Skip to Content

Stainless Steel Spray Paint for DIY Custom Tumblers!

Stainless steel spray paint is easy and cheap to use! Make your own DIY custom tumblers with any color paint you want. Watch these video tutorials!

Hi Friends!  I have posted a lot of tutorials on how to make your own personalized tumblers, and today I thought I’d show you how to use stainless steel spray paint. 

You all know I love making glitter tumblers and people love to receive them as gifts!  The possibilities when it comes to custom tumblers are endless.

You can check out all the tumbler cup tutorials I have over on my roundup of customized tumblers page.

spray paintingstainlesssteeltumbler pin

The first thing I do on almost all of my glitter tumblers is to spray paint them. 

You can buy powdered or colored stainless steel mugs, but it’s also super easy to paint them yourself. 


I used to have a hard time with stainless steel spray paint and would end up sanding the tumblers which was a lot of work.   Then I found one paint that always worked, but then I found more!

Since those days, I have used quite a few different types of spray paint on stainless steel mugs and the paint never runs anymore. 

I finally got around to making a video of how I paint Ozark or Built tumblers, so you can see just how easy it is!  There is one video at the top or side (it moves around) and one at the bottom on how to paint a stainless steel tumbler.

Stainless Steel Spray Paint Tips

I have used the following paints and all of them have worked great.  You can find these at your local Walmart or on Amazon.  There are so many paint colors so you can really create unique custom tumblers.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links from Amazon and/or I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my links.

You can always browse my Amazon storefront with my complete DIY Tumbler supply list.

Before you spray paint stainless steel tumblers, you’ll need to tape off the top with painter’s tape or electrical paint.  If you are only using paint, this is good practice so your mouth doesn’t touch the paint while you are drinking. 

If you are going to epoxy the tumbler, this also helps prevent the resin from cracking if dropped.  If you’d like to see a video on how I tape a tumbler with electrical tape click here. 

painting a stainless steel mug

Then you are ready to spray paint your tumbler!  I love to use a turntable and spray tent so that I don’t get paint everywhere (I used to do it over my bark and we have some pretty colorful bark and rocks now!). 

HomeRight sent me their turntable and tent to try out and I absolutely love them!  Make sure you’re in a ventilated area and shake your paint cans well.

You can find the turntable on Amazon here and the spray tent here.  I like to put a piece of paper over the turntable so that it doesn’t get too much paint on it.

spray paint tent

Start spraying from about 12 inches away from side to side and turn the table every few seconds until you can no longer see any stainless steel color.

wood grain tumbler tutorial

If you don’t have a turntable, simply walk around the tumbler as you spray about a foot away. Keep walking around spraying side to side until the tumbler is completely coated. Sometimes I walk around 4 or 5 times before it’s all painted!If you want to add a monogram or name to your mug before you paint it, click here for my instructional post.

how to paint a yeti or ozark stainless steel mug

If you are going to glitter the tumbler after you paint it, pick a paint that is similar in color to your glitter.  This will save your glitter since you won’t have to apply two coats of glitter. 

For my full tutorial with videos on how to glitter a tumbler after it’s painted click here.


For a bunch of other ideas on which stainless steel tumblers I use and how you can decorate a custom tumbler, check out my post here!

I’ve just started making glitter stainless steel stemless wine glasses.  They are really easy to paint too!  Here is another video on painting tumblers so you can check out spray painting a stemless cup.

This one you’ll have to press the play button for it to play.


I hope these videos help to show you how easy it is to spray paint stainless steel mugs and tumblers.  You don’t have to sand them or do anything special! 

Just pick your favorite color and go for it!  It does take some practice, so have patience with yourself and don’t make the first one for someone else. 

My kids and I have about 10 DIY custom tumblers in the house.  It’s always easy to tell who hasn’t washed their cup!

Also, in case you don’t read the stainless steel tumbler instructions, these need to be hand washed.

Thanks so much and please let me know if you have any questions.

Have a creative day!

spray paintingstainlesssteeltumbler pin

Sharing is caring!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Natasha says:

    How well does the paint hold up after washing? I would love to make these.

  2. Hi Natasha, it holds up well!! My kids have had these for a few years now and only my youngest has a few nicks on his from dropping it. Hand washing only! They are fun and easy to make!

  3. renee griffith says:

    Thank you for your post..I have a friend that is wanting me to “wrap” her Yeti…I had never heard of that…she says her yeti has a lot of knicks and such and wanted me to “wrap” it with vinyl I am guessing.

    Is that kind of an older way to do that “the wrapping” cause now I am seeing epoxy tumblers and now I see yours with spray paint. thank you in advance for your time..
    Renee Griffith

  4. Hi Renee, hmmm, I’ve actually never heard of “wrap” either! You can definitely just paint it, or add a vinyl decal over the knicks. Epoxy tumblers would cover the most and hold up the best in my opinion! I have quite a few tutorials on making those as well.

  5. bonnie says:

    If you epoxy after glitter, how long do you let the epoxy dry in between coats? And after final coat ?

  6. HI Bonnie, I have a full tutorial on how I epoxy here: I let the epoxy spin for 3-5 hours, depending on temperature and then let it dry completely overnight. Same thing with the final coat. I let it completely dry overnight and then remove it in the morning. Hope that helps!

  7. Mandie says:

    Hi ! I love these and was researching how to do them since I was looking for something fun but practical for my wedding party! When you spray paint them, do you use a sealant?! Wasn’t sure if you did, didn’t or if I missed something. 🤣😂 thank you so much! Your work is beautiful!

  8. Hi Mandie, there are a couple of different ways. If you are going to leave them with just paint, then yes I put a sealant over them. You can check out this tutorial: You can also add glitter and epoxy but those take longer to make:
    You could also get already colored tumblers and then just add a personalized vinyl decal to them. I’ve made a lot of stemless wine tumblers or wine glasses too for parties and friends.
    These would be a great gift for a wedding party! Congratulations!
    Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Candy Vredenburg says:

    I would like to know if you have a prntable tutorial for the Mod Podge Tumblers

  10. Not Yet! But hopefully soon!

  11. Cassandra says:


    Instead of using the decal on the tumbler, have you ever used the vinyl as a stencil and spray painted the decal onto a colored tumbler? If so, do you use a sealant over the whole tumbler after spray painting the design on?

  12. Amanda says:

    What type of precautions do you take with epoxy? I have read conflicting data on the safety.

  13. Always be in a ventilated area. I try to epoxy outside of weather permits, if not right next to windows that are open. I know some people are allergic and get rashes. I don’t sell them so I don’t make enough to have issues with it.

  14. HI Cassandra, no I haven’t, so I’m not sure if just a layer of sealant over the stencil would be sufficient versus the entire tumbler. You might be able to add a layer of mod podge or triple thick on top of the stencil and then remove it after a few minutes before it dries.

  15. Jeff says:

    Is the paint food safe? I mean if you want to paint it to the top ( metal cup) is it safe to be in contact with your mouth. Non toxic? Wondering, because I keep reading warnings against using spray paint on drinking or eating utensils.. and every time I search for “food grade” paints, I am deluged with ads for all paints.. yet none are fda compliant. I love what you’ve done, and want to try it on our metal camping cups.

  16. No, it’s not safe or FDA approved. That’s why I always tape off the top so the mouth won’t come into contact. Epoxy resin is FDA approved which is why most painted tumblers that go all the way to the top are covered with epoxy.

  17. Melissa Mitchell says:

    The spray paint isn’t sticking to the stainless steel cup….. It’s almost powdery and comes off when brushing hand on it.

  18. What paint are you using? Make sure it’s one of the double coverage and that you are at least 12 inches from the cup. That’s weird it’s powdery, I’ve never had that happen. Is it a new paint can?

  19. Norma says:

    Can you use a tumbler that’s already painted? Like to buy a pink or black one from the store instead of a stainless steel finished one?

  20. I would think so. I have applied glitter and mod podge over a colored tumbler. I wouldn’t see why paint wouldn’t stick to it!

  21. Skyler Crowe says:

    Hi I am doing my first tumbler now, I’m going super simple and painted then added my epoxy my next question is after it drys do I sand it before adding my decal? Or do I have to sand it all?

  22. Yes! Sand before decal! Don’t sand the decal😊

  23. Noreena Svoboda says:

    If I just spray paint a tumbler, apply decal, does the spray paint need to be sealed with a clear coat before epoxy?

  24. Hi Noreena, I actually don’t know this for sure since I’ve never epoxied just a spray-painted tumbler. I would assume that you would not have to add a sealant because I don’t think the paint will run. If using alcohol inks you definitely need to use a sealant. Let me know how it comes out!

  25. Carrie says:

    So are u not sanding the stainless steel before spray painting?

  26. No! I’ve never had to when I use these types of paints!

  27. Olivia says:

    Hey I just spray painted stain less tumbler did 3 coats and it feels little rough should wet sand it before I put the expoy on? is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to