How to Thin Ace "Rust Stop" Enamel Paint

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Use water to thin water-based Rust Stop.
Use water to thin water-based Rust Stop. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Ace Rust Stop Enamel is a type of rust-inhibiting paint manufactured by Ace Hardware Corporation. It is appropriate for metallic surfaces subject to moisture exposure. Unfortunately, because this coating is especially thick, it can be difficult to apply and sometimes reveals slight brush marks when it dries. You can simplify the application process and encourage a slicker finish by diluting the Rust Stop enamel prior to application. By learning the proper way to thin the finish, you will avoid creating a streaky, uneven finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Two 5-gallon buckets
  • Measuring cup
  • Mineral spirits
  • Wooden stirring stick
  • Metal-etching primer

Pour one gallon of Rust Stop enamel into a 5-gallon bucket. Don't use a smaller container or you may end up with splashing once you begin the dilution process.

Determine the base of the particular can of Rust Stop you purchased before adding the appropriate thinning agent. Read the label to see if it has a water or oil base.

Add one cup of water to water-based Rust Stop enamel; add one cup of mineral spirits to oil-based Rust Stop.

Stir the diluted rust-inhibiting paint for a minimum of three full minutes.

Lift the bucket by the handle and pour the diluted gallon of Rust Stop into the empty 5-gallon bucket. Set the bucket down; lift the bucket containing the Rust Stop enamel. Pour it back into the other empty bucket. Repeat this procedure three more times to ensure that the water or mineral spirits is evenly distributed.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the Rust Stop still appears too thick, you may add up to two more cups of water or mineral spirits.
  • Rust Stop enamel paint will not bond to bare metal. Apply a metal-etching primer to bare metal before you add a Rust Stop enamel finish or chipping will ultimately result.
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