6 Best Primers for Rusted Metals 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks
When your railings, mailboxes, and other metal features become old and rusted, they can destroy the curb appeal of your home and business. Replacing these items can get expensive and time-consuming, as well. A better alternative is to use a rusted metal primer.
This protector and primer in one will leave your metal fixtures looking brand new while also protecting it from future damage. Not only that, but many of these products have a color built-in, so if you don’t want to re-paint, you don’t have to.
Before you start your rusty project, you need to locate an effective primer for rusted metals. With the overload of brands and products on the shelves these days, that is not always easy, though. Nevertheless, we have accomplished it for you!
We found the six best rusted metal primers available. Each review in the article below will share details such as chemical composition, cure time, effectiveness, and much more. If you are ready to transform your old mailbox or a vintage bike, keep reading below!
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Corroseal Water-Based Rust Converter Metal Primer||
|Best Value||TotalBoat Rust Primer Converter||
|Premium Choice||XIONLAB 2 In 1 Rust Converter & Metal Primer||
|FDC Rust Converter Ultra||
|Rust-Oleum 7769830 Stops Rust Spray Paint||
The 6 Best Primers for Rusted Metals – Reviews 2023
1. Corroseal Water-Based Rust Metal Primer – Best Overall
If you are looking for the best of the best, we suggest the Corroseal Water-Based Rust Converter Metal Primer. This product allows you to remove rust, protect it from future damage, prime, and paint your item all in one step. You can pick it up in a 1-quart, 1-gallon, or 5-gallon bucket depending on your project. Plus, 1-gallon of this primer will cover between 200 and 250 square feet.
Corroseal is a water-based solution, so you won’t have to worry about strong chemical smells. The formula also has a latex primer to give your item a brand-new look once it’s done. You can use this rust remover on the interior and exterior metal equipment, mailboxes, railings, machinery, marine equipment, and even automobiles. It’s also easy to clean with just soap and water.
This rust and primer product dries in as little as 15 minutes and cures completely within 24 hours. The formula is non-flammable and non-corrosive making it safe to use. Additionally, it’s easy to apply with either a brush, roller, or spray gun. This is a great product for restoring metal surfaces and extending the life of metal equipment. Overall this is the best primer for rusty metal we have reviewed.
2. TotalBoat Rust Primer Converter – Best Value
A more affordable option than our top choice is the TotalBoat Rust Primer Converter. This product is available in a quart or gallon bucket depending on the size of your project. You can use this formula to stop rust from spreading on your metal fixtures and get it ready to be painted the color of your choosing. With a phosphoric acid-base, the only downside is there is a stronger smell than our first pick. We recommend using this primer in a well-ventilated area.
The TotalBoat can be used on many metal surfaces including boats, cars, tools, steel doors, and both interior and exterior pieces. You can use this on rusted metal to restore it to life, or you can use it on new metal to preserve and protect it from corrosion. Not only that, but it’s easy to apply with a brush or sprayer.
This product has a water-thin formula that can cover up to 500 square feet per gallon. It dries within 15 to 20 minutes and cures within 24 to 36 hours under dry conditions. Although there is a bit of a stronger smell to this product, it is still the best primer for rusted metals for the money.
3. XIONLAB Rust Converter & Metal Primer – Premium Choice
If you want a product with an extra protective punch, we suggest the XIONLAB 2 In 1 Rust Converter & Metal Primer. This handy formula not only turns your rusted metal into a smooth surface, but it also primes it for paint. You can pick this option up in either a pint or gallon, as well. What’s more, it can cover up to 125 square feet per pint and 1,000 square feet per gallon.
This formula is water-based and UV resistant. It will remove existing rust, create a protected surface from further corrosion, and prime the surface for paint. Even better, this formula can be applied to damp metal surfaces, as well. Apply the XIONLAB with a brush, roller, or dilute it with 20% water for application with a spray gun.
This product cleans up quickly and easily with just water. The formula is non-flammable and eco-friendly. It contains less than 1% VOC, and it has no lead, oil solvents, or resins. Additionally, you can use any type of paint over this primer. Choose from oil, water, enamels, and much more. In fact, you don’t even need a top coat as this product has a built-in color. The only downside to this option is the price tag as it’s more costly than our top two products.
4. FDC Rust Converter Ultra
The FDC Rust Converter Ultra is a water-based formula that is available in a gallon tub. This is a professional grade product that can cover up to 500 square feet per gallon. It can also be used on many different metal surfaces including cars, machinery, railings, tools, marine equipment, and any other interior or exterior items that need attention.
The FDC works to remove chipping rust and create a smooth surface for paint. It also helps protect the surface from future corrosion. This will also eliminate the need for you to sandblast, scrape, or grind away loose rust particles that can fly everywhere. Applying this formula is also easy with a brush or roller, though we don’t recommend using a sprayer with this product.
Another drawback of this product is that it does have some smell for the other ingredients. FDC is also made to prime metal for oil paint, which is customary for metal especially on exterior fixtures. Made in the USA, you will also find this formula is easy to clean with soap and water. Finally, this primer takes about 30 to 40 minutes to dry and 36 to 48 hours to fully cure.
5. Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Spray Paint
Our fifth choice is the Rust-Oleum 7769830 Stops Rust Spray Paint. As the title suggests, this is a 12-ounce spray can that covers up to 20 square feet per can. You can use it on the interior or exterior rusted metals to remove corrosion, add a protective layer, and prime it for a topcoat. This oil-based formula dries to the touch in 15 minutes and cures completely within 24-hours.
The Rust-Oleum makes it easy for the topcoat to stick to the surface. Unfortunately, the oil base makes this formula harder to clean, plus there is a stronger chemical odor. Besides that, this is an easy to apply spray that creates a durable, protective coating.
Something else to consider with this product, however, is it can require two-coats on surfaces that are particularly damaged. What’s more, the formula is highly flammable, so caution is advised. Other than that, this is not the worst option if you wish to use a spray can instead of a traditional bucket or primer and protector.
6. Krylon Rusty Metal Primer
Our final pick is the Krylon K06903700 Rusty Metal Primer. This is another spray bottle option that is available in a 12-ounce can. It’s an oil-based formula that is meant to smooth uneven surfaces, provide corrosion-protection, and create a tacky surface for the topcoat to stick to. Unfortunately, this product falls short of the mark on many of these things.
First, Krylon doesn’t do a credible job of smoothing the surface of your rusted surfaces, nor does it protect it from future damage. On the other hand, it does create a good base layer for your topcoat. On the downside of that, it can take up to three days for this formula to dry and cure.
It’s also important to note that the oil-based formula has a strong chemical odor and will need a lot of ventilation while you are applying it. We suggest and recommend using this product outdoors only. You can use this product on many metal surfaces, however, such as railings, cars, mailboxes, etc. Be advised that it’s highly flammable and toxic, though. Also, you will find the primer hard to clean, plus it will require several coats. Even though this is made in the USA, it is our least recommended product for removing and priming your rusted metal pieces.
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Primer for Rusty Metal
Rust on your metal fixtures and equipment no longer has to mean they need to be replaced. Using a metal primer will not only restore them to their former look, but it can save you a lot of time and money. The trick, unfortunately, is finding the right product that is effective and worth the elbow grease.
Each rusted metal primer has different features and formulas. Depending on your project and the type of metal you are choosing can make a difference in the product you choose. To give you a better idea of what you should be looking for, we have provided some tips below.
Tips on Applying a Primer for Rusted Metal
Once you have found the right product for your rusted metal piece, you will need to get set up and ready to apply the formula. Take a peek at some of these tips on using these products as effectively and painlessly as possible.
We hope you have enjoyed our reviews on the six best primers for rusted metal. If you want the best of the best, we suggest you go with the Corroseal Water-Based Rust Converter Metal Primer. This is an easy to apply option that will turn your rusted item into a brand-new looking piece.
If you need something more affordable, we recommend going with the TotalBoat Rust Primer Converter. This is another effective option that has a no-hassle clean-up, quick cure time, and long-lasting results.