How to Paint Stainless Steel Window Trim

What You'll Need
Steel wool
Painter's tape
Epoxy primer
Oil-based paint
Paintbrush or paint roller

Window trim can be tricky and time consuming to paint but even more so when that window trim is made of stainless steel. Stainless steel, in most cases, looks great, but once you begin to change the interior and exterior of the home or business it does not always match the design motif you are aiming for. There are challenges when you wish to paint stainless steel but those challenges are worse when it is stainless steel window trim. Under most circumstances you would simply take the item to be painted to a powder coat shop but not with stainless steel window trim because removing them is more of a hassle. The following article will show you an easy way to paint stainless steel window trim without powder coating.

Step 1 - Cleaning the Stainless Steel Window Trim

Stainless steel is very hard to paint due to the smooth and metallic nature of the metal. Paint needs a textured surface for it to adhere to properly or else you will be left with excessive streaking or paint will simply not take hold. The first step to getting stainless steel to accept paint is by cleaning. Stainless steel has a naturally greasy surface so cleaning it with a de-greaser will go a long way to prepping the surface. First, use a towel to wipe down the surface to be painted. Now, apply the de-greaser according to the directions on the bottle.

Step 2 - Preparing the Stainless Steel for Painting

As mentioned previously, stainless steel is very smooth. This makes it hard to get it to accept paint. In order for stainless steel to be painted, it first has to be roughed up. The problem with this is that you do not want to rough it up too much or you run the risk of inadvertently removing the natural weather protection on the stainless steel. In order to avoid this outcome you want to lightly use the steel wool over the surface. Do not use too much pressure. Apply just enough pressure to the steel wool to gently scratch the surface. Then, use one of your rags to dust off the metal you removed. You can now apply the epoxy primer. This primer will have two purposed for this project. First, it will offset the color of the stainless steel so it can easily be painted. Secondly, it gives you a surface you can scratch without ruining the weather protection. After the epoxy primer has been applied and is dried you can use the steel wool to texturize it.

Step 3 - Painting

Before painting you should always use painter's tape around the window trim so you do not paint the structure or the window. Once the tape is applied you can begin applying the paint. Use a paintbrush or roller and apply one layer of paint. Even with the epoxy primer you will need more than one coat. Wait for the first to cure prior to the second coat.