can you paint hammerite over rust?

Hammerite is advertised as a direct to rust paint, but does this actually work? And how direct can you be? Is there still some prep work required before painting the rust or can you just slap that paint on and that’s it, job done? Well, there is only one way to find out, test it! So I managed to find some really rust metal lying around at the workshop here and then set to painting it with Hammerite paint.

Can you paint Hammerite over rust?

Yes, Hammerite is designed to be used straight onto rust. You should prep the surface first by removing any loose rust. You can do this with either sandpaper or a wire brush. In my test, I found that Hammerite adhered well to the rusty metal and provided an excellent finish, even over really nasty rust.

The Hammerite over rust test

I always like to test things here before giving you guys the answer. So I set about looking around the workshop for the rustiest piece of metal I could find. I certainly managed to find a good test sample, this should really put the Hammerite through its paces.
Rusty piece of metal to be painted
Rusty piece of metal to be painted
You can see that the right-hand side has been sanded down to remove the really high spots and the left-hand side has been completely left alone. This is to see how important the prep work is as part of painting rusty metal with Hammerite. Will the Hammerite just flake off with the large pieces of rust on the left or will it help keep them in place? Painting the rusty metal was easy. Hammerite is nice and thick so it covered really well, even with all the lumps and bumps present in this piece of metal.
Painted With Hammerite
Painted With Hammerite
So there it is fully covered. You can see that the Hammerite has covered well on both sides of the piece. One side does look a lot better than the other though. So purely from an aesthetics point of view, I would say it is definitely worth putting a little bit of effort into prepping the metal surface before painting. I only spent about 30 seconds sanding here but the two sides look completely different. Now we need to find out if this prep work has helped the paint adhere to the rusted metal any better.

Part of our Hammerite Series

Photo of author

Sam Wood

Wood by name, wood by nature. I am a fully qualified, time-served, award-winning joiner with an NVQ Level 3 in Carpentry and Joinery as well as an HNC in Construction. Beyond my joinery qualifications, I have also earned a degree in building surveying. I believe these qualifications make me perfectly positioned to provide expert advice on many different areas of DIY as well as share all of the tips I have picked up in over a decade working on building sites!

Leave a comment