Can you use metal paint on wood?

by Sam Wood | Last Updated: 15/03/2021

We all know that metal paints can provide exceptional protection to metals that are left in the elements for years on end. There are lots of areas where you want lots of protection such as window frames and you may be thinking if exterior wood paint will provide enough protection. This has probably left you wondering can you use metal paint on wood? Would this same level of protection pass over to any wood you paint with metal paint? Well, let’s find out.

Hammerite

Before we begin I just want to let you know I have already run a full experiment on whether you can paint wood with Hammerite. If you are thinking of using Hammerite to paint wood then make sure you check out the full article here!

Well, can I use metal paint on wood?

The short answer is yes you definitely can, but l like all things DIY there are caveats which I will jump into below. These paints are intended for metal surfaces but can work just as well as paint for wood.

Properly preparing wood for painting

There are a few steps you need to take to ensure your wood is fully prepared for painting. The first one is simple, ensure the wood is properly dry. Then you will want to make sure it is clean, giving it a good scrub with a wire brush can help here. This will ensure there is no dirt, debris or slime left on the wood before painting.

Soaking

Lots of porous woods will really soak up metal paints, which aren’t cheap, to begin with. It is, for this reason, I advise priming before painting. This will work as a sealer which will then stop your following coats from soaking in as much.

You can use a specialist primer or a watered or thinned down version of your metal paint. I would advise trying to match paint types with your primer. So if you are using an oil-based metal paint try and use an oil-based primer, the same applies to water-based metal paints where you should try and use a water-based primer. Try to avoid latex paint as this won’t work well with metal exterior paint in my experience.

You can also use a mist coat. This is just where you water down your first coat. Or if you are using oil-based paint you use a thinned down first coat. Just add a small amount of paint to a separate container then water or thin it down. This can then be applied as a first coat to help seal up the wood and prevent you from using excessive amounts of metal paint.

Painting

Paint the wood as you would with anything else, just give it a nice lick of paint. There are a range of paints available for painting metal so you should be able to find and colour you like.

As with all painting I advise using a high-quality paintbrush. If you are using oil-based paint then remember you will need turps or paintbrush cleaner to clean up one you have finished painting.

If you are using water-based paint then obviously all you need to clean up is water!

FAQ’s

Will metal paint stick to wood?

Yes, adhesion will not be a problem at all. in fact, many metal paints may soak into the wood a little too much. This is why I advise using a primer or thinned down mist coat before painting.

Can you use metal paint on wooden window frames?

Yes, this is one application that just makes sense to me. Metal paints are known for providing lots of protection. Which is just what you need on wooden window frames to stop them from degrading and rotting away.

Can I use metal paint on pressure-treated wood?

Yes, you can, however, it is advisable to let the wood dry for a while before you do. And when I say a while I’m talking at least a year! Otherwise, you may have issues with the finish.

How do you paint over painted wood?

Just sand the wood down to give yourself a good surface to adhere too. You don’t need to remove all of the previous paint. You just want a slightly roughed up surface to which the new paint can key well too.

What Colours Does Hammerite Come in?

I’m glad you asked, I’ve just finished writing a complete guide to Hammerite colours!

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Wood by name, wood by nature. I am a fully qualified, time-served, award-winning joiner with an NVQ Level 3 in Carpentry and Joinery as well as an HNC in Construction. Beyond my joinery qualifications, I have also earned a degree in building surveying. I believe these qualifications make me perfectly positioned to provide expert advice on many different areas of DIY as well as share all of the tips I have picked up in over a decade working on building sites!