How to Paint Acrylic Paints on Metal

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Things You'll Need

  • Alcohol wipes

  • Oil-based primer

  • Paintbrushes or roller

Painting metal with acrylic paint helps it stand up to the elements.

Acrylic paint is a versatile paint, which is most commonly used in artistic painting, but is also used for more practical purposes such as model painting and painting metalwork. Acrylic paint is often used because it is fast-drying, hard-wearing and it keeps its color well, even when exposed to the elements. When you are painting metal with acrylic paints, you will need to use a primer in order for it to adhere correctly.


Step 1

Clean the metal surface which you will be painting with alcohol wipes. This will remove any dust and dirt that would cause a problem during painting.

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Step 2

Apply the oil-based primer using a paintbrush. Choose a paintbrush that is the right size for the object you are painting.

Step 3

Wait for the coat of primer to dry, or cure. Consult the packaging of your primer to check the curing time for the brand you have used, as it varies. The average time is around one hour.

Step 4

Paint on the acrylic paint with a paintbrush. As before, the size of paintbrush you use will depend on what it is that you are painting. If you're painting something particularly large, you could even use a roller.


Acrylic paint is water soluble until it has dried, so wash paintbrushes in water while they're still wet with paint.

You can layer acrylic paint, so if you want more than one color on the item you are painting, paint over the first coat of acrylic with another color once the first coat has dried.


Wear old clothes or an apron when painting with acrylics, so that you don't ruin your clothes.


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