Rustoleum Galvanized Metal Primer Review

If you have ever carried out a painting project on galvanized metals before, you will know that paint hardly sticks. If you are successful with applying the paint evenly on the surface, after a while, when exposed to sun and weather changes, it starts to peel.

So why is this so?

Galvanized metal is steel that has been coated with zinc to prevent corrosion. Unfortunately, the layer of zinc on the metal rejects paint and will not bond with it.

There is no better way to improve the adhesion between paint and a galvanized surface without an ideal primer. Rust-Oleum happens to have some few primers that can do this.

So in this article, we will be making the Rustoleum galvanized metal primer review and highlight all you need to know for painting galvanized steel effectively.

Do You Need To Prime Galvanized Metal Before Painting?

Rustoleum Galvanized Metal Primer Review

Priming galvanized metal before painting is not compulsory depending on the type of paint you use.

If you use acrylic latex paint on galvanized steel, certainly, it will not stick. Whatever paint you use, it makes sense to prime the surface before applying paint. So the primer will be compactable with the surface and with the paint simultaneously.

For paints that adhere to galvanized metals, it is still ideal to prep. However, it requires less prep work and will adhere better.

Always endeavor to use the right paint for the right primer. Also, when working with galvanized metals, avoid using alkyd-based paints or oil-based primer.

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Rustoleum Galvanized Metal Primer Review

1. RUST-OLEUM 8781502 Gray Galvanized and Aluminum Primer

Whether for galvanized metal or aluminum, this is the perfect primer to use for your project. It offers excellent adhesion on aluminum and galvanized metal, where normal primers will not adhere.

The choice of color for this primer is applaudable because a grey color can be easily painted over with few layers of coat. It is made from a specially selected formula that offers low odor. This primer is easy to clean, using just soap and water.

This primer is latex-based. This means that you can conveniently paint galvanized materials using latex paints that have initially been proven to be incompatible.

With the special formula that boasts of its superior adhesion, if it offers tight bond, thus resisting blistering, flaking, or peeling paint.

So what’s more? It offers good coverage as it covers up to 90 sq. Ft. depending on the surface. It dries fast to a flat sheen finish, making your job professionally done.

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Whatever type of application you intend using, it will adapt to it. Whether spraying or brush application, RUST-OLEUM 8781502 will work the way you expected.

  • Cleans up easily with soap and water
  • Dries quickly
  • Adapts to whatever method of application
  • Low odor
  • Offers great coverage
  • Perfect for aluminum and galvanized metals
  • Provides the ultimate durable finish
  • It works for both water-based and oil-based paint
  • Clogging of your spray gun may be experienced if you do not thin it in the right proportion
  • Some customers complain of poor shipping as the product arrives with little damages

2. Rust-Oleum 7584838 Spray Paint Primer

If you love spraying paints and primers as against using brushes and rollers, then this one comes handy as it saves you the stress and hassles of thining before loading into a spray. It is available in a spray can measuring 20 ounces.

It gives you an elegant design and Finishes on the surface being primed. This primer, just like other primers, offers excellent adhesion.

If you intend restoring your galvanized steel sheet, fences, and other structures made from galvanized metal, then this is the right choice.

It offers a zinc-rich coating so it can blend with a galvanized surface. It’s designed to easily blend with the surface being prepared and give you a perfect finish. The appearance will look like the original metal.

Apart from being a primer, it also offers great protection against rust.

If you also wish to galvanize ordinary steel, you will find this primer effective in achieving this.

  • Rust Preventive
  • Offers great adhesion
  • Elegant design and finish
  • The zinc-rich coating also helps for DIY galvanization
  • Offers good coverage
  • Defective spray cap on some of the containers

How to Prime and Paint Galvanized Steel Using RustOleum

Rustoleum Galvanized Metal Primer

Our Rustoleum galvanized metal primer review features two products. One that comes in a spray can and another that comes in a paint container. You can use the following step to prime and paint your metal using any of the products mentioned above from Rustoleum.

Clean and prep the surface

Since most galvanized surfaces hardly corrode, in most cases, priming may almost not be necessary. However, you have to prime. So clean the surface to remove particles. You can use a brush for this to scrub on the surface. You do not want to apply primer on a surface contaminated with particles.

Read Also: How Oiling Can Prevent Rusting

Prime the surface

Use any of the primers we have reviewed here on the surface, using your preferred method of application. We however, also recommend spraying, especially for large surfaces.

The formula from the primer will react with the metallic zinc coating and create a strong bond with the surface as you allow it to dry.

Choose a type of paint and paint over the dried primed surface

This is very important. If you use the wrong paint for a primer, the purpose will be forfeited. Like we have stated before, always use the right paint for the right primer.

Paint the surface

After allowing drying under the sun for a few hours, you can now apply the paint. Painting galvanized steel is simple and requires less experience to get it done.

Frequently Asked Question

Will Rustoleum paint stick to galvanized metal?

Rustoleum has got a wide range of paint, including oil-based paint and acrylic paints. We are not sure if there is anyone in their collection that is made for galvanized metal. We however, do not encourage painting directly on galvanize sheets or surfaces without using an ideal primer.

Is galvanized steel rustproof?

Galvanized steels offer high resistance to corrosion and rusting. But there is a limit to this because it may not last infinitely. Coating the surface with primer and paint will help improve the resistance.

Can Rustoleum galvanized metal primer be used on other metals?

It can’t be used on other metals. There are a lot of different primers for different surfaces and purposes. So it is wise to always use the recommended one, after all, they are not expensive.

What is the best primer for galvanized metal?

Water based primers such as Kilz 2 or Zinsser 1-2-3 Latex Primer will adhere properly to the galvanized metal finish and create a solid paintable surface.

Will Rustoleum primer work on galvanized metal?

Rust-Oleum® Stops Rust® Latex Aluminum Primer provides excellent adhesion on aluminum and galvanized surfaces, and it cleans with soap and water. Cold Galvanizing Compound provides maximum rust protection when applied to prepared, clean, unpainted sheet metal, spot-welded metal or any galvanized surface.

Why can’t I use rustoleum on galvanized metal?

The truth is that paint will not adhere to galvanized steel. The layer of zinc left on the metal after the galvanization process is meant to reduce corrosion, but it also rejects paint, eventually causing it to peel or shed.

What does rustoleum rusty metal primer do?

Rust-Oleum® Stops Rust® Rusty Metal Primer stops rust and prevents corrosion. Apply to heavily rusted metal (use Rust-Oleum® Stops Rust® Clean Metal Primer on clean or lightly rusted metal). Bonds tightly to rust to form a surface top coats can adhere to.

What type of paint will stick to galvanized metal?

acrylic coatings
Most acrylic coatings will adhere directly to cleaned galvanized metal. A weathered galvanized surface develops a layer of white rust, which must be removed to ensure good adhesion of the coating.

What is galvanized metal etching primer?

A wash primer, or self-etching primer, uses a metal conditioner to neutralize surface oxides and hydroxides, as well as etch the galvanized surface to provide a surface suitable for painting. Wash primers are not typically compatible with vinyl, lacquer, or rubber paints.

Do I need to prime galvanized steel before painting?

We recommend priming the surface before painting. However, paints that are made for galvanized steel do require less prep work and adhere better than other types of paint. Our one pro tip here is to stay away from alkyd-based paints or oil-based paints as those may not work well for the project.

How do you stop galvanized metal from rusting?

The most important step in preventing corrosion on galvanized steel is keeping it out of environments where it is exposed to substances with a pH below 6 or above 12. One side of this requirement is that it is important to keep galvanized steel out of acid rain.

Can zinc coated metal be painted?

If you want to paint zinc-plated metal, pre-treat it with a primer, specifically formulated with acidic qualities that allow it to etch durable zinc plated metallic surfaces. Apply the base and finish coats, using the proper brush, or the finish may dry marred with brush marks.

Can I paint over Galvanised metal?

Can you paint over galvanised steel? Hot Dip Galvanizing by itself is a long lasting, cost effective means of corrosion protection. However, galvanised steel can be painted for the following reasons: add colour for aesthetic, camouflage, or safety purposes.


Thanks for going through our Rustoleum galvanized metal primer review. We hope you did find it informative and useful in determining if you should go ahead to purchase one.

Galvanized steel is a great product to use for a variety of projects, tools, and household equipment. It is a proven fact that in North America, 69% of steel is recycled each year.

So if you have fences, handrails, building frames, and other items made with galvanized steel, you should be proud and confident of durability.

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