How to Repair Rusting Powder Coated Metal

If you have ever owned anything made of metal and had a powder coat paint job, you know the importance of keeping that metal from rusting. Rust can quickly spread and damage the entire piece of equipment. This article will show you how to repair rusting powder coated metal objects using a few household items. So keep your powder-coated metal looking new for years with this easy fix!

How to Repair Rusting Powder Coated Metal

When metal comes into contact with moisture, it can quickly rust. Rust is a type of corrosion that, over time, causes the metal to deteriorate, weaken, and break down. Rusting on powder coat painted metals looks very similar to normal paint peeling.

Summary: To fix rusting powder coated metal, you’ll need to determine how extensive the corrosion is. Mask the area with tape, protect yourself and clean the affected part.

Prepare and apply a powder coating repair compound over the rust spots, then remove the compound with a flathead screwdriver. Finally, take steps to protect against future rusting, inspect the completed job and make any necessary adjustments.

What is Powder Coating

Powder coating is a type of coating that is applied as a free-flowing, dry powder. The main difference between regular paint and powder coating is that the powder has to be heated to produce its binding properties. Then once it cools, it becomes a tough and durable finish explicitly made for metal surfaces.

When regular paints are exposed to harsh weather conditions like rain and snow, they will chip off. This is because these types of paint were not designed for this type of exposure; however, with powder coatings, you never have to worry about this problem ever again!

When heat (350 degrees) touches the surface of the powder, it is a chemical reaction where the particles of powder fuse together into a solid layer. How the heat gets to the powder is through an electrostatic spray gun that shoots at the surface of your item and coats it with a uniformed, smooth color. This process will result in a very thin layer of coating being applied to your item, which means you never have to worry about it wearing off or peeling over time!

A Stepwise Guide on How to Repair Rusting Powder Coated Metal

Step 1: Assess the Extent of Rust Damage

Before attempting to repair rusting powder coated metal, determine the extent of the rust damage. Examine the surface for visible rust spots, bubbling, or peeling of the powder coating. Depending on the severity of the rust, different repair methods may be more appropriate.

Step 2: Gather Necessary Tools and Supplies

To repair rusting powder coated metal, you will need the following tools and supplies:

  • Protective gloves and safety glasses
  • Wire brush or sandpaper (80 to 120 grit)
  • Rust converter or rust remover
  • Clean cloth or rag
  • Painter’s tape
  • Primer (zinc-rich or epoxy-based)
  • Powder coating touch-up paint or aerosol spray paint
  • Clear coat (optional)

Step 3: Remove Loose Rust and Debris

Wearing protective gloves and safety glasses, use a wire brush or sandpaper to remove any loose rust and debris from the affected areas. Apply gentle pressure and work in a circular motion to avoid damaging the surrounding powder coating.

Step 4: Apply Rust Converter or Rust Remover

Following the manufacturer’s instructions, apply a rust converter or rust remover to the affected areas. These products help to neutralize rust and prevent further corrosion. Allow the rust converter or rust remover to work for the recommended time, then rinse or wipe away any residue with a clean cloth or rag.

Step 5: Prepare the Surface for Priming

Once the rust has been neutralized and removed, prepare the surface for priming. Wipe the area with a clean cloth or rag to remove any dust, dirt, or debris. If necessary, use painter’s tape to mask off any areas that you do not want to prime or paint.

Step 6: Apply Primer to the Affected Areas

Select a suitable primer, such as a zinc-rich or epoxy-based primer, that is compatible with the powder coating and designed for use on metal surfaces. Apply the primer to the affected areas, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the primer to dry fully, as recommended by the manufacturer, before proceeding to the next step.

Step 7: Touch Up the Powder Coating

After the primer has dried, touch up the powder coating using a suitable touch-up paint or aerosol spray paint that matches the original color and finish. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application, ensuring that you apply thin, even coats to avoid drips or runs. Allow the paint to dry for the recommended time between coats, and apply additional coats as necessary to achieve the desired coverage and finish.

Step 8: Apply a Clear Coat (Optional)

If desired, apply a clear coat to the repaired areas to provide additional protection and durability. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying times, ensuring that you apply thin, even coats to avoid drips or runs.

Step 9: Remove Painter’s Tape and Clean Up

Once the paint and clear coat (if applicable) have fully dried, carefully remove any painter’s tape used to mask off areas during the repair process. Clean up your work area and dispose of any waste materials in accordance with local regulations.

Step 10: Inspect the Repaired Area

Inspect the repaired area to ensure that the rust has been effectively addressed, and the powder coating touch-up matches the original finish. If any issues are identified, repeat the relevant steps to address them as needed.

Step 11: Prevent Future Rust Formation

To prevent future rust formation on powder coated metal surfaces, follow these tips:

  1. Regularly inspect the powder coated metal for signs of damage or corrosion, addressing any issues promptly.
  2. Keep the metal surface clean and free of dirt, debris, and moisture, as these can contribute to rust formation.
  3. Protect the metal surface from harsh environmental conditions, such as excessive moisture, salt, or chemicals, by applying a protective coating or covering the metal when not in use.
  1. Avoid abrasive cleaning methods or harsh chemicals that can damage the powder coating and expose the underlying metal to corrosion.
  2. Consider using rust-inhibiting products, such as rust inhibitors or rust-resistant primers, to protect the metal surface from corrosion.
  3. Ensure proper drainage and ventilation in areas where the powder coated metal is used to minimize the risk of moisture accumulation and rust formation.
  4. Regularly inspect and maintain any hardware, fasteners, or connections used with the powder coated metal, as these can also contribute to rust formation if they become corroded or damaged.

Step 12: Schedule Regular Maintenance

To maintain the appearance and durability of your powder coated metal surfaces, schedule regular maintenance to address any signs of wear or corrosion. This can include cleaning, inspecting for damage, applying touch-up paint or protective coatings, and replacing any corroded hardware or fasteners.

By following these steps and taking the necessary precautions, you can effectively repair rusting powder coated metal and maintain its appearance and durability for years to come. Regular maintenance and proper care will ensure that your powder coated metal surfaces remain in good condition, providing long-lasting protection and an attractive finish. Remember that professional assistance is always recommended when dealing with complex repairs or issues beyond your skill level, and it’s essential to follow all safety guidelines and manufacturer’s instructions when working with metal surfaces and coatings.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is My Powder Coating Rusting?

Powder coating is a popular finish choice for many industrial and commercial applications. It is a thin, durable layer that can be applied to metal surfaces to protect them from corrosion. One of the most common causes of powder coating rusting is wet weather conditions that allow water or other contaminants to seep into the paintwork and attack the metallic base.

To prevent this from happening, make sure to keep your powder coating clean by using appropriate cleaning procedures, followed by regular coatings. You may also need to apply a protective sealant if you experience frequent oxidation problems.

Can You Touch Up Powder-coated Metal?

Yes, you can touch up powder-coated metal with a well-mixed paintbrush. Make sure to use a heavy coat of the correct primer and then follow with a light coat of your desired color. Be sure to cover all areas that need painting and let the paint dry completely before applying any additional coats.

Does Wd40 Damage Powder Coating?

WD40 is a common all-purpose lubricant that’s often used to clean surfaces and remove dust and other particulates. While it’s safe to use on most powder coatings, it’s important to note that WD40 can damage the finish over time if it’s applied in large quantities or if it’s left on the surface for an extended period of time. In fact, it’s possible for WD40 to cause Rapid Weathering, which is a process by which the lacquer layer on the surface of the metal flakes or peels off. This can lead to rust and other damage. As a result, it’s important to be mindful of how much WD40 you use and how long you leave it on the coating. If you have any questions about using WD40 on your powder coatings, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to help you out!

What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On Powder-coated Metal?

Powder-coated metal is a type of metal that is coated with a powder coating. This means that the surface is covered in small, finely ground particles instead of being smooth. When it comes to painting powder-coated metal, you will need to use a different kind of paint than you would use on other types of metals.

Paint designed for this type of coating needs to be UV resistant and anti-corrosive since the finish can easily oxidize if not protected. Additionally, the paint should have good adhesion properties so that it doesn’t peel or flake off over time. Because these paints are quite expensive, it’s important to choose one that meets your specific requirements and expectations for the finished product.


The eight-step process we outlined in this article on how to repair rusting powder coated metal is a great way to get back to your original metal and start enjoying the shine. Powder coating offers an excellent, smooth finish to your metal projects with low effort. But it also provides a challenging and rust-resistant layer, certainly more than standard paint or primer alone would provide.

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