Hello, friends! I’m Cher from Designs by Studio C to share a few tips on how to paint rusted metal. Rust is formed by the reaction of iron and oxygen in the presence of moisture, and eats away at metal. If you have a few metal pieces such as a wheelbarrow, metal hook, or metal planters that are really rusty, they can be saved and fixed up – I am here to show you how!
The project I am using as examples is my wheelbarrow which has quite a bit of rust on it! I started by scrubbing the pieces with a scrub brush and soapy water. The brush will remove the dirt that may have accumulated on the piece as well as help loosen some of the rust. I forgot to take a photo of the wheelbarrow before I took it apart but trust me, it was a mess!
If there are any holes in the rusted piece, the holes can be patched by using a product such as Bondo! Check out my how to use Bondo post on my blog today! Bondo is a compound that can fill holes, scratches, or large dents in metal (as well as other materials).
It wouldn’t hurt to give the pieces a good sanding with sandpaper before using primer. Start with 80 grit, then work your way to a finer grit (maybe 100, then 150). Wipe away the sanding dust with an old rag or t-shirt, then apply a coat of primer. I normally use Rust-Oleum’s Rusty Metal Primer… I like the coverage and have never had a problem with rust coming through the primer or paint.
Once the piece is thoroughly dry (wait at least 24 hours), a coat of spray paint can be applied. Spray a light coat with sweeping strokes and let it dry. Apply a second coat for better coverage. I also like to use Rust-Oleum’s spray paint products – especially 2x Ultra Cover spray paint! It is durable, has great coverage, and holds up really well! I painted my trailer with the Rust-Oleum spray paint a year ago and it still looks like new! If possible, wait at least 24 hours between coats, then another 24 hours before use.
If the project has many pieces, like my wheelbarrow, it can now be reassembled! That was pretty easy, right? Have any rusty projects that are ready for a new life?
If you like this post, I have a few others you may be interested in!
Cut a Hole in a Plate or Glass
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Great post, Cher! I love the color! We are currently doing this same thing to a little trailer for our lawn tractor. We chose a dark green color. I like your color better! Awesome job! 🙂
Thank you very much, Stephanie! I have a small trailer I’m working on as well – in red!
About to refurbish my wheel barrow. Thanks fir the info!
I am so glad it was helpful!