Can You Paint Stainless Steel? (Guide For Appliances & More)

Changing up your décor does not have to be limited to your walls and soft furnishings; try giving your stainless steel a fresh coat of paint.

Can you spray paint stainless steel? Discover our tips and tricks for saving time and money renovating bare steel pieces down below. 

Yes you can spray paint stainless steel but unlike galvanized steel, stainless steel is an alloy that contains chromium alongside various other compounds.

This durable, strong metal is corrosion resistant due to its protective chromium layer. 

Stainless steel comes in five types and a variety of finishes, such as polished, brushed, etched, and colored.

Often used in various commercial and industrial projects, you most often see stainless steel used in: 

  • Handrails 
  • Door and window furnishings 
  • Light fittings 
  • Cabinets and desks 
  • Appliances 
  • Pipes and vents 
  • Storage bins and shelving units 
  • Counters 

Can you spray paint stainless steel black? It is possible to paint stainless steel in a variety of colors to match your updated color scheme or improve its heat and chemical resistance. It can be tricky to paint stainless steel, as it may need to be prepped, cleaned, and sealed properly.  

What paint can you use on stainless steel? Experts recommend using steel oil-based paint alongside a darker primer  like metal etching primer and wax or other sealant; people most often use sprayers, brushes, or rollers for application, depending on the size of the project.  

Paint although virtually any type of paint will bond to a properly prepared stainless-steel's surface, a two part epoxy paint is the preferred coating.

Epoxy paint provides durability and an attractive sheen.  Epoxy paints are usually used on floors, but they're compatible with stainless steel as well.

Likewise, choosing the right coating for its environment affects how long the paint sticks.

Painters must abrade stainless steel to encourage paint adhesion, or the finish will chip and peel over time. To get completely smooth or even coat, use a spraying machine rather than a paintbrush, which will leave ridges behind.

Spray with a wide mist in one direction only so that the grain of the paint will look consistent.

Can You Paint Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel Sinks

Can you paint a stainless-steel sink? It is possible, provided you prep and paint the sink properly. It is possible to use painter’s tape and drop cloths or dry cloth to avoid painting any other objects or surfaces in the process. 

However, as the sink is used so often and regularly encounters water, it may need adjusting or patching up from time to time. 

Stainless Steel Appliances (Fridge & Stove) 

Can you paint stainless steel appliances, such as a fridge? Yes, with the right preparation and care, you can update your kitchen’s look without shelling out hundreds of dollars for an entirely new fridge.  

Can you paint a stove stainless steel? This may need specialist heat-resistant and cleanable paint alongside primers and sealants. Carefully read manufacturer's directions and formulas to find the right primer, paints, and sealant for your needs. 

Stainless Steel Screws 

Can you paint stainless steel screws? Yes, you can choose to either remove them from where they are installed or carefully tape off any areas that do not need to be painted.  

Stainless Steel Tumblers 

Can you use acrylic paint on a stainless-steel tumbler? It is entirely possible to repaint your steel tumbler for a new look. We recommend choosing the right primer and paint alongside careful prep and cleaning for optimal results. 

How To Successfully Paint Stainless Steel? (Easy DIY Guide) 


  • Drop cloths and sheeting 
  • Protective clothing and face wear 
  • Tool kit 
  • Wire brush or wire wool or steel wool 
  • Orbital hand sander 
  • Clean cloths 
  • Hot soapy water 
  • Water-based degreaser 
  • Primer 
  • Paint 
  • Brushes/rollers/sprayer 
  • Wax or marine varnish /topcoat/ final coat 
  • Painter’s tape 

Step By Step Guide

  • 1
    Air out your space and put down drop cloths and sheeting to protect your other objects and surfaces.
  • 2
    Put on your protective clothing and face wear.
  • 3
    If necessary, take your desired item apart and tape off any areas that need to be paint-free.
  • 4
    If necessary, scuff the stainless-steel surface to help the paint stick better; older items will only need wool or brush scuffs, but newer ones may need an orbital sander. Make sure to wear goggles and a respirator or face mask throughout this part.
  • 5
    Clean the surface with soapy water and use a water-based degreaser to remove finger oils, debris, etc.
  • 6
    Apply your primer with a roller, sprayer, or brush. Be wary of how thick your layers are and how far the spray nozzle is from the surface. Leave your primer to dry for the appropriate time as directed on the packaging.
  • 7
    Applying paint with two to three thin coats of paint, being mindful of the full dry time in between each coat
  • 8
    Finish with a thin layer of wax or a topcoat, depending on your needs. Car wax can do the job in a pinch. Sponges can give a more blurred texture, while sprayers or brushes can provide a topcoat-like consistency. 

Tips and Safety When Spray Painting Stainless Steel 

It is vital that you stay safe and pay attention to the instructions when spray painting stainless steel surfaces. Some tips and safety info we want to highlight include: 

  • Always wear protection and air out your space properly. 
  • Be gentle and careful when using an orbital hand sander. 
  • Keep your sprayer around 12 inches away from the object’s surface and use slow even strokes. 
  • Be wary of what cleaners e.g. specialized steel cleaner and paint you use. 
  • Even with primer and sealant, you may need to top up or adjust your paint job in the future. 

Why Paint Stainless Steel? (Benefits Explained)

While stainless steel products look sleek and fashionable, some people may need to paint certain items. This could be to extend the object's life and help it with chemical or heat resistance or simply to adjust for a new very light or very dark color scheme. 

No matter your reasons, it is possible to achieve a new look for a lower price with the right prep and know-how. Follow our instructions and tips above for an even thin coat that will help tie your interior design vision together. 

black and silver can

Frequently Asked Painting Stainless Steel Questions

Can you paint stainless steel without sanding? 

Yes, if your desired object is particularly old or banged up. It is the scuffing and light damage that helps the paint bond to the steel – newer, unscratched items will lose their paint much faster than older scratched items. Some primers come with a scratch formula, saving you time. 

How long does it take for paint to completely dry in stainless steel? 

That depends on a variety of conditions, including the paint type, the thickness of the paint, humidity, temperature, and more. Typically, it can take anywhere from half an hour to 48 hours for the paint to dry; consult the packaging instructions for specific guidelines. 

How long does paint last in stainless steel? 

The lifespan of a paint job depends on a variety of factors, including how well the item was painted and sealed alongside how often the object is handled and cleaned. Doing the paint job properly and carefully will increase its life. 


Following our instructions could see you breathing new life into your home or business without wasting time and money on new products; after all, if it is not broken, don't replace it!

For more painting tips, check out our website for guides and reviews.