How To Paint Metal Bed Frame The Easy Way.


Last updated: July 28, 2023

Learn the Top Techniques of Painting a Metal Bed Frame in this Detailed Painters’ Guide

How to paint metal bed frame.

Is your metal bed frame showing signs of aging (paint chips – loose paint, dents, peeling paint, etc.)? If so, consider repainting it to give it a fresh new look. 

Painting the bed frame will give it the much-needed aesthetic update and protection against the elements, especially rust.

This post will take an in-depth look at what you need to know and how to spray paint metal bed frame surfaces and get a professional finish.

Can You Spray Paint Metal Bed Frame?

Yes, you can spray paint a metal bed frame. Spray painting your metal bed frame gives it a new look and helps prevent it from rusting. You can use most spray paint on metal frames – make sure that metal is listed on the label among the surface the paint can be used on.

Why Paint a Metal Bed Frame?

Rather than buying a new metal bed because your current one looks rugged, painting it can be a simple way of giving it a new look, especially when you use spray paint. 

With so many spray paint options, such as chalk paint, enamel paint, and many others, giving the frame the exact finish you want should be achievable.

The painting also provides the frame with an added layer of protection against the elements, specifically rusting.

The Best Method for Painting Metal Bed Frames

There are different ways to go about painting a metal bed frame. Let us look at two of the most common ways.

Using a brush

Using a paint brush when painting is one of the most conventional methods. This will require you to mix and apply the paint with a brush.

Using a brush will take longer than spraying and will require skill if you want to avoid brush strokes showing on your paint job.

On the other hand, it can be a good option for people with respiratory problems that want to paint their metal bed frames. 

This is because using a brush does not produce fumes like is the case with spray paint. However, I would still advise that you put on a mask.

Using spray paint

By far the most straightforward way to go about painting your frame. It also takes the shortest time.

Spray painting is economical and provides a better finish for your bed frame than a brush or roller. 

As stated above, you must wear protective equipment because the fumes from spray paints can harm your health.

The Two Common Types of Spray Paints You Can Use to Paint a Metal Bed Frame

  • Oil-based Paint

Oil-based spray paints are popular because they are more durable than water-based acrylics. 

They also provide better protection against moisture and rust, which is important when painting metal surfaces.

However, it is important to note that they are pricier, and their fumes contain more volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

  • Acrylic (water-based acrylic paint)

Since acrylic paint is water-based, it contains fewer VOCs and, as such, is the least harmful type of spray paint – you should still use safety gear when spraying.

Acrylics are more economical than oil and solvent-based paints, although not as durable.

If you are looking for a more durable spray paint then this my other guide about the most durable spray paints for metal may be helpful.

How to Remove Previous Paint from an Old Metal Bed Frame Before Painting

If you want to paint an old metal bed frame, you must first remove the previous paint.


One of the most common ways of doing this is using sandpaper or a sanding block.

When sanding, use 120-grit sandpaper and gently sand off the old paint. You can then do a second round of sanding using 200-grit paper to remove any remaining paint from the metal bed frame surface.

Paint remover

Another way of removing paint is by using paint removers or strippers. Paint removers are chemical solutions designed to remove paint from a surface.

All you have to do is douse a microfiber towel with the remover and apply it to the surface. 

Then, give it several minutes for the solution to soak into the paint and wipe it away.

You will have to repeat this process until you remove all the paint.

Quick Tip: Ensure you use a remover solution that will not react with the metal surface. Also, you should always wear gloves and a mask since paint removers can interact with your skin and give off fumes when reacting with the paint.

Tool Tip: You can use a wire brush or steel wool to remove paint from any of the frame’s harder-to-reach areas.

Actionable Guide on How to Spray Paint Your Metal Bed Frame

Below are some of the supplies you will need and the step-by-step breakdown of the process to go with it.

Supplies You Will Need

  • Sandpaper (200 and 120-grit).
  • Drop cloth (tack cloth).
  • Mineral spirits, degreaser, and mild detergent.
  • Line epoxy and epoxy based composite fillers.
  • Wire glass mess.
  • Rust primer.
  • Base coat and top coat paint.
  • Crates, tools, workbench, or any other way to prop up the frame parts when painting.
  • Cleaning supplies (soap and water if needed).
  • Any tool you may require to disassemble and assemble the frame parts.

Step 1. Getting the bed frame ready

Begin by removing the mattress and all other things from the bed to leave the frame bare metal. 

Move the frame to your workspace so you can start working on it.

Step 2: Cleaning the metal frame

You can easily clean the bed frame by wiping it with a clean cloth. This is usually enough to remove dust and dirt on the frame’s surface.

If needed, you may wipe it using soapy water or hot water if the dirt refuses to come off. Just make sure to immediately dry it off with a cloth before letting it air dry.

Once dry, the frame is ready for sanding.

Step 3: Sanding your bed frame

The are two ways to go about this. The first is to disassemble the frame into large parts and then sand each one separately, or do it before disassembly with the frame still intact.

 You may go either route, but I prefer the latter.

This should be easier for most metal bed frames since you can access all areas without disassembly. If you cannot, you may choose the other route.

Get the 120-grit sandpaper and sand the entire bed frame surface. Ensure you do not apply too much pressure – apply just enough to smooth the metal bed frame.

Next, use the 200-grit paper and do a second round of sanding so the entire surface is smooth.

After sanding, inspect the entire bed frame surface for any dents. If any are present, mix mineral spirits and a degreaser and use the solution to lightly sand the areas.

For slightly larger dents, you will have to measure and cut a wire glass mesh roughly 1″ bigger than the dent. Apply line epoxy filler to the mesh and stick it to the area with a dent, and fill in the dent with the filler.

For small dents, apply mineral spirits and degreaser solution, sand the affected area, and fill it with epoxy based composite.

After filling in all your dents (large or small), sand the rough surface with higher-grit sandpaper – do not use coarse sandpaper since it will remove the filler completely.

Step 4: Final frame and workspace prepping

Prepare the workspace, ensure you have everything you need, and ventilate the area. 

You can now go ahead and disassemble the bed frame into individual parts; again, you do not have to if all the areas you want to spray are accessible.

Next, prop up the bed frame parts on crates, stools, workbench, or anything else that you can use to elevate them from the ground.

Ensure the frame parts are well-arranged and spaced out correctly to make applying paint and turning them (if needed) much easier.

The last thing to do is to put on your safety gear (goggles, respirator mask, coveralls, and gloves).

Step 5: Applying the primer

Start by spraying a thin layer of metal-based primer evenly across the entire surface of the bed frame. Wait for this coat to dry and assess whether or not you will require a second coat.

If another coat of primer is required, spray it as you did the first. 

Let everything dry before moving to the painting step.

Of course, this step can be skipped using self-priming or 2-in-1 (primer + paint) spray paint.

Step 6: Applying the spray paint

Start by shaking the spray paint can well for about a minute or two. This will help create a uniform paint mixture in the can.

Next, hold the paint can 8-10 inches from the metal frame surface at a 90 degrees angle and start spraying.

To have better results and make it easier to cover the surface with paint evenly, spray starting from one end to another in one sweeping motion.

Do not stop midway through the surface, as this can lead to overspray (applying excess paint) and paint drips.

Do this for all frame parts and let the first coat completely dry before going in with the second coat of paint.

In most cases, 2 coats of paint will be enough to give you a great finish. However, you may apply a third coat if required.

Let the paint dry off before going to the next step.

Step 7: Finishing touches

You can apply a clear coat or two of a top finish if required. This will give your painted metal bed frame a better finish and protect it and the paint job.

After the painting job is done, let the frame dry and cure. This can take 2 to 3 days for most paints.

Afterward, you can put the frame back together and use it.

How to Paint A Metal Bed Frame Without Sanding?

While sanding is recommended when painting almost any surface, it may not always be needed. 

A good example is if the metal bed frame is new, not previously. In such situations, you can clean the frame and let it dry before applying the primer and paint using the instructions outlined above.

Quick Tip: Ensure you spray primer on the whole frame before painting to improve how well the paint sticks to the frame surface.

Top 3 Spray Paints for Metal Bed Frames

1. Rustoleum Painter’s Touch

Rustoleum Painter’s Touch is a standout product for painting metal bed frames – it is ranked as the number one bestselling spray paint on Amazon.

The paint comes with a comfort tip making spraying comfortable and easy. This quick-drying spray is easy to apply.

Like most Rustoleum spray paints, the product comes in 11- and 12-ounce aerosol cans.

The paint’s oil-based formula provides excellent protection to metal surfaces, has low odor, and resists chipping.

With various color and finish variants available, finding the right Rustoleum Painter’s Touch spray to paint your metal bed frame should be easy.

2. Krylon Fusion

Krylon Fusion All-in-one spray paint does not require sanding or priming before application. However, I recommend that you do both to improve the final look of your painted metal bed frame.

The paint comes in a 12-ounce can and is available in different colors. It also comes in various finishes. Its satin finish is the most standout I have seen from any paint brand.

One of the best things about the paint is its quick dry time – with a coat of paint taking around 20 minutes to dry to the touch.

With a big spray nozzle and easy-to-push trigger, the Krylon Fusion spray paint can is easy to and comfortable to use no matter the spraying angle.

3. Rustoleum Universal Spray Paint

Rustoleum Universal Spray Paint is a spray painting product for many projects, including painting a metal bed frame.

It is a 2-in-1 spray paint, so you do not have to buy a primer separately, making it even more economical.

The spray paint comes in 12- and 11-ounce aerosol cans with an easy-to-use trigger mechanism.

With an ergonomic design that makes handling the can and spraying comfortable, spraying your metal bed frame will be easy and take less time.

Rustoleum Universal spray paint comes in various colors and finishes. It also provides excellent adhesion power and surface coverage.

How Long Will It Take for Spray Paint to Dry on Metal Bed Frame?

The time will depend on the type and brand of spray paint you are using. Most spray paints on the market will dry to the touch in about 20-30 minutes and completely dry in a few hours.

To ensure your metal bed frame dries faster, prep, sand, and prime it well before spraying. Also, spray thin coats and work in a well-ventilated area.

Mistakes to avoid when painting a metal bed frame

Below are some of the most common mistakes you should avoid when spray painting:

  • Using incompatible primer and paint.
  • Not thoroughly cleaning the frame before painting-these processes ensure the paint sticks to the surface and improve the paint job’s durability.
  • Not letting each coat of paint dry before applying another one-spraying another fresh coat on wet paint can lead to paint dripping during painting and cracks and peels after the paint dries.

FAQs – Painting A Metal Bed Frame

Which is the best way to paint a metal bed frame?

The best way to paint a metal bed frame is by using spray paint. Spray painting is faster and easier than any other painting method. You should prep, sand, and prime it well before spraying for the best finish.

Is it necessary to completely disassemble my metal bed frame before painting it?

Whether or not to completely disassembled your bed before painting depends on your bed. In most cases, you can disassemble the frame into larger sections, and not completely. This will make painting much easier as you will not have to paint many pieces.

Can I paint over the old metal frame paint?

Yes, you can paint over od metal frame paint. You will not need to prime the surface when painting over old paint. However, it would be best to sand the old dry paint to rough it enough to ensure the new paint you apply sticks properly. 

What are the best types of spray paints to use on metal bed frames?

Oil-based paints such as enamel paint are the best spray paint to use on metal bed frames. They are more durable than water-based acrylic paints and provide better resistance to rust. However, they have fumes with more VOCs than water-based paints.

What kind of paint do you use on an iron bed?

You can use different kinds of paints on an iron bed – in fact, most spray paints can be used on iron surfaces. To be sure the paint you are using can be used on an iron bed surface, check the label for “metal” on the list of surfaces it can be used on.

How do you paint an aluminum bed frame?

First, you must clean the bed to remove dust and grime from the surface. Next, sand and prime the aluminum bed frame surface. Spray the paint and cover the surface evenly with a thin coat of paint. Let the first coat dry before adding a second one.

Content Summary – Painting A Metal Bed Frame

Just like furniture painting, painting a metal bed frame can quickly and easily give it a new look.

Remember to select a paint that can be used on metal and a compatible primer to go along with it.

Before spray painting an old metal bed, clean, sand, and prime the surface to ensure the paint will adhere properly.

The best spray paints for metal bed frames are Rustoleum Painter’s Touch, Krylon Fusion, and Rustoleum Universal Spray.

Using these paints and following the step-by-step guide above will make painting your metal bed frame easier and give you the best finish.

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