How to Paint Wood to Look Like Metal

(Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Painting wood to look like metal might sound complicated, but you can easily render a metallic look by using metallic spray paint. These paints create the color and shine of metal on nearly any surface, including wood. You must properly prepare the wood and add a clear coat to ensure that the metallic paint adheres properly and lasts for years.

Things You'll Need

  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Dry cloth
  • Alcohol-based primer
  • Paint brush
  • Metallic spray paint
  • Latex-based polyurethane

Video of the Day

Sand the wood with 220-grit sandpaper to prepare the surface for primer. Wipe away any dust created during sanding with a dry cloth.

Apply a coat of alcohol-based primer to the wood with a paint brush. These primers are sometimes referred to as shellac primers. Don't worry about tinting the primer to match your paint; a plain white primer will work just fine.

Shake your can of metallic spray paint thoroughly to mix the paint.

Spray the paint onto the wood starting at the top, using a back and forth motion, constantly moving the can of paint to apply a thin coat of paint. Continue to apply thin coats of paint until you cover the entire wood surface. Let the paint dry.

Brush a coat of clear, latex-based polyurethane with a high-gloss finish over the dry metallic paint, which adds extra shine and protects the metallic paint.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep the spray can moving constantly while painting or you will apply too much paint to one area, which will cause the paint to drip and ruin the metallic finish.


  • "Paint Saves the Day"; Lucianna Samu; 2009
Promoted By Zergnet

You May Also Like

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.