Chances are you’ve come across one object or another in your lifetime that seemed like it appeared out of a dream. Almost as if it were meant to find its way into your life. But then reality sets in and you see nothing is perfect — you notice the lightly rusted patches, rust stains and peeling paint, then move that dream object off your must-do list and into the forgotten depths of your garage or storage shed.

Fortunately, though, you may still be able to breathe new life into that rusted metal project, since adding paint over rust isn’t the challenge you might think.

Can You Paint over Rust

Yes, you can paint over rust. With the right materials and proper preparation, you can successfully paint over rust. However, it is important to remember that painting over rust does not eliminate it. The rust will still be present underneath the paint and could potentially cause further damage in the future. If possible, try to remove rust before painting to ensure a longer-lasting job.

Painting Rusted Metal With Real Milk Paint

Painting Rusted Metal With Real Milk Paint With the right products and right process, you can paint over rusted metal and bring character and color back to those primed metal pieces you find at thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets and restore the appearance of sentimental items already in your possession.

Real Milk Paint offers an all-natural alternative to standard commercial paints, with a nontoxic, environmentally friendly formulation that’s been in use for centuries. Ingredients such as milk protein, lime and earth-based pigments for color make our milk paint a safe, effective way to paint over rust.

Excellent Milk Paint Adhesion on Rusty Metal

Like oil-based metal paint, Real Milk Paint thrives on porous surfaces, and luckily enough, a rusty surface is one of the perfect porous surfaces for milk paint to work its magic.

Once you’ve acquired a rusty item, such as an antique metal surface, you can restore it to the best condition possible with a little care and some new paint coat that can prevent rust in the future. In fact, removing loose rust with a wire brush even improves adhesion by revealing bare metal surfaces that readily absorb milk paint.

Gather Supplies Needed for Painting Over Rust

Before you begin any painting project, ensure you have a high-quality brush that can help you get your entire project done quickly and easily. The Real Milk Paint Co. offers Oval Brushes in three convenient sizes that work great with our milk paint, ensuring a clean, smooth application process on any surface, including rusted metal.

Designed to lay on milk paint fast, our Oval Brushes help immensely in the painting process, both by holding plenty of paint and by spreading the color smoothly and evenly.

Remove Loose Rust and Flaking Rust From Rusty Metal

Paint Over Rust With Real Milk PaintFirst, remove any loose rust or heavy scale that’s built up on rusted metal areas with a wire brush or rough exfoliating pad. Once you’ve massaged away most of the buildup, dust off the surface rust you removed onto the drop cloth beneath your project and clean up the dust from all the rust from the surrounding area for a smoother surface of the metal and a tidy workspace.

You might also clean your rusty metal canvas before beginning with a top-notch cleaner like ours and a soft cloth for a clear canvas to apply your rust paint.

Mix Real Milk Paint for Proper Adhesion

Real Milk Paint serves as an effective rust neutralizer, a long-term protective coating and a beautiful way to color your favorite rusted metal surface, making it perfect for your paint job. Formulated as a powder that mixes with water at a 1:1 ratio, our milk paint lets you make the perfect amount of each paint color for economical projects.

After mixing, let your paint color sit for 10 to 15 minutes to give the foaming a chance to die down, or add our Anti-Foaming Agent during mixing to prevent foaming altogether and enable immediate use.

Painting over a few rust flakes rarely requires you to mix in any special additives to make the paint adhere. When painting over heavy rust on some spots or extensive rust on an entire piece, however, you may need a little extra help to ensure superior adhesion of our milk paint. Our Ultra-Bond Adhesion Promoter has you covered, offering a simple way to ensure our milk paint stays put.

Ultra bond to make your paint job last

Paint Over Rust With Real Milk Paint

Using just one paint coat of Real Milk Paint preserves the rusty details of an object while adding beautiful color and character to its existing charm. If you want to treat rust or hide the rust completely, though, you need to add a second coat or even multiple coats.

Heavy wire brushing between coats offers another way to bring rustic appeal to your piece by adding heavy distressing, ideal for farmhouse and country home decor. No matter how you design your painting over rust project, using the quality paint and tools available from The Real Milk Paint Co., you can ensure a fast and easy painting process when restoring rusty items.

How to Paint Over Rust

Once you’ve cleaned your work area and have a high-quality brush at your side, pour out the amount of premixed Real Milk Paint you need to stop rust and add antiqued style. Alternatively, you can also use spray paint for painting rusty metal. Remember to adjust your spray paint gun so that it is set to the correct pressure and volume. Once everything is in place, you can begin spray painting over rust.

The 100% natural formula and thin consistency allow our milk paint to cover the rusted metal surface and seep into all the crevices of an object — all without appearing cakey or plastic-like. For added convenience, rusty surfaces require little prep and absolutely no primer for chic results.

Sealing Rusty Milk Painted Objects

using soapstone sealer to protect paint over rustYes, paint can help prevent rust, but it is not enough to protect your project. To protect the integrity of your painting over the rust project, consider sealing the surface with a top-notch sealer for porous surface projects. Our Soapstone Sealer does just this, delivering deeply penetrating protection for surfaces that don’t have glossy or polished finishes.

Like other products from the Real Milk Paint Co., our Soapstone Sealer utilizes all-natural ingredients for green crafting and creating you can feel good about.

Using Soapstone Sealer to Protect Paint

Simply rub this porous surface sealer onto your rust paint project with a soft cloth, let it absorb for at least 15 minutes, but no more than 30, then wipe off the excess with a lint-free cloth. Next, let the object cure for 5 to 7 days, keeping water off the surface, to ensure the best results.

Reworking metal covered with a little or a lot of rust doesn’t have to be difficult when you have the right supplies, rust paint and sealer. Take a second look at the projects you’ve pushed to the back of your queue today to see if our advice (and products!) can help you take them from zero to hero.