How to paint a galvanized metal: an overview of paints and their characteristics

Although painting galvanized metal can be challenging, it can be completed successfully and painlessly with the appropriate technique. Roofing, outdoor construction, and a variety of industrial uses are common uses for galvanized metal, which is covered in a layer of zinc to stop rusting. It is crucial to select the appropriate paint and adhere to the recommended preparation procedures in order to guarantee a durable and appealing finish.

First and foremost, it’s important to realize that galvanized surfaces are not a good fit for every paint. The zinc coating may react with conventional oil-based and alkyd paints, resulting in poor adhesion and peeling. Use specialized paints made for galvanized metal instead. These paints are designed to give strong weather resistance and form a strong bond with zinc.

Galvanized metal is a good surface for a variety of paint types, each with unique properties. Particle resistance and flexibility make acrylic latex paints a popular option. Epoxy paints are perfect for industrial settings because of their exceptional chemical resistance and durability. Furthermore, paints with urethane bases offer a durable, glossy finish that is resistant to weathering and UV rays.

It’s crucial to properly prepare the surface before painting. This includes giving the metal a thorough cleaning to get rid of any oxidation, oil, or dirt. Applying a light acid or a specific galvanized metal primer can aid in preparing a surface for paint adhesion. For optimal results, paint should be applied in thin, even coats after the surface has been prepared.

This guide will go over the various paint kinds that work well on galvanized metal, as well as each one’s special qualities and recommended applications for a polished look. Whether you’re working on a large-scale industrial application or a small DIY project, knowing these fundamentals will help guarantee that your painted galvanized metal looks fantastic and endures for many years.

What is galvanized steel?

These are sheets of steel with the thinnest possible layer of another metal on top. The coating process is industrial in nature. This is the coating referred to as the anode. Zinc has a lower electrode potential in this situation.

Zinc coating offers surfaces a variety of protective benefits.

• Electrochemical: Because steel is a cathode, corrosion cannot destroy it even if a zinc layer is damaged. This is isolation from aggressive medium influences.

Do I need to paint a galvanized metal?

Though the zinc layer is only 0.8–2 μm thick, the galvanized steel is effectively protected. Aggressive influences cause the zinc to corrode over time. On the surface, a white powder known as "white rust" is visible. The steel surface is more vulnerable to harmful effects and has an unappealing appearance due to the rust.

Since galvanized steel is frequently utilized for roofing and other building projects, it must be painted to prevent corrosion.

Types of colors

If you want to paint galvanized metal with high passivity, you must do so if you want to maximize the material’s lifespan. It is important to pay attention when selecting an appropriate paint so that the coloring material has high adhesion and elasticity qualities.

Not every color has the necessary components to match the color of galvanized surfaces. Oils, for instance, are not appropriate. Applying to metal surfaces will cause a chemical reaction that will lessen the dye’s adhesive qualities and adhesion. Consequently, the paint will start to exfoliate after a while.

Selecting the coloring compositions for aluminum and steel is the best option. These include rubber, vinyl, acrylic, and alkyd paints.

For anode zinc surfaces, experts advise selecting a coloring composition made specifically for zinc coating. Although soils designed for enamel and galvanized metal are more expensive, they don’t offer enough protection—rather, they merely improve the appearance.


Every galvanizing paint has unique technical properties, benefits, and drawbacks. Corrosion-resistant additives are present in acrylic mixtures based on organic solvents. The surface will be matte after the paint has dried and been stained.

Acrylic dyes exhibit a high level of resistance to adverse atmospheric conditions. If the roof is composed of metal, this is significant. Acrylic coatings stand out for their water-repellent quality and resistance to direct sunlight.

Acrylic paint has a long service life and good metal adhesion. Not only that, but dyes have democratic value.


Alkyd paint for galvanized metal can be used in areas with unique climates. The industry also makes extensive use of the composition. Due to its low cost, industrial quantities of this enamel are used to paint galvanized pipes and other metal structures.

After drying, alkyd enamel takes on a glossy appearance. The paint has excellent operating characteristics and anti-corrosion pigments. But they react with the zinc layer and destroy its structure, just like oil paints do.

Vinyl enamel

When it comes to weather resistance, these dyes are not less effective. Enamel data are extremely resilient and able to withstand exposure to elevated temperatures. Durability and high elasticity are two qualities of zinc coating. The price of paint is the only drawback.

The paint is based on acrylic, and when it dries, a robust protective layer that looks like rubber forms. The ability to resist mechanical damage is a significant advantage.

A particular method must be used when painting galvanized metal in order to guarantee longevity and a polished appearance. This post discusses the necessary actions and the paints that work best for the job, as well as the qualities of various paint kinds. We will walk you through every step of the process, from surface preparation to selecting between urethane, acrylic, and epoxy paints, to ensure long-lasting results and avoid problems like peeling and corrosion. Whether you’re working on a professional project or a do-it-yourself project, knowing these fundamentals will help you choose the best supplies and methods for the job.

Special coloring compositions

As you can see, when working with a galvanized surface, each of the aforementioned options has some drawbacks. In the current market, there are paints designed specifically for galvanized steel.

The best choice for galvanizing is to use acrylic soils. It functions as an enamel and a protective primer. Although this type of coating costs more, the painted surface is much better protected, and its aesthetic qualities are also unmatched.

Import paints

The roofing of companies like Hammerite and Tikkurilla is the most common use of galvanizing paint for exterior projects. The first product is beneficial since it can be used on surfaces that have corrosion damage.

Among the principal benefits are the following:

The coating’s attributes include resistance to wear and durability, high adhesion with metals, anti-corrosion protection, aesthetics, drying speed, variety of colors available, and UV radiation resistance.

Among the drawbacks are noticeable saline deposits that accumulate over time, corrosion that occurs after a few years, cracking from inadequate degreasing, and air bubbles that appear when applying with a roller on a metal surface.

The epoxy paint option from Tikkurilla, a Finnish manufacturer, has additional benefits because it doubles as a metal primer. Here, the attributes listed above are additionally present: heat resistance, the capacity to store at low temperatures, resistance to atmospheric influences and the effects of a chemical environment, and the capacity to apply paint by hand.

Applying the coating during comparatively warm weather is advised by the manufacturer. Better adhesion is promoted by hot metal.

Tikkuril paint for metal structures is seen in the video.

Domestic products

Not less superior domestic products are displayed for sale alongside imported materials. The paint color "Cicrol" is the most chosen choice. This unique acrylic coloring composition is made specifically to be used on galvanized surfaces. Acrylic resins with polymer and organic solvent additives serve as the foundation.

There is no shortage of benefits associated with the material:

High surface clutch, high hiding place, high degree of corrosion resistance, high moisture and sunlight resistance, and FAST DRIVE are just a few of the features.

Use this paint on corrugated board, tin, and galvanized sheet roofs. This mixture is frequently used for rolling metal, galvanized pipes, and other constructions.

Cycroll has sufficient unilateral application to be used without the need for mandatory grounding work.

Paint Type Characteristics
Acrylic Paint Water-based, fast-drying, easy to apply, durable, resists chipping and fading
Epoxy Paint Strong adhesion, chemical resistant, long-lasting, ideal for harsh environments
Polyurethane Paint High-gloss finish, UV resistant, excellent for outdoor use, flexible
Vinyl Paint Good adhesion, moisture resistant, easy to clean, suitable for various surfaces
Rust-Inhibitive Primer Prevents rust formation, enhances paint adhesion, essential for metal surfaces

Galvanized metal can be painted to greatly improve both its durability and appearance, but the proper technique and supplies are needed. To guarantee correct paint adhesion and longevity, special attention must be given to the special surface of galvanized metal, which is coated with zinc to prevent rust.

Complete surface preparation is necessary before painting. This entails roughening up the metal to make it easier for the paint to adhere to it and cleaning it to get rid of any impurities like oils or dirt. This texture can be achieved by using a mild acid or specialty etching primer, which will help ensure that the paint sticks well.

Selecting the correct paint is essential. Paints come in a variety of forms, including urethane-based, acrylic, and epoxy varieties, each with unique advantages. Epoxy paints offer superior adhesion and chemical resistance, while acrylic paints are simple to apply and yield a good finish. Paints based on urethane have excellent weather resistance and durability, which makes them perfect for outdoor use.

Better results will come from applying the paint in several thin layers as opposed to one thick coat. You should wait until each layer is completely dry before applying the next. This technique guarantees a smooth, even finish and helps prevent runs. Furthermore, utilizing a superior brush or sprayer can have a big impact on the result.

To extend the painted surface’s life, maintenance is also necessary. Frequent inspections and cleaning can aid in spotting possible problems early on and enable prompt touch-ups. With this proactive approach, the painted galvanized metal will continue to look fantastic and perform admirably for many years to come.

These instructions will help you give galvanized metal surfaces a polished, long-lasting finish. Whether you’re painting industrial, commercial, or residential metalwork, knowing the properties of various paints and how to apply them correctly will guarantee your painted metalwork turns out well.

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Maria Vlasova

Chemist-technologist, expert on paint and varnish materials. I will help you figure out the compositions of paints, their characteristics and choose the best option for your purposes.

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