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How To Paint Over Powder Coatings

Power coated surfaces are tough to cover over as conventional paints won’t adhere to the surface – our 3-step guide below explains how to save time and money by using Zinsser products to prepare, prime and paint over powder coated surfaces, including “how to paint over powder coated metal“. Click here to skip recommended products and to continue reading.

Surface Preparation Products

Decorative Finish Topcoats

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Zinsser Paint Over Powder Coatings Products

The Benefits

Zinsser listens to contactors and develops new products – or adds features to existing products – to meet their changing needs, delivering world class products that meet “real world” challenges, providing tried and tested solutions to painting problems, such as painting over powder coatings.

Conventional paints won’t adhere to surfaces covered with a powder coating, and removing them requires strong solvents, abrasive blasting, or burning off the coating – all time and money that could be better spent elsewhere when opening a new businesses premises, or redecorating a property for sale or the rental market.

Luckily, Zinsser have developed products that are cost-effective and quick to apply and dry, simply painting over a suitably prepared powder coating to seal and prime the surface before finishing from a selection of 4,000 colours.

Step 1. Surface Preparation

Clean down the surface and ensure it is dry and free from anything that could interfere or affect adhesion of Zinsser products and materials to be applied. Remove loose and failing material from the surface through scraping or brushing, using a stiff-bristled brush, to a sound edge before feathering with a fine-grade abrasive paper.

Remove all visible signs of organic growth and use Zinsser Mould Killer & Remover, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, to treat the affected areas and allow to dry.

If any sound paint remains, clean the area down with Zinsser Universal Degreaser & Cleaner to remove any remaining contaminants and rinse with clean water thoroughly before allowing the surface to dry.

Step 2. Priming

Best primer for painting over powder coat?

Prime all over with one full coat of Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer Sealer in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, allowing a minimum 1 hour drying time (in normal drying conditions).

Step 3. Decoration

What paint to use over powder coat?

For decorating interior surfaces, use two full coats of Zinsser Perma-White Interior Matt, Satin or Semi-Gloss, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, with a minimum of two hours drying time between coats.

On exterior projects, Zinsser AllCoat Exterior Satin or Gloss can be used to decorate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, allowing a minimum drying time of 1 hour between coats.

Both Perma-White Interior and Allcoat Exterior are ultimate performance paints providing up to 15 years of protection to surfaces, and are available more than 4,000 colours from RAL and & BS.

More Information

If you require more advice on painting over powder coatings, give our technical team a call on 0113 2455450 (option 2) or send a message to [email protected].

Further Reading

More resources on the topic of painting over coatings on metal:


  1. Hi
    I wanted to spray paint an aluminium canopy that has been powder coated . There is some raw aluminum showing but mostly just powder coated . Can you advise if I can do this without stripping of all the powder coat .

    • Hi Ian,

      Thank you very much for your question and for taking the time to read our blog. To be able to assist effectively our Technical Team will need to know the scale of the canopy i.e. m² area and if you are painting the structural aspect or the roof/rained on aspect. Please could you send this information along with some photographs to [email protected] and our team will be happy to assist with your enquiry.

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

      Many thanks

  2. Can sheet metal that is factory powder coated be painted over without sanding the surface if primed with Zinsser 1-2-3 then sprayed with high gloss exterior paint? The sheet metal is the exterior surface of the sides of a Mardi Gras float so it will be exposed to the elements (sun, extreme heat, rain in Louisiana).

    • Hi Terri,

      Thank you very much for taking the time to read our blog and for your question. Unfortunately due to the difference in temperature and humidity from the UK to Louisiana, on this occasion we would recommend contacting a supplier within the US for assistance for this application.

      Apologies we couldn’t help this time and please feel free to get in touch if you have any further questions.

      Many thanks

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