How to Repair Rusting Powder Coated Metal in 8 Easy Steps (2023)

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 in 8 Easy Steps (1)

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.


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!

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Required Tools and Materials

  • Powder Coating Metal Repair Product (such as the MRO 20™)
  • High-Quality Paint Masking Tape (3M is highly recommended)
  • Face Shield
  • Respirator
  • A Good Pair of Gloves
  • Thin Flathead Screwdriver

A Stepwise Guide on How to Repair Rusting Powder Coated Metal

Step 1: Determine How Severe the Rusting Is

If you use metal parts in your garage, there’s a high chance that these can also rust. How would you know if they are already covered with rusted spots? Well, it is pretty easy if you look closer and see some white or light brown rusty spots on the surface of the metal part.

If there’s no need for handling heavy equipment and moving significant components around, then avoid using power tools for this task as it may only cause further damages to the powder coating material (streaks on the metal due to dust and scratches).

How to Repair Rusting Powder Coated Metal in 8 Easy Steps (2)

Step 2: Mask the Surface With High-Quality Paint Masking Tape

Masking tape is a must-have for refurbishing automotive surfaces, including powder coating. Choose a heavy-duty tape with a durable adhesive to avoid leaving any residue or marks on the surface.

If any adhesive is left behind on metal components, simply re-mask the area until it is clean and free from any tape residue before proceeding with your rust repair kit.

Step 3: Protect Yourself

You should wear a mask or respirator, protective clothing, and gloves when doing this task. Even if the parts are already covered with rusty spots, it does not mean that there will be no hazardous dust particles present in the work area where you do your powder coating repair processes. Always keep your garage clean, especially when working on projects like these, to not trigger any health problems after finishing your DIY project.

Step 3: Clean the Surface of the Metal Part

Before using your rust repair kit, ensure that the powder coating surface is clean and free from dust or debris particles. Use an air compressor to keep the work area clean before starting the project. You can also wipe off loose rust on some areas with a wire brush, making it smooth enough to coat over perfectly.

Avoid completely removing rusted-out areas as these are not only low in appearance but will be too difficult to patch up properly.

Step 4: Prepare Powder Coating Repair Compound Application

In this step, you would have to follow the instructions of your powder coating repair product. This might involve mixing two different components before applying them over the rusty metal surface. It’s important to wear a face mask and gloves when doing this, to protect yourself from the chemicals.

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Using high-quality paint masking tape is essential for protecting the nearby areas from getting stuck with excess repair compounds or possible spills of it dropping on surrounding surfaces or even the floor on which you put your project.

How to Repair Rusting Powder Coated Metal in 8 Easy Steps (3)

Step 5: Apply Repair Compound Over Rust Areas

Using a disposable brush, apply the powder coating repair compound over the rusty areas of your metal components. Make sure that you apply it evenly and thick enough to leave no empty spots for new rusting especially when exposed to moisture or humidity. Allow time for the repair compound to dry over the rusted parts before reassembling them back into place. It is best to let it dry up overnight before placing these on any equipment or machinery again.

Step 6: Remove Repair Compound With a Flathead Screwdriver

After the compound has dried up, get a flat head screwdriver, then start scraping off all excess materials going over the edges and corners of rusted areas, making them very smooth. If there are still some tiny rough edges left after this step, you can use a wire brush again without applying too much pressure on these areas until they’re smoothened out nicely. Apply rust inhibitor or primer if necessary to prevent future corrosion on top of restored surfaces.

Step 7: Protect the New Surface from Getting Rusty Again

To keep the repaired parts from getting rusty again, apply a protective layer of primer or rust inhibitor to your work. In addition, you can use fine steel wool in going over these areas for any possible rough spots that might cause future corrosion. Apply Your Rust Inhibitor and Primer

Once your repairs are complete, apply a rust inhibitor or primer to the areas you’ve repaired. Use your brush or cloth to apply the inhibitor and allow it to dry completely before continuing with your paint job.

A rust inhibitor will help prevent any further rust from developing on the surface of your car.

Remember to wear a mask and gloves when working on projects like these to avoid inhaling hazardous powder coating compounds and dust. It is also advisable to wear eye protection gear every time you’re doing this task, especially if it requires using harsh chemicals that could potentially injure your eyes.

Step 8: Inspect the Repair Job and Make Final Adjustments

After fully protecting your newly repaired parts from rusting again, scrutinize the work to check if all edges and corners are already level with each other. Ensure that you wear protective clothing like an apron, then place all rusted metal components back in place and assemble electrical wires and hardware pieces once more before starting to power up your machinery again.

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If everything is working correctly without issues, it is now safe for you to turn on electricity by flipping on the master switch or main power button after making any last-minute adjustments. These steps will help in how to repair rusting powder coated metal.

How to Repair Rusting Powder Coated Metal in 8 Easy Steps (4)

How to Avoid Rust in Powder Coated Metal

Metal items that are powder coated are prime targets for rusting. The reason is that the metal item has been covered in a protective coating that does not allow water to escape the metal surface. This means that if you have an object made out of metal and has been powder coated, you should take all measures to protect it from rusting. Here are some tips on how to prevent rusting on powder-coated metal objects:

Clean Powder Coated Metal before Painting It

If your metal item comes with a clear powder coat finish, then cleaning before painting is crucial because steel can be exposed during the process, making for good adhesion. You can clean it by wiping the surface with a dry cloth or simply brushing off any loose dirt before you apply primer.

Apply Two Coats of Paint to Your Powder Coated Metal Object

If you want your metal item’s rusting problem to be solved, consider applying two coats of paint on top of each other. This serves as an additional protective layer that keeps the powder coat intact and prevents anything from penetrating through it. If possible, apply paint in thin coats rather than one thick coat for better results because thicker layers are harder to dry, making for a messy painting process.

Warm Up Your Metal Item Before Painting It

Before painting your metal object, let the machine reach its average temperature before you start working with it. There is no specific time but enough interval to allow the metal object to warm up. The paint will adhere better to the metal surface when it is warm.

Sand your Metal Object Before Painting It

After letting your metal surface reach room temperature or applying heat, make sure to sand down the powder coating of your metal object before applying paint. Cold surfaces are harder to paint on because they affect flow and adhesion, which will leave uneven surfaces once dried.

How to Repair Rusting Powder Coated Metal in 8 Easy Steps (5)

Sanding also gives better adhesion between the primer coat and your metal surface, which makes for a more robust seal that prevents rusting in the future. Better adhesion also makes for more effortless touchups.

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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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