How To Paint a Lawn Mower And What Paint To Use

A faded, rusty lawn mower is an eyesore. Therefore, it is only normal that you try and restore its looks by adding another coat of paint. While the idea of redefining your mower can be exciting, it is not the easiest thing to do. Therefore, most people face the problem of how to paint a lawn mower and what paint to use.

To paint a lawn mower the first step is to remove excess chipped paint, rust, and debris. After preparing the metal an epoxy primer can be used or an all in one rust prevention spray paint can be used, skipping the primer step. Latex based paints should never be used on lawn mowers.

I’m sure you would like to know if it is even possible to paint a lawn mower, and if it is, what kind of paint to use. The answers might surprise you. This article covers all the questions you might have about painting your lawn mower.


Can You Paint A Lawn Mower?

First we need to know if it is even possible to paint a mower that won’t simply begin peeling within a month or two. Can you actually paint a mower yourself?

Painting a lawn mower is quite possible with the proper type of paint, time, and technique. For spot application on rusted or problem areas or with epoxy paint, a bush or roller will do. For time, ease, and uniformity of application spray application of enamels or oil based paints will work.

With the exposure of elements like wet grass, sticks, and other debris to the machine, you definitely need to cover up the faded and rusted areas. 

If you don’t, you will end up with an older-looking lawn mower. Yes, an older-looking lawn mower does not affect the machine’s performance; however, it doesn’t look good and eventually rusted areas will become holes. These holes then can cause structural failure. 

Luckily, painting a lawn mower doesn’t take long, and you can get the job done in a couple of hours. You don’t need any special equipment, and you can get the right paint from your local hardware store.

What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On A Lawn mower?

You can’t just use any paint on your lawn mower. Truthfully, you can, but I don’t advise that because you’ll probably end up repainting faster than you need to. Latex based paints are not recommended and will simply peel away soon after application.

You need to use an enamel or epoxy based paint on a lawn mower in order to have it adhere to the metal surface, resist peeling, and fight the effects of rust. Rust prevention is a main concern with the type of paint you use and is usually incorporated in most mower paints.

Therefore, you need paint with color retention, durability, and one that can stop and prevent rust. Also, try and select a brand that doesn’t have non-toxic chemicals. This might be hard, so be sure to take safety precautions if you cannot find one.

Rust Preventive Paint

The first thing you need to consider in paint is its ability to prevent rust. This is because each time you expose your mower to grass, you also expose it to moisture.

Rust prevention is an essential trait a paint should have. This is why you should pick durable paint that stops rust spots from expanding by soaking into the rust and sealing it.

A lot of oil-based paints are rust-preventive and have a smooth finish. However, you can find different types of rust-stopping paint that come in varying finishes like flat, gloss, and semi-gloss.

For the easiest application right over rust spots and for long lasting rust prevention I suggest AGS RUST SOLUTIONS found on Amazon.

If you are wanting a great rust prevention with a near factory level shine, I recommend Rust-Oleum Farm & Implement Spray Paint found on Amazon as well.

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Two-Part Epoxy Paint

Epoxy paints are known for their durability. They come in two parts; one part resin and one part hardener. To make use of the paint, you have to mix the two parts together. After mixing the paint, you can apply it to your lawn tractor. 

However, keep in mind that the requirements for application differ for each brand or product. Therefore, ensure you follow the instructions of the epoxy product you buy so that you can get the most out of your purchase.

By combining the two parts of the epoxy paint, you get a tough resin that works well with metal and resists chemicals and solvents. Keep in mind that epoxy paint tends to be chalky under ultraviolet light. Luckily, you can apply an epoxy primer and a top coat of oil-based paint.

This would be for the more experienced painter where the epoxy would act as a primer. For the beginner or those looking to simply add longevity and maybe a bit of aesthetics to a mower, the above spray rust prevention options are the best.

How To Paint A Lawn Mower

Knowing what kind of paint to use on your lawn mower is only half the journey. The next step is preparing and painting the mower. 

Before you begin, you should take certain safety steps to ensure you are free from harm or damage during the process.

Mower Painting Safety Precautions 

  1. Lawn mowers paints are made of various chemicals that can be destructive and harmful when you inhale them. This is why you should endeavor to wear a face mask to protect yourself.
  1. You can harm your eyes or skin from the chemicals. You can even get irritations on your skin from coming in contact with this paint. Therefore, ensure to wear safety goggles and gloves for maximum protection. 
  1. To help you reduce the potency of the paint and other chemicals, ensure you do the painting in an open, well-ventilated space. Also, make sure you follow all the instructions for the product you are using. This includes application, safe usage, storage, and disposal.

Steps To Paint A Mower

  1. First, you need to lay a tarp, some newspapers, or some sort of material that can prevent paint stains from touching the floors. 
  1. Move the lawn mower on top of the protective material on the floor. Remove any dirt or grass residue from the mower.
  1. Now, you have to wash down the entire mower, especially the areas you plan on painting over. You do this by washing the mower with lukewarm water and automotive soap. After that, rinse the lather and allow your machine to dry.

However, if your mower has rust or chipped paint, you need to do more than washing before you paint. Depending on the state of your mower, you should either hand sand it, use a grinder, sandblast it, pressure wash it, or wire brush it. 

  1. After prepping your mower, you need to protect the areas you won’t be painting. This means masking the wheel areas, the handle, and the gear shift knob. Basically, mask any area you don’t want to paint. 
  1. Coat the metal portion of the mower with a spray rust-inhibiting primer and get your painting tool ready.
  1. Your method of painting should not matter. There shouldn’t be a problem if you decide to use a spray can of paint and a paintbrush.
  1. If you’re using a paint spray can, shake the can for about one minute before applying. Ensure you stay about 12 inches away from the mower for the best result. Try and paint using long even strokes. 

Apply the paint evenly on the mower if you are using a paintbrush. You can paint over the first coating, but ensure you wait 7-8 hours before you paint again so the first coating can dry properly.

  1. When you are done painting and notice that the paint is dry, you can remove the wraps around the wheels and gear, then take the lawn mower to the storage.

The Final Touches On How To Paint A Mower…

Taking care of your mower not only entails the engine, electrical systems, and fuel systems. It also encomplases caring for the metal structure, deck, and blades.

Painting a lawn mower is a good idea once they get a couple of years on them and some wear is beginning to show. Most homeowners and professionals alike will more than likely be interested in a simple spray paint with added rust and corrosion protection built in.

Don’t forget to prep your mower by removing debris, rust, and chipped paint. Preparing and choosing the right paint can make your machine look nearly brand new.

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Mathew Booe

Mathew has worked in landscaping professionally for over 10 years. He is a grandpa and frequently interviews other experienced landscapers and lawn care experts who are also grandpas for these articles.

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