Stainless steel or galvanized steel are materials that do not accept any paint, and if they do, after a short time the paint peels off, cracks, or peels.

Usually these pieces, when they come colored, or in some color, because they put them in different “tubs” with acids and other products, to anodize the material and give it one or the other finish.

But if in your case you have a virgin color and want to paint it, even if it is difficult to paint the material, it is not impossible and we can achieve a great result, which we will see in this article with steps and materials needed to consider painting steel, stainless or galvanized step step by step.

Stainless steel paint

Stainless steel or galvanized paint materials

  • Medium grain sandpaper which you can buy here. (Grinding discs with manual block or P320 if using an electric or pneumatic grinder).
  • A fine-grained sandpaper sponge that you can buy here.
  • Polyurethane primer
  • Polyurethane enamel.
  • Polyurethane solvent.
  • Brush, pore-free roller for manual painting or spray gun and compressor equipment for spray painting.

Metal, either one or the other, is usually painted with enamel, because these are products that have greater adhesion, thickness and resistance.

But inside the enamel there are some more suitable for one type of surface than others.

In this case, for painting stainless or galvanized steel, we will use polyurethane enamel, which is one of the hardest and best anchored enamels that exists.

Before applying the enamel we will also apply a primer and the primer will also be polyurethane.

You can buy these products wherever you want.

I work a lot with one of the Montó brands and that is the one I will recommend.

The Montón paint company has a polyurethane enamel in its catalog called Acripol, which is one of the best enamels I have ever tried. In addition, in addition to two-component enamel, it also has its own primer, called Impripol.

Two-component polyurethane enamel for Acripol de Montó steel

Both Acripol enamel and its Impripol primer are two-component.

That is, on the one hand we have paint, and on the other a hardener or catalyst that must be mixed with paint to dry and harden.

The mixture of these products, although everything is stated on the bottle, is 1/4.

This means that for every 4 parts of the paint we have to add 1 catalyst.

Imagine using 500 ml of polyurethane enamel to paint steel. In this case you need to add 125 ml of catalyst.

The same thing happens with primer. If you are going to use 500 ml of primer, it must contain 125 ml of catalyst.

While this may sound a bit confusing to you, don’t worry because when you go to buy paint, for example, if you ask for a pound of polyurethane enamel, the clerk will give you exactly the measure you need for the catalyst.

So go to the store and just ask for Acripol and Impripol, and they will give you the exact measures.

Well, with that in mind, let’s look at the steps that need to be followed to properly paint steel.

How to paint stainless or galvanized steel step by step

Step 1: Sand the surface

For grinding we can do it with a medium grain grinding block or an electric or pneumatic grinder with P320 grinding wheels.

You have to “hurt” the surface. It’s a material that doesn’t grind well, and if we don’t, it may not have the necessary adhesion.

So, without exaggeration, we need to grind the entire surface perfectly.

As we sing, we will see how the surface begins to be marked with final stripes. We have to leave the whole surface like this. Of course, just the surface, do not go over sanding so that all the streaks can be seen when applying the paint.

The second step after grinding the steel is to clean it.

Step Two: Clean the surface

We smoke or remove all dust from the sanding, and then we clean the surface with a universal degreaser or any basic cleaning agent that you have at home.

After we have ground and cleaned the steel, we move on to the third step, which is applying the primer.

Step 3: Apply a primer

In order to apply the primer, we must first mix the paint, as I already mentioned.

Open the paint bottle and the catalyst bottle and mix them in a 1/4 ratio.

Stir well to make the mixture homogeneous.

Add 5% polyurethane solvent to this mixture, which will make application easier. Although not required, it is recommended.

Once well removed, it is time to apply the primer.

It is applied as if it were a normal color. Or with a brush and roller without pores, which do not leave hairs or traces, or with a gun and compressor equipment.

Apply the primer well over the entire surface, distributing it well.

We don’t have to cover it from obligations. Simply spread all the primer well on the surface without leaving too much product.

If after applying the first layer of primer we see that it is not well covered, we give it the second. Of course, respecting the drying time between the hands.

Once the entire surface is properly covered with a primer, let it dry and voila, we move on to the next step.

Important note:

If you are going to apply two coats of primer, do not mix the entire primer with the catalyst, because when you start applying the second coat, after waiting at least 6 hours for the first coat to dry, the primer will already become hard on the catalyst and will be useless.

Imagine you bought 500 ml of primer. My advice is to divide it into two parts: 250 ml + 250 ml.

In the first layer, use 250 ml and add the catalyst to the paint. If you then have to apply a second coat, you have another 250 ml that you have not catalyzed and therefore in good condition.

This is very important. When we mix the catalyst with the paint, we will have a few hours to apply the product because it hardens quickly and is unusable. And this is the case with both the primer and the paint.

So do not mix all the paint or the whole primer with the catalyst. Mix only what you will use in that hand.

Fourth step: sand the primer

Now that we have a dry primer, we take a fine-grained sponge and gently run it all over the surface to remove any impurities that may have remained when applying the primer, then clean the surface again to remove all dust get out of this smooth sanding.

The way the sandpaper passes must be very smooth, without injury. Simply remove impurities such as dust or dirt particles that may appear on the surface so that they are smooth to the touch.

That is, if you run your hand over the prepared surface and it feels smooth and smooth, no further sanding is required.

Step 5: Apply polyurethane enamel

Now that we have the steel coated and clean, we just have to apply Acripol polyurethane. That is, the color in the selected color.

The way of applying the paint is exactly the same as what we did with the primer.

We give it layers until it perfectly covers the entire surface, respecting the drying time between layers.

And also, between hand and hand, we sand gently, as we did with the primer, so there are no impurities, and the surface is perfectly smooth and well-painted.

And voila, we already have well-painted steel. If we do, we will have no problems in the future.

If you think this article might be of interest to a friend or relative who needs to paint steel, share it. Thanks!

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