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  • 10 Best Paints for Metal UK 2022 | Rust-Oleum, Hammerite and More 1
  • 10 Best Paints for Metal UK 2022 | Rust-Oleum, Hammerite and More 2
  • 10 Best Paints for Metal UK 2022 | Rust-Oleum, Hammerite and More 3
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10 Best Paints for Metal UK 2022 | Rust-Oleum, Hammerite and More

Sprucing up your radiators, metal furniture or outdoor gates and fences can feel like a huge task, but choosing the right paint will make it so much easier. With so many different options on the market, though, it can be tough to know which to opt for. 


This article will walk you through all the pros and cons of oil-based, water-based and spray paint formulas. Plus, we've got all the information you need on gloss and satin finishes as well as heat resistance and preventing rust. If you're still not sure, take a look through our list of the 10 best paints for metal currently available through Amazon, Halfords, Tesco and Argos.

Last updated 07/08/2022
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Table of Contents

How to Choose Paint for Metal in the UK

Key Points to Consider
  1. Decide Between Oil-Based, Water-Based and Spray Paint
  2. Choose Gloss for High Shine or Satin for an Even Matte Coat
  3. Ensure Your Chosen Paint Is Rust and Heat-Resistant if Necessary
1

Choose Oil-Based, Water-Based or Spray Paint Depending on the Required Durability, Drying Time and Type of Coverage

Choose Oil-Based, Water-Based or Spray Paint Depending on the Required Durability, Drying Time and Type of Coverage

Try an Oil-Based Paint to Prevent Rust or Water Damage on Outdoor Metals

Outdoor metals and areas of high foot traffic will need paint that's as durable as possible to reduce the risk of damage. Oil-based formulas are the best option for this, as they have the highest level of durability. They're generally a little more expensive than other varieties since the mixing process is more complicated, but the result is a paint that withstands water, rust, stains and scuffs. 


Although it's tough, oil-based paint is prone to fading over time, so you may need to reapply a new coat every few years. That shouldn't be too difficult, though, since oil-based paints can be applied directly to surfaces without primer if necessary.

Select Water-Based Paints for Fast-Drying and a Fade-Resistant Finish

One of the worst things about painting inside the house is the intense chemical smell of wet paint. Choosing a fast-drying paint can significantly reduce your exposure to paint fumes and it can be a convenient feature if you want to hurry in for a second coat. 


Water-based paints are the fastest drying variety and they are resistant to cracks, chips and fading. However, they are much less rugged than oil-based formulas. They're best for surfaces that aren't frequently interfered with, as the paint could be more vulnerable to damage in high-traffic areas of the home. 

Get Cleaner Coverage of Irregular Surfaces With Spray Paint Cans

If you're not keen on breaking out the brushes and rollers, spray paint may be a much better option for you. Spray cans ensure an even coat over irregular-shaped items such as embossed furniture or light fixtures. As well as getting into those hard-to-reach cracks, the spray will also eliminate brush marks and drips for a cleaner finish. 


Unfortunately, it's not as cost-effective as cans of regular paint, so it won't be ideal if you're planning on painting large surface areas or you're shopping on a budget. Plus, because of the harmful nature of aerosols, they're best used in open-air spaces. It's not advised that you use spray paint indoors, especially if the room is not well ventilated.


Get even coverage with a paint sprayer

2

Decide Between a Gloss or Satin Finish to Suit the Desired Appearance and Intended Use

Decide Between a Gloss or Satin Finish to Suit the Desired Appearance and Intended Use

Choosing between gloss and satin will largely depend on your personal preference. Gloss is generally twice as shiny as satin, and people usually base their decision solely on the way it looks, but it's also important to consider the application process, maintenance requirements and the intended area of use before making your choice. 


  • Satin paint has a smooth finish but it's less shiny than gloss, making it the best option if you prefer a matte look. It's easy to get an even coat and once it's dry, it withstands scuffs well, though it can be prone to marking. 

  • Gloss tends to be more durable so it's better for high-traffic areas in the home as it will resist general wear and tear more effectively. The shinier finish is usually a little easier to clean but it can be harder to apply without noticeable streaks and drips.


Grab some washable wall paints for easy maintenance. 

3

Look For Rust-Resistant Paint for Corroding Surfaces and Ensure It’s Heat-Resistant if It Will Be Exposed to High Temperatures

Look For Rust-Resistant Paint for Corroding Surfaces and Ensure It’s Heat-Resistant if It Will Be Exposed to High Temperatures

If metal is frequently exposed to moisture, it can begin to rust, and the corrosion could cause structural damage if left untreated. If you are planning to use your metal paint on garden furniture, outdoor fences or kitchen and bathroom fittings, choosing a rust-resistant formula is key to preserving the metal and avoiding rust


Heat-resistant metal paints are also popular. They're ideal for use on radiators and pipes as well as grills, fireplaces or any other heated appliances. It's essential you choose a heat-resistant paint in these cases, as other paints could be dangerous when exposed to high temperatures. Plus, they will blister and peel away in high heat, so always check for heat resistance if it will be needed. 


Try exterior wood paints to spruce up fences and decking.

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10 Best Paints for Metal in the UK

This ranking has been compiled by the writing team at mybest UK via careful evaluation of the points made in the buying guide and thorough research of each product and comparing multiple verified customer reviews across the EC sites used.
Popularity
Products
Image
Click to purchase
Key features
1

Rust-Oleum

Universal All-Surface Paint

Rust-Oleum Universal All-Surface Paint 1枚目

An All-Surface Rust and Heat-Resistant Paint That Can Be Applied Directly Without Primer

2

Johnstone's

Quick Dry Satin Paint

Johnstone's Quick Dry Satin Paint  1枚目

Get an Even Satin Coat That’s Dry in Under 2 Hours

3

Polar

Premium Radiator Spray Paint

Polar Premium Radiator Spray Paint 1枚目

A Rust and Heat-Resistant Spray Paint That Can Withstand Temperatures up to 100°C

4

Hammerite

Direct to Rust Metal Paint

Hammerite Direct to Rust Metal Paint 1枚目

9 Glossy Colours to Make Your Garden Gleam, Rain or Shine

5

Jenolite

Directorust Multi Surface Satin Paint

Jenolite Directorust Multi Surface Satin Paint 1枚目

A UV-Resistant Formula in a Range of Bright Colours and Pastel Tones

6

Jenolite

Directorust Multi Surface Spray Paint

Jenolite Directorust Multi Surface Spray Paint 1枚目

13 Vibrant Options for Even Coverage Over Irregular Surfaces

7

Polar

Direct-to-Rust Gloss Metal Spray Paint

Polar Direct-to-Rust Gloss Metal Spray Paint 1枚目

A Rust-Resistant Primer, Undercoat and Topcoat Spray That Dries in 20 Minutes

8

Johnstone's

Radiator Satin Paint

Johnstone's Radiator Satin Paint  1枚目

A Non-Yellowing Formula for Brightening up Old Radiators

9

Rustins

High Heat Paint

Rustins High Heat Paint 1枚目

Matt Black Paint Withstanding Temperatures of up to 600°C

10

Johnstone's

Metal Black Paint

Johnstone's Metal Black Paint 1枚目

A Quick-Drying Durable Gloss for Interior and Exterior Paintwork

If you don't see the product you're looking for, you can request that it be listed.
No.1

Rust-OleumUniversal All-Surface Paint

Universal All-Surface Paint Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£11.83
Reference price
£11.83

An All-Surface Rust and Heat-Resistant Paint That Can Be Applied Directly Without Primer

If you need paint that's both rust and heat-resistant, this satin finish tin from trusted brand Rust-Oleum is an unrivalled choice. In 16 different colours and 2 sizes, you'll be sure to find a tin that's just right for your project. 


The all-surface formula is ideal if you want perfectly matching tones and an even finish across various different materials. The oil base makes it a 2-in-1 paint and primer, so you can apply it directly to wood, metal, plastic and more.

Was this Ranking helpful?
No.2

Johnstone'sQuick Dry Satin Paint

Reference price
£10.34

Get an Even Satin Coat That’s Dry in Under 2 Hours

This water-based formula will be completely dry in just 1-2 hours, so it's an excellent choice if you want to reduce your exposure to paint fumes inside the home. The satin finish allows for even coverage that isn't too overwhelming in its sheen. 


The 2500 ml tin will cover approximately 30 square meters and with 3 volumes to choose from, they've got the right tin for any task, big or small. Plus, with 13 colour options, you'll be sure to achieve a look that's perfect for your home.

No.3

PolarPremium Radiator Spray Paint

Premium Radiator Spray Paint Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£11.19
Reference price
£11.19

A Rust and Heat-Resistant Spray Paint That Can Withstand Temperatures up to 100°C

For awkward or irregular surfaces, spray paint is always the best option, and Polar's fast-drying paint is one of the best on the market. It's both rust and heat-resistant so it's ideal for use on radiators as well as barbeques and outdoor grills. 

It can withstand temperatures of up to 100°C with no risk of flaking or fading. The spray paint can be applied directly to any metal surface without the use of a primer, so it's a quick and easy way to achieve a seamless, stroke-free finish.

No.4

HammeriteDirect to Rust Metal Paint

Reference price
£8.48

9 Glossy Colours to Make Your Garden Gleam, Rain or Shine

Hammerite's oil-based paint can be applied directly to clean or rusty metal surfaces and even offers up to 8 years of rust protection. The 3-in-1 primer, undercoat and topcoat comes in 9 different colour options and 2 sizes to suit any task. 

This brand is a favourite for outdoor DIY since the water-repellent formula makes it ideal for moisture-rich areas. Whether you use it for railings, furniture, or even garden ornaments, this paint will retain its glossy, high-shine finish for years to come.

No.5

JenoliteDirectorust Multi Surface Satin Paint

Directorust Multi Surface Satin Paint Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£23.99
Reference price
£23.99

A UV-Resistant Formula in a Range of Bright Colours and Pastel Tones

If you'd prefer a more striking colour than the traditional black, white or grey, Kenolite has got you covered. With a choice of 14 vibrant or pastel tones including sage green, cardinal blue and ivory, you can be sure your new paintwork will catch the eye.

The multi-surface formula means you can use the same tin on metal, wood, ceramics and more. It can be applied directly to rust for complete protection from corrosion and it's even UV-resistant, so it won't fade if used on fixtures or furniture that sits in the sun.

No.6

JenoliteDirectorust Multi Surface Spray Paint

Reference price
£10.79

13 Vibrant Options for Even Coverage Over Irregular Surfaces

For similar vibrant tones in spray form, Jenolite is still your best port of call. This long-lasting satin spray comes in 13 different colours and you'll have a choice of 1, 2 or 3 cans for up to 1200 ml of seamless coverage

While the UV resistance provides great protection from the sun, the formula isn't heat-resistant, so it can't be used on high-heat appliances. For standard surfaces, though, you'll get great coverage with this tin. 

No.7

PolarDirect-to-Rust Gloss Metal Spray Paint

Direct-to-Rust Gloss Metal Spray Paint Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£10.69
Reference price
£10.69

A Rust-Resistant Primer, Undercoat and Topcoat Spray That Dries in 20 Minutes

Polar's direct-to-rust spray paint acts as a primer, undercoat and topcoat in one. You'll have a choice of gloss or satin finish and the UV-resistant coating will be touch-dry in just 20 minutes. For a spray formula, especially when bought in bulk, it's also among the most affordable. 

Aerosol isn't ideal for use indoors, so if you're planning on painting something inside the house, you will need to ensure you have appropriate ventilation. Still, for a fresh coat of paint on outdoor railings and furniture, this would be ideal.

No.8

Johnstone'sRadiator Satin Paint

Reference price
£20.00

A Non-Yellowing Formula for Brightening up Old Radiators

This quick-drying radiator paint provides even coverage of up to 9 square meters, needing just 30 minutes of drying time. The white satin finish will ensure your radiators look as good as new, blending in discreetly with most home interiors


Unfortunately, the formula is not rust-resistant, so if you have noticed corrosion on your radiators or pipes, this paint won't be ideal. However, the non-yellowing formula is an excellent solution to general ageing or wear and tear. 

No.9

RustinsHigh Heat Paint

High Heat Paint Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£9.87
Reference price
£9.87

Matt Black Paint Withstanding Temperatures of up to 600°C

Rustin's fast-drying high-heat paint is designed to withstand temperatures of up to 600°C and will not blister or peel. This impressive heat resistance makes it ideal for use on barbeques, wood-burning stoves and grills. 

The paint only comes in black, so it may be too dark if you are planning on painting a large surface area. For some heated appliances that you'd like a matte black finish on, though, it's the perfect way to restore the metal to its former glory. 

No.10

Johnstone'sMetal Black Paint

Reference price
£10.00

A Quick-Drying Durable Gloss for Interior and Exterior Paintwork

Johnstone's metal paint comes in 2 different size options and a choice of black, white or gold colours. It's suitable for use on interior or exterior metals and its rust resistance makes it ideal for garden fixtures, fences and furniture alike. 

It hasn't been confirmed whether this formula is oil or water-based, so if you're specifically looking for one or the other, you'll be better off purchasing a different tin. Although, since this paint is said to be long-lasting and quick-drying, you'll still be getting the best features of both paint varieties.

Written and researched by Alicia Byrne

Top 5 Paints for Metal

No. 1: Rust-OleumUniversal All-Surface Paint

No. 2: Johnstone'sQuick Dry Satin Paint

No. 3: PolarPremium Radiator Spray Paint

No. 4: HammeriteDirect to Rust Metal Paint

No. 5: JenoliteDirectorust Multi Surface Satin Paint

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When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.
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