The Detroit Post
Friday, 15 October, 2021

How To Rust Proof Metal

James Lee
• Thursday, 03 December, 2020
• 8 min read

Scrubbing pad or wire brush Rust occurs when the steel is exposed to moisture; its formation is an electrochemical process between the molecules in the water and the molecules in the metal.

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Steel is a major building construction material. It is also used in the manufacturing of automobiles, machines and appliances.

To keep steel from rusting, a protective coating is placed on the surface of the metal. Whether you wish to rust hinges and hardware to further disguise the age of distressed wooden chest or you prefer the look of older metal candlesticks atop your farmhouse table, follow these easy steps for how to rust metal and you can transform any object around your home.

Plus, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar can give off a moderate level of fumes, so you’ll want to work in a well-ventilated space anyway. Lightly sand the entire surface of the metal with a fine-grit sandpaper to shed any protective coating present that might prevent the object from rusting.

Place the sanded object in the center of a plastic bin that’s rested on either hard ground or a flat work surface in the garage. As it dries, the acid of the vinegar will begin to corrode the surface of the metal and you will start to see rust appear.

Pour two cups of hydrogen peroxide, four tablespoons of white vinegar, and one-and-a-half teaspoons of table salt into a plastic spray bottle. Once the salt has dissolved, spray the solution over the object to coat it partially or completely, depending on the desired effect.

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It will set the rust and preserve the aged appearance for years to come while providing an acrylic barrier that keeps it from inadvertently staining any other metal or wood with which it comes into contact in the future. If you plan to reheat the solution in a microwave, make sure that the jar you pour it into has no metal components.

Rinse your paintbrush well after each application to avoid leaving a waxy residue that will harden. The coating that this recipe makes is not only cheaper than the highest rated anti- rust products, it is also easier to control during application and adheres better to metal surfaces.

When the water is hot, place a large bowl over the saucepan to create a double boiler. Store the leftover solution in an airtight jar and keep it in a cool, dark and dry place.

Follow these simple guidelines to help iron, steel, and other metals enjoy the longest life possible. Once precipitation and harsh weather have conspired to compromise and chip away at the coating on metal, then it’s only a matter of time before rust makes an appearance.

In comparison to less expensive painted or varnished metal, these coated products are far less vulnerable to peeling and flaking. Although they’re more expensive initially, metal items with superior coatings are worth the cost in the long run because they truly last for years.

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Use a hose to rinse away all traces of the detergent, then dry the metal with a rag, or on a good day, leave it to air-dry in the sun. A simple action like clinking two metal surfaces together can chip one or both pieces, and dragging a chair or table leg may result in scrapes that leave the furniture vulnerable to rust.

Also, if you live somewhere with monsoon summers, harsh winters, or other types of severe weather, consider bringing your outdoor metal furniture indoors, whether it’s for short-term shelter whenever a violent storm threatens, or for a season-long hibernation when the temperatures drop. A reasonable alternative is to cover the furniture with a breathable fabric for the duration of the foul weather.

When you come across a small patch of rust, spotless the area (as described above), except work fine-grit sandpaper into the procedure. Lightly sand the rust away, then wipe off all residual grit before touching up the surface.

It seems as if Mother Nature schemes to find new and innovative ways to turn your precious metal into a lump of junk. Water, humidity, salt on the roads and just about every other natural phenomenon cooperate to create an ideal environment for rust.

The ideal way to prevent rust is to never drive your car and keep it in a temperature-controlled, humidity-free bank vault. Preventing rust from forming is the next best alternative, but that also requires nonstop attention to detail.

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We'll outline a few ways to prevent rust from starting, keep it from spreading or eliminate it altogether. Watch for tell-tale signs of corrosion in paint: slight bubbles around wheel wells, rocker-panel moldings and other areas where water might be trapped.

In most cars, corrosion forms behind the front tires because leaves and dirt clog the cowl drains that exit just behind this area. If you've ever seen daily driven cars from the Detroit area, you'll know why this part of the country is known as the land of the missing rocker panel.

In addition, trunk floors are generally splatter painted, which is a poor rust -preventative coating. The best prevention is to immediately repair water leaks into the interior and get rid of those plastic trunk mats.

Repainting trunk and passenger-area floors with a good rust -resistant primer and a top coat will also keep corrosion from forming. If the stock splatter-paint look is important, be sure to use a good rust -preventative primer underneath the splatter paint to prevent corrosion from recurring.

Naval Jelly is a caustic chemical and should be handled carefully only in well-ventilated areas while using gloves and eye protection. Santino does not feel comfortable using these chemical conversions for exterior body rust, but he thinks they work well in more inaccessible areas, such as the inside of door panels and in trunk or floor pan areas where the surface finish is not critical.

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However, all the manufacturers claim the surface can be smoothed with body filler and painted for a cleaner finish. This is why you should avoid the temptation to just smooth a little plastic body filler over a small rust hole to do a quickie repair.

Most body shops prefer to replace an entire panel, such as a fender, a door skin, a quarter-panel or a trunk floor, rather than put the effort into a piece of sheet metal that may begin to rust in another spot at some later date. After the weld has been dressed and smoothed, the base metal should be spotless with one of the popular metal prep finishes.

Typically, shortcut cures and quick fixes only delay the inevitable, larger rust -repair job. Small rust repairs can be easy even for the beginning body worker and can provide solid lessons on curing sheet metal cancer.

But short of locking your car up in a temperature-controlled room with no humidity, you're going to face off against rust in almost all of your automotive adventures. The rusting process begins when iron reacts with oxygen in the presence of water, saltwater, acids, or other harsh chemicals.

Eventually, large areas of rust form that may cause the entire metal structure to disintegrate. If the object is located in a humid indoors environment, such as a garage or basement, install a dehumidifier.

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Any type of mud or dirt adhered to the surface can hold water, so it’s important to keep metals clean. Dipping metal objects, such as clocks, into a bluing solution of water, sodium hydroxide, and potassium nitrate, provides strong corrosion resistance.

Commercially available rust prevention products in the form of aerosol sprays or cloth wipes also can protect metal objects, including tools, outdoor gear, vehicles, and large metal parts. Browse Metal Products at IMS Galvanization is a process used to preserve steel rust -free for many years.

First, the zinc coating acts as a barrier preventing oxygen and water from reaching the steel. Then, scrub with warm water and soap and apply a metal conditioner or other protective coating to prevent further oxidation.

It occurs when iron combines with the oxygen in the air causing it to corrode. Rust can affect iron and its alloys, including steel.

Although iron and steel structures seem solid to the eye, water molecules are able to penetrate microscopic gaps in the metal. Rust causes the metal to expand, which can place great stress on the structure as a whole.


Rust can compromise your metals’ strength, making them fragile and shortening their lifespan. When it comes to keeping your metals looking their best while also maintaining durability, preventing rust in the first place is key.

Exposure to outdoor conditions will increase the risk of rust, especially if the climate is rainy or humid. The iron or steel object is coated in a thin layer of zinc.

The alloys form a protective rust patina which reduces the corrosion rate with time. This allows the formation of a protective film of chromium oxide which acts as a shield against rust.

Proper planning during the design stage can minimize water penetration and reduce the risk of rust. For large structures, adequate access should be enabled to allow for regular maintenance.

Bluing is immersing the steel parts into a solution of potassium nitrate, water, and sodium hydroxide and is a useful technique which offers limited protection for small steel items against rust. It is often used in manufacturing firearms to provide a degree of corrosion resistance.

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Acrylic, polyester, nylon, vinyl, epoxy and urethane powders are available. A cost effective way to protect against rust is using an organic coating which form a barrier against corrosive elements.

Oil based coatings are ideal for preventing penetration of water and oxygen. We stock an extensive list of steel products for whatever project you need to tackle.

We’re proud to have served our customers for nearly four decades and are ready to assist you with your steel needs. Give us a call today to learn more, or stop by our beautiful Tampa showroom.

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