Removing Rust From Galvanized Metal

galvanized steel, galvanized sheet metal, galvanized steel

How to Remove Rust from Galvanized Metal

The protective galvanized coating found on carbon steel fades over time. If the galvanized coating no longer protects the surface of the steel, rust forms on the metal. You need to remove the rust to ensure that the metal does not receive structural damage. Then you need to provide the repaired area with a protective coating to eliminate the possibility of the rust reforming. Standard paints will not adhere to galvanized metal and do not provide protection against further rust damage to the metal.

Tools required

4” grinder

Cupped wire brush

Hand held wire brush

Safety face shield or safety glasses

1 can cold galvanizing

Work gloves

Tools to change grinding wheel to wire brush


Step 1

Put on the safety glasses and work gloves.  If you have a safety face shield that would be preferable to the safety glasses.  Do not attempt to do this task without proper safety equipment.

Step 2

You will need a 4” grinder and a cupped wire wheel.   Attach the cupped wire wheel to your 4-inch grinder.  Make sure it is securely attached and will not come loose.  Your grinder should always have a guard attached too.

Step 3

Turn on the grinder.  Initially make light contact of the wire wheel with the rusty area.   Use long and steady strokes to remove the rusty surface.   If the rust is not too advanced, there may still be galvanization below the visible rust.  Do not bear down with wire wheel, but move it back and forth lightly over the rusty area.  Continue wire brushing until the shiny surface of the metal returns.  If the rusty area is too corroded there may not be galvanization below the rust.  In this case remove the rust until you are down to bare metal.

Step 4

Clean areas inaccessible with the grinder with the wire hand brush. Clean the metal’s surface with the rag to remove the dust created while removing the rust from the surface of the metal.

Step 5

Read the back of the can of cold galvanizing. Shake the can per the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that the paint is thoroughly blended.

Step 6

Hold the spray can of cold galvanizing 6 to 8 inches away from the surface of the metal. Remember the galvanized paint is thin and will easily run if sprayed on too heavily.   Spray lightly with smooth strokes lightly coating the surface by depressing the spray button and starting the stroke and then releasing the button before the end of the stroke. Holding the spray button down and moving back and forth will cause the thin paint to run and create an unsightly finish.





For more information contact Carlson Manufacturing, Inc.










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