How to Paint Painted Metal

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Add new paint to an old metal surface.
Add new paint to an old metal surface. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Valueline/Getty Images)

Metal objects such as stair rails and gutters are often painted to better match the color scheme of their surroundings. Over time this paint can crack and flake off, allowing rust to build up on the metal surface. When this happens, repainting the metal becomes necessary. There is no need to remove all of the old paint before repainting, just the damaged portions. After a bit of surface preparation, you will be able to add a new paint job that restores the surface to its original appearance.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • Wire brush accessory
  • Rubber gloves
  • Goggles
  • Particle mask
  • Rust removing product
  • Paintbrushes
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Paint

Remove flaking paint with a wire brush accessory in a drill. You should wear rubber gloves, goggles and a particle mask to protect yourself from dust and paint fragments. You do not need to remove paint that is still firmly attached.

Apply a rust removing product onto any areas with noticeable rust. Allow the product to sit for the time recommended on the bottle, then rinse it off with clean water.

Sand the surface with 120-grit sandpaper to smooth the surface and prepare it for primer. This step is crucial: if you skip it, the areas that still have paint will produce a different texture than the bare metal.

Brush or spray on a metal primer that is designed to prevent rust. Apply this primer in multiple thin coats, which will reduce the risk of drips that can occur with a single heavy coat.

Brush or spray new paint onto the metal surface after the primer has dried. Like the primer, the paint will look better if you use multiple thin coats instead of one heavy one.

References

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