Asked on Jul 13, 2012

No-VOC paint for metal?

Duane FauntleroyLisa BrinkmanTrevi


I bought this awesome locker unit off of Craigslist to use as bathroom storage. Right now it is not too cute, but I plan to paint it white, and then it will look cute. I would prefer to spray paint it, but I live in an apartment building and the only outdoor space I have to spray paint would be my fire escape, and I don't think I can get this unit out there. Is there a no or low VOC paint that would be good for painting metal like this? Thanks!
Here is the locker in question. The best part was carting it through the streets of New York City and through 3 subway stations.
8 answers
  • Lori J
    on Jul 13, 2012

    You might check with a locally owned (think more mom and pop) autobody shop. I had a metal cabinet that I wanted redone and was lucky enough to have that friend of a friend thing going on...much nicer finish than I could have gotten on my own and I paid very little for it.

  • Glenda W
    on Jul 13, 2012

    Good idea

  • 2ms2
    on Jul 13, 2012

    @Lori J: That's a great idea!

  • Peace Painting Co., Inc.
    on Jul 15, 2012

    I second that idea too. The process of successfully painting a unit like that is involved, much less using a low/no VOC paint. Lori, you have your thinking cap on. Chas.

  • Nancy Nesbitt
    on Jun 23, 2015

    If you are doing this yourself, properly prepare the surface (clean!) and use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. One quart will be more than enough. Sand lightly between coats if you want a smoother, more "modern" finish. You will not have to worry about VOCs or odor.

  • Trevi
    on Feb 9, 2016

    LOL! I can just see you now. What trains did you take? I hope the elevators were working that day. Good luck!

  • Lisa Brinkman
    on Feb 10, 2016

    Heirloom traditions makes chalk paint also and is more cost effective and just as good as Annie Sloan. Remember to clear coat with wax or polyacrylic to seal. The wax can be use in an enclosed area also. Heirloom has sample pots and should cover the whole piece. I don't sell chalk paint but I have used both products and prefer Heirloom.

  • Duane Fauntleroy
    on Jul 2, 2018

    Good Choice: still, as explained here, pigments can add VOC to no-voc paint so wear respirator and ventilate well:

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