How Zinc Oxide Primer Paint Protects Metal Surfaces


Metal tends to corrode whenever it reacts to oxygen and hydrogen in the atmosphere. Corrosion may also occur in metallic surfaces due to electrical current, dirt, and bacteria. Sometimes, a metal-like steel may rust if placed under too much physical pressure, causing it to break down ultimately.

As metal applies as a building material in various large projects, the surface must withstand environmental pressures throughout its lifetime. Hence, to improve the durability of iron or steel, a zinc-rich primer is used as a preparatory coating to protect it from corrosion.

How Does Zinc Oxide Work in Primer Paint?

A zinc primer is a chemical substance that consists of large amounts of silver-white metal zinc. The presence of zinc makes these primers different from regular paint primers.

The high zinc concentration in the primer means it possesses sacrificial anodic properties. The “sacrificial” term refers to the zinc coating corroding itself while protecting the integral component or structure. Therefore, when zinc comes into contact with steel, it provides cathodic protection and galvanizing properties.

Zinc is more electrically active compared to other structural materials like steel. Hence, it can act as the sacrificial anode when corrosion occurs. Other electrically active metals include magnesium and aluminum, which can apply as a coating on other metals for their galvanizing properties.

What are The Benefits of Zinc Oxide Primer Paints?

Ordinary paints create an impenetrable barrier between the metal and environmental stressors. Even though regular paints are advertised as corrosion-resistant, their protection is limited, especially in immersive environments.

Zinc-rich primers provide cathodic protection and are more durable as a galvanizing system. Their sacrificial properties make them perfect for steel structures placed in highly corrosive environments. For example, zinc coating is highly suitable for marines, tankers, and under buildings. Basically, any condition under a constant threat of moisture can benefit from a zinc primer.

The only downside of a zinc primer coating is that it is consumed while offering protection to the metal. For this reason, it has a shorter lifespan.

Types of Zinc Primers

There are two main types of zinc coatings:

  • Organic zinc coatings
  • Inorganic zinc coatings

Organic zinc primers use agents like Epoxy and Urethane and can apply with a spray, roller, or brush. They protect metals in highly corrosive environments, especially in industries like Marine, Energy, Oil, and Construction.

While organic primers protect steel from corrosion, organic variants are less effective than inorganic primers.

Inorganic primers have a very high zinc content, making them ideal for galvanizing metal. They work best when applied with a spray and don’t require a top coat. This primer is most likely to be applied as a coating for subsequent application of organic primer.

3 Reasons Why Corrosion Protection is Important

A company investing in quality coatings can save significant amounts instead of corrosion-related expenses. The following are three reasons why corrosion protection is essential for metal structures and equipment.

  1. It reduces repair costs. When metals get exposed to environmental elements, many parts and equipment can fall prey to corrosion, resulting in the need for a replacement. Effective corrosion-resistant coatings can eliminate the need for repeated repair and replacement costs.
  2. It prevents operating losses. When equipment has to be repaired or replaced, it usually becomes a sign to terminate regular operations. A robust coating prevents losses due to frequent delays in operations.
  3. It helps avoid legal liabilities. Corrosion protection extends your equipment’s life while ensuring your working staffs’ health and safety.


As discussed in this article, we have seen how zinc oxide primer paint provides galvanizing protection against corrosion when applied to metal surfaces. We also looked at how zinc primers differ from regular ones and why they are more suitable for immersive environments. Finally, we concluded why corrosion protection is essential for any industry, from metal structures to factory equipment.

Achieve Higher Grade with High-Quality Zinc Oxide

Superior zinc oxide primer paints correlate highly with high-quality materials and punctilious operation. If you are deliberating which manufacturer holds such a standard, you may consider Citra Cakra Logam. The French Production process they use ensures high-grade ingredients, which are also adequate for international standards. Leave a message to inquire more.