To Paint or Not to Paint … a Rusty Surface
Steel, iron, copper, aluminum, and similar metals tend to rust, and some rusty things that you may want to paint around your house include chimney caps and window lintels. Water and air are the culprits of your rusting surfaces, and if you want to paint these areas, you may be left scratching your head as to how.
Luckily, there are only three steps to protecting and painting the rust-prone areas of your home.
Step One – Clean the Surface
The first step is to clean the surface. Rinsing with water should do the trick, but soap or products designed for cleaning rust can be used if needed.
If there is any existing paint that is flaking or chipping, it should be scraped off, leaving a smooth, clean surface. Removing any residue and debris from the surface will give the next step the best opportunity to work well.
Step Two – Apply Rust Inhibiting Primer
This is the most crucial step in tackling rust. Repeat – this is the most crucial step!
The primer will not only prevent future rusting, but if paint were to be applied straight on without the primer, the rust would eat right through the paint. Eventually rust will come through again through over time, but the process is greatly slowed down. The primer is not only protecting your surface, but the paint you are putting onto it, as well.
Rust inhibiting primer can and should also be used before you start to see rust. This preventative measure will extend the life of the paint you put onto metal.
Step Three – Paint
After using your rust inhibiting primer, you can go in with essentially any paint, as long as it is suited for the area you are painting.
There are some protective enamels that will give you an attractive finish with the rust preventing properties, and this can be a good option if you are not wanting a very specific color, as it is most easily found in basic neutral colors.
Steel nails will rust, but you can replace them with galvanized or other non-rusting nails.
If the nails are too rusty to be removed, you should sand them down to only the shiny metal, then countersunk; coated with a rust-preventive primer; and then caulked, filled, or patched; and top coated.