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How to Paint Galvanised Metal

Galvanised steel enquiries to Rawlins Paints often fall into 1 of 3 categories; those wanting to paint already galvanised steel, repairing damaged galvanising, and those wanting to paint mild steel to be galvanised. Click below to be taken to the relevant section for your requirements:

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For general painting of stainless steel, clean and degrease with methylated spirit, lightly abraded and apply 2-3 coats as required of Bradite One Can Matt or Eggshell in the colour/finish of your choice (2,400+ colour options available). White salts on weathered galvanising must be removed during cleaning and degreasing. Light surface rusting can be treated with Flag Rust Converter. Heavy rusting to be removed to clean metallic finish (SIS-St 3). For professional use, apply Kolorbond K2 as per its application instructions.

Quick links – click on a title below to jump down to that section

What Is Galvanised Steel?

How Is Steel Galvanised?

Why Should Steel Be Galvanised?

Where Is Galvanised Steel Used?

Can You Paint Over Galvanised Steel?

How To Paint Galvanised Steel

Pre-Treatments & Cleaners for Galvanised Steel

Primers for Galvanised Steel

Direct-To-Metal Paints

Heat Resistant Paints

Cold Galvanising Paints

Zinc Rich Primers for Mild Steel


What Is Galvanised Steel?

Galvanised steel is a clean steel with zinc metallurgically bonded to the surface, completely covering the steel with a protective coating and giving a spangled appearance. This protects the underlying steel from abrasion and exposure to atmospheric conditions (such as acid rain) for many years, preventing rust that would weaken the structure.

How Is Steel Galvanised?

Hot dip galvanising is where steel components, large and small, are immersed in a vat of molten zinc heated to around 450°C. This forms a strong bond between the steel and the zinc on exteriors, interiors, and hard-to-reach places on immersed structures, with corners and sharp edges seeing a build-up of zinc coating where paints would usually thin. By coating interior and exteriors, structures made from galvanised steel won’t corrode from the inside outwards.

Some steels may not be able to be hot-dip galvanised due to their size, weight, or configuration. It could also be that the steel is already in situ and installed on-site. Although galvanising plants have quick turnarounds and the hot-dip process is relatively quick, deadlines can be missed with steels arriving for construction without galvanising. For these instances we supply cold galvanising paints, and zinc-rich primers for use under intermediate coats and topcoats on mild steel that is not galvanised.

Why Should Steel Be Galvanised?

There are many reasons why galvanised steel is preferred on construction sites by architects, specifiers, and engineers:

Durable and Tough

The durability of galvanised steel provides excellent corrosion protection, one of the best currently available on the market. It provides up to 10 times the abrasion resistance of organic paint coatings and has superior resistance to mechanical damage. Being highly chip resistant, this makes galvanised steel easier to handle, store, transport, and erect on site, helping to prevent damage during construction.

For times when galvanised steel takes a hefty knock on or off-site, Rawlins Paints have cold galvanising coatings for repairs to damaged galvanising.

Galvanising provides prevention of “sideways creep”, a kind of corrosion that can break down paint coatings from underneath, caused by rust deposits accumulating on the steel from damaged and exposed steel.


Galvanised steel structures require little maintenance than steels that lack protective coatings. The zinc coating itself is self-healing and reseals over light damage.

However, the up-front cost of galvanising is expensive on smaller projects. Rawlins Paints stock zinc-rich primers that are very cost-effective for use on mild steel, that can then be coated with intermediate products and topcoats in 4,200+ colours. We also have cold galvanising paints available.


Where Is Galvanised Steel Used?

Give its long lifespan, durability, and superior protection against corrosion and atmospheric elements, galvanised steel is favoured by architects, engineers, and contractors around the world for use in construction:

  • Bridges – for vehicles and pedestrians
  • Structural steelwork
    • Homes and apartments, including beach front properties
    • Offices
    • Industrial units, such as distilleries
    • Stadiums – main stand at King Power stadium Leicester City Football Club, Aviva Stadium in Dublin
    • Leisure centres
    • Car parks
    • Phone signal masts
  • Facades
  • Gates
  • Walkways, ladders, staircases
  • Fencing, chain links
  • Guttering
  • Balconies, verandas
  • Sculptures
  • Agriculture
  • Railways
    • Stations
    • Maintenance buildings
    • Signal gantries
  • Industry
    • Refineries
    • Power plants
    • Wind and solar farms
    • Mining equipment


Structures such as car parks are left open to the elements whilst providing shelter for vehicles and pedestrians. Galvanised steel proved to be an excellent material for use in construction due to its strength and durability, resulting in wider spans for more parking and walking areas, and little maintenance for decades.

Galvanising is also increasingly used in agricultural buildings due to its strength, long protection period, and being hygienic for use around animals. This is vitally important for when cows and other farm animals are sheltered in barns throughout winter.

Can You Paint Over Galvanised Steel?

Yes. Whilst galvanised steel has many benefits, many wish to paint it for aesthetics. This may help to blend in around other structures and existing buildings, particularly if used on an extension. Some areas may require high visibility colours to be used for safety reasons and regulations. Rawlins Paints stock a wide range of topcoats with 4,200+ colours for use on properly prepared and primed galvanised surfaces and mild steel.

Other reasons for painting galvanising may be to provide additional protection, particularly in aggressive environments such as offshore or coastal developments.

However, most paints will not be able to adhere to galvanised steel without the correct preparation of the substrate.

How To Paint Galvanised Steel

You don’t have to stick with the spangled appearance of galvanised steel. Rawlins Paints stock a wide range of coatings in 4,200+ colour options from RAL, NCS, and British Standard with which to paint over galvanising – but correct preparation must be adhered to.

Any paints to be used on galvanised steel surfaces should specifically state they are OK for use on galvanised steel in their product information produced by the manufacturer. Many paints are not OK to use over galvanised steel due to poor adhesion or reaction with the zinc on the surface. Preparation and cleaning is also absolute necessity before applying any coating but can be often rushed or skipped entirely due to the deceptively ‘clean’ appearance of new or weathered galvanised steel.

Pre-Treatments & Cleaners for Galvanised Steel

Galvanising must be cleaned thoroughly. Rust-Oleum Mathys ND14 Cleaner Degreaser is a great general use galvanising cleaner for consumers. It removes grease, oil, proteins, dirt, and many other surface contaminants from coated, mineral, and steel substrates. Very economical, 5 litres of concentrated ND14 will treat a surface of up to 500 m², based on a dilution of 1:20.

Our professional galvanised steel cleaners include Sherwin-Williams Degreaser W500 (formerly known as Envirogard W500), which can be applied manually or through use of a pressure washer.

More professional-use cleaners for galvanising can be found at our store.

Once cleaned and degreased you can prepare the surface for painting. There are below with the most common using T-Wash/Mordant Solution:

4. Blasting – also known as “shot blasting” or “sweep blasting”, is often the preferred method of preparing galvanised metals such as steel. However, this is not always possible to do so; galvanising already installed or in situ may not be accessible, or smaller scale projects may not be cost-effective for blasting.

This mechanical method of preparation is favoured by professional users and removes a minimal amount of zinc oxide from the surface, ensuring it is slightly roughened to aid adhesion. Care and calculation need to be taken into consideration so not to damage the coating, especially on thicker coatings, hence why blasting is commonly left to professional use.

If you are able to prepare galvanising for painting by blasting, we would assume that the project is larger in size and/or requires more significant performance – if this is the case, you should contact our technical department so that we can discuss and recommend a suitable product or system appropriate to your requirements.

3. Weathering – takes a considerable amount of time, often ruling it out from most construction projects. Leaving galvanised surfaces exposed for at least 6 months, ideally 12+, allows contaminants to be removed by rain, wind, UV light, and changes in temperature. You can then prepare with abrasive pads and brushes to remove loose and flaking materials before a hot wash with detergent. This should not, however, be considered where chloride levels are high, such as marine environments.

2. T-Wash and Mordant Solutions – ideal for preparing galvanised steel surfaces for painting, especially where blasting is not an option and weathering would take too long. The process has been used for some time and is the best method to ensure adequate preparation has taken place. The surface will turn black or dark grey to indicate that the galvanised steel surface has been cleaned satisfactorily.

Very economical to use, T-Washing/Mordant Solutions are ideal for consumers and removes the need for specialist (and expensive) primers and paints as the surface will be suitably prepared.

Professional users may wish to skip this step if they cannot blast the surface. T-washing contains acids that attack the galvanised coating and applicators may prefer to suitably abrade galvanised steel themselves and then prime (see further below) or use a Direct To Metal paint – click to jump down to that section.

Mordant/T-Washing consists of applying a phosphoric acid solution containing copper salts to the galvanised steel surface. Areas that have been satisfactorily cleaned will turn dark grey/black, helping identify those areas that which have not been satisfactorily cleaned prior to application of the Mordant/T-Wash. These areas must be re-cleaned and treated again.

This allows consumers and professional users to ensure the entire surface is uniform in colour for it to have been cleaned properly. It is a very effective method of preparation and leaves a roughened surface with a good key for paints to stick and adhere to.

Teamac Mordant Solution (T Wash) is an economical pre-treatment product for galvanising with coverage of up to 40m2 per litre and is ideal for consumer use.

Rawlins Paints also stock professional pre-use treatments such as PPG Sigma Etch, used to help prepare galvanised steel for painting that cannot – or prefer not to – be mechanically blasted. For more professional pre-treatments for galvanising, see our online store.
Once the entire surface is uniform with our consumer or professional T-wash/Mordant Solutions, it should be rinsed down.

1. Primers help topcoats and intermediate coatings adhere to the surface of the galvanising. They can be used without T-Washing or Mordant Solution beforehand, but this means that the cleaning of the galvanising, and application of the primer, must be to an excellent standard.

Primers for Galvanised Steel

How to prep galvanized metal for paint

At Rawlins Paints we have a wide range of galvanised steel primers for consumer and professional use, suiting all needs. If there is something you cannot find or you require more advice on your requirements, feel free to leave a comment on this post at the bottom or contact our technical team directly.

Our consumer-based primers include Coo-Var Water Based All Metals Primer that can be used on interior galvanised surfaces as well as exteriors, by brush or roller. It is fast drying and can be overcoated with most paints.

Click here to find more consumer-friendly galvanised steel primers.

Tikkurila Temaprime EE is a one-component anti-corrosive special primer for professional use on containers, agricultural machinery, and other steel structures. It adheres extremely well to different kinds of substrates, such as steel and zinc, drying fast for quick overcoating within an hour (at 20ºC).

Tikkurila Temaprime EE suffers minimum damage from burning, welding and flame cutting, ideal for use on construction sites. Burnt paint can be easily removed by brushing. Available in 1,000’s of colours!

Direct-To-Metal Paints

These paints can be applied direct to suitably prepared galvanised steel and left as a finish, answering the question “what paint will stick to galvanized metal?”

Zinsser Allcoat paints are very consumer friendly, requiring no primer when used on properly-prepared galvanised steel, and have a huge range of colours to choose from in over 4,200+ RAL, NCS, and British Standard shades. These include popular colours like Anthracite Grey and are designed for long term decoration of almost all substrates.

Zinsser Allcoat is available in different finishes and formulations, or click here to view all consumer paints designed for direct-to-metal application.

Rawlins Paints also stock a huge range of direct-to-metal paints for use by professionals only; this includes the Technispray Kolorbond K2 Set, a unique and durable lightfast two pack PU coating for direct application to galvanised steel.

Kolorbond K2 has many options to provide a truly bespoke painted finish for your galvanised steel. There are 2,400 colour options in RAL, NCS, and British Standard ranges to choose from, as well as the Steritouch range on request, and is supplied in smooth or textured with a matt, satin, semi-gloss, or gloss finish.

As long as the hardener and correct cleaner (Vinylkleen) and degreaser (Windowprep) are used, Kolorbond K2 has a 10 year guarantee on adhesion and 5 years guaranteed colour fastness.

Heat Resistant Paints

Where your galvanised steel surfaces require heat resistance such as in commercial and industry settings like factories, workshops, distilleries, etc, Jotun Solvalitt resists continuous temperatures of up to 600°C.

There is a choice of over 1,200+ colours for use on properly prepared galvanised steel and it can be used as primer, mid coat, or finish coat in atmospheric environments or as a heat resistant coating suitable for insulated and non-insulated surfaces in systems with suitable primers.

Cold Galvanising Paints

One of the more popular enquiries to Rawlins Paints is how to paint mild steel to make it look galvanised. This may be to repair damaged areas of already galvanised steel or to give non-galvanised sections of steel a galvanised appearance and similar protection.

As durable as galvanised steel is, accidents can and do happen on construction sites when erecting structures and installing steel into place – cuts, welds, drilling, knocks, and crane incidents are among those we’ve heard from customers. Galvanising can also be damaged well after installation by vehicles such as trucks and forklifts or struck by other materials.

‘Cold Galvanising’ paints such as those discussed in this blog can provide good protection and similar appearance to that of professionally hot dipped galvanised steel but should not be considered a like for like alternative to it.


Our zinc-rich Cold Galvanising paints can be applied to damaged galvanised steel for onsite and spot repairs. Our consumer-friendly cold galvanising options include Rust-Oleum Hard Hat 2185/1085 Galva Zinc, supplied in tins as well as a handy aerosol can.

Rust-Oleum are one of the world’s most recognised, renowned, and trusted brands in coatings, and with Hard Hat 2185/1085 Galva Zinc you’ll find a high zinc content coating that provides superior protection and durability for metals exposed to the elements or adverse artificial conditions. It can be used as a primer or as a single coat in light industrial exposures, corrosive environments, and high humidity areas.

We have more general use and consumer cold galvanising paints at our online store.

Zinga is a professional one-component anti-corrosion zinc coating system that provides cathodic protection to steel comparable with hot-dip galvanising, with the added advantage that it can be applied as though it were a paint and is certified to not spread flame or create smoke (BS476 parts 6&7).

The system can be used on marine structures, new steel and galvanising, old or worn galvanising as an alternative to hot-dip galvanisation or metallisation, as primer in a duplex system (active + passive) or as a recharging system for hot-dip galvanisation, metallisation or zinganised surfaces.

Click here to view Zinga at our online store, complete with data sheets, or see more professional cold galvanising products here. Be aware that some of our cold galvanised paints can be used for priming, prior to application with a topcoat if preferred.

Zinc Rich Primers for Mild Steel

We stock many professional-use zinc-rich primers that add protection to non-galvanised steel surfaces. These are used to provide a base for a system where similar protection to galvanising is required but hot dip galvanising cannot be carried out. Our primers are for overcoating with intermediate coats and topcoats in 1,000’s of colours.

Jotun Barrier is an excellent example of a zinc-rich epoxy coating for galvanised steel. Conforming to the compositional requirements of SSPC paint 20, level 2. Jotun Barrier provides very good corrosion protection as part of a complete coating system and is to be used as primer in atmospheric environments. Suitable for repair of damaged galvanised steel substrates, it complies with ASTM D520 type II zinc dust and more:

  • Pre-qualification testing in accordance with NORSOK M-501, Rev. 5, System 1, suitable for exterior exposure in offshore environment, below 120°C
  • Part of a complete system that is certified to Network Rail Line Specification NR/L3/CIV/039 – System M20 and N4 (Cert. No. XM92/M20-140 and XN90/N4-077) Item 7.1.3

See more zinc-rich primers for mild steel at Rawlins Paints’ online store here.

This concludes our guide to painting galvanised steel – if you require help with your project, leave a comment below, or contact our technical team with your requirements.


  1. Looked at many sites but nobody seems to cover the best way of preparing old galvanizing in this case a trailer that has been in salt water and is probably 20 years old. It has a sort of encrustation on the surface and a few areas of rust but not much.
    I have some Scotchkote epoxy 152LV paint to use only £124 a pot so I don’t want to make a mistake in prep.

    • Good afternoon John,

      The 3M Scotchkote Epoxy Coating 152LV is not suitable to be applied to galvanised substrates, none of the 3M heavy duty systems are. If the trailer is going to be put back into the water, the surface will need to be abrasive blasted as a minimum.

      Best regards.


    • Lucy De Blasis

      I live in Toronto Canada and am looking to paint my old galvanized metal porch railings need high gloss white. They are in great shape for having been installed over 10 years ago. Just wondering the best primer and paint I can use to do this job? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

      • Hi Lucy,

        I’m afraid we don’t supply paints or coatings outside of the UK, so would be unable to recommend anything in this instance.

  2. I have two dorma windows in the front of my house. One has a copper roof, which is now green with age. The other has a more traditional lead roof. I would like to paint the edge of the copper roof to match the colour of the lead – just will look better. Could you please advise how to prepare the copper surface and which paint am I best that will give a long life. Thank you.

  3. Hi there, I have an old galvanised tin wash tub that I want to turn into a sink for a utility area. I would like to keep the external weathered finish but need to prep and paint the interior with a gloss finish for easy cleaning – what would you recommend? Thank you

  4. I’m roofing a small outhouse with new galvanised corrugated steel sheeting. I’d intended to wash off any grease with a mild caustic solution before installing. When dry and after installation I was intending to paint with a couple of thick coats of solvent-based bitumen. Anyone see any problems. please?

  5. I have an underside of a corrugated galvanized metal roof that is a large overhang on one side of our building. Thus the underside is open to the elements. It was painted many years ago with what seems to have been a latex paint. It is now peeling and chipping in some areas and we’d like to clean it up and repaint. We thought about wet blasting to remove the paint, but perhaps this will damage the galvanizing? What steps would you suggest to bring this back to life with a top coat of color? Thanks for your time!

    • Good morning Brian,

      Thanks for your question, and to answer it:

      Remove oil, grease and all other contamination by alkaline or high pressure (steam) cleaning in combination with appropriate detergents. Remove rust scale, loose mill scale, loose rust and loose coatings by scraping and wire brushing to St 2/3 (ISO 8501-1 : 1988), blast cleaning to Sa 2½ (ISO 8501-1 : 1988) or sanding, followed by priming bare areas of galvanising with Rust-Oleum 3202 Galvinoleum Primer. Sand previous coatings in good condition to provide a key for adhesion and check compatibility. The surface must be clean and dry during application. Then apply 2 coats of Rust-Oleum 7500 Alkythane in the chosen colour and finish to all prepared/primed areas.

      Please let us know if there is anything else we can help you with today. You can follow us on Facebook too, if you’d like to keep up to date with our posts and special offers in newsletters we send out.

      Best regards.


  6. We are buying a boarding kennel and the current galvanised panels and mesh look dull with a few rust patches all still solid.
    What is the best way to make them look shiny and new?

    We also need to paint the concrete floors to seal them, dogs tend to wear the floors quite a lot and they also have to be hygienicly cleaned every day, what is the best hard wearing paint you would recommend for this?

    Many thanks Susie

  7. Wow thanks for so much useful info. Im hanging a vintage light fixture outdoors. The fixture has been refurbished using a gooseneck galvanized pipe and galvanized fitting. I would like to finish the galvanized bits with a satin black paint. Am i good to go using the rustoleum primer and paint you suggest above, would a brush on paint provide better presentation and durability?


    • Good morning Gil,

      An ideal system for smaller galvanised items requiring painting would be Rust-Oleum 3302 CombiPrimer Adhesion followed by Rust-Oleum CombiColor. These both come in aerosol and brush/roller applied versions.

      Let us know here, or on Facebook how the finished result looks!

      Best regards.


      • Thanks very much Mark. it appears that the products recommended are not offered here in the states. Do you think this product*, a latex aerosol, would offer good performance?

        Are you aware of analogous products made by rustoleum that are available

  8. Wow, lots of useful info. I would like to give a face lift to our galvanised metal pig ark. It is weathered but not rusty. I want to paint it in fun colours. I don’t need a perfect finish, but would like it to last a while. What should I use and is prep necessary?
    I can’t find the answer anywhere. What do you suggest? Thanks in advance for your help!

  9. The residents of our village are keen to repaint railings either side at both ends of a road bridge over a stream at the entrance to our village – the Council not having funds for this kind of work. The railings appear to be galvanised metal (steel?) and have been painted some years back, with half the white paint now peeled off. The cross section of the railing is round and about 70mm diameter. The two horizontal rails and about 10 vertical add up to around 100metres of railing.

    How should be tackle this? We have no handy water supply but do have a portable generator and have made arrangements for traffic control. Some idea of cost also useful.

  10. Hello – I have an old galvanized tin/steel washing bath that I want to turn into a wildlife pond. There are areas of minor rust inside it, what is the best way to prime and paint it to hold water?

    Also I would like to paint the exterior, what would you recommend ?



  11. I have a 30 year old large steel Cardale garage door which appears to have a white plastic coating over a galvanised surface. The plastic has almost completely peeled away leaving a very shiny surface. What is the best and most economic way to paint the exposed galvanised door with a white finish?
    Many thanks.

  12. Hi I have an old tin bath which I’d like to use as a bath in my tiny home and wondered what to use to paint inside and outside with thanks

  13. Can you please advise on treatment of a galvanised metal staircase.
    The fixing bolts and some balusters have surface corrosion, however the rest is ok, just dirty.
    Can I clean and treat the corrosion but not apply any decorative coating. Would prefer to leave with just the original galvanised finish as it’s in good condition.

    Thank you for your assistance.

  14. Hi Mark,
    We had a galvanized railing installed in January (about 5 months ago) and were told to hold off on painting it for 6 months. Ostensibly this was to allow some weathering which would then let the paint adhere to the metal but the advice above says it should be out for 12 months. With only 6 months of exposure should we still use the alkaline cleaner?

    • Good afternoon Joe,

      Yes, you should still use the alkaline cleaner.

      Please let us know if there is anything else we can help you with.

      Best regards.


  15. I’m looking to refurbish an existing galvanised steel gate, I will be adding new steel to it also. What would be the best way to prep and paint, and which products should I use. We want it to be black by the way.

  16. Hi,
    I have an old galvanized grain bin that I want to paint. It has some rust and corrosion. What prep work and paint do you recommend?

    • Good afternoon Lori,

      Were there any specific products discussed in this post about surface preparation and painting galvanised steel that you require further information on? Each products’ datasheet will include additional technical information, too.

      If there is anything discussed in this post about prep work and paint you are specifically requesting more information on, we will be happy to assist – but your question is rather broad, as the whole post is about this subject.

      Best regards,


  17. Hi,

    I have a galvanised nissen hut which needs a coat of paint. It has previously be painted in grey but this is flaking and needs to be re-done. Please can you advise me of the best paint to use.

    Many thanks

    • Good morning Charlotte,

      We would recommend Pegarust (here) for this.

      Please let us know if there is anything else we can help you with today.

      Best regards.


  18. I am wanting to paint old (10 years+) galvanized posts that make up the framework of our tennis court fencing. What prep would you recommend and then what primer/paint would you recommend? Thanks!

  19. Hi,
    I have a shed roof covered with 20 year old corrugated steel sheeting. There is a lot of surface rust throughout but its not flaking. What would you recommend for preparation prior to applying a compatible top coat?

    Many Thanks

  20. Hello.
    I am painting a very weathered galvanized steel flagpole and luckily came across your wonderful advice thread! I have gotten lots of bad info.

    I scraped the entire thing with a wire brush, then applied a coat of Rustoleum rust dissolved jelly for several hours. Rinsed and applied vinegar. Rinsed and primed with a thin coat of Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3. It’s directly in the sun an wind and was drying quickly.

    I plan to finish with an acrylic latex gloss white.
    Should I sand and prime again? I’d like this to last. It’s exposed to some heavy weather. Thanks!

  21. Hi
    I have new galvanised gates to paint which were installed last week. They have to be painted in a solvent based undercoat and gloss finish. Could you advise the best primer to use and any prep work which maybe required.

    Many thanks

  22. I have a pair of painted galvanised gates. After 3 years white spots are breaking through the black satin paint.I wish to clean, prepare and repaint the gates in satin black. What method and products should I use.

    • Good morning David,

      Thank-you for your question.

      The white spots referred to are probably just zinc oxidation of the exposed galvanised (zinc) surface. Basically the zinc layer is sacrificing itself to protect the steel resulting in zinc oxidation which presents itself as a white powder.

      This is a cause of concern as usually if the zinc/ galvanised layer is protected with paint then generally you would not expect this problem to occur.

      In our experience it could be that the existing coating is no longer providing adequate protection i.e. is in need of maintenance due to age or perhaps more commonly is not well adhered to the galvanising in the first place due to incorrect specification. Either way the basic principle here is the same;

      The surfaces will need to adequately cleaned (with a proprietary alkaline cleaner) and prepared as needed to remove all defective coatings. Obviously if the coatings are poorly adhering particular attention needs to be given to ensure these are identified and completely stripped off back to a sound surface.

      Once cleaned and prepared the exposed galvanised layer must then be thoroughly abraded with non-metallic abrasive to remove all oxidation and to create a key. It would also be sensible to abrade the entire surface to be painted as well to also provide a key for adhesion.

      Once suitably prepared and the surfaces are clean, sound and dry you can use the following system;

      2 x coats of Tikkurila Temaprime EE in colour to match topcoat

      1 x coat of Tikkurila Temalac FD 20, 50 or 80 in the colour /finish of choice.

      The success of the work will essentially rely on how well the surfaces can be prepared and ultimately on the condition of the surfaces at the time of painting.

      Please let us know if there is anything else we can help you with today.

      Best regards.


  23. I have an oval galvanized stock water tank.
    I want to paint it aqua inside like a swimming pool and fill it with water.
    Are there products that will let me do that?

    • Hi Wayne,

      Assuming the water is normal (i.e. no aggressive or high levels of chemicals, additives, etc.) and is not for human/animal consumption and/or doesn’t require any DWI, WRAS or other approvals we could recommend Sikagard 62 as something to consider.

  24. I have a pair of galvanised steel gates which were painted without a primer or any special preparation just after being made and galvanised a few years ago. The paint has been peeling from many areas, soon after installation, which have now weathered to dullish zinc. I plan to strip the rest of the paint, possibly using a pressure washer before painting. I would welcome your advice on what would be the best treatment once the paint has been removed or all of the paint that will come off has been removed. Will any paint that will not come off at this stage cause a problem with flaking at a future time?
    I would welcome your advice on how to proceed and what the most suitable products to use would be.

    • Hi John,

      Thanks for your query – this blog post answers your question and has links to our recommended products.

  25. Thanks Kyle,
    I had read through the blog post but no posting seemed to match my question and a great variety of products were mentioned. So is the answer to my query
    Rust-Oleum 3302 CombiPrimer Adhesion followed by Rust-Oleum CombiColor
    1 coat of Rust-Oleum 3202 Galvinoleum Primer, then coat all surfaces with 2 coats of Rust-Oleum 7500 Alkythane.
    I did not think the answer was obvious or would not have posted my question.

    • Hi John,

      I’ve checked with our technical support team and they advise that both systems will do the job but the Rust-Oleum 3302 CombiPrimer Adhesion followed by Rust-Oleum CombiColor Original is available in smaller pack sizes and is predominantly used for small, domestic DIY projects.

      Rust-Oleum 3202 Galvinoleum Primer followed by Rust-Oleum 7500 Alkythane comes in larger pack sizes and is mostly used by the professional contractor for more industrial/larger scale projects.

      I’ve put links below to the mentioned products on our store; each has data sheets you can download from the “attachments” tab on their relevant page with application details and more.

      Certainly feel free to come back to us through here if you require more information, or contact our technical team on 0113 2455450 (option 2) or send a message to [email protected]

  26. Thank you Kyle,

    Your reply is extremely helpful and much appreciated, especially information about pack size availability for small domestic projects such as mine. I hadn’t yet considered that aspect.
    Thanks also for the links – very helpful.

    Kind regards,


  27. My garden gates were galvanised 20+ years ago and the paint is worn with a few small areas flaking and very small patches back to the bare metal so I’m planning to wire brush/wire wool to key the old paint surface and then use Rust-Oleum CombiColor Original to re-paint. Reading the other posts I think I need to prime the bare galvanised areas but they are tiny areas so is there any alternative to buying a 750ml tin of Rust-Oleum 3302 CombiPrimer Adhesion which seems a waste for such minimal use?

    many thanks

    • Hi Barry,

      Thanks for your question – we also supply Rust-Oleum 3302 CombiPrimer Adhesion in a 400ml aerosol which is ideal for smaller areas. Hope that helps – let us know if you need any further help, would love a few photos of the project when completed!

      • Thanks Kyle, for some reason I have an aversion to aerosols (probably goes back to some particularly poor results in the past) but I guess in this instance as it’s just a primer it should be ok – does it apply the same thickness as by brush? Guess I’ll give it a go anyway and keep my fingers crossed

  28. I have a 30×50 ft pole barn in need of paint. It’s galvavanized and never been painted. Some areas have no rust and some parts have alot of rust. Alot of different ways online to prep and paint it. I want to make sure l only have to do it once. At least for a long time. Can l just powerwash the whole barn and prime and paint with a primer with a rust inhibitor in it ? If so, what paint and primer would work best ? Being a big job the least steps the better.But also want it done right.Will be using an airless paint sprayer for the job.Thanks in advance

    • Hi Phil,

      Thanks for your question; our preferred system would be the following:

      • 1 x patch coat all prepared rusted areas (after suitable prep) with 1 x Temacoat GPL S Primer
      • 1 x full coat Temacoat GPL S Primer
      • 1 or 2 x coats Temadur 50 as required

      Some observations to be made:

      Complies with ISO 12944 for coating zinc surfaces with High life expectancy.

      Temadur 50 is a semi-gloss polyurethane finish – If a lower gloss is preferred you can substitute with Temadur 20 which dries to a semi-matt finish.

      All products can be sprayed by airless spray but would probably recommend brushing the primer for patch priming. Appropriate PPE must of course be worn at all times and air fed masks are recommended for spraying – Products must be used in accordance with their respective technical data sheets (TDS) and safety data sheets (MSDS).

      By way of preparation this must include thorough washing to remove all contamination, dirt, grease, oil etc.

      You will need to remove corrosion back to bright metal before patch priming.

      Oxidation/zinc salts must also be removed by dry abrading.

      Surfaces must be essentially clean sound and of course dry at the time of painting.

      If we can be of any further help then please do get in touch, either through here on the blog or directly with our technical support team on 0113 2455450 (option 2) or send a message to [email protected].

  29. An energy company has recently installed galvanised metal trunking which runs through the internal stairwell of the 100 year-old tenement block in which I live. It’s an eyesore, and if possible we would like to try to camouflage the trunking by painting it the same colour as the walls. The first question is : is it possible to paint this? If so, what process would you recommend? Lastly, as it is internal, is it possible to use normal gloss paint once the primer has been applied, or is it necessary to use the Alkythane topcoat, as mentioned in some of the posts above? Thanks very much for any advice.

  30. Hello,
    We are planning to use a new oval galvanized stock tank as a bathtub in a bathroom renovation. I want to paint both the outside and the inside of it. What is the best way to approach this project? I have read several posts on the prep but I want to make sure I am using the best paint for this job. Thank you so much!

    • Hi Gabbie,

      Thanks for your question, but we don’t presently have a product to recommend for painting the inside of the tub I’m afraid.

  31. If I just want to darken the appearance of new galvanised metal, can I just use mordant solution T wash to blacken it and not paint it afterwards? will this leave the metal prone to damage and rust in the future?

    • Hi Rob,

      Thank you for your question. From experience, using T Wash would remove some of the existing protection provided by galvanising and therefore the metal shouldn’t be left exposed. Once passivated, this makes the surface suitable for painting.

      Our advice would be that the metal surface would then require painting rather than being left as a finish, to protect the substrate.

      I hope that helps, and feel free to get back in touch if you’d like any further advice.

  32. I have a red (RAL 3003) Novoferm (German manufactured) sectional electric garage door that has developed white ‘hazing’ and wondering which products I need to prepare and repaint it. My understanding is that the door is made of galvanised steel and powder coated.

    The UK manufacturer advised: “The paint used is a German product – if you want to repaint yourself, any good quality galvanised steel paint will work, especially wet-sprayed on after cleaning and rubbing the door down first.”

    I noted that cleaning the door does not remove the white hazing effect, but when it is wiped with some water, the hazing is not visible and the colour looks temporarily restored, but hazes again as the water dries. Will I need to prime it? Any comments about “Wet-spraying”?

    • Hi Roger,

      Many thanks for your question. For this application our best advice would be the following:

      The surface should be abraded well and cleaned down with water – with the aim of removing any dust/chalky deposits from the surface, checking the rag for any contamination before degreasing the substrate with methylated spirit.

      We would then recommend applying 2-3 coats of Zinsser Allcoat Exterior Satin Water Based via brush, roller or airless spray, aiming for a coverage rate of 10m²/L/coat – allowing a minimum of 1 hour between coats (in good warm, well ventilated conditions).

      If temperatures are likely to be less than 10°C during application, Zinsser Allcoat Exterior Satin Solvent Based would be a suitable alternative.

      If there are any areas of bare galvanised metal, then these should initially be primed with Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3.

      Allcoat Exterior Satin Water Based would be suitable for wet spraying as mentioned above without causing any issues during the application process.

      I hope that helps and feel free to get in touch if you have any further questions.

      Many thanks

  33. I have just had my boat anchor chain regalvinized and am looking for a recommendation on a coating system to add chain length marking. It will be used in salt water and hauled through a brass capstan.

    • Hi John,

      Many thanks for getting in touch. For this application the galvanised surface will need to be prepared as per the below:

      Recommended: Sweep blast-cleaning using non-metallic abrasive leaving a clean, rough and even pattern.
      Minimum: The surface shall be clean, dry and appear with a rough and dull profile.

      Once prepared we would recommend the following coating system: Apply a single coat of Jotun Jotamastic 90 at 150 microns followed by a coat of Jotun Hardtop Flexi at 80 microns.

      The topcoat will require regular upkeep as it isn’t designed for submersion and there will be some fairly hefty abrasion on the surface bringing the anchor in and out through the capstan. Without the protective topcoat (Jotun Hardtop Flexi), the Jotamastic 90 will chalk when exposed to sunlight as epoxies are not UV stable.

      Many thanks for your question, and please feel free to get in touch if you require any further information.

      Many thanks

  34. I have three galvanised gates and some fencing at a school to repaint in dark green, its current colour. In some areas the paint has flaked off with the metal now exposed. Please can you advise on the correct procedure/products that I will require to correctly carry out this job of repainting. Thanks

    • Hi Russel,

      Thank you very much for your question. For this project all surfaces will need to be cleaned and degreased prior to application of any paint products. Once clean, we would recommend patch priming any bare metal areas with Rust-Oleum 3202 Galvinoleum before applying 2 coats of Rust-Oleum CombiColor in the desired RAL, BS or NCS colour.

      I hope this helps and please feel free to get in touch with any further questions.

      Many thanks

  35. Hi I’m trying to renovate a shower which the paint has bubbled off the galvanized steel finish. I’ve scraped back the loose material and rightly or wrongly used an emery paper to remove the oxidation and smooth the surface grading the areas that are firmly adhered. I’d like to spray paint the surface in a ceramic white but could I ask what preparation I should carrying out.

    Many thanks Alan

    • Hi Alan,

      Thank you very much for your question. In addition to the surface preparation you have carried out already, we would recommend cleaning and degreasing the surfaces before applying Rust-Oleum 3333 Super Adhesion Primer which is ideal for galvanised surfaces.

      Following this we would highly recommend the application of a 2 pack polyurethane topcoat as a finish such as Rust-Oleum 9200 Rust-O-Thane.

      I hope this helps, please feel free to get in touch if you have any further questions.

      Many thanks

  36. i have a duragal tray off a Toyota Hilux that i would like to paint in a flat mat finish. What would be the best process so that I don’t get chipping paint later on.

    • Hi Joe,

      I’m afraid we need more information as to what the substrate is and how it will be used, before we can recommend a suitable paint.

  37. Hello

    We would like to paint a galvanised cattle trough to use for a garden water feature, ideally also for a few small fish too. Please can you recommend preparation, primer and paint products to do this correctly?


    Many thanks.

  38. Hi lads
    is there a PROPER way to paint a brand new ifor Williams galvanised plant trailer or would you ruin it by doing that

  39. Hi,
    I have a galvanised bodied Vauxhall Movano van. In some areas there are patches of rust, in some the original paint has come away exposing the galvanised metal below. Can you recommend the best way to clean the bodywork? Also the best primer and topcoat, or just straight paint I could apply please?


    • Hi Scott,

      Many thanks for reading our blog and for your question. As the body is galvanised, the areas of rust would need to be mechanically removed with the likes of a grinder before applying any primer. Once the rust has been removed, if the surface is still galvanised then we would recommend priming with Rust-Oleum 3302 CombiPrimer Adhesion Primer before applying 2 coats of Rust-Oleum CombiColor Original.

      If the galvanised finish is also removed during the preparation, then we would recommend Rust-Oleum 3369 is used as a primer in place of 3302.

      I hope this helps and please feel free to get in touch if you have any further questions.

      Many thanks

  40. Good morning……Thankyou for the above article….everything I needed to know in one place
    I have some very large galvanised zinc planters (1.7m tall) that have never been used but left outside for several years. They are very weathered but also quite rusty now
    Could you please advise on the most “economical” route in both time and money to spruce them up
    Unfortunately there are about 20 pieces to tackle
    Thankyou in advance for your help and time

    • Hi Simone,

      Thanks very much for taking the time to read our blog – this is great to hear. For this application we would recommend ensuring the surfaces are wire brushed to remove all rust and thoroughly cleaned and degreased then dried. Following this we would suggest an application of two direct coats of Bradite One Can Matt or eggshell.

      I hope this helps and please feel free to get in touch if you have any further questions.

      Many thanks

  41. I have erected a marquee over a heated outdoor pool. The frame is made of galvanised steel poles which will be exposed to very high humidity/condensation. I wish to paint the poles white and also protect them from rust. What is the best white paint to use in this situation?

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