How To Apply Metal Paint Over Wood Surfaces? (or Vice Versa)

You can apply metal paint on wooden surfaces as the paint has impressive adhesive qualities and adheres to most surfaces.

To apply metal paint over wood surfaces, clean the wood, sand the wood, apply primer, prep the metal paint, and apply the paint.

You can’t apply wood paint over metal surfaces as the paint doesn’t have protective additives and won’t protect the metal from weather elements.

Does Metal Paint Adhere to Wood Surfaces?

Metal paint does adhere to wood surfaces as ti has impressive adhesive qualities because it’s formulated to adhere to non-porous slick surfaces.

Wooden surfaces are porous and allow paint penetration, so metal paint adhere over it with ease. However, you must apply a primer coat or washcoat to seal the wood pores and prevent paint over-absorption.

The wooden surface must be clean, dry, and sanded before applying metal paint to get a smooth finish.

How To Apply Metal Paint Over Wood?

To apply metal paint over wood, do the following things.

  1. Clean the Wood.
  2. Sand the Wood.
  3. Apply Primer.
  4. Prep the Metal Paint.
  5. Apply the Paint.

1. Clean the Wood

Here's a mini-guide that will teach you how to use metal paint no wood. The first thing you want to do is to clean the wooden surface.

Clean the wood to remove dust, dirt, debris, and stains that can prevent metal paint from penetrating or adhering.

To clean a wood surface, do the following things.

  1. Mix warm water with soap in a clean bucket.
  2. Damp a rag with warm soapy water.
  3. Use the dampened rag to wipe the wooden surface. 
  4. Use a wire brush or sponge to scrub the surface. 
  5. Pour clean water to remove the soap residue from the wood. 
  6. Wipe the wooden surface with a dry rag to dry it out. 

A wire brush removes the toughest stains on wooden surfaces, but can scratch the wood too.

Related Read: Can Latex Paint Be Used on Metal?

2. Sand the Wood

Sand The Wooden Surface

Sand the wood surface to remove imperfections and bumps, and make the surface paint-ready. The sandpaper abrasive side gradually wears off imperfections and bumps, and flattens the surface.

To sand wood before painting, use medium-grit sandpaper (100-grit) for surfaces riddled with imperfections, or fine-grit sandpaper (220-grit) for surfaces that don’t have many imperfections.

Clean the wood and remove dust after sanding.

3. Apply Primer

Prime The Wood

Paint primer covers the surface imperfections and holes, seals the wood pores to prevent over-absorption, and forms a layer that improves paint penetration and adhesion.

Wood is a porous material that absorbs too much paint if you don’t seal its pores with a primer or washcoat.

Apply two (2) latex primer coats over the wood surface before metal paint. Wait until one coat dries before applying the next one.

Related Read: Can You Use Polyurethane Paint on Metal?

4. Prep the Metal Paint

Mix The Metal Paint

Prep the metal paint by mixing, shaking, or stirring it before application. This mixes the paint additives and forms a consistent paint viscosity.

5. Apply the Paint

Apply The Metal Paint On The Wood

Apply two (2) metal paint coats over the wood surface. Wait until one coat dries before applying the next one.

To apply metal paint, use a brush, sprayer, or roller. 

If you use a paint brush, dip the brush tip into the paint and use it to paint the wood. Don’t dip the brush too dep as it can cause drips, splashes, and uneven application. 

To apply metal paint with a sprayer, do the following things.

  1. Fill the holder with paint.
  2. Do a few spray tests on a dispensable material.
  3. If the flow and paint color are good, apply it.

To apply metal paint with a roller, do the following things.

  1. Dip the roller gently into the paint bucket.
  2. While taking out the roller, allow the excess to drip back into the container to prevent allocating extra paint.
  3. Apply the paint over the wood.

You can apply metal paint over outdoor wooden surfaces as the paint is designed to withstand weather elements and protect underlying surfaces.

Can You Apply Wood Paint On Metal?

You can’t apply wood paint on metal surfaces as the paint isn’t formulated with protective additives or rust protection and won’t protect the metal surface. Wood paint doesn’t adhere well to metal surfaces since it can’t penetrate it.

Metal paint is UV-resistant, rust-resistant, and moisture-resistant, while wood paint isn’t. The metal paint protective additives protect the metal surface from different elements and help it last longer.

Since wood paint isn’t moisture or rust-resistant, it can’t protect the metal surface from moisture, rust, or other damages. The metal surface will get discolored, rusted, and damaged if you apply wood paint over it.

However, you can apply wood paint over metal surfaces if you seal the paint with a moisture and rust-resistant sealer. The sealer creates a thick glossy layer that protects the underlying paint and surface from weather elements.

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Tony Adams

Tony Adams

Woodworker, Interior and Exterior Painter, Flooring Specialist

Tony is a professional painter and an author of DIY Geeks. Tony has completed over 1,000 painting projects for his clients. It's safe to say he knows what he Is talking about.

Eral Kadrija

Eral Kadrija

Lead Editor, Home Renovator

Eral has a passion for home renovation and repair. Over the years, he has bought, renovated, and sold 7 old homes. Using his experience from different DIY projects he created DIY Geeks.

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