• 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
  • 10 Best Paints for Metal UK 2022 | Rust-Oleum, Hammerite and More 4
  • 10 Best Paints for Metal UK 2022 | Rust-Oleum, Hammerite and More 5

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.

This Article's Contributors

mybest Editing Team
  • Last updated: 07-08-2022
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

1. 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

2. 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

3. 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.

Compare the Best Paints for Metal

For those after a quick look, here is our Top 5:

  1. Rust-Oleum - Universal All-Surface Paint for £11.83
  2. Johnstone's - Quick Dry Satin Paint for £10.34
  3. Polar - Premium Radiator Spray Paint for £11.19
  4. Hammerite - Direct to Rust Metal Paint for £8.48
  5. Jenolite - Directorust Multi-Surface Satin Paint for £23.99

This article's chosen EC site price listings are reflective of its publishing date.

Image
1
Rust-Oleum Universal All-Surface Paint 1

Rust-Oleum

2
Johnstone's Quick Dry Satin Paint  1

Johnstone's

3
Polar Premium Radiator Spray Paint 1

Polar

4
Hammerite Direct to Rust Metal Paint 1

Hammerite

5
Jenolite Directorust Multi Surface Satin Paint 1

Jenolite

6
Jenolite Directorust Multi Surface Spray Paint 1

Jenolite

7
Polar Direct-to-Rust Gloss Metal Spray Paint 1

Polar

8
Johnstone's Radiator Satin Paint  1

Johnstone's

9
Rustins High Heat Paint 1

Rustins

10
Johnstone's Metal Black Paint 1

Johnstone's

Name

Universal All-Surface Paint

Quick Dry Satin Paint

Premium Radiator Spray Paint

Direct to Rust Metal Paint

Directorust Multi Surface Satin Paint

Directorust Multi Surface Spray Paint

Direct-to-Rust Gloss Metal Spray Paint

Radiator Satin Paint

High Heat Paint

Metal Black Paint

Features

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

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

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

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

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

13 Vibrant Options for Even Coverage Over Irregular Surfaces

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

A Non-Yellowing Formula for Brightening up Old Radiators

Matt Black Paint Withstanding Temperatures of up to 600°C

A Quick-Drying Durable Gloss for Interior and Exterior Paintwork

Price£11.83£10.34£11.19£8.48£23.99£10.79£10.69£20.00£9.87£10.00
Paint TypeOil-basedWater-basedSprayOil-basedOil-basedSpraySprayWater-based--
FinishSatinSatinSatinGlossSatinSatinGloss, satinSatin, glossMattGloss
Rust ResistantYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoNoYes
Heat ResistantYesYesYesNoNoNoNoYesYesNo
Colour(s)16 options13 optionsAnthracite, White9 options14 options13 optionsBlack, white, silver, gold, anthraciteWhiteBlackBlack, white, gold
Volume 250, 750 ml750, 1250, 2500 ml400, 800 ml250, 2500 ml1000 ml400, 800, 1200 ml400, 800 ml250, 750 ml250, 400, 500 ml250, 750 ml
Link

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.

1

Rust-OleumUniversal All-Surface Paint

£11.83

Paint TypeOil-based
FinishSatin
Rust-ResistantYes
Heat-ResistantYes
Colour(s)16 options
Volume 250, 750 ml
2

Johnstone'sQuick Dry Satin Paint

£10.34

Paint TypeWater-based
FinishSatin
Rust-ResistantYes
Heat-ResistantYes
Colour(s)13 options
Volume 750, 1250, 2500 ml
3

PolarPremium Radiator Spray Paint

£11.19

Paint TypeSpray
FinishSatin
Rust-ResistantYes
Heat-ResistantYes
Colour(s)Anthracite, White
Volume 400, 800 ml
4

HammeriteDirect to Rust Metal Paint

£8.48

Paint TypeOil-based
FinishGloss
Rust ResistantYes
Heat ResistantNo
Colour(s)9 options
Volume 250, 2500 ml
5

JenoliteDirectorust Multi Surface Satin Paint

£23.99

Paint TypeOil-based
FinishSatin
Rust ResistantYes
Heat ResistantNo
Colour(s)14 options
Volume 1000 ml
6

JenoliteDirectorust Multi Surface Spray Paint

£10.79

Paint TypeSpray
FinishSatin
Rust ResistantYes
Heat ResistantNo
Colour(s)13 options
Volume 400, 800, 1200 ml
7

PolarDirect-to-Rust Gloss Metal Spray Paint

£10.69

Paint TypeSpray
FinishGloss, satin
Rust ResistantYes
Heat ResistantNo
Colour(s)Black, white, silver, gold, anthracite
Volume 400, 800 ml
8

Johnstone'sRadiator Satin Paint

£20.00

Paint TypeWater-based
FinishSatin, gloss
Rust ResistantNo
Heat ResistantYes
Colour(s)White
Volume 250, 750 ml
9

RustinsHigh Heat Paint

£9.87

Paint Type-
FinishMatt
Rust ResistantNo
Heat ResistantYes
Colour(s)Black
Volume 250, 400, 500 ml
10
Paint Type-
FinishGloss
Rust ResistantYes
Heat ResistantNo
Colour(s)Black, white, gold
Volume 250, 750 ml

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Written and researched by Alicia Byrne

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