How to Remove Rust From a Bulkhead


A bulkhead is the diagonally surfaced metal object that protrudes from the sides of some houses. It serves as an exterior entryway to the basement of the building. Metal bulkheads that are subject to moisture and weather can begin to rust, and if this isn't addressed quickly, the problem can become quite severe. One way to avoid rust is to replace the metal bulkhead with a fiberglass, plastic or wood one. Barring this expensive alternative, there are ways to get rid of or at least minimize the rust.

Things You'll Need

  • Scraper
  • Heavy-grit sandpaper or electric sander
  • Rust remover
  • Metal paint

Remove the Rust

  • Scrape away any flaking rust and paint with a paint scraper.

  • Sand the remaining rust with heavy grit (80 or coarser) sandpaper. If you are unable to remove the rust by hand, use an orbital sander or grinder to get the rust off all the way down to clean metal.

  • Replace any bolts, screws or other hardware that have become rusty. If you leave these, they will cause the rest of the metal to become rusty again more quickly.


  • Repaint the bulkhead with a high-quality, exterior, oil-based primer. Pay particular attention to edges and hard-to-reach places, since these will tend to be the places that begin to rust.

  • Paint over the primer with an oil-based exterior metal paint.

  • Give the bulkhead several coats of the finish paint for maximum protection and to delay future rust formation.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • How to Fix a Bulkhead

    Bulkheads are designed to hold the shoreline in place to prevent erosion. These are typically made from wood planks placed on top...

  • How to Paint Metal

    Metal is a tricky surface to paint unless you prepare it first. Half the battle of a good metal paint job begins...

  • How to Refinish Rusted Metal

    When certain metals, such as iron or steel, are exposed to natural elements, like rain or humidity, the metal may begin to...

  • How to Insulate a Basement Bulkhead

    A basement bulkhead can be used when a walkout basement is not an option for a home. A bulkhead is normally a...

  • How to Repair Rust Holes

    There are a few ways to repair a rust hole, but no guarantees a repair will last. With that said, repairing a...

  • How to Paint a Metal Bulkhead

    While it might seem like daunting task, painting metal surfaces such as bulkheads, is not all that dissimilar from painting any other...

  • How to Paint an Exterior Cellar Door

    Many exterior cellar doors are horizontal, like trap doors into your cellar, crawl space or basement. Since horizontal surfaces are especially vulnerable...

  • How to Choose Exterior Access Bulkhead Basement Door

    Exterior basement door or basement access door or cellar access doors come in several standard types. Most of these types are bulkhead...

  • How Do You Get Rust Off Cast Iron?

    Cast iron is a heavy metal used for cookware, furniture, tools and more. If you notice reddish-brown flakes on the cast iron,...

  • How Should a Bulkhead in the Home Be Painted?

    A bulkhead is often necessary in the building of a home, but it may create problems when the time comes to paint....

  • What Are Bulkhead Seats?

    Bulkheads seats are those seats located right behind the bulkhead separators. Bulkhead separators are the physical partitions that separate different sections or...

Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!