How To Use Rust-Oleum Rust Stripper

by Lisa Atkinson

Rust-Oleum Rust Stripper is a rust-removing product that strips the surfaces of metal parts, such as those found in the automotive industry. This product can remove lacquers, polyurethane, acrylics or even enamel that has been baked onto a metal surface of a vehicle. After using this product, the surface will be left bare and ready to be primed and painted. Rust-Oleum Rust Stripper is available for purchase in quart-sized cans at many local hardware supply stores.

Cover any portion of the surface that you do not want to treat with the Rust-Oleum Rust Stripper with tape. Put on your mask, protective goggles, and solvent-resistant gloves. Shake the can well, and open it gently to relieve the pressure inside the can. Pour the rust stripper into a metal container.

Apply the rust stripper to the surface with a chemical-resistant brush. Apply a liberal coating to the surface you wish to treat. Apply from the bottom and brush upward if you are treating a surface that is vertical. Work in areas that are 3 feet by 3 feet at a time.

Keep applying the Rust-Oleum Rust Stripper by brushing in one single direction. Once you have finished applying the product, let it stay on the surface for about 20 to 45 minutes or until the surface looks liquefied. Leave the area while the surface is being treated to avoid inhaling fumes.

Check the surface after approximately 20 minutes to see if the old surface finish can be removed. Rub a small area with a piece of steel wool, or gently scrape it with a plastic scraper. If the surface has effectively been stripped, rinse it with water to remove the old finish as well as the Rust-Oleum. Let the stripped surface completely dry before attempting to prime or paint.


  • check Prime the newly stripped surface soon after treating it to prevent new rust from forming.


  • close Work in a well-ventilated area. Do not use this product on plastic, fiberglass or other synthetic surface.

Items you will need

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