What is the best type of paint for metal fabrication?


Metal fabricators and product designers are often faced with the challenge of finding a protective coating system to protect their assets. 


This post answers the question “What is the best type of paint for metal fabrication?


Depending on what you’re trying to achieve – corrosion protection, chemical protection, or even just for purely aesthetic reasons – it can be difficult to determine which type of industrial coating is needed to protect an asset. 

We know industrial coatings help protect metalwork from premature deterioration caused by humidity, salts, pollutants and rusting. 

Fortunately there are a range of industrial coatings that can be used to protect an asset and improve its useful product life.


1. Epoxy metal fabrication coatings.

Epoxy coatings are one of the most widely used metal work coatings used in a range of industrial and marine markets. 

Epoxy based coatings are known for having excellent adhesion to metal, steel especially, and provide good chemical resistance. They are also often positioned as being “surface tolerant”, which means they will perform well when there is minimal surface preparation (although we recommend a four step surface preparation process).

Epoxy based coatings can also be formulated to cure underwater or on damp surfaces which make them perfect for many industrial applications. Epoxies are generally categorised as water based, solvent based, or solvent free (100% solids epoxies).

Find out more about Pronto epoxy based metal fabrication coatings here. 


2. Polyurethane metal fabrication coatings.

Polyurethane coatings are often used as topcoats over epoxy primers on metal work and structural steel. 

These coatings are often specified because they have excellent gloss, colour retention and outstanding UV resistance. 

Polyurethanes are mostly used in exterior applications, although they are sometimes used interior for aesthetic reasons. Polyurethanes can also be formulated as a direct-to-metal (DTM).

It’s important to understand what type of polyurethane metal fabrication coating is going to be right for you. 

Aliphatic polyurethanes are more resistant to UV attack and are usually specified for exterior applications, whilst aromatic polyurethanes are extremely tough and provide excellent abrasion resistance, but they do not have good colour stability and will change colour when exposed to UV light.

Find out more about Pronto polyurethane based metal fabrication coatings here.


3. Zinc metal fabrication coatings.

Zinc coatings contain a high percentage of zinc dust and protect metal work and steel from corroding by providing cathodic protection. 

Again, there are two types of zinc coating, inorganic zinc (ethyl silicate) and organic zinc (epoxy, polyurethane). 

Inorganic zinc is one of the most popular steel primers for industrial applications as they have a high heat resistance and generally provide better galvanic protection than organic zinc. 

In terms of application they differ too. Inorganic zinc is normally spray applied at 75 microns DFT and no more than 125 microns DFT to avoid issues such as mud cracking. Organic zinc can usually be applied by brush, roll, or spray and can be applied over a SA 2½ Blast profile.

Find out more about Pronto zinc based metal fabrication coatings here.  



Pronto Paints have been working in metal fabrication for over 30 years and have an exhaustively researched range of metal fabrication coatings.

Want to book a callback or arrange a coating trial with one of our in-house experts? Drop an email to info@prontopaints.com



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