How to Paint Your Stainless-Steel Sink in the Kitchen?

how to paint a stainless steel sink

For those who are tired of looking at their stainless-steel sink and wonder if it can be painted another color, the good news is that it can be done.

After all, if your vehicle which is exposed to the elements can be painted, so too can your kitchen sink. However, unlike most steel, stainless steel contains chromium which is a rust-preventative.

While you still can apply paint to the surface, it also means that the steel is quite hard and non-porous. So you will have to take a few extra steps to ensure that the primer and paint you apply will stick to the surface without any chipping. This means selecting paints based on urethane or epoxy while avoiding latex enamel.

How to Paint a Stainless Steel Sink?

DIY painting your kitchen sink or any other stainless-steel sink in your home can be easy and fun if you follow the right process. This will also save you good time and money while providing your old sink a new beautiful look.

So, without further delay, here are the steps you will need to follow…

Step 1- Remove Sink

While this may not always be feasible, it’s good if you take some time to check whether the sink can be removed easily or not.

Before you proceed, turn off the water supply in your kitchen then remove the faucet using a screwdriver, and cut down the epoxy resin with the knife carefully to take the sink out.

Now place the steel sink on a flat surface or a floor that’s already covered with a drop cloth.

Step 2- Prepare Surface

The hardness and smoothness of the stainless steel means you will need to clean and etch the surface first before applying the primer and paint.

Clean the sink using a strong detergent to get rid of any oils that might have built up over time. Once dry, use a pad sander with 150-grit sandpaper to properly etch the sink.

If the sink is getting old and already has a rough surface, then medium to fine steel wool may also do the trick. Additionally, make sure to check for any rust spots. If you find any, brush off the rust as much as you can using a wire brush.

Once you have completed scuffing the sink, wash away the debris and let it dry. Next, cover all the areas around your sink that you do not want the paint to reach. You can use just about anything, but painter’s tape combined with plastic, cardboard, or even newspaper will do if you use several layers.

Step 3- Apply Primer

If the stainless-steel sink in your kitchen is relatively new, still smooth, and shiny, it’s recommended not to try sanding or other techniques that need friction for etching. Using these techniques will most probably not abrade the sink properly to accept the paint.

Instead using a special type of metal-etching primer is your best option to encourage perfect paint adhesion. Use a high-quality paintbrush with nylon or polyester bristles (between 1-3 inches wide) for metal-etching primers because they are resistant to the chemicals in the primer.

Once the applied primer is dry (after 4-5 hours), scuff up the primer with 220-grit sandpaper.

Step 4- Apply the Paint

Once you have prepared the stainless-steel surface with a coating of galvanized metal-etching primer, you can virtually use any kind of paint on it. However, a two-part epoxy paint bonds pretty well than others and is considered the best-preferred coating for painting stainless steel sinks and faucets.

You can even use this type of paint on other stainless-steel surfaces like kettles, toasters, refrigerators, or other stainless-steel kitchen appliances. Just make sure to use high heat rated paint, if your stainless steel appliances are exposed to high heat. This will help provide your old appliances with great durability along with an attractive sheen without any risk.

To allow good paint adhesion, it is best to apply at least two thin coats over the primer using your bristle paintbrush. Allow the first coat to dry and scuff the surface with 320 or 400-grit sandpaper before you apply another coat.

Step 5- Seal and Apply Wax

Once the paint is dried, cover it with an acrylic sealer and let it sit for at least 48 to 72 hours before using the sink.

You can also consider applying a thin coat of wax if you want to get a new hazy look. Make sure you buy a high-quality wax made for use on metals.

After applying the wax, buff the metal gently using a dry cotton cloth to add some shine. And your newly painted stainless-steel sink is ready for use. Enjoy working on it.

best paint for stainless steel sink

Can You Spray Paint Your Steel Sink?

It is best to spray the paint instead of applying it with a brush although you can use either method.

Spraying offers a smoother final product that augments the metallic finish whereas using a brush offers a more textured look and is also more versatile as you can add touches with a sponge to create custom accents.

But generally speaking, spraying is the better of the two choices. This is particularly true for paints that consist of two-part epoxy combined with urethane for the finish.

However, this is a more expensive proposition as you will need to rent the spraying equipment to do the job.

A cheaper alternative is to use paint designed for automobiles. This type of paint comes in aerosol cans and is easy to paint over stainless steel material. This will also mean that you can choose any color you desire for your sink – like pink, blue, red, green, white, or even black.

However, if you like the metallic look such as copper, then you can select stainless-steel paint from a reputable company such as Rust-Oleum which can be sprayed or painted on with a brush.

stainless steel sink coating

Few Other Options to Paint Stainless Steel

Apart from the above-mentioned steps, there are a few other ways to paint the stainless steel material commercially in various industries. Some of these refinishing methods can be successfully used to paint your stainless steel kitchen sink if you want to.

1- Powder coating

It’s basically an electrostatic process where a professional powder coater applies a very thin layer of plastic/epoxy powder all over the steel surface. The surface is then cured and baked to get the desired color and texture.

The major advantage of using this method is the flexibility to get a wide range of colors and textures. Plus, you can powder coat even the smallest cracks and voids present on the surface without creating any mess.

The only downside is you cannot use this method at home in a DIY-friendly way. You will need to get in contact with a professional powder coater who can get the job done perfectly.

So, I recommend using this method only if you have something expensive or antique that you do not want to risk while getting painted at home.

2- Varnish the metal

Applying a coat of marine varnish is another great way by which you can coat your metalwork without making any changes to its overall finish, color, and looks.

The main advantage of using varnish on stainless steel is it’s easy to apply and can be done pretty fast. But remember, applying varnish is only recommended if you already have a clean-colored metal and desire to get a “clear coating” shiny look that is protective and long-lasting.

Applying varnish on stainless steel can also be considered as a great alternative because it’s very easy to maintain. You can just touch up your work by applying an additional varnish coat whenever you need it in the future.

3- Add a patina

Patinas or dyes are effective in providing unique, vivid, and multi-colored effects on your stainless steel surfaces. These are typically the chemical formulations you can pick for making any surface changes or for adding coloration to your metalwork.

The good thing is you also have the option to choose a perfect patina based on your project to highlight and maintain a natural finish.

While some of these formulations are applied cold, there are some that are used hot. Also, the final sealing is often required using wax for a more durable finish.

4- Try some nail polish

Using nail polish is an option if you want to add some appealing patterns, alphabets, letters, words, or shapes to your metal surface.

The advantage of using nail polish on your stainless steel sink is it’s available in tons of shades and sticks very well on the surface while providing a clean realistic look to your metalwork. It is especially helpful if you desire to paint and decorate a small area on your sink by adding some graphics or writing over it.

remove paint from stainless steel sink

How Can You Get Paint Out of Stainless-Steel Sink?

Paint, if it accidentally, gets onto your stainless-steel kitchen sink can be removed without causing any damage or ugly scratches. All you need will be the right type of solvents or chemicals that can work.

Remember, it can become a challenging task to get the paint off of it if it dries. So, take the action fast as soon as you can.


This is the first choice for latex-based paint removal as it’s less toxic and easy to use. Just take a clean rag and put a bit of turpentine on it. Then rub it on the paint stain for a few minutes to dislodge the paint. After a few minutes rinse or wipe the area with water.

Lacquer Thinner

Lacquer thinner is helpful for removing dried oil-based paint or stains from your stainless-steel surface. Just like turpentine, this can also be used with a rag or clean cloth. After rubbing it directly on the paint spot, wipe the surface with a rag dampened in water.

An important thing to keep in mind is that you do not mix the different types of solvents. This can be highly toxic. Just in case the one you used doesn’t work, you should rinse the surface before you try another solvent for paint removal.

Also, take care that you do not use any abrasive materials or techniques that can harm the finishing of your sink.

The Bottom Line

Painting a stainless steel sink in your home isn’t tough, as you may have thought. All you will need is patience, the right tools, and some time.

If you follow each step, I have mentioned above, precisely you can get the job done within no time. And I bet your family will going to love the beauty of it for sure!

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