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The Best Spray Paint for Outdoor Metal Furniture

There is nothing that can breathe new life into old outdoor furniture quite like a new paint job. If your outdoor furniture is made of metal, you need special paint specifically formulated for it. We are going to break down the best spray paint for outdoor metal furniture.

When looking for the best spray paint for outdoor metal furniture, you want to consider the type of spray nozzle, if your furniture is rusty, if you need a primer, and what kind of finish you want. Not all paints will react the same way, so it is important to make sure you get the best spray paint for your project’s needs.

Metal drum furniture painted teal with the best spray paint for outdoor metal furniture

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Budget Option
Rustoleum Painters Touch

Best Hammered Finish
Rustoleum Forged Hammered

Best Overall


POR-15 Top Coat Spray Paint, Direct to Metal Paint, Long-term Sheen and Color Retention, 15 Fluid Ounces, Chassis Black

If you’re looking for the best spray paint for outdoor metal furniture, you’re likely battling some rust issues. It’s inevitable that metal furniture left out in the elements will eventually develop some level of rusting. Surface rust is easily dealt with but deeper rust can spread like a virus.

While there is no replacement for removing the rust and welding in new metal, there is an option that will help prevent the spread of rust. POR15 Top Coat is a product that is renowned for its ability to fight the spread of rust when applied properly.

POR15 is the best option for spray painting old metal furniture with rust that you can’t repair, but don’t want to spread. You must follow the instructions carefully, including wire brushing, sanding, and using a primer, but the result is worth it.

With a few coats of POR15 you will stop the rust from spreading in its tracks. It’s used frequently in automotive applications and is designed to withstand the elements. This spray paint is very sticky, and a little harder to use because of it, but if you apply an even light coat, it will last forever. Unfortunately, it only comes in a few colors, so your choices are somewhat limited.


  • Prevents rust from spreading
  • Can help hide damaged metal while addressing the problem
  • Very sticky for good adhesion


  • Takes extra prep work
  • Sticky nature makes it harder to work with
  • Only comes in a few colors

Budget Option

Rustoleum Painter’s Touch

Rust-Oleum 249122 Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover Spray Paint, 12 oz, Gloss Black

Rustoleum is a brand synonymous with spray paint. Rustoleum’s Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Spray Paint is our budget choice for the best spray paint for outdoor metal furniture. Not only does this paint offer great coverage in tons of colors, but it’s also affordable and available at most major home improvement stores.

Rustoleum’s spray nozzle offers wide coverage without getting gunked-up, which means you get an even coat no matter how long you paint. When it comes to spray painting outdoor metal furniture sets, this is important as you will be doing lots of coats and need tons of coverage.

Rustoleum paint also dries very quickly. If you are spray painting an entire outdoor furniture set, your first piece will likely be dry by the time you are done with your last piece meaning you can get two coats done quickly without down time.

Rustoleum’s Painter’s Touch won’t break the bank. It is a mid-level price point that offers fantastic quality compared to the cost. When looking for the overall best spray paint for outdoor metal furniture, look no further than Rustoleum’s Painter’s Touch.


  • Rustoleum is a known brand with a great reputation
  • Comes in every color imaginable
  • Adheres to metal very well and can look brand new
  • Inexpensive and easily bought at any major home goods store


  • Other options inhibit rust better
  • Cans are small so you need a few for a bigger project

Best Hammered Finish

Rustoleum Forged Hammered Spray Paint

Rust-Oleum 271481 Universal All Surface Forged Hammered Spray Paint, 12 oz, Antique Pewter

If you want to add some flare when spray painting your outdoor metal furniture, you can use Rustoleum’s Forged Hammered spray paint. This paint gives a “hand forged” look adding in texture you wouldn’t normally get with a standard spray paint. It can make your furniture look handmade, and adds a cool texture you can feel.

When spray painting outdoor metal furniture with a hammered finish paint, you’ll want to spend some extra time sanding down old paint and ensuring a smooth surface. The texturing you get with Rustoleum’s Forged Hammered looks great, but only if you have a good starting surface. It will show more imperfections than a standard paint due to variations in how light hits it.

When using textured spray paint on outdoor metal furniture, wire brush any rust away, sand down any old paint, and use a primer. You can use this paint once you have a coat or two of primer down. It dries quickly, so you can get your furniture done in a day, depending on how much prep work you have to do.

Unfortunately, compared to other spray paints for outdoor metal furniture, Rustoleum’s Forged Hammered is not as durable due to its texturing. It’s a good best practice to take your furniture in for the winter if you will use this, or make sure it’s covered. Otherwise, you’ll likely need to repaint annually.


  • Can give your project a cool finish
  • Creates a hammered or hand-forged look
  • Very cool design
  • Easy to apply
  • Wide spray nozzle


  • Need to prep extra carefully as the paint will hide less
  • Not as durable as other metal paints

Best Primer

Rustoleum Clean Metal Primer

Rust-Oleum 7780830 Stops Rust Spray Paint, 12 Ounce, Flat White Clean Metal Primer, 12 Fl Oz

If you are looking for the best possible end result, a good primer can really help ensure your paint is smooth and looks brand new. When shopping for the best spray paint for outdoor metal furniture you should also look for a good primer.

Primer can help smooth out rough areas, ensure a better stick to your paint, and help it last longer. If you are going from a dark color to a light color, primer will help ensure that the old paint does not bleed through.

Rustoleum’s Clean Metal Primer is a great option to help get the most out of your paint. A primer is especially important when you are spray painting outdoor metal furniture that is not in great condition, or has some dents and scratches. It will help smooth this out so you can’t see the imperfections in your paint coats.

Rustoleum’s Clean Metal Primer works with any paint but is specially formatted for Rustoleum’s spray paints, so it’s great for pairing with our best overall option. Make sure you use fine-grit sandpaper in-between primer coats to ensure good adhesion.


  • A solid primer can make or break your paint coat
  • This product makes applying even coats of primer easy and quick
  • Very fast drying so you can finish your project in one day
  • Primer helps the paint adhere better


  • Takes more work than direct paint application
  • Requires 2 coats at least to work well with sanding in between

Spray Paint for Metal Furniture Buyer’s Guide

The Importance of Prep Work

No matter which option you choose for your outdoor metal furniture spray paint, it will only be as good as your prep work. Some paints do take more prep than others, but all of them will adhere better and come out smoother with at least some prep work.

No matter what, you will want to remove any loose debris, paint, or rust and clean the surface prior to painting. This will help ensure that no debris gets stuck in your finished paint job. Generally, it’s a good idea to sand the furniture down as well, even if it is in good shape.

Depending on how much material needs to be removed, you may start with rough sandpaper, like 80 grit, or you can start with a finer grit for furniture in good shape.

The small scratches sanding creates will make your spray paint stick to metal outdoor furniture well. If you paint on a smooth surface, it may come off over time, especially if exposed to the elements year-round.

If rust is present when you spray paint your outdoor metal furniture, you will want to wire brush it to remove any loose debris or rust dust. This will also help prevent the spread of rust when applying rust-inhibiting paint.

What to look for in spray paint

When choosing the best spray paint for your outdoor metal furniture project, get one formulated for your specific needs. Of course, you want spray paint made for outdoor metal furniture but also find one that fits the specific project conditions.

If there is rust present, get a rust inhibitor like POR15 Top Coat. If you are working with a scratched and dented piece, use a primer like Clean Metal Primer. The right tool for the right job will help you be successful.

Outdoor metal bench painted in fun pastel colors

You should also check what kind of nozzle is on the spray paint. Not all nozzles are created the same; some are for spraying wide, while others offer a more concentrated burst of paint. Look over the can and make sure to get one that will suit your purposes. For most projects, a wide nozzle will give you a more even coat than a more concentrated shot of paint.

Choosing Your Paint

Spray painting outdoor metal furniture is a great way to make an old piece look new again and to change the color, texture, or look of it. There are lots of options on the market that offer a plethora of benefits, such as rust-inhibiting, ease of use, or giving a textured look.

Make sure to choose a paint that fits your project, and always make sure to prep the piece correctly. The prep work will directly affect how well your paint works!

For more great DIY and crafting ideas, check out That Sweet Tea Life!