Home /
Search 🔍
the Site
pub Where the world gathers for
plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989


Preparing Stainless for Painting


Q. I am looking to paint on Stainless steel using acrylic paint. How should I prepare the surface and what kind of CLEAR primer do you recommend? Do I even need a primer for Stainless? I am also looking for a water based primer, rather than oil or epoxy. The other half of my project involves just steel. Same questions as above.


Miki Yoshimoto
- San Francisco, California, USA

POR-15 Metal Ready

Affil. Link
Your purchases make finishing.com possible

"DeLorean: Stainless Steel Illusion"
from Abe Books

Affil. Link
Your purchases make finishing.com possible


A. Dear Miki

I did some research on this matter, and came up with some links. I do not know if this will be any help to you at all, as I do not know the effect you are attempting to achieve.

I also took the liberty to search the web to see if I could find some of your work, and I must say that I was very impressed with what I saw :) Keep up the good work, as your imagery is absolutely fascinating.

Anyway, here are the links: Por-15 Metal Ready.
[Ed. note: these two links no longer work]

This is advice for painting a DeLorean (the stainless steel car like the one in the "Back To The Future" movies). The steel should first be polished smooth to take the texture out. After polishing, the steel should be acid etched so that the paint will stick to the panels well (paints & primers do not adhere well to stainless steel, as you probably already know). Look into DuPont Imron with an acid-etch primer, which might do the job.

Oh well, that is all I could find out for you. Sorry that there were no real references to Acrylic paints, but the important bit seems to be the priming of the metal, before applying any type of paint. Good luck on your project... whatever it is (would love to see more of your works)


John Grotmod
- Copenhagen, Denmark

April 25, 2013

A. Hi mate. For prep on painted your best option is blast; but if you cannot do this, a rough sand to remove gloss and abrasively graze the steel. For products you should go down to your international or silicon paint store, these are the best products, and use an Intercure 200 epoxy primer or 251. These paints are designed for stainless steel and can be over coated with almost anything :)
Hope this helps

Ben Oehme
Painter - Kalgoorlie, Western Australia

(No "dead threads" here! If this page isn't currently on the Hotline your Q, A, or Comment will restore it)

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread -or- Start a NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

If you are seeking a product or service related to metal finishing, please check these Directories:

Chemicals &
Consult'g, Train'g
& Software

About/Contact    -    Privacy Policy    -    ©1995-2023 finishing.com, Pine Beach, New Jersey, USA