Can You Stain Metal?

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A stain process can update old, tarnished metal.

Changing the color of a metal object is an easy way to give the item an instant face lift. A staining product is one way to achieve a new color, though stain coloring is not always considered for metal projects, as staining is often associated with woodwork. However, there are a few ways to stain your metal to achieve a new look.



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Whatever technique you use for staining your metal, it is important to first thoroughly clean the item so the coloring will stick. You can wash and scrub the item, use a dust rag to remove debris and then fully let it dry. Also, a clear coat of polyurethane after the staining will ensure the finish stays clean and does not scratch.

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Glass Stain

Glass stain is a product typically used for coloring glass. The product can be used, however, to stain metal objects. One tip when using glass stain on metal is to first coat the metal with a lacquer thinner before applying the glass stain. Also, darker metals will develop the stain color in a darker shade than lighter metals.



Dips are a type of stain that can be used on metal to give the material a new coloring. For example, an ormolu dip will give a brass finish a shiny gold look. A bright dip can be applied to brass or copper to give the metal a colorful look in any shade you like and a satin dip is used to give a granulated stain to the metal. These dips can be purchased at most building supply store.


Water Color

If you have some paint on hand you want to use up, you can create a water color technique to make the metal appear as if it has been stained. Add a bit of water to a can of latex paint, altering the amount of water depending on how solid you want the color. Then, apply the thinned paint to the metal to give a light color change.



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