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Removing Rust from Hardware that Cannot Be Removed :: Options


aka :: if there is such a thing as a personal hell – mine would be filled with poorly painted hinges: Part 4

Click here for the last in this series :: Using a Professional Refinisher to Remove Paint. For more on Removing Paint, here.

Rust Never Sleeps

No . . . this isn’t the first time I have tackled rusty hardware. Sure, probably like a few of you, I have worked rusty hinges with either steel wool and/or sandpaper. In extreme cases, I have even loaded up my detail sander, and went at it that way.

There are a few logistical problems with these methods however. First, if you are working with small parts, such as window latches – it is difficult to secure the piece as you work. What I mean — trying to isolate the workpiece on a workbench, in a vise, etc. can become frustrating, simply because you must often re-set the piece. Most times, in the end, I just grab what I am working on, find a seat, and get to, well, rubbing.

There is another problem here, of course. With this method of rust removal, you can certainly expect “scuffing.” Yes, the action of even a fine sandpaper or steel wool will work marks into the surface of the metal in places that the enemy may not already inhabit.

These marks can typically be polished out, and I’ve had longer term success with these methods. This is especially true if the once cleaned surface gets a good metal primer and a glossier top coat.

But . . . in locations where water/moisture may be present, say on an exterior, this option will not always hold up as well as you typically would like.

Other options (aka let your tools do the work)

When removing rust from hardware, we do have other options. For my shutter hinges and column feet, this phase of my program, I chose Krud Kutter‘s Must for Rust.

Now, I have used other rust neutralizers; they are easy enough to find at your local auto parts store, and I have had some success with them.

The Must for Rust, however, is a little different. First, as a remover and an inhibitor, I am not required to apply a top coat of paint within a short period of time. This is good for someone who admittedly has a hard time finishing what they start. (Come on — I know I am not the only one.)

Also, and this is where it dazzles – I can dilute the Must for Rust down into a solution, and I did 50/50, for submersing and completely covering the hidden nooks found on my hinge parts.

Don’t get me wrong, you have the option to apply right from the bottle in a spray or a stream. The available foaming action is perfect for clinging to upright surfaces, such as . . . . say immovable column feet.

The fact that Krud Kutter‘s products are bio-degradable are just bonus; a fact that makes me feel a little more comfortable about the accidental, yet inevitable overspray.

Must for Rust in action (aka I do my thing, it does its thing)

Let me be clear – I am multi-tasker, and as your classic weekend warrior (grrr). As I was working on the front of the house, often up on a ladder, I was bouncing to the back patio to do some of this work.

With a new product, as product manufacturers often suggest and for reasons I have learned, I wanted to do a test with the Must for Rust. Yes, I planned always to apply it to my freshly stripped column feet. But just to see how it handles, I set up a station on my back patio. Here I could try it out on a few of the dipped, yet still rusty shutter hinges. (You can see some of these pics throughout this article.)

Back to work

These hinges, and the pics may not reflect this, were very pitted. A result, I am sure of rust’s savagery. I gave one set of hinges two coatings with the spray, while following the product guidelines closely. Because this first test didn’t quite get me where I wanted to be, I decided to mix up a solution.

After about 15 minutes in this bath, I pulled them out, and gave them a light rub with some balled up aluminum foil (which I did grab off a baking pan my wife had setting on the counter). Krud Kutter and Reynold’s Wrap, who would have thought, and as you see above — no scuffing, and a hinge perfectly free of rust.

Now, I was ready to go at the column feet on the front of the house. And – no offense to Krud Kutter, as it is safe on most surfaces – the aluminum foil got me thinking. What a great (reusable) way to protect hard-to-protect surfaces. I placed a protective layer around the base of my feet and applied a foamy coating of the Must for Rust, and . . . it just did its thing . . . again.

Ready for paint

In the end, and as the exterior on my house is a work in progress – I will ultimately paint these surfaces. For now though, I can feel comfortable that this work from that day will hold up until I can get around to selecting the right paint and making the time to apply it.

Thanks, Must for Rust.

For a look at other great products, check Krud Kutter’s Amazon Store. And of course, for more on Old Houses, there.

Next: Reynold’s Wrap as toolbelt essential? Or Flashing: Salvaged and New. Paint Removal from Copper and Other Uses for Aluminum Foil.

More Moxie:

Greening your kitchen with recycled Reynold’s Wrap: Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil from 100% Recycled Aluminum.

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