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How to Prepare Tin for a Craft Painting Project

How to Prepare and Paint on Tin

The key to painting on tin is proper surface preparation. Keep reading to learn how to clean and prepare tin for painting as well as to find best-practice tips for painting on tin successfully.

How to Prepare Tin for a DIY Craft Painting Project

  1. First and foremost, oxidation should be removed from old tin. If left alone, oxidation will only continue to spread. Remove all signs of oxidation by using a wire bristle brush or medium-grit sandpaper, working in a circular motion.
  2. Next, wash the tin in warm soapy water and rinse it with clean water and allow it dry thoroughly.
  3. Then, wipe down the tinware with a cloth dampened with white vinegar in order to neutralize the surface and remove any remaining grease or soap film.
  4. Because tinware usually has seams or "rolled" hems, a hair dryer may help drying. Alternatively, place the cleaned tinware in a warm oven (around 200° or less) for 30 minutes to make sure that all areas are completely dry.
  5. Next, lightly sand the tin surface in a circular motion with either fine grit sandpaper or steel wool, which will help the paint better adhere to the surface. Remove any sanding dust with slightly dampened cloth.
  6. To prevent oxidation, it is always a good idea to apply either a brush-on or a spray metal primer before painting on tin.
  7. When the coat of metal primer has dried completely, apply two basecoats to the tin with FolkArt Acrylics (or one of the paints listed below), making sure to use a soft bristle brush and light pressure to reduce brush marks. Allow the first coat to dry thoroughly before applying the second.
  8. Once the second coat of paint has dried, the tin surface is ready for painting or stenciling.
  9. Make sure also to seal the completed project once it has dried with two coats of either brush-on FolkArt Artists Varnish or spray FolkArt Clear Acrylic Sealer.

Tips for Craft Painting on Tin

  • Sanding the tin surface before priming and painting will help the paint bond to the surface.
  • For best results, use Apple Barrel Gloss, FolkArt Enamels, FolkArt Outdoor, or one of Plaid's several multi-surface acrylic paints formulas.
  • Reduce brush marks on the tin surface by using a soft-bristle paintbrush and only light pressure.
  • Once the paint has dried completely, oven-cure the project to improve its durability by placing the tin in a cold oven and setting the temperature to 350° and a timer for 30 minutes, allowing the oven and tin project to heat together. After 30 minutes, turn off the oven and let both the oven and project cool down together. Refrain from use for 72 hours to allow paint to cure completely. 

How to Prepare Tin for a Craft Painting Project

Purchase Products for Preparing and Painting Tin

New!
FolkArt ® Enamels™ 8 Color Set

FolkArt ® Enamels™ 8 Color Set

$19.99
New!
Apple Barrel ® Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Paint 16 Color Set

Apple Barrel ® Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Paint 16 Color Set

$26.99
New!
FolkArt ® Tools - Sanding Block

FolkArt ® Tools - Sanding Block

$3.59
New!
FolkArt ® Finishes - Artists Varnish - Gloss, 8 oz.

FolkArt ® Finishes - Artists Varnish - Gloss, 8 oz.

$7.09