How to Paint Over Rust-Oleum


Rust-Oleum paint covers and seals in rust on metal walls, panels and parts. It is used to prevent the spread of rust and preserve the metal that remains. Often, this is a better method of restoration than removing the rust with a grinder or sanding aparatus, especially when dealing with antique items or thinner metal parts. For additional protection, the Rust-Oleum is painted over with a top coat after some preparation.

Things You'll Need

  • Sandpaper or wire brush
  • Towel
  • Detergent or home cleaners
  • Top coat of paint
  • Scrape away flaking paint or exposed rust with sandpaper, or a stiff wire brush if necessary. Sand away burrs or rough areas with sandpaper. Wipe away the residual dirt and dust with a towel.

  • Clean the surface area with a mild detergent or general home cleaning products to remove dirt, grime and grease.

  • Reapply Rust-Oleum paint product to seal in all rust if necessary. Take this step only if the paint coverage is spotty or has worn away in areas.

  • Apply a top coat with an aerosol can by moving it in smooth motions across the surface of the object. Overlap your strokes for a smoother application. If using a brush to apply the paint, coat the brush and apply it to the surface with even consistent strokes.

  • Apply a second coat of paint if needed. Follow your top coat manufacturer's instructions for applying second coats. In most cases, the second coat is applied after or before the first coat has dried. This may take anywhere from four to 24 hours depending on the paint and your climate.

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