Paint for metal chairs - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-23-2019, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Paint for metal chairs

My wife bought some metal chairs and wants a different color. She's sanding them and I get to re-paint. I'm thinking I'll spray some kind of automotive primer and paint, but I don't even know enough about auto paint to know what I don't know.

Any recommendations for primer and paint?
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-23-2019, 02:37 PM
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Before you start spraying them better determine if it has been powder coated. The polyester coating is very resistant to being topcoated. If you have one that hasn't been sanded yet you might wipe it with MEK and see if the paint transfers off onto the rag. If it does, then it's some kind of regular paint. Another indication is if the coating has somewhat sharp corners or kind of rounded. Powder coating tend to round corners.

If it is powder coated it's going to be a gamble to paint. Probably your best chance would be to sand it with 180 or finer paper and use epoxy primer. Be sure to read the instructions on the primer. They have a recoat window which usually means once primed you have 8 hours to topcoat or you have to prime it again

If the finish is paint you shouldn't have to prime it at all. Just scuff sand and topcoat. Just be careful of solvents. A paint that has lacquer thinner in it or acetone there is a risk of the existing paint lifting. You might test a spot in an inconspicuous place.
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-23-2019, 02:53 PM
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Use a industrial enamel ......

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Originally Posted by Quickstep View Post
My wife bought some metal chairs and wants a different color. She's sanding them and I get to re-paint. I'm thinking I'll spray some kind of automotive primer and paint, but I don't even know enough about auto paint to know what I don't know.

Any recommendations for primer and paint?

Tractor Supply has great enamels in common colors for use on tractors... John Deere Green, Ford Red, Black, Grey etc.... no fancy colors.


They hold up very well to exterior conditions and come in brush/spray on quarts or spray cans. I use a lot of John Deere green for obvious reasons. Look for runs on the chairs to see if they were spayed or power coated. For best results, keep the spray can moving to prevent runs. Several medium wet coats is better than one heavy one which will run on small diameter shapes. Vertical is harder to do than than horizontal spraying.
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-23-2019, 08:00 PM
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Another vote for an enamel paint, they take a while to dry in comparison to something like a lacquer paint, but make up for it in durability. Honestly, ive had good results with just the rustoleum rattlecans, wouldnt paint a car with it but it works well enough on furniture projects and the like ive never once found myself thinking "man, i should look for something that works better".

Whatever you do, DO NOT forget the primer. I dont care if its clean metal or if the can claims its a 2-in-1 paint and primer, prime it anyways. If the chairs are taken back to bare metal, Rustoleum again sells a self-etching primer meant for use on bare metal that i quite like, it actually eats into the metal a tiny bit when you spray it, does its own surface prep almost. If theres still paint on them, go for the universal bonding primer instead, just make sure to prime the surface before painting.

Honestly, more important than the type of paint is the prep of whatever your painting. Id recommend sanding or stripping back to bare metal, just to get the most optimal surface to paint. After that, thoroughly degrease everything, if these are used chairs you dont know whats on them that could interfere with a finish. If the weathers nice, take em outside, hit them with some dish soap and water and hose em down. Before painting, give everything a wipe with a rag and some acetone, and wear gloves so you dont transfer any oils from your hands to the surface. Once everythings cleaned, hit it with the primer and remember that when it comes to spraying paint, less is more. Thin, light coats are the ticket. After priming, go for painting, and after you paint them be sure to give whatever you use adequate time to cure. Enamel paints take a while, and can be somewhat fragile until they finish curing. Something like an epoxy paint would likely cure faster, but are supposed to be harder to work with, so be sure to weigh which ones more important.

Again, dont skip the prep-work in favor of looking for the best paint, just go with a quality name brand and youll get good results if you start with a good surface
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-24-2019, 01:01 AM
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I painted several metal chairs for family and friends over the years since I done car restorations in the past with my dad while he was alive I got hook on engine enamel especially rust-oleum. My sis and her boyfriend had me paint a couple of metal foldups they used outside about 10 years ago and they are still going strong with a little touch here and there over the years from being fold up and such, even in this Texas weather :)
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