6 Best Most Durable Paints for Metal Gate & Fence: Outdoor Spray Paints To Use on Steel Surface

Whether you are an expert or a novice in painting your home, painting the exterior metal surface of your home is a bit challenging and tricky.

Due to the smoothness and slipperiness, painting metal surfaces with regular paints is quite difficult. It’s not like that, you take any paint to apply on the rusted metal to look pleasing. You need special/best paint for metal gates or best paint for metal fences — Without the most durable metal paint, it isn’t exactly easy to paint your outdoor metal gates, fence, and metal patio.

Take a weekend to finish your metal paint job and achieve a new glossy look on your metal objects. If you successfully take quality paint for metal, it will keep your metal gates and fence stay strong and protect them from being rusted.

For a quick look, Our Top Metal Paint Picks

  1. Best Paint for Metal Fence – Rust-Oleum Spray Paint for Stopping Rust
  2. Best Paint for Metal Gate – Rust-Oleum High Heat Ultra Enamel Spray
  3. Best Paint for Outdoor Gate – Rust-Oleum Hammered Rust Preventing Spray Paint
  4. Best Paint for Wrought Iron Gates – Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel Paint
  5. Most Durable Spray Paint for Metal – Krylon ColorMaster Paint and Primer

Best Types of Paint for Metal/Iron Surface

Most Durable Oil-based Paints

Oil-based paints are good for painting outdoor metal furniture (Gates, Fences, and other metal patios) without any concern. Those paints are used pigments, alkyds, and sometimes plant oils to make them durable for metal surfaces. Every time they come up in a solvent mode that helps reduce fumes from paint. It also helps to remove stains and protect the surfaces from dents and scuffs. Oil paints have the tendency to fade over time. So, choose a product that has fade-in protection features.

As you can see, oil paints don’t contain any water, which lets you apply it directly to the steel surfaces without being rusted. Therefore, if you don’t add any primer, you have to wait 6-8 hours to dry completely.

Faster Drying And Less Fumes Water-based Paints

Though we’re talking about outdoor metal paints, we want to cover indoor metal paints for your consideration. If you want to play with paint for your indoor surface, it will be a wise decision to consider a water-based acrylic metal paint. Remember, It is cheaper, has low fumes, and faster drying capability.

They can help to fix your cracking, dent, and scuffs surface. However, it contains less organic material than oil-based that resists growing mold and mildew. So, it will be a good option for kitchens and bathrooms. But, it can rust the metal for direct use, prime the metal with a water-based paint primer before applying paint.

Spray Paint Cans Give Wide Coverage

I analyzed many people who love to painting with spray cans over large cans. Why? It’s cost-effective, and you don’t need to apply brushes or rollers. That means you can avoid brush bent marks. Both oil and water-based paints can be found in spray applications. In my opinion, metal spray paint can be more effective when painting smaller surfaces (contours, chair legs or poles etc.). If you are planning to paint a large (fence, gate or metal door), it will be ideal for getting a large can.

Top Brands for Metal Objects


If you want to save your metal objects from rust, there is no good one like rust-oleum. Rust-oleum was first founded in 1921. It is made only to protect your power metal patio from being rusted. It is effective and provides long lasting protection for indoor/outdoor metal. Rust-oleum can be used on various metal objects but is beneficial for outdoor metal surfaces (Gate & Fence). This is also done a good job on old rusted metal.

Fortunately, you don’t need any primer or top coat before applying rust-oleum in metal.


Krylon was first seen in 1947 as an aerosol paint. It was popular for its spray paint cans that exempt you from brushing and rolling hassle. Its protective coatings work superb on metal surfaces. As a durable outdoor spray paint, Krylon provides wide coverage, excellent colors, and smooth finish. You can even print artworks on your metal patio furniture. So, if you’re looking to do a small job, then Krylon might be a smart choice.

6 Best Paints To Use On Metal Driveway Gates & Fences 2022

1. Best Paint for Metal Fence, Rust-Oleum Spray Paint for Stopping Rust

Rust Oleum Spray Paint for Stopping Rust

This is what you want on your metal gate & fence. This oil-based color offers the metal body a rust preventing finish. People love to opt this color for outdoor metal furniture among all variants.

Here is why……

The color will be stuck with the metals for a longer period of time. Whatever professionals love to have this enamel paint for giving their metals a beautiful look and are protected.

It comes in a 12-ounce can – That can cover almost 15 square feet. The drying time is very quick 2-4 hours, but we suggested waiting 48 hours for obtaining the perfect result. Also, the paint has two different packages (2 to 6 paint cans in each package). You can easily color 2 chairs and benches with a package of 6 paint cans. After all, you will get a glossy and fantastic outlook.

Abrasion, fading and chipping, whatever your metals are facing, this paint performs excellently against them. Its low-sheen look hides them from being visible. Since it’s weather and corrosion-resistant, its protective coatings let the metals free from rust.

However, you can apply this paint to any type of outdoor metal patio. This is a great hack for homeowners to give a new look to their metal gate and metal fence. If you require a multi-purpose color for both indoor/outdoor, we figure out this Rust-Oleum Gloss Pewter Gray as a good alternative. It provides the same quality with more coverage but less dry time.

  • Great for any kind of metal job
  • Shake the can well to get a better result
  • Very quick to dry
  • Stop active rust and prevent from rusting again
  • Wide coverage with easy to apply
  • Painting on vertical surface can cause flow downward
  • Strong smell

2. Best Paint for Metal Gate, Rust-Oleum High Heat Ultra Enamel Spray

Rust-Oleum High Heat Ultra Enamel Spray

This time we picked the most popular high heat metal paint spray from rust-oleum. It offers the easiest way to protect your outdoor metals from being abused by the sun. Professional home painters recommended this as the best paint for metal.

However, it’s known as thermal rust-resistant paint, also you can call it touch up paint. It provides excellent color retention on continually heating and is designed to work on external metals. This product gives a durable semi-gloss finish on the surface.

Though it has a premium glossy look, it smells strong. So, make sure you leave the window open and wear a mask.

What else?

It can withstand high heat temperatures (1200 degrees). Those features stop rust and provide deep protection. It’s enough to apply 2 to 3 coats but takes time (20-30 minutes) to dry between coats. Use a high temp primer underneath the paint for a long-lasting result.

If you’re dealing with high temp and traffic areas, this is ideal paint to survive. Besides, it’s corrosion-resistant and waterproof paint for metal. This paint isn’t recommended to use directly on the flame application.

  • Useful for interior and exterior metal
  • This thermal resistant paint ideal for high temperature
  • Quick dry between two coats
  • Weather and rustproof
  • Spray tip is easy to use
  • It has strong odor
  • Not best uses on plastic

3. Best Paint for Outdoor Gate, Rust-Oleum Oil-Based Hammered Rust Preventing Spray Paint

Rust Oleum Hammered Rust Preventing Spray Paint

This is an amazing paint to use on painting metal gates. Among all Rust-Oleum paints, it provides a dark finish with a beautiful hammered texture. This oil-based hammered paint has the popularity to paint indoor and outdoor gate.

The paint has good practical coverage with thick coats. If you apply two coats, it can cover up to 10-15 sq. ft. of your gate, and one coat likely gives 20-24 square feet of coverage. Minimum 2 coats required for getting the hammered looks. And wait 30 minutes between the two coats.

Not Satisfied with the coverage!

Here is another Rust-Oleum hammered metal finish color for covering up to 100 sq. ft. of your house.
It takes 2-4 hours to dry before touch. Most of the time, the drying capacity is controlled by the external temperature. So better to keep waiting 24-48 hours before fully cure.

The paint has enough durability to protect your gate and fence against weather effects and corrosion. The metal rusts easily when it comes in contact with air. But, the hammered protective coating helps to get rid of extreme rust.

If you apply this paint to high-traffic areas or outdoors, you’ve nothing to worry about abrasion, fading, and chipping. Also, you can diminish any kinds of imperfection and defects in your meta gate or fence.
You don’t need to apply any metal primer as it has a primer built-in. It’s hard to work with its consistency, but it delivers an excellent finish in the end.

  • Superior coverage on value
  • Quick drying time
  • Hammered texture finish
  • Withstands against weather, UV and rust
  • Provide long lasting durability
  • Sticky consistency
  • Complicated application

4. Best Paint for Wrought Iron Gates, Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel Paint

Rust Oleum Protective Enamel Paint

Again it’s rust-oleum for your metal works. And this time, we are talking about the protective enamel paint. This metal primer is the best enamel paint for your wrought iron fence or gate. This is a good product at a low price with a high gloss finish.

Its oil-based formula can cover rusty areas and protect the wrought iron gates or wrought iron fence against them. Moreover, the primer is adjustable in any weather condition and prevents corrosion on exterior surfaces like garden ornaments, garden fences, iron fences, and other ferrous metal or galvanized sheet metal.

As an oil-based paint, it’s harder to work but worth the effort. It takes 2-4 hours to dry. The drying time hardly depends on the exterior environmental condition. That means paint consistency has an effect on it.

This paint can cover light rusty areas, even a heavy one with just one coat. But, two coats between 2 hours is ideal for long-lasting protection and a beautiful outlook. An extra coating helps to hide any scratch and imperfection of your metal surface.

The prime also has excellent adhesion and cover for any top coat. You can cover almost 90 sq. ft. of your metal object. Besides the metal surface, it has a nice catch-up with other textures like wood, concrete, masonry and many more.

It provides a flat white finish for any top coat. If you want some different color variations (flat black & brown) with the same features, have a visit to Rust-Oleum 7776730.

  • Faster drying ability
  • Prevent rust like magic
  • Available to cover large areas
  • It help the finish coat adhere properly
  • Consistent stickiness on metal
  • It’s not stick well on galvanized metal
  • Less durability on high heat surfaces

5. Best Spray Paint for Metal Gates, Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover

Rust Oleum Painters Touch 2X Ultra Cover

If you have never used spray paints on your metal gates, you might try it once. Let’s introduce our exclusive listed rust-oleum 2X paint. It has great coverage and color variation that is exactly what you love.

This metallic spray paint color brings out a beautiful finish to your metal furniture and metal railings. It worked out great on different steel surfaces and provided a lovely vibrant outlook with 16 different colors.

2X (double cover) ultra cover technology provides quality finish and speeds up projects. Compared to other Rust-Oleum paints, it has premium value and great durability.

It comes in a 12-ounce spray can, which can cover around 12 square feet. And the drying time is exactly 20 minutes after you finish, but we found it takes almost 48 hours to cure fully. Surprisingly, the double coverage technique reduces the home painting time in half compared to others.

The paint has a built-in rust inhibiting primer, which means the surface does not need priming separately. Don’t worry about peeling and chipping off paint. The only thing you need to do is stroke those tricky surfaces with this paint.

Keep a few things in mind…

Continue to shake the can every time you spray on the surface. The more you shake it, the more consistent results you will get. Keep shooting your paint using a broad sweeping motion, it will help you achieve a smooth coverage in one coat. One last thing, you can sand this paint in wet and dry conditions.

  • A lot of color variation to choose
  • Fast drying capability
  • Double coverage on paint and primer
  • Speedy and easy to use application
  • Low odor
  • Less Coverage

6. Most Durable Spray Paint for Metal, Krylon ColorMaster Paint and Primer

Krylon ColorMaster Paint for Metal Gate

If you want glossy rusty metal paint protection, you will be happy with the result of this Krylon ColorMaster spray paint. It comes with primer, so you don’t need to apply any basecoat underneath. Moreover, this paint is suitable for any indoor or outdoor surface.

It has 12 oz paint capacity, which gets the job done on various surfaces (metal, wood, glass, and plastic). The drying time (less than 10 minutes) is so fast, like what they said. But let it cure for a while and you won’t be disappointed! Toughest clear coat, probably the best spray paint we’ve ever seen.

Shake the can for two minutes before each application and make sure outdoor temperature and humidity level are low enough.

The paint is super tough and durable to protect the underneath surface. Applying a top coat will make it more durable. Its glossy outlook doesn’t hide the beauty of the underneath surface. So, whatever condition of your surface (scratch or peeling), you will achieve an excellent finish.

It doesn’t smell bad or fades away after a few days. The conical tip makes you feel the comfortable spray on any surface. Don’t apply one coat without surface preparation, it will make a terrible, blotchy finish.

However, if you are new to painting metal, then this is a great product at a lower price.

  • Wide surface range
  • Rust and corrosion protected
  • Offers different color variation
  • Long lasting durable metal finish
  • Top coat must needed for better finish
  • Doesn’t have any stencils

Factors to Consider when Buying Best Paint for Metal Gates & Fence


Everyone wants a durable product – and when it’s all about painting the outdoor object, then you must think about it. After researching a lot, we found that homeowners are applying oil-based paint on metal objects for longevity. And oil-based colors are most preferable to resist the rust & corrosion on metal for a longer time.

It’s a little bit pricey compared to water based face paint. But the long-time protection will deliver the result.

Drying time

Many homeowners complained they had been irritated by the slow drying process. More often, the rain and children spoiled paint before applying the second coat. This is horrible!!

Painting is a time-consuming process, but you can make it dry faster and ready for another short. If you want that, go for a water-based color. Metal can absorb the water-based paint in 10-20 minutes.

Also, water-based paint interrupts to grow mold and rust. But most homeowners do the wrong when applying it. They apply it directly on surfaces, which causes rust after a few days or months. And you can use a rust neutralizer to find the right amount of rust. After that, you should apply oil primer first for a long time of protection.


If you have done one or a few coatings before, I will appreciate you choosing a large paint can. Besides, a novice or DIY artist doesn’t know much about metal paintings. So, spray paints will be a popular solution for them.

It provides a simple and easy application for metal objects. It doesn’t require any brush or roller to mix. They have excellent coverage for small to large metal items.


Rusting on any metal surface is an existing common behavior. When metal surfaces come to the connection of air and moisture, it starts to grow rust on them. Growing rust on the iron gate or aluminum fence gate can do several damages to the surface level.

Protecting those surface paints works as security.

If your living place often remains humid, a rust-resistant metal paint can give you a long term solution.


Painting ferrous metals need lots of consistency for good and smooth metallic finish. A thicker paint is a better choice for more coverage. Not all paints provide thicker consistency.

Metal spray paints are thin and need more coats for full coverage on metal. But a water-based or oil-based can achieve the required result after a few coats. So, go for a best paint for metal that will give your metal a good outlook as well as a thick consistency with excellent coverage.

What Should You Look For When Painting Metal Surfaces?

Cleaning Up The Surface

After working all day long, anyone must look for a smooth and slick finish over their metal objects. So, you have to examine the surface and ensure there will be no dirt, grease, rust, and peeling paint.

If they exist, go to a well-ventilated area and put a mask on your face, use a sander with sandpaper for polishing your metal. Don’t over polishing, it can damage the metal surface and eliminate painting. So, be gentle with the sander. If you see lots of dirt and grease on the surface, remove them using mineral spirits. If you find dirty marks, use metal surface detergent to vanish them completely.

Pull All Loosen and Peeling Paints

Do you want to paint over old metal paint to prevent rust? If not, avoid this process or continue reading. If you notice the old paint, not in good condition, we suggest using a scraper or wire brush or sandpaper for peeling old paint.

“Why do you need to do that?”

If you don’t clean all loose paint, the new paint won’t stick with the surface. However, you can also take help from a power tool (sander). Doing too much metal polishing with it causes bad paint adhesive on metal.

Eliminate Rust

Affected with rust is a common behavior of metal. Painting over a rusted metal doesn’t provide good paint adhesiveness. You need to deal with the rust before you start painting. Check and point all the rust on your metal.

Make sure your metal objects rusted lightly, which can be removed using brush and sanding. If you deal with tough rust, a special rust converter or rust-inhibitive primer can turn the surface paintable.

Restore Holes and Dents

Holes or dents size matter when you are filling them. If the size is small, fill the holes and dents with epoxy composite. The largest holes and dents need more work. You need to fill the edge with epoxy filler and put an inch of fiberglass on it.

Now start sanding from any corner to the middle of the hole and dent. Keep them sanding until they turn into a smooth and slick surface. Finish the process cleaning with mineral spirit.

Priming Metal Surface

Your metal surface needs priming before painting. Whatever it will be (indoor or outdoor metal), you have to save it from being moisture.

If you’re a fan of water-based paint, then keep your emotions away from painting the metal. How many times have you done priming the water-based paint, afterward you can’t make it fully water-resistant. And any moisture present in metal causes rust slowly.

So, oil-based primers will be the best option to avoid rust on metal. It easily sticks with the meal and saves it from growing rust. If you are painting on a wrought iron fence or gate, iron oxide primers provide the best deal. Make sure you apply the primer coat before painting, whether it’s indoor or outdoor.

FAQs On Most Durable Paint For Metal Surfaces

Should I Pressure Wash My Outdoor Metal Gates Or Fences Before Painting?

Pressure washing gates or fences is necessary before starting painting. It’s just not only necessary, you must have to do it when dealing with the outdoor steel surface. They are collecting dirt, dust, grime, rust, mildew, and moisture almost every day. Sometimes, you will see the old paints peeling out. Those are happening because gates and aluminum fence panels are staying outside from when they are made.

An unclean metal surface doesn’t adhere to the new paint properly. So, make sure you clean the surface well enough for affordable painting. Though it’s tough, doing pressure washing makes it easy to clean all metal. Pressure wash is also effective for removing rust. You need to set the PSI between 3000-4000 and correct the techniques for the result.

Can You Paint Over Rusted Metal?

Painting over rusted metal is possible when you fulfill some requirements.

Before painting, you have to prepare the metal gate and fence surface. If you see loose rust on them, remove it first or you will face peeling paint. A primer can help, but remove as much as possible with your bare hand.
When you finish by hand, use a wire brush or sandpaper for removing peeling rust so that it can smooth well and the paint adheres well on the surface.

If you want to paint over extensive rust, you need to prime it with rust resistant oil-based metal primer. If you face light rust, prime it with water. Avoid using strong solvents and let the surface dry completely after priming.

When Is The Right Time To Paint On A Metal Surface?

A warm sunny day of early summer or early fall is the right time to paint exterior metal objects. If you want to finish the paint job perfectly, let the weather support you. Painting at the wrong temperature can ruin your hardest efforts. So, try to paint over 50 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure it dries fast.

Weather doesn’t hear us, it can turn into any condition at any time. Better to keep tracking the weather report before 3 or 4 days of painting. If the rain falls before the day of painting, you have to wait for a couple of days to dry out. Also, keep an eye on the difference of day and night weather conditions. If you see a big difference, the paint will remain uncured with a crack, peeling and less smooth surface. If you see less fluctuations, you will get a smooth, faster dry and cure result.

Is Acrylic Paint Good for Metal?

Acrylic paint is versatile and works great on metal. The faster drying and hard-wearing capability make it unique for applying over any surface. If you are thinking of applying high quality acrylic paint to metal, prepare the surface first.

Acrylic paint can stick with metal for a long time only if you paint correctly. As we know, acrylic is a water-based paint, it will be effective to use a primer before painting. Basically, a primer coat helps acrylic paint to adhere correctly to metal within a short time.

So, our answer is yes! Acrylic paint is good for metal. But you have to follow the whole process if you want good results.

How Do You Get Paint To Stick to Metal?

Homeowners are facing issues of peeling paint on their metal furniture. This is very annoying when paint peels every time in different weather conditions. So applying colors on metal surfaces needs more techniques. If you want paint stick with your metals, follow a few techniques.

How well paint will stick in metal depends on surface types. Like, ferrous metal has the behavior to rust quickly. Use a wire brush to remove them first. Galvanized metals are oily, you need to clean it first. After that, you need to do sand to remove the rest.

Oil-based paint has the best adhesiveness in metal. Applying them directly causes rust at any time. While water-based offers rust free metal for a long time. But, they don’t offer durability and stickiness on various surfaces. So you have to apply a primer before painting to get better results.

Spray paints offer both water and oil-based paint. You can apply it to your needs. They are durable and get stuck with the metal. Do a little favor (clean the surface as much as possible) before applying paint.

How Many Coats of Paint do I Need to Apply?

Usually, it depends on the surface you are going to paint. It may take several coats to get a fine metallic finish. First, make sure that the surface is free from dust, rust, and peeling paint.

Apply two coats of primer on metal. Let it dry for 2-4 hours and apply three coats of paint over it.

The achieving result will be shocking when you finish the paint.

Can You Paint Over Old Paint On Metal?

The key to a successful project depends on preparation. Remove all loose old paints & rusts using a wire brush or chemical rust remover. And sand the metal to obtain a smooth finish. Otherwise, new paints will not stay too long on the surface. With a little time and effort, you can save extra money painting over old metal paint.

Leave a Comment