how to prevent spray paint from chipping off metal

How to Keep Spray Paint from Chipping off Metal

Do you know how to keep spray paint from chipping off metal? If not, that is precisely what you’re going to learn today.

A coat of spray paint is a great way to revive wear and tear from hindering the shiny metallic surfaces of metals.

But, experiencing paint chipping off from your concluded painting project can be disheartening. Such experience may discourage you from investing your time on another painting project.

One of the reasons why paint may chip off metal is because it didn’t adhere to the painted surface the way it should.

Let’s learn how to prevent this!

How to Keep Spray Paint from Chipping off Metal

How to Keep Spray Paint from Chipping off Metal

Did you notice some paint chipping off your concluded paint projects? After all that devoted time and effort. Saddening right? I bet you are asking what did you miss out.

The solution to how to keep spray paint from chipping off metal might also lie in the material you used. For example, what type of spray paint did you use? Not all spray paints are suitable for painting metals.

This reason and many others can cause paint from adhering to the metal surface. Hence this causes paint to chip off metal.

Now let’s look at the reasons and the solutions.

Why Sprayed Paint May Chip Off Metal

Reason #1: Improper Surface Preparation

Before painting metal, proper surface preparation goes a long way to guarantee a perfect finish. It also helps paint to adhere to metal surfaces.

The presence of unwanted debris on metal surfaces interferes with the paint bond and may lead to paint chipping off.

Solution: Surface preparation means. Applying the right cleaning procedure until the surface is free of any nastiness (rust, dirt, specks of dust, mold, grease, oil, or debris).

Although the typical go-to surface cleaner is a wet cloth, soap, and water cleaning solution, the choice of clean up solution and materials varies and is dependent on the type and severity of the stains on the surface.

For very stubborn stains, I recommend that you soak and wash your metal for at least 10-15 minutes in a mild soap/water solution. Then rinse thoroughly to remove any residual toxins as this contributes to paint chipping off.

Avoid touching the cleaned up metal surface with bare hands – it leaves grease behind.

You may want to protect your work area from wind, as this may blow more dirt on your already cleaned surface.

Reason #2: Incompatibility between the surface topcoat and the paint

While painting on a metal that is in good shape (without rust), some people sand away the top layers of coats and stop when it reaches its original primer. This method is not wrong, but it might threaten the compatibility between the existing topcoat and the paint.

There are some commercial paints that you can apply directly on any surface. Depending on the type of paint you are using; also, you may still need a compatible spray primer designed for use on metals.

Solution: To avoid incompatibility, perform a test on the existing paint.

I recommend performing a quick sanding rough up technique in an inconspicuous area. Then apply the paint.

After you have completed the metal surface preparation, the sanding, it is vital to remember some pro tips to ensure a paint chip-free finish.

Read Also: Best Gasoline Resistant Paint

Apply the paint in light coats and layers

Sometimes when painting, to downplay the work time and play a smart one, the temptation might arise to apply thick coats of paint at once. Thick layers of paint coat will cause sloppy paint that may chip off later.

Applying paint in thin/light coats (three coats preferably) will guarantee the best finish and protection on your metal.

Protect it

A good top coat will give your painting job more reliable and durable protection and also a final polished shiny look. Apply topcoat with a good quality brush or spray on it.

Let it cure

Allowing paint to cure is to let the solvent dry off completely before touching. The rate at which paint cures is dependent on the weather. Low humidity equals a faster dry time and vice versa.

Also, the golden principle of applying paint in thin/light layers will determine the dry time. More lightweight paint coats result in faster dry time and vice versa.

A half cured painted job may lead to paint peeling or chipping off.

Read Also: Can Acrylic Paint Be Used on Metal?

How to Prevent Paint From Chipping off Metal

why sprayed paint chips off metal

If you suspect your paint is chipping off from an already painted metal. All hope is not lost. These are the necessary steps to tackle this problem.

The first step is to check out and clean the surface area. Sometimes it’s almost impossible to tell the severity of a bad situation by mere looking. A proper inspection of the affected area will save time.

This inspection will identify smaller spots that could chip off later.

Clean the paint debris off the affected area by using a solution of boiling water and vinegar or baking soda.

Sand the area. Sanding will protect the affected area against further peeling. Use 1200-grit sandpaper to smoothen out the surface.

Prime the area to help the paint bond powerfully to the surface.

Re-paint the affected area. For a perfect finish, apply three layers of paint coats to the primer. Ensure to apply thin, even coats of paint, and maintain the dry time in between coats as recommended by the manufacturer. Applying even coats will help in achieving a perfect finish.

How do you seal spray paint on metal?

Now follow the steps below:

  • Test the spray paint nozzle.
  • Shake the can while you go to the front of the box.
  • When the item is painted, gently close over the box front and lightly seal it with masking tape to prevent dust and bugs from sticking to your work.
  • Wait until you’re sure the paint is absolutely dry.

Will spray paint chip off of metal?

I have found that prep-work is key when using spray paint on metal furniture. While painting, it helps to use 2-3 coats (let the paint dry after each coat). Something else to consider- cold weather can effect the drying process. The combination of cold metal and spray paint can lead to chipping.

How do you keep spray paint from coming off?

Put a dab of water-based on, a big dab, because small ones will always rub off. So as big as you can make it in an inconspicuous area. Allow to dry for at bare minimum one day, then try to rub it off. If it does not stick try oil; do the same test.

How do you seal spray paint?

After the item you spray painted is completely dry, depending on the sheen of paint used, you can apply a clear coat over spray paint. If you use high gloss, semi-gloss and you want a shiny finish, you really don’t have to seal it. If using a lower sheen you can seal with a water-based sealer like Minwax Polycrylic.

Can you spray clear coat on metal?

EverBrite’s protective clear coating solution can preserve as well as restore up to 250 square ft of metal. The coating is quite tough and durable and can help you protect metal surfaces from chalking, oxidizing, and UV ray damage. EverBrite can be applied to copper, aluminum, stainless steel, as well as metal.

Will clear coat stop paint from chipping?

Yes, polyurethane can be used as a protective coating over paint. It will protect the paint from chipping and peeling. There are some more things you should know about polyurethane before using it for your project.

Why is my spray paint flaking?

Peeling normally occurs when the primer, basecoat or topcoat is applied and has not adhered properly. One or more layers of paint separate from one another and start to peel away. A common cause of peeling is when the surface has not been appropriately prepared.

Is there a top coat for spray paint?

Most of the time, spray painted pieces don’t need any extra protection. That being said, if you spray paint something and want to make it really glossy, you can spray a clear gloss topcoat on it to achieve the look. Spray a gloss topcoat or any other spray topcoat on in light coats.

How long should spray paint dry before clear coat?

Clearcoat Spray Paint

Allow 30 minutes after base coat color has been applied to apply the clear coat. Apply 4-5 wet (but not dripping) coats waiting 10+ minutes in between coats. Each coat should be dry to the touch (not tacky) before moving on to the next.

How do I make sure my spray paint doesn’t chip?

Protect it.

I like to use Protect or a polycrylic. With this step, you can also use a paint sprayer or a high-quality paintbrush. A good topcoat will make your paint job stronger and hold up against little circuses that may be roaming around.

How do you harden spray paint quickly?

Here are seven options to speed up how fast your spray paint dries.

  • Use Thin Coats.
  • Lower the Humidity.
  • Create Air Circulation.
  • Run a Heater Nearby.
  • Paint Outside on a Sunny Day.
  • Coat Spray Paint with Furniture Polish.
  • Curing Spray Paint in Oven.
  • Metal.


Although it is not always a must to get a perfect finish when spray painting, after all, it is a DIY paint project, not a Pro painting project.

Yet, a perfect finish will guarantee you a more durable and beautiful result. I hope this guide has convinced you that it is quite simple to get that perfect finish.

This guide on how to keep spray paint from chipping off metal provides you with solutions. Follow this guide, and that is all the magic you will need to achieve a perfect finish on your next spray painting adventure.