Can you Paint Galvanized Steel or Not?

Can you Paint Galvanized Steel or Not?

Photo from Canva

The sliding panel, roof flashing, steel walkways are all made of galvanized steel. Yes, they’re everywhere. Even some of your furniture is made of this material.


And just like everything else you want to paint the furniture made of steel. But wait is it even possible? A lot of people don’t know about it and you might be one of them.


That’s why in our article we’ll discuss the question: can you paint galvanized steel? And if the answer is yes how do you do it? Don’t worry; we’ll discuss that as well.


So, to find out the answer let’s dive into the topic.

Can you paint galvanized steel?

Can you Paint Galvanized Steel or Not?

Yes, it’s possible to paint galvanized steel. However, it’s a bit tricky. If you simply take a paintbrush and smear some paint across it, it won’t work.


You see galvanized steel means zinc. And our buddy zinc here doesn’t like paint that much. That’s why every time you paint the steel it rejects it.


So, why did we say it’s possible to paint over galvanized steel? Well, because it is. The process is just not straightforward. It’s a bit tricky.


To paint over galvanized steel you have to break its brother-like bond with zinc.


If you want to know how you can achieve this goal keep on reading.

How to paint galvanized steel?

As promised we’ll talk about the tricky process of painting over galvanized steel. But before that let’s talk about the things you’ll need, shall we?

Tools you need

Can you Paint Galvanized Steel or Not?

Photo From Canva

To make your life easier here is a list of all the items you’ll need. Gather those gears up then you can start with the process.



  • Chemical degreaser
  • Sandpaper
  • Vinegar
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush

Step 1- Clean off the steel.

The first thing you have to do is clean the steel properly. You don’t want the dirt to interfere with your painting process now, do you?


So, go and grab a wet towel and clean off all the dirt. Then use a chemical degreaser to make it extra clean. You see, steel needs an extra effort to be thoroughly cleaned.


Once you’re done make sure you wait for the degreaser to dry off completely. This can take from 5 to 15 minutes. So, do have some patience there.

Step 2- Apply some vinegar on the galvanized steel.

After the degreaser has evaporated you can start applying vinegar. Yes, the ones available in your kitchen. Those are the perfect items for this situation.




Because the vinegar you use for cooking is not as strong as the industrial ones. They’ll gently slick off some of the zinc layers without removing too much.


The amount of zinc removed will be perfect. Then your steel will be allowed to absorb the paint without rusting.


So, grab the vinegar and soak it in a piece of cloth. Then rub the entire surface with it till the whole area is covered with it. Then leave it for 1 to 2 hours to let it do its magic.


Once that’s done head right over to the next step.

Step 3- Apply a primer.

For this step, you need a primer. You see the primer will ensure that the paint fits on smoothly over the surface. Otherwise, the surface may look like it was painted by an amateur painter.


So, take your paintbrush, dip it into the primer then smudge it across the wall. Now be careful not to apply a heavy coating. At the same time make sure it has good coverage.


You want to make sure that the paint is not spread out too thinly. At the same time, you have to ensure that you don’t apply too much paint. It’s all about keeping the perfect balance.


To achieve all this simply apply a thin layer of primer and spread it across the surface evenly.


Don’t worry; it’s not that hard. You can practice it in some other place and then try it on the main item.


And once you’re done with the primer let it dry up. This can take from 3 to 6 hours so have a little snack while you wait.

Step 4- Paint the steel.

Has the primer dried up? Then guess what? It’s time to do the main job. Yep, it’s time to paint the steel itself.


Since the zinc layer has now been slicked off the paint will stick right onto the steel like it’s a wall. Sounds amazing, right?


Well, now that your problem’s been solved take a paintbrush and apply the paint. But make sure you paint in long strokes using the tip of the brush to dab the paint onto the surface.


This will give you a smooth and even finishing. That’s all for this step. You have two more steps and then you’re done. So, don’t give up. You’re almost there.

Step 5- Wait for the layer to dry.

This step is all about waiting for the paint to dry. So, you’re in luck. You won’t have to do anything but wait.


But how long do you wait? Well, this depends on the paint you used. Generally, it takes about 4 to 5 hours to dry off completely.


Then again you can simply check by putting your finger on the surface.

Step 6- Apply a second coat of paint.

Once the paint has dried you can get on with the final step. That’s applying one last layer of paint. The second coat will hide all the mistakes you made the first time.


So, just grab your paintbrush and paint one last time. This has to be done the exact way you did the first time.

Final words

To sum it up, it’s possible to paint galvanized steel. However, it needs a few extra works but it’ll be brand new in no time.


That’s all for this article. We hope you got your answer to the question: can you paint galvanized steel.


So, we’ll take our leave now. Have a good day, mate. Cheerio!

Call us direct at Earles Paints on 07 4121 5202 for all the information you need and visit us : Earle Paint Place Maryborough.

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