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How to paint metal chains

If you are planning to paint a metal chain, you will need to consider two important factors. First, the metal surfaces are nonporous, the paint will not adhere to them until they have been treated with a type specific primer abrasive. In addition, because of the interlocking chains, painting the surface will be under constant pressure because the metal components rub against each other. You will have to select a type of resistant paint or the finish will wear out quickly.


  1. Put the chain on a concrete surface on the outside.
  2. Clean the metal chain with water under pressure. Let it dry completely.
  3. Place it on a high-strength cloth or on a piece of cardboard. Apply a very thin layer of gravure primer to the chain. Its meticulous work to make sure all the metal is covered. Move the chain to expose all surfaces.
  4. Leave to dry for 1 hour, turn the chain around and apply the primer on the other side. Leave to dry for 4 hours.
  5. Apply two coats of spray paint to the metal chain in the same way as you did before. Allow 2 hours of drying between layer and layer.

Tips & Warnings

  • For added durability, apply a lightweight metal coating to help protect the finish.
  • If you want to paint a small chain, like jewelry, do not use engraving primer. Instead, fill a container with 1 cup of metal paint, and dilute with 1 oz. (29,574 cm 3) of mineral spirit. Soak the chain in the paint diluted for 20 minutes. Place the string on paper towels to dry and repeat this process until the string is the desired color.
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