How to Paint Metal Hinges

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver

  • Mineral spirits

  • Rags

  • Heavy-duty fabric drop cloth

  • Latex gloves

  • Spray etching primer

  • Oil-based spray paint


Paint tends to pool on plastic drop cloths. Use a fabric drop cloth or you may end up with a mess.


Never attempt to paint metal hinges without applying an etching primer first, or the finish will peel.

Use a fabric drop cloth or you may end up with a mess.
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Paint will not adhere to a metal hinge unless it is specially conditioned to accept the paint. Unlike wood, metal is not porous and cannot soak up the adhesives in paint. Before you apply paint to a metal hinge, you must abrade it to promote adhesion. Unfortunately metal is too hard and durable for friction-based abrasion based on sanding. Instead, you must apply a special kind of primer to the surface that etches the metal and gives the paint something to adhere to.


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Step 1

Remove the metal hinges with a screwdriver, and take them to a well-ventilated area.

Step 2

Clean the hinges using mineral spirits and a rag. Allow 15 minutes for the mineral spirits to evaporate before continuing.


Step 3

Lay the metal hinges on top of a fabric drop cloth.

Step 4

Put on latex gloves.

Step 5

Apply a very thin coat of etching primer to the metal hinges. Apply only short, intermittent bursts. Do not spray a steady, consistent stream as this may lead to runs in the finish.


Step 6

Allow the etching primer to cure for four hours. Open and close the hinges every 30 minutes during the dry time to prevent them from sticking.

Step 7

Apply two coats of oil-based spray paint to the metal hinges in the same manner as you did the primer. Allow two hours of dry time between each coat.

Step 8

Allow the paint to cure for four hours before you reattach the hinges.