How to Use Rust-Oleum Paint on Metal

Rust-Oleum is a brand name for one of the most popular anti-corrosion paints on the market. The idea of corrosion-resistant paints is to protect materials, especially metal, from the elements that would normally cause the materials to rust. The trick to an effective long-lasting finish with Rust-Oleum, or any other similar paint, is to first prepare the surface.

Metal objects outside need to be protected against rust.
  1. Clean the surface to be painted. Any grease, dirt or chemicals on the surface will make it harder for the paint to bond. Use household cleaners and water applied with a scrub brush or cloth. Do not use solvent-based cleaners on metal.

  2. Remove any corrosion from the metal. Go over the surface with sandpaper, wire wool and a paint scraper to get rid of any flecks of rust.

  3. Wash the surface with clean water and leave it to dry.

  4. Apply a coat of primer with the paintbrush. This is applied in exactly the same way as paint and works as a base coat to enable the paint to bind better to the surface and bring out the color of the paint. Leave the primer to dry as per the manufacturer's guidelines, usually overnight.

  5. Paint over the primer with Rust-Oleum. This should be applied with a paintbrush with all the strokes going in the same direction so there are no visible brush marks. Leave it to dry overnight.

  6. Apply a second coat of Rust-Oleum in the same way as the first to make sure the paint is even and the object is fully protected.


  • Always paint in a well ventilated area.
  • Cover the floor with a waterproof sheet or newspaper to catch paint drips.
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