What Paint Will Stick To Galvanized Metal Trash Can?

Do you have a metal trash can which is not just metal but also galvanized, and you want to paint it? Giving garbage can like this a refreshing shape is always done to make it look more attractive and appealing. But what paint will stick to galvanized metal trash can? Because it’s really a concern since you are not going to paint any ordinary metal. 

In this guide, I’ll let you know whether you would be able to paint such a metal can and what paint is better for it. Refer to heading number 3 for quick understanding and grabbing!

What Paint Will Stick Better On A Galvanized Metal Trash Can?

Before you start painting a galvanized can and learning about it, you must confirm what type of paint will be best for it. 

And whether it will stick longer than expected in the garbage cans like this. 

If you have found that paint, your painting process for this type of garbage can will not require effort. In short, 

Depending on the same steer conditions of a galvanized metal garbage can, removing the coating layer becomes ruff. At that moment, you shall use any oil-based spray enamel. Or you can use acrylic paint as these paints will adhere to the garbage cans like this without creating any problems. 

In this case, you can use any oil paint, and then you can make your garbage can look almost new. 

So, that’s all you must ensure while selecting any paint for your galvanized garbage can.

Garbage Can with Red Stage Curtains on Wood Floor - 3D Rendering Garbage Can with Red Stage Curtains on Wood Floor - 3D Rendering galvanized steel can stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

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Can You Paint A Galvanized Metal Trash Can?

Among all the difficulties, we get disturbed on finding out whether it is possible to paint a galvanized metal garbage can or not. 

Clearly stating, it is possible that you can paint a galvanized coated or galvanized steel metal can or any other product. 

The procedure might differ slightly from painting those ordinary or standard garbage cans. But it’s totally possible. 

Galvanized garbage cans or recycling bins are usually created with pure stainless steel with an additional layer or zinc coating. 

This coating of zinc and copper with other materials prevents this garbage can from rusting. 

That’s why its painting procedure is going to be a little different from others. I will teach you how you can do that. 

Why Would You Paint A Galvanized Metal Trash Can?

I keep some large galvanized garbage cans or, if you pronounce them recycling bins and they are all well painted. But why did I do so? 

Exactly, that’s the question you will ask yourself before painting your well-protected galvanized stainless steel garbage can. 

The most prominent reasons I had for painting these galvanized metal garbage cans are as follows. And I am hopeful that you may find yourself under any of these. 

  • I wanted to give a stylish and unique look so I could have some decorative garbage cans at my house. 
  • I also had a reason for disturbing waste management as I usually forgot which garbage can I needed to put which type of material. Therefore, I gave them different paints for easy remembering and easy waste organizing. 
  • I also painted them because I was scared of too many moist environmental conditions since it was monsoon at that moment. 
  • An added protection layer from rust, Yes, even SS cans also rust. Here’s our article explaining how to clean rust from them.
  • Besides, my neighbor did something the same, and I got jealous to have garbage cans just like the ones he created after painting. 

But how did I realize that I had galvanized metal garbage cans, not the simple ones? That’s simple to find out. 

Look for multiple ways how to confirm whether a metal can is galvanized or not. You’ll find your answer. 

However, suppose any of these reasons inspires you to paint your metal garbage can with galvanized layer. In that case, you are going to learn it in the next section. So, please keep reading!

How Do You Paint A Galvanized Metal Trash Can?

Since it has been clear to you what type of paint you shall use for a galvanized garbage can, let’s teach you how to paint a garbage can like this from scratch. 

Please keep reading this step-by-step process; you will end up painting your garbage can while facing zero problems. 

Step 1: Gather The Essentials:

Before you start, ensure that you have the following equipment on the table so that painting a galvanized garbage can must be easier and quicker. These are as follows. 

  • Steel wool
  • Drop cloths
  • Any oil-based spray enamel or any acrylic paint
  • A single towel
  • Any water hose
  • A water-based degreasing soap
  • A primer used to etch the galvanized layer from the garbage can
Paintbrushes with roller swatches tape and level on table Directly above flat lay shot of paintbrushes with roller  color swatches  adhesive tape and spirit level on table. Full frame shot of painting equipment are arranged on wood. They are representing DIY concept. Knolling concept. tools for paint stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

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Step 2: Remove The Galvanized Coating:

A galvanized garbage can should be painted in a little different way from the others. But why that’s so? 

That’s because it has a coating of zinc metal which prevents this metal from rusting. However, applying paint on such coating will not help as the coating will be hazardous for adhesion. 

Therefore, this shall be removed at first, and then you should go for painting the garbage can like this. 

For this, you can use a primer and treat your garbage can with it. This primer shall be specially made to etch that galvanized layer from the garbage can. 

When that layer is removed or the garbage can is primed, it will be ready to accept paint. 

Step 3: Clean Your Metal Garbage Can:

If you have removed the garbage can’s galvanized layer, you should not call it a galvanized garbage can. 

That’s because it has become a simple can. Now, you can use that water-based soap and clean out all the sides of the garbage can to remove the coating clay. 

A Steel Wool may help you achieve the cleaning you might be looking for. 

Once this is done, try rinsing the garbage can using a hose. When you have rinsed it, let it be under the direct sunlight for almost two to three hours until it gets ready for painting. 

Step 4: Consider Placing The Can On A Cloth:

Remember that drop cloth? You are going to put your washed and cleaned metal trash can on that one. 

Step 5: Coating It With The Paint:

Now, you can use your oil-based spray enamel and coat that galvanized metal garbage can. 

However, please ensure to keep the spraying nozzle at a distance of almost 8 inches from the garbage can. Once coated or applied the paint fully, let it get dry for almost 24 hours.

Before that, use the primer to paint that metal can once again. 

After doing everything, consider adding any particular finish to this garbage can. This will renew the garbage can for its long-lasting durability. 

Otherwise, chances are that the paint may peel at some point in the near future. 

Can You Do Decorative Painting On Galvanized Metal?

If you are using the right paint for this galvanized garbage can, you can also do some creativity on your garbage can.

This can be done by creating your favorite art, cartoon, recycling symbol, or writing anything you would like to. 

The way a galvanized metal can easily hold paint, the same way it will be ready to accept decorative painting as well. 

For better understanding, watch the below TikTok video as how somebody can make their galvanized garbage can decorative with painting. 


How To Paint A Plastic Garbage Can?

Painting a plastic garbage can is easier and quicker than painting a galvanized metal trash can. It is because you don’t have to remove that zinc coating layer here. 

Just apply the paint directly to a cleaned garbage can made of plastic. Keep the spraying nozzle at a good distance while painting. 

Let your garbage can dry for almost a couple of hours to see if the paint has become affected or not. That’s how you will paint a plastic garbage can. 

Can You Directly Paint On A Galvanized Garbage Can?

The thing is, it is not really a recommended thing to do as painting your galvanized garbage can with the paint directly. 

Because if that layer of zinc is present, the paint will have to adhere problems with the garbage can. 

In this way, the paint will go towards peeling or shedding, and there will be no benefit from such a process. 

Final Thoughts:

Hopefully, if you have reached this end of the article, you probably have known what paint will stick to galvanized metal trash can. Don’t consider using ordinary paints in case your garbage can is of galvanized metal. Instead, consider using oil-based paints as they are easy to use and provide better results. However, if you encounter more queries during your struggle, please let me know because I am here to help you. 

But thanks for reading and being a part of this conversation today. You may share this article with the ones you think will be worth sharing. And keep visiting for more latest updates. Have a nice day!


  1. Lawrence, R. (2010). How to Paint on Galvanized Metal Garbage Cans. [online] eHow.com. Available at: https://www.ehow.com/how_7704911_paint-galvanized-metal-garbage-cans.html
  2. HowStuffWorks. (2011). How to Paint Galvanized Metal. [online] Available at: https://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/home-diy/painting/how-to-paint-galvanized-metal.htm
  3. Endo, M.K., 1977. Painting Practices for Galvanized Steel. SAE Transactions, pp.1549-1552.