Metal Paint on Wood or Wood Paint on Metal? (Here’s How To Do it)

It’s common to run out of paint while finishing a wooden surface. So, can you use metal paint on wood? 

You can use metal paint on wood, but the wooden surface must be dry, cleaned, and primed before applying metal paint. 

There are a few other preparation steps you need to do before painting wood with metal paint. Luckily, this post explains everything you need to know. So let’s get to work.

Does Metal Paint Stick To Wood?

Metal paint will stick to wood. Wood is a porous material that allows all paints to stick, including metallic paint. So, in terms of adhesion, metal paint adheres well to wooden surfaces. 

Plus, metal paint has impressive adhesive qualities. Metal paint is designed to stick to non-porous materials such as metal. 

Since wooden surfaces are porous, all paints (or liquids) can stick to the wood. However, since wood is porous, it can suck metal paint than needed. That’s why you must prime the wood before applying metal paint to prevent excessive paint wastage. 

Priming will serve as a base coat to prevent the metal paint from soaking into the wood.

Using metal paint on wood is a great way to protect the wood from moisture, water, and rust. 

How To Use Metal Paint On Wood?

Metal paint isn’t designed for wooden surfaces, so you must prep the surface before you use it. Though metal paint can be used on wood, you must prep the surface so the metal paint can stick and cure well. 

Before you start this project, cover the floors and areas near the wooden surface to prevent paint spills. To cover floors, use tape. 

1. Clean The Wooden Surface

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.

The wooden surface must be clean for metal paint to stick. The surface should be clean of dirt and debris. 

To clean the wooden surface:

  1. Mix warm water with soap in a clean bucket.
  2. Damp the rag with the mixture. 
  3. Use the dampened rag to wipe the wooden surface. 
  4. You can 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. 

Wire brushes will get rid of the toughest stains on wood. However, you must be careful because the wire brush can scratch the wood. 

Related Read: Can Latex Paint Be Used on Metal?

2. Sand The Wooden Surface

Sand The Wooden Surface

After cleaning the wood, you must sand it. Especially, if you used a wire sponge to clean it. That’s because a wired sponge or brush can leave imperfections (or scratches) on wood, and sanding removes imperfections and leaves a smooth surface behind. 

To sand wood, start with medium-grit sandpaper. The medium-grit sandpaper removes the imperfections and hard scratches from the wood. Once the imperfections are gone, use fine-grit sandpaper. The fine-grit sandpaper will make the wooden surface smooth and clean. 

However, after sanding, you must re-clean the wooden surface because sanding produces a lot of dust. 

3. Prime The Wood

Prime The Wood

Next, prime the wood. Priming wood helps the metal paint stick better. The primer creates a smooth layer base that covers imperfections and holes in the wood and allows metal paint to stick better. 

Wood is a porous material that will suck a lot of paint if it isn’t primed. The porosity of the wooden surface means that you will use more metal paint than needed, and metal paint is expensive. To avoid this, prime the wood. 

Acrylic latex bonding primer is the best primer to use on wood before applying metal paint. To apply primer, use a paintbrush and apply 3 coats. Wait until the previous coat of primer dries before applying the next one. 

Related Read: Can You Use Polyurethane Paint on Metal?

4. Mix The Metal Paint

Mix The Metal Paint

Some metal paints can’t be used directly from the container, you must mix those paint with a chemical before using them. Even if the metal paint doesn’t need to be mixed, you must stir the paint so the oils and chemicals in the paint can be mixed. 

To mix the paint, use the manufacturer’s recommendations. To stir the metal paint, use a paint mixer or turning stick. Stir until the metal paint has a consistent color and fluidity. When the paint is even, you can use it. 

5. Apply The Metal Paint On The Wood

Apply The Metal Paint On The Wood

Once the metal paint is mixed or stirred, apply it to the wood. To apply metal paint on wood, use a paintbrush, paint sprayer, or roller. 

If you use a paintbrush, dip the tip of the paintbrush into the mixed paint. Don’t dip the paintbrush too deep into the paint, as it can cause drips, splashes, and uneven application. Wait until the previous layer has dried enough before applying another layer.

To use a paint sprayer:

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

To use a roller, dip the roller gently into the paint, then bring it out. While taking out the roller, allow the excess paint to drip back into the container before putting the roller on the wood. This prevents allocating extra-thick layers that will lead to a longer drying time.

7. Leave The Paint To Dry

Leave The Paint To Dry

You must apply 2-3 coats of metal paint on the wood. However, you must wait for each layer to dry before applying the next one. Metal paint can take up to 24 hours to fully cure. 

Most metal paints are waterproof, but you can apply a sealant to improve the durability of the paint. Polyurethane or wax are a good choice for a sealant. 

Using Metal Paint on Outdoor Wood

You can use metal paint on outdoor wood. However, the wood must be dry, and you must clean, sand, and prime the wood first before applying metal paint. 

Outdoor wooden surfaces, such as doors or windows, are prone to external factors that can ruin the finish. For example, rain, snow, sun, and human activities can take a toll on outdoor wood, because of this the finish on wood can get damaged.

On the other hand, metal paints are known for being extra protective. Metal paints are designed to withstand rust, heat, and moisture. So using metal paint on outdoor wooden surfaces is a great way to increase the durability and look of the outdoor wood.

But before you apply metal paint on outdoor wood, the wood must be well-prepped and primed with a suitable primer. The wood should be dry too; if there’s moisture or water on the wood, it can ruin the finish of the metal paint. 

Can You Use Wood Paint On Metal?

You shouldn’t use wood paint on metal because wood paint can’t protect the metal as metal paint would. Also, the wooden paint won’t stick to the metal surface properly. Wood paint must penetrate the surface to stick, but since metal is non-porous, the wood paint can’t penetrate the surface and won’t stick.  

Metal paints are UV-resistant, rust-resistant, and moisture-resistant, while wood paint isn’t. All these qualities help the paint to last on a metal surface and protect the metal surface. However, while wooden paints are advertised as moisture and rust-resistant, their resistance level is low and can’t be compared to metal paint.

If you use wood paint on metal, the paint won’t protect the metal from rust, moisture, or UV lights. The metal will get discolored, and rust will start to grow after a while. Also, since wood paint won’t stick properly to metal, the paint will start to peel off. 

If you use wooden paint on metal, the paint won’t stick well because the chemical properties of the wooden paint will not bond to the metal as metal paint will.

However, you can use wood paint on metal if you seal the paint afterward. Sealers, such as polyurethane, will create a thick, glossy, and moisture-resistant layer that will protect the wood paint underneath. 

Related Read: How To Use Polyurethane on Concrete?

What Type Of Paint Can You Use For Metal And Wood?

Some paints can be used on both, metal and wood. These paint types offer good surface protection and adhesive qualities. Most of these paint types are oil-based. That’s because oil-based paint tends to stick to metal better. 

However, before applying paint to metal or wood, you must prime the surface. Priming helps paint stick to metal and wood better. There are also primers that can be used on metal and wood. 

Final Words

You can use metal paint on wood, but you must prep the wooden surface first. Once the wood is cleaned, primed, and sanded, you can apply the metal paint. 

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