6 Tips for Painting a Metal Shed

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What You'll Need
Paint
Metal primer
Sandpaper
Body filler
Scraper
Paint sprayer
Eye protection
Respirator
Gloves
Metal shed

A metal shed doesn't have to be an eyesore in your backyard or garden. There are several ways you can give your shed a face-lift without having to spend too much money or completely redesigning your garden. One of the simplest ways to change the look of your metal shed is to paint it. Below are some helpful tips you can use when painting your metal shed.

Properly Clean and Sandblast

Before any painting job, preparation is important. Prior to starting you should thoroughly clean the surface of the metal structure from any dirt, grease, or impurities using a degreasing detergent. If your shed has existing paint on it, you will need to scrape off any that is flaking and sandblast the finished surface smooth. Cleaning and sanding your outbuilding will help your new paint adhere to the metal surface properly and make it look good. Nothing else shows up imperfections in metal like paint.

Repair any Dents

If your metal shed has any dents or other damage, it is advisable to make repairs to correct these problems before you start painting. By repairing the dents in your shed, you can end up with a smooth, flawless-looking surface on your metal shed. You can use an auto-body filler to fill in any dents on the surface. Allow the product to dry before you handle the surface. It is also important that you sand the areas where you use the filler to create a smooth, even surface.

Apply Rust Neutralizers

To slow down and prevent the formation of rust on your metal shed, apply rust neutralizers or chemical rust-preventive products. These products will also reach areas on your shed that the sandblasting was not able to reach. Always allow the product to dry completely before you apply any primer.

Use a Metal Primer

There are generally two types of metal paint primers that you can use on your shed--red-oxide zinc chromate and zinc chromate. Use the zinc chromate if your shed is made from aluminum or any light alloy. The red-oxide zinc chromate is best used for steel, ironworks, and galvanized steel. The primer should be allowed to dry for at least 24 hours before you start painting. Never sand any surface that has already been painted with the rust neutralizer, otherwise, the product will not work properly.

Use Oil-Based or Lacquer-Based Paint

Always use an oil-based or lacquer-based paint when painting your metal shed. This will help seal the rust neutralizer you applied to the surface. However, you should never use latex paint on the exterior for any reason.

Use a Spray Gun

When painting your metal structure, it is best to use a spray gun rather than a paintbrush. This will help you achieve an even paint finish, and it will also help prevent any paint from dripping. Remember that you cannot sand a surface that has already been painted with rust neutralizer and primer. Also, painting a metal shed will generally use a large amount of paint. Using a spray gun will minimize how much paint you will need to get the job done.