How to Paint Over Rust With Rust-Oleum

Updated February 21, 2017

The Rust-Oleum brand is best known for manufacturing paint that prevents corrosion or rust on metal. Rust-Oleum also offers paint for other materials such as wood and plastic. Before painting over rust with Rust-Oleum, you need to prepare the surface to receive the paint. This preparation includes removing any rust that is already on the object. Once you paint on Rust-Oleum, you no longer have to worry about rust formation.

Purchase the type of Rust-Oleum paint and primer you want to use. The brand comes in standard liquid and spray forms. If you purchase Rust-Oleum in a standard paint can, you have the option of using a paintbrush or roller for application.

Scrub off the surface rust with a steel wool pad or sandpaper.

Pour rust remover onto a steel wool pad. Apply the rust remover to any stubborn rust on the object.

Wait 10 to 15 minutes and then wipe the surface clean with rags or paper towels. Commercial rust removers dissolve rust using acids as the main ingredient.

Scrape off loose or peeling paint with a wire brush.

Fill a small bucket with warm water. Add several drops of liquid soap to create soapy water. Use paper towels or a sponge to clean the surface and remove dirt, grime and residue from the rust remover. Dry with paper towels.

Paint on Rust-Oleum primer with a paintbrush or roller, or spray it on if using primer in a spray can. Use a product suitable for use on the material you are painting such as metal, wood or plastic. Let the primer dry completely.

Paint or spray on the Rust-Oleum paint in the colour of your choice. Let dry before applying a second coat of paint if needed. Allow the paint to dry completely before using the item.


Use rubber gloves when using the rust remover. Work in a well-ventilated area.

Things You'll Need

  • Steel wool pad or sandpaper
  • Wire brush
  • Rust remover
  • Bucket
  • Liquid soap
  • Sponge
  • Paper towels or rags
  • Rust-Oleum primer
  • Rust-Oleum paint
  • Paintbrushes or roller
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