds to mix the contents. Spray a thin layer using an even motion, standing at a distance of at least 10 to 12 inches. Use a sweeping motion, spraying in one direction to apply the primer. Maintain constant pressure on the nozzle as you spray the primer. Overlap each pass of primer by about 1/3 so the finish does not have any obvious lines showing where the primer ends and begins. Let the primer dry as recommended by the manufacturer.

Shake a can of high quality white spray paint designed for metal to mix the contents. Use the techniques used in Step 3 to apply the spray paint. Let the spray paint dry as recommended by the manufacturer.

Review your work. If the black color is still visible, apply another coat. Let the spray paint dry as recommended by the manufacturer in between coats.

Tips & Warnings

  • Work in a well-ventilated area.
  • Work outdoors or drape a plastic painter’s sheet to protect anything that you do not want painted.
  • Open windows and run fans.
  • Don old clothes.
  • Discuss your project with staff at a home improvement store. Ask which primer is best to cover black metal.
  • It is best to paint in thin coats because a thick application will lead to drips, runs and inconsistent blotches.


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