Why you should remove and stop rust before painting metal


Rust occurs when metals are exposed to oxygen and moisture. Characterised by a distinctive red-orange colour, rust can often be spotted on metal surfaces. There are several reasons why it’s beneficial to remove and stop rusting before painting metal. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of eliminating rust and offer advice to help you prepare metal objects and components for painting. 

Why is it important to remove rust from metal surfaces before painting?

Rust can pose problems for metal objects ranging from cars and boats to gates, bridges, and outdoor buildings. If you spot signs of rust, it’s beneficial to try to treat the problem as early as possible to prevent further development and spread. If left alone, rust can cause the following issues:

  • Weakens structural integrity and strength
  • Increases the risk of corrosion
  • Affects functionality, for example, causing moving components to stick together
  • Impacts aesthetics
  • Reduces value and saleability of objects
  • Reduces magnetic power
  • Hampers conductivity

It is beneficial to remove rust from equipment and metal surfaces before priming and painting to create an even finish and prevent rust development. Painting over rust will only mask the problem without solving it.

How to remove and stop rust before painting metal

Removing rust and utilising rust treatment before painting helps to preserve and strengthen structural integrity, improve functionality and enhance aesthetics. It can also prolong the lifespan of metal objects and reduce the risk of recurrent issues.

If you’re looking to paint metal objects or surfaces and you notice signs of rust, it is wise to explore rust treatment options. Neutrarust offers two types of rust treatment products: Rust Remover Liquid and Rust Remover Gel.

Rust Remover Gel is ideal for objects, buildings, and vehicles that have vertical surfaces, as the gel will stick to the surface without dripping. Rust Remover Liquid is suitable for small objects that can be immersed fully and it’s also an excellent option for recessed areas, box sections, and tubular parts. 

When removing rust, follow these steps:

  • Clean the surface thoroughly 
  • Test a small area before applying the rust removal product to the entire object or component
  • Follow the instructions to apply the product effectively and safely
  • Wait for the gel or liquid to tackle the rust
  • The product will leave a phosphate coating behind
  • Paint the new, rust-free surface within 48 hours 


Removing rust before painting the metal is important as it enhances aesthetics, provides a smooth finish, improves functionality, and protects structural integrity and strength. If you are painting a metal object or surface, it’s wise to use rust treatment options to eliminate rust before you apply the primer and paint. If you paint over rust, this will not tackle the underlying cause, and rust may continue to spread and develop. 

If you need advice about removing or stopping rust before painting, or you’re not sure which rust treatment to choose, don’t hesitate to get in touch