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I see many ibles made with black pipe here but rarely do they mention any coatings to prevent rusting. I also often build with rusty items where I need to cover the rust so it won't rub of on clothes etc. but don't want to lose the beauty of the patina. An architect once told me he used linseed oil to preserve rusted iron outdoors. I tried it but the damned stuff never fully dries! I could use polyurethane but the oxidation will continue underneath and it will eventually flake off. I've tried "rust stabilizers" but they turn the rust black so it loses it's color. I finally got turned on to a product from an old timer in a paint store I would probably never have found on my own.

Step 1: Penetrol

He recommended a product called Penetrol normally used as a paint additive to improve flow and adhesion that also seals and stops rust. It can be used alone as a base coat on bare metal and will fix the rust while preserving the appearance. The finish will be darker than dry rust but similar to rust sprayed with water or oil and can be top coated with a polyurethane for a more durable finish.

http://www.flood.com/paint-additive-solutions/pro...

Be sure to open and view the rest of this ible before sending me questions. ;-)

Hi Brian, <br><br>I've got some cold rolled steel table tops in a restaurant. Having difficulty keeping a finish on them as they are in everyday use, I've used a couple of different polyurethane finishes but always scratch and flake off. Any suggestions? Needs to be 100% food safe. Thanks
You might try waxing them. It would't flake but also wouldn't be scratch resistant and you might need to re-wax them occasionally but it would protect from the moisture of frequently wiping them down. What do you do now when they start to flake?
I just got a large metal planter that I have out rusting right now. I want the rust finish to stay but I'm concerned that the rust will run off and stain the surface it will be on. Will Penetrol solve this problem? And will Penetrol be all I need or should I use polyurethane as well?
<p>If it's inside I'd coat it with the polyurethane. It 's a harder surface and much easier to keep clean. If it's outside, I'm not sure. My instinct would be to not add the poly because the UV might cause it to peel eventually but I'd check with a good paint store to be sure. None of my stuff is outside so I haven't researched for those conditions.</p>
It will be outside. Will the Penetrol keep the rust from running off with rain?
<p>If it's well sealed it I would think it should but like I said, I'm not sure about outside applications. You may have to recite it periodically. Check with an expert at a real paint store, not a big box or local hardware store. You may also check with the manufacturer on their web site or tech support. <br></p><p>When you find out, post it here so others can benefit too.</p>
<p>For those with metal and iron they want to protect from rusting, look at Corrosion X. It isn't anything like Penetrol, so isn't ideal for the artistic applications, but it is remarkable for protecting that cabinet saw top and so forth.<br><br>I polished my cabinet saw top using worn diamond pads from my granite polishing adventures. When done, I had a mirror like surface. It was wonderful, but needed protection. I'm not fond of wax and such, because it just doesn't hold up and even a drop of sweat can leave evidence you were working. Corrosion X gave the table top long term protection. The sad thing was, it also hid the mirror finish.</p>
Good to know but this is really the exact opposite of what this post is about. Our goal here is preserving the natural look of rusted steel, not removing or hiding it.
<p>Point made. That said, let me offer an elaboration, which, I believe, will bring my post about Corrosion X into harmony with your purposes regarding preserving damage to metal and iron.<br><br>Corrosion X does the same thing Penetrol does. It, somewhat, does it in a fashion that makes it less obvious the rust has been treated. Using Corrosion X produces a less glossy result, However, like Penetrol, it darkens the rust significantly.</p>
<p>Since the Penetrol itself is not a good finish coat, I usually top it off with a few coats of flat or satin polyurethane for a harder, more durable finish. With the poly, you can choose whatever level of gloss you want. It looks like the CorrosionX is a light oil like WD40. That's not a finish I'd want on most household items.</p>
<p>Just for reference, and based on my extensive experience with farm equipment, like plows, disks and so forth, though we kept a lot of WD-40 around and found it handy, it was the last thing I'd depend on for rust or corrosion resistance, or for general lubrication. <br><br>Comparing Corrosion X to WD-40 is an apples/oranges thing. I use it on my commercial table saw, band saw, jointer and spindle sander tables. I would never dream of using any kind of oil, since it could mar a finish on mahogany, walnut and what have you.</p><p>Just to be clear, your tips and methods using Penetrol are time tested and proven. For example, I used it on the underside of the bed of a Rockwell Delta 46-450 lathe I'm restoring. Others have used it to protect underside and hidden surfaces of their collectible cars. </p>
<p>I was only comparing it to WD40 for it being a light oil and not a coating that would harden. The things I read all said Corrosion X was a penetrating oil. You'd never try to apply polyurethane over anything like WD40. Do they have a version of Corrosion X that will set up and take a top coat?</p>
<p>On the matter of Penetrol:</p><p>http://www.floodaustralia.net/products/anti_corrosion/penetrol-anti_rust.php</p>
<p>I just purchased two unfinished whiskey barrels. I want to preserve the natural look and use these as outdoor pub tables. Since there is a combination of steel and oak wood, what type of finish would you apply?</p>
Since it's already weathered, and you're using it outside and under a table top, I probably wouldn't put anything on it. Just raise it slightly off the ground so it won't trap moisture and it should last for years
<p>I have an old '82 Bronco that's rustin' apart in my hometown of Anchorage Alaska. While wanting to figure out a way to stop the Rust's excessive progression, I also wanted to keep the body looking like it does now. So out of curiosity, I searched until I stumbled upon this Instructables page, and now I have a way to do both. As a person with similar tastes in style, I just wanted you to know that it's great to finally see that someone else can appreciate the aesthetic nature of the natural(-ish) appeal of rust on an object, especially onesuch object that has travelled so many miles or worked so hard. (Over 300,000 miles on it and still pushing harder than ever.) It defines it's character, and the mind of one who finds beauty in it has more experience and character than one who finds fault. Oh, thanks, and please say thanks from all of us to the &quot;Old-timer&quot; who recommended this product if you can; we all would be stuck with black-colored painted metal, or nothing left at all, without his/her advice. </p>
<p>Quick question for you, the rust that was on your bronco, was it just a little on the surface of sheet metal? I have an Olds Alero that has rust from salting the roads and I want to keep the large flakes of rust on it, while keeping it from eventually making the frame break in half. </p>
Check out a Sherwin Williams product called Sher Clear for a possible top coat. An auto paint place might be able to recommend something better than plain polyurethane too. I don't imagine a few coats of regular polyurethane would hold up long on a car.<br>
<p>Thank you for the product recommendations.</p>
<p>Hi there</p><p>I ordered the product from the US, I tried it and the result is perfect. One more question please. I would like to use the rusted metal sheet outdoor. Do you suggest that I leave it with the Penetrol finish or would it be better to apply an extra coat of polyurethane varnish?</p><p>Thanks and have a nice day</p>
<p>I love your tip about Penetrol, I ordered some and its on its way now! As far as sealing/protecting do you have any advice on what I should use for a steel table top? Ive seen to use to use the polyurethane top coats, but there are so many kinds and most say &quot;for wood&quot;. Thank you so much for this post and any advice you might be able to offer :) </p>
<p>INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH POLY</p><p>A table top, specially a work table or dinning table, is a pretty tough environment. It's prone to lots of impacts and abrasion. At the least, I'd use several coats of polyurethane. You might also talk to someone at a Sherwin Williams store about SherClear. It's a HD industrial clear coating. It's pricey but incredibly tough. It's made for ships and equipment but a friend uses it to coat canvas floorcloths and it lasts her for years in high traffic areas and under tables and chairs.</p>
<p>Thank-you for this tip! My kids and I had fun rusting this sheet of metal with salt, vinegar &amp; bleach and then sealing it with Penetrol &amp; Polyurethane. How thick of metal do you recommend for a sink like you have pictured?</p>
<p>I think I used 12 ga. mild steel. That's .109 or a little less than 1/8 of an inch.</p>
<p>You have been 'oh-so-kind' in taking time to reply to all.... I hope that my question might not be crazy.... and yes, I get it that you are not a paint/etc expert...</p><p>I just ordered online my Penetrol due to your most fabulous info!!! (yeah!!)</p><p>My question is however.... upon attempting to research online my 'best reviewed option' of a good polyurethane, that many say &quot;water-based&quot;. And I get it --- that only means that 'clean-up' is water-based (or at least that's what the term used to mean)......<br>SOOOOO, without even taking my little 'google rabbit-hole-search' any further..... DO YOU recommend an oil-based or water-based polyurethane????? </p><p>While 'clean-up' doesn't make a difference to me... I just want the BESTEST of BEST applied right now. Touch-up later is not my concern. But finalizing my initial efforts will allow me to sleep well at night :))</p><p>Any rec's of your most favorite Poly????<br>I thank you for your time kind sir :))</p>
<p>Please forgive me for taking up further space, but just to clarify:</p><p>Do you rec an oil-based CLEAR poly or will a water-based CLEAR poly do just as well. My thought is that if the Penetrol is oil-based ---- that an oil-based poly will adhere much better than than it's water-based sibling......I would presume that the oil will also last much longer.</p><p>Either way, what is your favorite clear poly on the market these days that will adhere BEST to Penetrol?</p>
Flecto-Varathane has always been a solid brand. SherClear by Sherwin Williams down right miraculous but also about $100 a gallon.
<p>Never heard of Flecto.... </p><p>Your time and advice is gratefully appreciated; thank you Brian :)</p>
<p>ahhhhhh...... aka: Varathane!</p><p>Yep, one of the best!</p>
<p>We have a 112 y/o Victorian and the bathroom has a metal medicine cabinet. We've stripped the four layers of paint off it, sanded it and left it as is. We are noticing rust appearing when the cabinet is opened with wet hands. Will this product prevent that from happening and should we then cover with the poly? Thank you</p>
<p>Condensation from the shower will eventually do that to the entire surface. If you completely remove the rust down to bare metal again, you can just go straight to the clear poly. If you want to preserve the rust so it shows, use the penetrol first and top coat with polyurethane.</p>
Great, thanks, will poly tomorrow! Don't like the rust!<br>
<p>here's an image of the steel</p>
<p>I see a raw steel beam in the left side of the picture and some railings on the stairs and 2nd floor walkway. If they are new and not rusted, you can skip the Penetrol and just use a satin poly. The Penetrol is only for neutralizing any rust.</p>
<p>Thanks for the quick reply.</p><p>They are about two years old and have been waxed with min wax paste a few times. The upward facing surfaces - railing bracks, top of the railings - develops a dusty oxidation after a few months and I'd like to not have to continually wax...the other sides don't seem to be affected much and keep there beauty. The steel below the wax is hit miss with scaling and touches of rusty patina and is a great look. Not sure if the satin poly would be stable over the light patina...thoughts?</p>
<p>If by &quot;patina,&quot; you mean oxidation or rust, then no, most paints or coatings won't last because unless they have something in them to neutralize the oxidation. The wax already there may also be a problem because I don't think anything will adhere to the waxed surface. I don't know anything about wax removal but you might seek out advice from a good paint store if you have one in your area. A Sherwin Williams might be a good place to start. Go in and ask in person for the best results.</p>
<p>To be clear, it is not necessary to use the polyurethane especially if the finish will not be exposed to water and is on the interior of my home?</p>
<p>I use a polyurethane top coat because the Penetrol is a linseed oil product and is not very hard or durable on it's own.</p>
<p>Hi, </p><p>We have an old viscount caravan that we are wanting to take back to bare metal &amp; leave it for the looks.</p><p>What are you recommendations on keeping the rust away? </p><p>Thanks. </p>
<p>IDK. This thread is about preserving and stabilizing rust. If you have rust free bare metal, any appropriate paint or cleat coat will do. I suggest talking to a good automotive paint store.</p>
<p>Brian, I work with salvaged metal. Most of my pieces will have raw steel from where I cut it. There is also lots of rust where paint is completely gone as well as areas of old paint which I like to keep on the piece. For example...old angle iron. I make stuff with it and am curious if the penetrol can be applied to the whole piece, paint and all? obviously dabbing it only on the rusty/fresh cut areas would be too tedious to do. i just experimented with lacquer and not thrilled. I normally use oil based poly (and rust converter stuff on bare metal). I would really appreciate your thoughts on this as I'm finding the people that work at home depot or other hardware stores do not really know much when it comes to art/old rusty metal and preservation. thanks!</p>
<p>I only learned about penetrol because I ran into an old timer in a small town paint store. They only sold paint and related products, no hardware, lawn furniture or appliances to distract them. You'll never find an expert in anything at Home Depot.</p><p>As for coating the whole piece, as long as the remaining paint is solid and clean, it should be fine. Remove any loose of flaking paint, maybe give the painted area a light sanding for adhesion if it's glossy.</p><p>I know there are new lacquers out there that are popular with woodworkers but I know nothing about them. Find a good old fashioned paint store for the more technical questions. i know Sherwin Williams has a miraculous product I believe is called Sher-Clear. It's pricey, but practically bullet proof and remains flexible, not rigid &amp; fragile like lacquers.</p>
<p>thank you Brian, VERY helpful and I appreciate it! so glad i found this thread :)</p>
<strong>WARNING: I AM NOT A PAINT EXPERT!</strong><p>I'm just a guy who, by chatting with an old time paint guy, stumbled onto a way to stabilize and preserve rust without hiding it. please don't ask me how to repaint your car or patio furniture. I don't know and I don't care. This post is only about preserving the beauty of rust while stabilizing it to make a rusty object useable and not so messy.</p>
<p>hi Brian,</p><p>I purchased a large (40&quot;) raw steel bowl with a beautiful patina. I am wanting to turn it into a fountain but the rust discolors the water. Do you think the penetrol would work to seal the finish?</p>
<p>Since Penetrol is linseed oil based, it won't crack &amp; peel. You might need to recoat it periodically but I'd think it would work. I don't have any experience with it outside.</p>
Pic's of my Kardex from my last post
<p>It is a little dingy looking. ;-) Sometimes a clear coat will brighten things up a little. Try wiping it with a wet cloth to see what a little gloss will do for it. You could also experiment on the back or bottom. If it's rust free, you don't need the Penetrol.</p>

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