Shower door frames that are made from stainless steel, aluminum, brass, or any other metal may be strong and durable, but they are also subject to oxidation.
This means that the exposed metal or the screws and bolts used to hold it in place may start to rust.
Without protecting the metal from the moisture and humidity of the shower, a small rust issue may become a large corrosion problem.
If replacing the metal door frame with a non-metal version is not practical for your budget, the next best move is to paint the metal frame to prevent it from rusting in the first place.
Repairing The Metal Shower Door Frame
Before we move to steps on how to repaint a metal-made shower door frame, let us discuss how to get them repaired.
You may need to know and perform these steps, especially when your shower door frame is too old.
Applying the paint over those ugly-looking dents will make them highlighted and can ruin the overall look of the entryway.
And you need to fix the rust because painting over the rusted part will cause the applied paint to bubble and peel sooner or later.
For removing the rust, you can brush away the deposited rust with a wire brush. Then wipe out the surface with a cotton rag that can help remove the bits of rust.
If the rust is heavy you can then sand the metal frame softly with silicon-carbide sandpaper.
You should use a variety of grits (beginning with coarse-grit sandpaper, and then progressing through extra-fine grade) to ensure that you get a smooth finish without getting the metal frame damaged.
Now get a dampened rag (with isopropyl alcohol) and wipe out the frame to remove all the sanding dust.
For repairing the dents and holes in your metal frame, first sand the metal paint off the surface using a coarse-grit sandpaper.
Now apply a small amount of epoxy filler using a stiff metal putty knife and press it firmly. Make sure that you build it a bit higher than the frame surface.
Allow the filled dent/hole to dry completely for about 1-3 hours. And then sand off the putty to make it at the same level as the existing door frame surface.
What Do You Need to Paint the Metal Frame?
Now when you have repaired your metal shower door frame, it’s time to get them painted.
Things you will need to paint a metal door frame of your shower room include:
- Drop Cloths
- Paint Brushes
- Medium Grade Sandpaper
- Low-Tack Painter’s Tape
- Exterior Metal Primer
- Exterior Metal Acrylic Latex Paint w/Rust Inhibitor
An exterior grade metal acrylic latex type of paint that includes a rust inhibitor is usually the best for painting the metal door frames as it is long-lasting.
You should also get a cleanser, sponge, and dry rags to help you properly clean the shower frame.
The products you will need to use will more or less depend on the condition and type of metal (aluminum, brass, steel, or any other).
Once you have everything ready, you can start with the painting process.
How to Paint a Shower Door Metal Frame? (5 Steps)
Painting a metal door frame is a bit different than painting wooden doors and window frames.
To properly paint the metal door frame, you will need to take the following steps.
1- Prepare the Bathroom
You’ll need to put drop cloths on the floor before starting the painting process.
While tile and porcelain are surfaces that are easier to clean, paint can still stick to them.
Once the drop cloths are in place, open up a window and turn on the fan to provide plenty of airflow.
2- Scrub the Door Frame
You’ll want to remove all traces of rust, corrosion, dirt, and debris from the frame itself.
It will need to be clean and dry before you can start the painting process.
Any spots of rust can be removed with medium-grade sandpaper, so go over the frame thoroughly before you start to paint.
3- Line the Edges of Frame
Low-tack painter’s tape is perfect for lining the edges of the frame, especially in areas where it comes into contact with the door and walls.
If you get the right type of tape, it shouldn’t take long to line the areas so that you will not get any paint on them.
4- Primer the Metal Door Frame
Now you are ready to apply the metal primer. This will provide the rust-proofing element and help the paint stick to the surface.
Use a brush to apply an even level of primer all along with the shower frame.
Apply the first coat, wait at least four hours or as instructed on the label, then apply a second coat and let it sit for at least twelve hours.
5- Paint the Metal Shower Door Frame
Apply an even level of paint just as you did the primer.
You should be using metal acrylic latex paint that includes a rust inhibitor.
Just like the primer, apply the first coat with your paintbrush and wait at least four hours.
Then apply the second coat and wait at least a full 24 hours to dry before you remove the painter’s tape.
Inspect the frame after the second coat has dried to see if you missed any spots.
It should be no problem to do touch-up work and allow the small areas of paint to fully dry before removing the painter’s tape.
Now your shower frame is restored and ready to handle the water and humidity.
Can You Shower in a Freshly Painted Bathroom?
Generally, it’s best practice to wait for at least four to five hours before showering in your freshly painted bathroom.
To be on the safer side, leave your freshly painted shower door frames for a night to get them completely dried.
This will keep the paint from getting wet and running down the frames.
To avoid costly mistakes and doing the fixing later, it’s also a good option to check whether the paint on the shower frames is completely cured or not.
You can do this by pressing your fingernail into the paint coating.
If it shows the signs of indent most likely the paint is yet to be cured.
Additional Tips when Painting Your Metal Shower Door Frame
As you can see, it will take some time to properly paint the shower frame, so you may need to use other bathrooms for showering until the job is complete.
When painting and refinishing, choose the paint color carefully that suits you most and matches well with your other bathroom fixtures.
While dark brown and black are the most common ones, you can also go with tones like gold, silver, or bright shades like red, green, yellow, or blue.
You can even use spray paint that looks like chrome, just in case you want the frame to look like chrome finished.
If the aluminum or brass frame you are about to paint is heavily corroded takes time to restore the corrosion or the paint will not stick well.
Replacing the shower door frame can be a good option (instead of repairing and repainting) if you find the frame completely rusted, corroded, or damaged.
Remember to keep the room well-ventilated, so that the indoor air does not become polluted with chemical residue from the paint itself.
Once the paint fully dries, it will be safe to enter the bathroom again.
If you want something fast for your brass-colored frame, you can check out the below video of how a Rust-Oleum spray paint helped paint the brass shower door frame.
- Weather and corrosion resistant coating protects exterior/interior...
- Oil-based formula provides a durable protective coating with excellent...
- Dries to touch in 2 to 4 hours and covers up to 15 sq ft.
*Last update on 2022-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.
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