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How to Paint Over Rusty Metal

Most people know how destructive rust is to metal, so discovering a rusted area on your metal patio furniture, decorations or other items can be distressing. While you can't erase the damaged already caused, you can use special paint products to stop the rust dead in its tracks and prevent further damage.

Hide and treat rust with paint.

Things You Will Need

  • Wire brush
  • Soapy water
  • Clean water
  • Towel
  • Rust-inhibiting primer
  • Oil-based paint

Most people know how destructive rust is to metal, so discovering a rusted area on your metal patio furniture, decorations or other items can be distressing.  While you can't erase the damaged already caused, you can use special paint products to stop the rust dead in its tracks and prevent further damage.

Plan on painting as soon as possible after you notice the rust to nip the problem in the bud and give your rusted metal items a much-needed face-lift. 

  1. Scrub the rusty metal with a wire brush and soapy water to remove any of the loose or flaking rust. Dish soap and warm water work fine for this project.
  2. Rinse away the soap suds with clean water and dry the metal thoroughly with a clean towel. You must dry the metal as soon as possible after cleaning or more rust could form.
  3. Paint the metal with a rust-inhibiting primer such as a zinc chromate primer. You can purchase such a primer in spray cans or regular paint cans and apply them with a brush.
  4. Paint the metal surface with an oil- or alkyd-based paint when the primer is dry. Just like the primer, you can choose from a can of paint or a can of spray paint.
  5. Tip

    Try to paint the rusty metal within 24 hours of applying the primer. This will help the paint bond securely to the primer and prevent chipping or flaking.

Things You Will Need

  • Wire brush
  • Soapy water
  • Clean water
  • Towel
  • Rust-inhibiting primer
  • Oil-based paint

Tip

  • Try to paint the rusty metal within 24 hours of applying the primer. This will help the paint bond securely to the primer and prevent chipping or flaking.

About the Author

Kittie McCoy has been a freelance writer since 2008. She is also a part-time personal trainer and licensed entertainer in Las Vegas. She enjoys sharing her love of physical fitness and experience in the entertainment industry via her writing.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images