How to Paint Metal Table Legs

Are you looking to give your metal table legs a facelift? Are you ready for the project of learning how to paint them yourself? Today is the day that it all begins! Painting metal table legs can be easier than expected and seem more intimidating than necessary.

How to Paint Metal Table Legs

With the right supplies, preparation of the surface, and painting techniques, even beginners can effortlessly paint a pair of metal legs in no time at all! Follow along as we walk through each step necessary how to paint metal table legs to achieve freshly painted metal table legs with professional-level results.

Is Metal Painting Table Leg  Difficult?

Simply put, no! Painting metal table legs can be an intuitive and straightforward process as long as you have the correct tools and supplies. You do not need to be an experienced painter or even proficient at refinishing furniture for this project. With some patience and effort, anyone can easily paint a set of metal table legs with stunning results in a few simple steps.

Preparation for Painting Metal Table Legs

Before beginning to paint metal table legs, there are a few preparatory steps that must be taken first. These will ensure the best results when painting and help ensure the longevity of your painted metal table legs.

1) Cleaning the Surface

Begin by thoroughly cleaning the metal table legs with a degreasing cleaner and steel wool. This will remove any dirt or grease from the surface of the metal.

2) Sanding

Use sandpaper to lightly sand down the metal table legs after they have been cleaned. This step is crucial as it roughens up the surface of the metal and allows for better adhesion of the new paint to the legs.

3) Priming

Once the metal table legs are sanded, it is time to prime them for painting. This step is important as primer creates a seal between the metal and paint and helps prevent rust from forming on your freshly painted metal table legs.

Things to Consider Before Starting

Before starting to paint your metal table legs, it is crucial to consider what type of paint you want to use. It is important that the paint be specifically designed for metal surfaces, as other types of paint may not adhere properly. Additionally, think about how much time you are willing and able to dedicate to this project—painting metal table legs can take between 2-4 hours, depending on the number of coats of paint applied.

Needed Tools and Materials

  • Degreasing cleaner
  • Steel wool
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Paint specifically formulated for metal surfaces (e.g., oil paint, spray paint, etc.)
  • Painter’s tape
  • Paintbrush or roller (depending on preference)

10 Steps on How to Paint Metal Table Legs

Step 1: Gather Supplies

Gather all the necessary tools and materials. If you need to buy more supplies, make sure that you get the correct type of paint for metal surfaces. With all the supplies on hand, you are ready to begin.

Step 2: Clean the Legs

Using a Degreasing Cleaner

Thoroughly clean the metal table legs using a degreasing cleaner and steel wool. This will remove any grease or dirt from the surface of the legs and ensure a better adhesion for paint. Rinse with water once finished.

Step 3: Sand the Surface

Use sandpaper to lightly sand down the metal table legs. This will roughen up the surface and help prepare it for painting. Sanding will also help remove rust or chipped paint from the metal.

Step 4: Prime the Legsu

Once the legs have been sanded, it is time to prime them for painting. Apply the primer using a brush or roller and allow it to dry according to the instructions on the can. This will create a seal between the metal and paint and ensure that your paint lasts.

Step 5: Tape Off the Legs

Using painter’s tape, secure the legs to a flat surface such as an old sheet or newspaper. This will help keep the paint from splattering and scuffing during painting.

Keep the Paint From Splattering

Step 6: Begin Painting

Now it is time to begin painting your metal table legs. Begin with the areas that are not as visible and work your way up to the more visible parts. Use a brush or roller according to your preference.

Step 7: Allow Paint to Dry

Allow the paint to dry completely before applying a second coat (or any additional coats). How long it takes for the paint to dry depends on the type of paint you are using. Refer to the instructions on the can for guidance.

Step 8: Add Additional Coats if Needed

If desired, add additional coats of paint to the metal table legs until you have reached your desired look and finish. Make sure that each layer is completely dry before adding another coat. Otherwise, the paint may start to chip or peel off.

Step 9: Allow Paint to Fully Cure

Allow the paint on your metal table legs to fully cure before using them. This will ensure that the new paint is durable and lasts a long time. How long this takes depends on what type of paint you are using, so refer to the instructions on the can.

Step 10: Enjoy!

Now that your metal table legs have been painted, you can enjoy them in all their glory! They are sure to be a great addition to any room or space and with proper care, will last for years to come. 

Painting metal table legs can be a fun and rewarding project, but it is important to take the necessary precautions in order to ensure that your paint job lasts. Gather all the required tools and materials, clean the legs before priming, sand down any chipped paint, and make sure to use the correct type of paint for metal surfaces.

8 Maintenance Tips for the Painted Metal Legs

  1. Prepare the surface of the metal legs to ensure a smooth and even finish. Clean them using mild soap and water, then use an abrasive pad or steel wool to remove rust, dirt, and debris. It will also help to rough the surface so that the paint adheres better.
  2. To protect from corrosion, apply a metal primer before painting. This will provide a good foundation for the paint to bond with and resist wear and tear. The foundation must be completely dry before painting.
  3. Choose the right paint for metal table legs. Look for a paint specially designed for metal surfaces, as these offer good coverage and durability. This type of paint also resists weathering, fading, and chipping, keeping the legs looking new for longer.
  4. If you want to add color, apply a couple of coats of matching color paint. Let the first coat dry completely before applying the second one.
  5. For added protection, apply a layer of clear sealant over the painted metal legs. This will protect them from scratches and stains while maintaining their original look.
  6. To avoid brush strokes, use high-quality brushes when painting metal table legs. For best results, use synthetic brushes instead of natural bristles.
  7. If you’re painting in a confined space, make sure you have adequate ventilation to prevent fumes from building up. Also, wear protective clothing and a face mask to avoid inhaling any paint particles.
  8. Finally, take the time to ensure that the painted metal legs are completely dry before using them. This will ensure that they last longer and look their best.  With these simple tips, you can easily paint metal table legs to give your furniture a fresh new look. 
Use Synthetic Brushes

How Much Will It Cost to Finish the Project?

The cost of painting metal table legs will depend on the type and amount of paint, primer, and sealant used. It is also important to factor in the cost of brushes, protective clothing, and masks if required. In general, it is best to prepare a budget beforehand to ensure that all expenses are covered.

The overall costs may vary depending on the size of the project and the materials used. With proper preparation, it is possible to paint metal table legs for a fraction of the cost of buying new furniture.

 With Proper Preparation

The time taken to finish the project will also depend on how many coats you choose to apply. If you plan ahead and take your time, it can usually be completed within a day or two.  With the right materials, preparation, and care, you can transform the look of your furniture in no time at all!


Painting your metal table legs can be a daunting task, but with these tips, anyone can do it with success! To ensure you achieve the best results, use an oil-based paint and an appropriate primer. Start by sanding the surfaces of the legs to create a smooth base, then apply even coats of paint with a brush or roller.

Make sure to keep a damp cloth nearby for quick clean-up of any drips or spills. Adding matte sealer will give you attractive results and increased protection for your table. With just a few simple steps on how to paint metal table legs you’ll have stunning and vibrant legs that will help show off your creativity. Paint is an easy way to transform any area – don’t let the fear of this project keep you from it!

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Angela Ervin

Angela is the chief editor of Indoorense. She began her career as an interior designer before applying her strategic and creative passion to lifestyle and home. She has close to 15 years of experience in creative writing and online content strategy for housekeeping and cleaning,home decorations as well as other efforts. She loves her job and has the privilege of working with an extraordinary team. She lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter in Petersburg. When she's not busy working she spent time with her family.

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