Q&A / 

Paint and Primer for Steel

Chances are you tend to stick with one brand of paint. Most people do. There is a good chance that the paint you currently use has a good oil based rust inhibitive primer for steel. If so, great! If not, the paints listed below will provide you with exceptional protection. The Rust-oleum Corporation, as you might gather from their name, makes a wide variety of primers and finish paints specifically formulated for steel. One of their top chemists provided me with key information regarding rust inhibitive primers. Usually you can find Rust-oleum products in major hardware or home center stores.

When looking for a metal primer, the label MUST say rust inhibitive. If it doesn't say this in the title, look in the one paragraph description on the back side of the label. BEWARE - there are metal primers that do NOT contain rust inhibitive pigments! Without these pigments you are wasting your money. These are the ingredients that sacrifice themselves to the electrolytic solutions that try to corrode the steel. Take your time and find the right product. It will add years to your paint job. I wish you luck on your painting project!

  • Coronado Paint Company

    Primer - Rust Scat Alkyd Metal Primer
    35-111 35-147 35-153
    This primer has excellent 'wetting' properties that provide great penetration into the steel or rusted areas. Can act as a top coat in certain instances, however, a real top coat is better.

    Top Coat - Rust Scat Polyurethane High Gloss Enamel
    31 Line
    This is a wonderful top coat paint. It contains great resins which provide a strong bond to freshly applied primers.

  • Fuller - O'Brien Paints & Coatings

    Primer - Blox Rust Alkyd Metal Primer
    Fuller O'Brien makes several primers for different metals. Be sure to check the label for the metal you might be painting (steel/iron, aluminum, or galvanized steel)!

    Top Coat - Versaflex Heavy Duty Alkyd Gloss Enamel
    This top coat works on just about every surface except for two areas - wood house exterior trim and auto body paint.

  • Kurfees Coatings

    Primer - 433 RustPlate Rust Inhibitive Primer
    This paint dries flat for an excellent prep surface for the top coat. It contains barium metaborate - a rust inhibitive pigment.

    Top Coat - 428 WaterBorne Acrylic Gloss Enamel
    Here is a waterbased paint that is compatible with the oil based primer!

  • M A B Paint Company

    Primer - Rust-O-Lastic Zinc Chromate Primer
    Now here is a paint! I have had superior results with zinc chromate metal primers. See what you think!

    Top Coat - Rust-O-Lastic Finish Coating
    This is an oil based high gloss finish paint.

  • RUST-OLEUM

    Primer - 7769 Rusty Metal Primer
    7780 Clean Metal Primer
    8781 Aluminum Primer
    These three primers should be self-explanatory. The rusty metal primer is just for that - RUST. Don't use it on clean metal!

    Top Coat - RUST-OLEUM makes a full line of topcoats for virtually any item - exterior wood, metal, high temperature grills, appliances, chain link fences, etc.

  • Sherwin Williams

    Primer - Rust Tough

    Top Coat - Super Paint or A-100

Column B140

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