How to remove rust from metal (2023)

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How to remove rust from metal (1)Handyman familyUpdated: 2/7/2023

How to remove rust from metal (2)Handyman family

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    Garden furniture, garden tools and lawn machines will eventually rust. Learn how to remove rust from metal and how to protect the metal so it doesn't come back.

    tools required

    • angle grinder
    • Bucket
    • Rechargeable drill
    • Staubmaske
    • ear protection
    • Schwingschleifer
    • paint scraper
    • color tray
    • Paint brush
    • rags
    • safety goggles
    • Grinding block
    • Wire brush

    Materials needed

    • Chemical rust removers
    • metal color
    • Metal base
    • Rostumwandler
    • Sandpaper

    You are surrounded by tools and machines made of steel. And when the coatings on these products crack, rust begins to bloom and the fight begins. You can attack Rust early and nip it in the bud, or you can wait until you have a full blown war on your hands. Either way, you'll need a battle plan on how to clear the rust and a full list of weapons at your disposal to start the process.

    We'll show you the five ways you can remove rust from metal - three methods to remove it and two steps to prevent it from happening again, along with the best rust remover.

    Project step by step (14)

    Step 1

    Sand, sand, or scrub off the rust

    If you don't want to use chemicals and want to remove those toocolor along with the rust, use a power tool such as a grinder, grinder, oscillating tool or drill to remove rust from tools. Whichever tool you choose, always start with the coarsest abrasive to remove rust from metal and pockmarks. Once the rust is gone, switch to a finer grit to smooth out the swirls and ridges caused by the coarse grit. Sand down with 400 grit wet/dry paper for the smoothest finish.

    (Video) 6 Easy Ways to Remove Rust from Tools & Hardware | The Home Depot

    How to remove rust from metal (3)Handyman family

    step 2

    Adjust the abrasive to the shape

    • Use fan grinders, fiber discs and grinders on large, level surfaces.
    • Switch to spoked wheels for seams, corners and rounded rusty metal areas.
      • Note:A large selection of stripping, grinding and sanding attachments is available for grinding machines.

    How to remove rust from metal (4)Handyman family

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    step 3

    Details Sander

    • Use a detail sander for rusted metal corners, tight spots and small details.

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    step 4

    drill accessories

    • Drill mounted wire wheels and stripping disks can be used as rust removers instead of or in addition to grinders, although they don't have as much power or cover as much surface area.

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    (Video) 8 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Rust In 5 Minutes

    step 5

    Power Sanders

    • Finishing and random orbit sanders are also useful tools for derusting flatter surfaces.

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    step 6

    The chemical removal method

    The old standby rust removal chemicals contain either phosphoric or hydrochloric acid to dissolve the rust. They're harsh chemicals that give off fairly intense fumes, so dress in rubber gloves, safety goggles, and a respirator. Find them in the paint department at any home center. You'll also need an old paintbrush, trash can, 3-inch spatula, and rags.

    • Apply the chemicals with the brush and wait the recommended time for the chemicals to take effect.
    • Scrape off the liquefied rust.
      • Note:You won't get it all done in a single step - rely on multiple applications to completely remove heavy build-up of rust. Consider a gel formula when removing rust on vertical surfaces. It sticks better and runs less.

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    step 7

    Or attemptsSafer and gentler chemicals

      • Note:Try one of the newer non-toxic and acid-free soaking solutions. These chemicals are slower to dissolve rust, but if you're patient, they work.
    • Pour the rust remover solution into a plastic tub.
    • Remove oil or grease from rusted metal before soaking.
    • Then drop the rusted item and walk away.

    How to remove rust from metal (10)Handyman family

    step 8

    The easiest way to combat rust? convert it

    If you can live with the appearance of a rough or pockmarked surface, Rust Converter can save you a lot of time. It kills rust, stops it from spreading and dries to a paint-ready primer. Buy it at any hardware store or auto parts store.

    (Video) Which Vinegar Works Best at REMOVING RUST From TOOLS

    • Start by removing peeling paint and rusty dust with a wire brush.
    • Either spray the converter on or apply it with a disposable brush.
    • Let it dry for the recommended time.
      • Pro tip:Although the label says you can paint to a primer once dry, I recommend spraying on a real primer and then painting.
    • Apply a second coat of converter if you don't want to paint.
      • Pro Tip:Don't put the leftover converter back in the bottle - it will contaminate the rest. Throw it in the trash along with the brush.

    step 9

    Choose between liquid and spray converters

    • Rust Converter is available as a brushable liquid or an aerosol spray.
    • Rust Remover Spray provides a smoother finish but will not penetrate heavy rust and will not brush liquid.

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    step 10

    Apply converter after wire brushing

    • Pour a small amount of converter into a cup and use a brush to work it into the rusty areas.
    • Then smooth out the brush strokes and let dry.
    • After drying, the surface looks rough but rust-free.

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    Three ways to remove rust from tools

    Sand, sand, or scour the rust
    Advantages:No pockmarks and a smooth finish before painting. Complete project in one day. No waiting for chemicals to work.
    Disadvantages:Dirty, dusty, hard work. Requires power tools and a lot of elbow grease.

    Convert the rust
    Advantages:The easiest way to stop rust and prime in one go. Less expensive than chemical or mechanical methods of removing rust.
    Disadvantages:Leaves a rough or pockmarked finish that becomes visible after painting. Must not inhibit the rust, as long as conventional stripping, priming and painting.

    Remove rust with chemicals
    Advantages:Soak removers can do all the work for you if the item is small enough. Spray removers greatly reduce grunt work, but require multiple applications and some scraping.
    Disadvantages:Long waits for the liquid removers to do their job. Makes a huge mess. Soak removers are expensive and can only be used on small items. The surface will still be pockmarked after the rust is gone.

    Top:Don't think you can spray rust inhibiting paint on a rusty surface and get good results. The rust will bleed right through the paint and ruin your new paint job. You need to treat the rust using one of the methods we show here. There's just no way around it.

    step 11

    Prevent rust: Prime first

    • Choose a regular (non-sandable) primer if the surface is completely smooth.
    • To fill in scratches, choose a sandable primer and sand lightly after drying.
    • Use a filling primer to fill in pockmarks.

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    step 12

    Prepare and prepare

    • Clean the metal before priming.
    • Apply the primer to the old paint and the newly sanded metal.

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    (Video) How To Remove Surface Rust With WD-40

    step 13

    Prevent rust with paint and top coat

      • Note:Several companies make rust-inhibiting paints. If you can't find the color you want, try the paint department of an auto parts store.
    • Spray on a final coat of clear shine.

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    step 14

    Apply a clear top coat

    • Allow the paint layer to dry completely.
    • Spray on a clear top coat to extend color life.

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    Choose a quality paint

    After all that nasty prep work, why risk another bout of rust by using cheap paint? Inexpensive paint contains fewer pigments, less resin binder and no rust inhibitors. Spend a few bucks more for a premium anti-rust paint. It contains zinc additives that provide an extra level of protection against future rust.

    Brushing usually provides better paint adhesion than spraying, but leaves brush marks in the finish. However, spraying is difficult and staying in one spot for too long can cause paint run marks in the finish.

    Whichever painting method you choose, seal the newly painted item with a clear top coat. This increases gloss and dramatically increases paint life by reducing paint oxidation.

    (Video) Which Rust Remover is Best?!

    Originally published: December 30, 2020


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