Paint for metal

In another life, from 1984 to 1995, I was a steel erection contractor. During that time, I bought enamel meant to paint ornamental metal, and just about any other metal from the local Las Vegas supplier for about $15 a gallon. Then there came all the California regs (where the paint was produced), and they went to other kinds of paint. I sold the company right after that, and lost touch with paints.
Fast forward to today.
I have bought some alklyd enamel from a local supplier to do some of the metal work I've been doing, and overall, I'm satisfied. Price is decent, thins with mineral spirits, color is holding up.
Wifey goes to HD to get some special turquoise paint to redo security door and patio table and chairs set. I tell her to tell the guy what the paint is to be used for. She brings it home, and me, like a doofus, put it in the pot not looking. It's freaking gloss latex for bathrooms. Well, needless to say, it's going back.
What is available today, even if I have to go to Jones Paint, a local contractor supply? Is alklyd enamel the way to go? I like Rustoleum, but don't think I can get it mixed in the color I want, and I don't want to experiment with $50 worth of paint. Is plain enamel for metal still made? The local Ace has some industrial colors, but not sure if they mix colors.
Specific names of the paints would be most helpful. And that is technical name, not brand name.
TIA
Steve
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On 7/19/2011 12:16 AM, Steve B wrote:

I suspect any good metal primer, along with an exterior alkyd enamel, would do fine. The metal has to be immaculately clean and, if iron, not allowed exposure to salt, fingerprints, etc., unless cleaned. Like auto bodies, little dings will allow corrosion and then the paint peels.
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I have since gone to the local Ace, and they have white base enamel paint, which they can tint to any color. Problem solved. It is RustOleum brand, something I have used many times. I shall still use the alklyd enamel in the terra cotta color, as I have a couple of cases left of that.
Steve
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