How to Paint a Carport
Painting a metal carport might seem like a fairly easy project at first glance. After all, most people have painted a room or a wall in the past, so painting a carport certainly seems like a surmountable challenge. However, once you start the painting process, you will find this project is more complex than it appeared at first look.

Fret not, as we have learned a thing or two here at Bargain Barns USA on how to paint metal carports, metal garages, metal storage sheds, and more.

Sweat the Small Stuff of Painting Your Carport

Painting a carport is not the type of project you should dive into headfirst. Instead, take your time and pay attention to the subtleties of what the work will involve.

Painting metal carports the right way requires the use of a primer. However, if you are not careful, you will end up with primer and paint that are not compatible with one another. Even preparing the surface to be painted in the proper manner influences the outcome.

Oftentimes people rush through carport painting, adding several coats of paint without waiting for the initial coat to dry. Others make the mistake of painting vertically, in circular motions, or without any overarching strategy, making paint brush strokes as well as ugly dribbling painfully obvious.

Though each of these nuances is certainly a subtlety, it is the small stuff that ultimately determines whether your carport painting project is a success. The moral of the story is to take your time, pay close attention to the details of painting your carport, and pace yourself to minimize mistakes.

Consider the Condition of the Surface

If the carport consists of raw metal, it is in your interest to scrape away the old coat using a scraper. Some may find that using a sandblast is preferable. If you notice rust after scraping or blasting, you will need to perform a light sanding along with the addition of a red oxide primer that inhibits rust.

Selecting the top-coat paint will be that much easier if you have an idea of how you would like the finish to look. Enamels that are oil-based tend to be fairly glossy. Those who want a lovely sheen will favor acrylic or water-based paint.

If you choose acrylic paint, you will likely be happy with it but it will require a couple of coats of primer as the paint does not generate a sealing barrier on its own. Acrylic can be painted on oil but there is the potential for problems to arise when contrasting chemicals interact. When in doubt, paint a small section to get a sense of the reaction and how it looks before painting the entire surface.

If the carport has been galvanized to prevent rusting, things will get a bit trickier as the old paint must be removed to prevent an uneven aesthetic. Sandblast the old paint and you will have fresh galvanizing that should rust prior to painting. Give it a month prior to painting, use a high-quality etch primer along with a top-coat that is compatible, and you will be pleased with the results!

Above all, double-check to verify the primer and paint you choose are compatible with one another. Read the small print to ensure the paint will adhere the right way with the primer’s chemicals and you will be able to move forward with the rest of the project in full confidence.

Time Your Painting Properly

Once the surface of the carport has been sufficiently cleaned to eliminate contamination ranging from loose paint chips to grease, oil, and other gunk, the paint will be able to properly bond with the surface.

If there is any contamination remaining, use a wire brush or sandpaper to eliminate it. Roughening up the surface with sandpaper prior to the addition of primer or paint enhances the adhesive power between the primer and metal carports. Even small particles of dirt can lead to a disruption of the primer and paint bonding process, so be sure to pay close attention to the surface.

Once you are certain the carport is ready to be painted, be patient! Don’t paint one coat after another right away. Rather, it is better to wait at least an hour before adding another coat of paint. Otherwise, the carport will not have a smooth texture. Failing to wait also has the potential to cause the brush to become sticky to boot.

Mind Your Painting Stroke

It is a mistake to assume painting metal carports or steel carports in any direction will suffice. Unless you want to see dribbling, swirls, and paint streaks throughout your carport, it is in your interest to carefully paint from side to side.

Use horizontal brushstrokes that move parallel to the floor and the resulting aesthetic will prove quite impressive. Painting horizontally also reduces the level of dribbling. It will also help to minimize the amount of paint transferred from the brush to the wall with each application, as splashing a considerable amount of pain on your carport wall will cause excessive dribbling down to the floor.

Don’t Forget About the Carport Floor!

The carport floor is typically out of mind as it is not within your field of vision when you are painting the carport walls. Be sure to sweep the floor prior to painting. If the floor still has gunk and grime after a thorough sweeping, consider using a pressure washer to clean off all the sticky stuff. If there are any stains, it might help to apply a concrete degreasing solvent. It is also worth considering adding a concrete paint sealant to the floor after painting. The addition of a sealant will bolster the paint’s longevity and beauty all the more.

Got Questions?

If you have any questions about restoring your carport or just simply want to replace it with a new one, give us a call at 405-872-0338 or reach out to us online. When it comes to metal carports and buildings, our family-run business can handle any project or answer any questions you may have. After all, we’ve been doing this now for over 16 years and we can’t imagine doing anything else!