I have several access point covers that are grey from factory but I would like to paint them white.

metal doorplastic cover

Someone suggested to me Rustoleum. But should I prime them first or is it not needed? If yes, what kind of primer? Or can the existing coat act as primer ready for the paint? In previous metal painting jobs, I did prime with oil based primer but that was because it would have no coating to begin with.

  • 1
    look for adhesion promoter as a primer for plastics – ron Nov 12 '19 at 17:01
  1. Scuff it up with a green Scotchbrite sponge or pad, merely to knock the gloss off the paint. That is paint. Very important, this step!

  2. Wipedown any dust or grease.

  3. Prime it with a primer that reasonably matches the color of the proper you used on the adjacent walls. This is a very important step. First choice is an alkyd primer such as Rustoleum 7780 Clean Metal Primer (they recently changed the number) or Kilz will do in a pinch. Second choice is a latex primer, but only use this if you are very sure about your work in steps 1 and 2.

Primer is important because paint cans lie. There is no such thing as primer-paint. Background colors DO print through paint, especially the near-white pigments used on almost all architectural coatings. If you want the topcoat to match, the underlying primer color must also match. Primer's job is to provide a uniform surface that is the same in absorption, texture, chemical interaction, and color, so that topcoat comes out equal in all locations.

By applying a separate primer, you are able to force the surfaces to be equal by adding primer coats wherever a background color is still printing through the primer. When the primer job is complete and even, that means the 1-2 coats of topcoat will print through, but they'll print through consistently.

  • 1
    I have had success using rustoleum spray paints without needed to prime. YMMV. – peinal Nov 11 '19 at 22:53
  • For the plastic, get some primer that says on the can that it is for plastic. If the can says its OK for metal, use it for that too. Otherwise use something like Rustoleum gray primer. – BrianK Nov 12 '19 at 4:47
  • @BrianK I would recommend a specialized primer if there was any question of the surface (nominally, Rustoleum 7779 if the metal had even a hint of rust). However, I would then overcoat that with primer of the appropriate color. In fact I did a ton of that last week. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Nov 12 '19 at 15:50
  • "There is no such thing as primer-paint." -- very true – amphibient Nov 12 '19 at 17:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.