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How to remove rust

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A lady asked how to remove rust from an old metal milk can she had gotten from her mother. Read below for the process using naval jelly.


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A Question About Removing Rust

It's highly unlikely that you'll ever have a problem with rust on your dining room set, but on the metal patio furniture or elswhere outside is a different story.

email question

My mother gave me an old milk can that is 75% rust. I would like to restore it to put in my garden. I have a small electric sander that I've used on some yard sale furniture. Can I use this to take the rust off or is there an easier way? I don't want to invest a lot of money in it. Frankly I like some of the rust, but I would like to paint it the same silver as it once was.




Barbecue or Metal Patio Furniture

This method should work whether it's a milk can or a barbecue or metal patio furniture.

Naval Jelly

Yes, much easier. There is a product called naval_jelly. It doesn't have anything to do with tummy buttons, it got it's name because the Navy uses so much of it removing rust from ships.

The method would depend on the thickness of the rust. If it isn't too thick just use the naval jelly and coarse steel wool.

Be sure to read the directions.

The naval jelly is Phosphoric Acid, be sure to wear eye protection, long sleeve shirt and rubber gloves. After the rust is removed you can use a wash of water and baking soda to neutralize any remaining acid.

Be sure to read the label directions and warnings. Naval Jelly isn't dangerous if it's used properly and with precautions.

Wire wheel with a drill or wire brush and elbow grease.

If the rust is thick you'll have to bring out the big guns. The job goes quicker if you use a wire wheel on an electric drill first. Next choice would be a wire brush and lots of elbow grease. I'm assuming that the sander you have is a flat bed sander of some sort. The rust would be irregular depths so a flat bed sander wouldn't be too efficient, but you could use it to remove the top layers. You would need to use emery cloth instead of sandpaper. If the rust has eaten very deep you could go through the metal and leave a hole.

After using the wire brush, wheel or emery cloth you can use the naval jelly application same as above.

Spray paint finish.

When the rust is all removed the easiest way to finish is with spray paint . Prime the milk can and lightly sand it with regular sandpaper, about 220 grit. Apply enough coats of primer, sanding between coats, to make a smooth surface, then spray with the final coat.

Then after you remove all the rust and get the milk can looking like new you can add some Instant Rust where ever you would like to have the can look older and rustic. - Online Art Supplies
We're proud to be an affiliate of Blick Art Materials

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