Rust will always be a common problem as long as metal products exist, and we won’t see metal products phasing out anytime soon.
Cars, equipment, and even buildings are all vulnerable, and rust can be a massive problem for a considerable amount of people. Since rust forms when metal oxidizes through contact with the air around it, we usually put a coat of primer on metal to protect it from moisture and oxygen in the atmosphere. Unfortunately, sometimes the coating doesn’t work, and rust starts forming anyway.
However, there are so many rust converters and primers on the market. Therefore, we made a list of the very best options currently available to help you make the perfect decision and find the ideal product for you and your specific needs.
So, let’s get to it…
Top 9 Best Rust Converters On The Market 2020 Reviews
1 Prematex Rust Treatment
Prematex Rust Treatment can destroy old rust and prevent new rust in just a few easy steps. Just brush the old rust off and spray the product on. Once on, the area will be covered in a black polymer coating.
This product can be used for all engine parts, outdoor furniture made of steel, even door hinges, pipes, valves, and other steel surfaces.
There is no need to sandblast the surface before applying the Prematex coating, just make sure all the old paint is removed. This makes it great for a quick and permanent fix for any DIY junkie.
Prematex is non-flammable and can be used in hot work areas. It isn’t non-toxic, but it’s supposedly safe to use without a mask, although we don’t recommend that.
Depending on the humidity and heat of your surroundings, the coating can take up to 20 minutes to dry. In our experience, on a hot and sunny day, 15 minutes was all we needed.
Prematex works even better when you apply two coats. You know what they say, if one coating works well, why not two coats? One coat will work well, but trust us, it’s worth adding that second coating, especially if you don’t want to coat it again in the future.
- Highly durable if applied well.
- Easy to paint over.
- Not environmentally friendly.
2 Corroseal Water-Based Rust Converter Metal Primer
Corroseal is a water-based rust converter/primer. These water-based rust converters don’t cover the rust up, like polymer coatings. Instead, it converts the rust into iron tannate. Iron tannate is a dark, stable material that forms when the rust reacts with tannic acid.
So, instead of removing the rust, it turns it into a different substance, iron tannate, that is black in color. This can then easily be painted over and ground down to smooth it out. The Corroseal Water-Based Rust Converter is non-flammable and non-corrosive.
Just brush the surface clean and then roll or spray the product on the surface.
When applying this rust converter, it is advised not to apply a coating thicker than 10 mm. After you use the product, it is also advised to let it dry for at least 24 hours before applying any sort of coating, like paint, over the surface.
The Corroseal Rust Converter should not be applied over freshly blasted steel. It is also not recommended for borehole pipes or underwater applications.
It is a simple chemical reaction that doesn’t cause much harm to the environment, unlike polymer coatings. So if you prefer not to contribute to toxicity levels in groundwater and the likes, this may be the product for you.
Notably, if you have an area that has rusted away and become particularly fragile, it’s almost impossible to apply Corroseal, because it will need rust to convert into iron tannate. And, once it has converted, the surface will still be very thin and fragile, if not worse.
- Environmentally friendly.
- Easy to use.
- Not suitable if there isn’t a thick layer of rust.
- Does not work for underwater equipment.
Evapo-Rust will breathe new life into your rusted household objects and equipment. It is remarkably easy to use, and anyone can quickly restore rusty tools, auto-mechanical parts, and rusty household items with very little fuss.
This product can be used on cast iron cookware, grill gates, knives, antiques, and everything in between. Evapo-Rust is a non-toxic, environmentally safe, water-based formula that removes rust in minutes.
If it comes in contact with your eyes or skin, it won’t do any damage. Simply rinse the area that came into contact with it, with water. Evapo-Rust is non-flammable and odorless. That makes it perfect for indoor use. There are no dangerous chemicals or solvents present.
This product does not require the use of any special equipment. This makes it easy to use, as well as cost-effective.
Evapo-Rust works by soaking whatever rusty object you want to restore, for up to 12 hours, in the liquid. After you’ve de-rusted your equipment, Evapo-Rust can also be reused. Just bottle it up again and store it in a dry, cool place.
No scrubbing, sanding, or painting. Great for any DIY job at home by almost anyone and no professional credentials necessary.
Most of these water-based rust removers are eco-friendly and can be poured down a drain. We most appreciate that it can come into contact with plastic or rubber and leave no trace whatsoever.
It is to be noted that large areas of rust are difficult to submerge for long periods of time. Results may also vary on the type of metal and product. We found that some of our tests did not pan out as well as others. Household objects like knives came out looking almost brand new, but submerging a rusty chair isn’t really viable, obviously.
- Easy to use.
- Large surfaces cannot be easily submerged.
- Results vary.
4 Skyco Ospho Surface Prep
Skyco Ospho is excellent for prepping rusty automotive surfaces before applying paint. This surface prep solution comes in a sizeable 11-pound bottle, which is more than enough for any large surface that needs de-rusting.
The water-thin substance consists of phosphoric acid, dichromate, wetting agents, and extenders. This means that it is not safe for any surfaces other than metal. Phosphoric acid is also highly dangerous when coming into contact with human skin, so gloves should be worn. It is also toxic when breathed in, so wear a mask.
The chemicals in the product retard and resist the rust, leaving you with a toughened metal surface that is prep ready. It will also prevent further oxidization of the metal. This is why it is great for cars and trucks, since, once applied, you won’t have to worry about your vehicle rusting underneath the paint and making the paint peel or crack.
Skyco Ospho is recommended for use under oil-based primers or paints. Unlike polymer coatings, this does not provide a layer over the rust; it merely stops the oxidization of the metal and removes the rust that was already present.
This means painting over the surface after using Skyco Ospho is a must.
- Easy to use.
- Prepares a great surface for painting.
- Ample amount provided.
- Phosphoric acid is a health hazard.
- Coat of paint is mandatory after use.
5 FDC Rust Converter ULTRA
FDC Rust Converter Ultra is a highly effective rust converter that creates a sealed layer, preventing further oxidization in the future.
The main purpose of this rust converter is to clear up the rust, protect the surface from further rust, and eliminate the need to grind or sandblast the surface, especially when you have an extensive surface area that needs rust removal and future proofing.
One gallon of FDC Rust Converter Ultra is enough for 500 square feet of surface area. Once applied, the chemical reaction will turn the rusty surface into the black material called iron tannate.
The treatment works best on a hot day, or in a warm area where the coating can dry thoroughly. We found that there was an issue on our first try, due to not mixing it well enough. So, we strongly recommend being sure to thoroughly mix the product before applying for the best results.
The phosphoric acid will also help the coating to come out smoother, which means you won’t have to grind or smoothen out the surface after application.
The iron tannate layer will protect whatever metal is left from moisture, preventing further oxidization of the metal. Again, if your surface is too thin and fragile, the rust converter won’t help strengthen the metal much, and replacement is probably needed.
These rust converters are, therefore, best suited for early rust development and to prevent any further rusting. Then, because of the phosphoric acid content, it is essential to keep away from your eyes and skin, and also never risk accidentally ingesting the product, keeping it well away from kids and curious pets.
- Easy to use.
- Fast results.
- Prevents future rust.
- Phosphoric acid is dangerous.
- Need to apply large amounts for good results.
6 AdCoat Rust Converter & Primer
AdCoat is considered one of the best rust converters on the market. It’s one of the best solutions, and good results are always guaranteed.
It is a water-based rust converter, which makes it both eco-friendly and safer to use overall. It’s still good to take precautions like using gloves and a mask, but the overall chemical mixture is significantly safer to use than products containing phosphoric acid.
It will first convert the rust into magnetite, which is a non-rusting metal compound. It then serves as a latex primer, sealing the surface and keeping it from rusting again. It’s also a bonding agent for oil-based paints and is not susceptible to tannin stains.
Whenever people think of removing rust, the horrible realization that sandblasting is required comes to mind. With Adcoat, the need for sandblasting or grinding away to smoothen out the rust is all but a thing of the past.
We found Adcoat to work best on hot days, and that it did precisely what was promised on the bottle. Rust on cars or garden equipment outside quickly turned black and provided a smooth surface to paint over.
This product is recommended for automotive restoration, industrial use, farming, marine, construction, and household projects.
- All in one converter and primer.
- No sandblasting needed.
- A lot of the product is needed for good results.
7 Totalboat Rust Primer Converter
Totalboat, as the name implies, is a rust primer that is designed for use on boats, although that’s not all it is good for.
Totalboat Rust Primer Converter can be used on new metal surfaces for a secure prime coating that will prevent any rust from forming. It can also be used as a rust converter to turn rusty equipment and surfaces into a rust-free, paint-ready surface.
To use this product, the rusted surface needs to be cleaned up, and all loose rust must be removed. After that, it’s super easy. Just apply a decent amount of the liquid over the surface and let it thoroughly dry for 24-hours.
Once the surface has turned black, you know the chemical reaction took place, and the surface is suitably primed and ready for a fresh coat of paint.
This product does contain phosphoric acid and needs to be handled professionally. Wear protective gloves and a mask, so you do not inhale the product.
We tested the primer against some other brands like Adcoat and FDC. Adcoat is still the better solution. Totalboat did not prime the whole area we tested it on, with some rust patches remaining, needing a second coating first.
- Easy to use.
- Works with all metal equipment and products.
- Needs to be used more than once for a good finish.
8 GEMPLER’S Eco-Friendly RCQ Rust Converter & Primer
Gempler’s Eco-friendly Rust treatment can destroy old rust and prevent new rust in one easy step. It stops metal from rusting and converts the current rust into an inert, dark material.
This means there’s no need to apply any primer layers after treating the rusty surface area. Once the black coating appears and dries within 48 hours, you can safely paint over it with any paint you like. Oil-based paints work best.
When applying the product, use a regular steel brush to remove the rust on the surface and then apply it with a standard paintbrush or a sponge.
We found that Gempler’s eco-friendly formula was better than Corroseal’s eco-friendly offering. After only one coating, most rust was gone, and applying paint to the new, smooth black surface was totally hassle-free.
This product is also non-flammable. It’s made of an easy to clear up, water-based formula. We also like that the product has a nine-month shelf life.
- Easy to use.
- Longer drying time.
- Needs a lot of product to work effectively.
9 MROChem Black Rust Converter
MROChem’s advanced formula transforms rust into a coating of slick polymer that looks incredible on its own, but the product can be easily painted over if you wish.
The end product is rustproof, protecting the surface of your metal equipment and keeping it from rusting further. After the applied coating has time to rest, the rust will have turned into a beautiful, black, hard, corrosion-resistant polymer resin that prevents any further oxidization by keeping the surface completely moisture-free.
Painting over rust will never save your metal item from rusting further until it finally breaks. MROChem is unique in this way in that it not only removes rust but will protect the surface with a prime layer of polymer that almost guarantees a rust-free future.
This product can be used on your vehicle, buildings, roof, fence, tank, trailers, or any other metal equipment. In fact, this black rust converter can transform any steel or iron surface and stops rust in its tracks.
No need for sanding, scraping, or blasting to try to remove rust like in the old days. Thankfully, the 21st century has provided us with a one-stop solution for removing rust painlessly.
Keep away from children and store in a dry and cool place. The coverage will vary depending on how much rust is present and the type of metal.
- Easy to use.
- No sandblasting or grinding.
- A lot of product needs to be applied.
- Polymer coatings aren’t as environmentally friendly as others.
Best Rust Converters Buying Guide
There are a few essential things to remember when buying rust converters.
Most rust converters are either thin, water-based liquids or a thicker, white liquid. Both of these are applied easily but need some preparation beforehand.
Drying time is an important factor, and the faster it dries, the better. Some rust converters take 24 hours, but some can take up to 48 hours. Make sure to check before you buy.
It all depends on the type of converter you use, but phosphoric acid converters will need more cleaning before you can apply your coat of paint than a converter that covers the surface with a polymer coating.
It’s also important to note that phosphoric acid is flammable and used in several rust converters. It is also dangerous when ingested or comes into contact with your skin. Due to the nature of this acid, some might prefer a safer rust converter that does not contain and phosphoric acid.
Depending on the job at hand, it is often possible to achieve the same results with a more eco-friendly product, especially if one is willing to take just a touch more time on it. Just because a product is water-based doesn’t mean it’s not effective. Unless, of course, you’re looking for future rustproofing or an all-in-one rust converter and primer.
Durability becomes important. Buying a product that will last a long time is what everybody wants. But, the longevity of the final results will likely be determined by the sort of chemical reaction, the priming agent, and how badly the surface is rusted to start with, of course.
Our main recommendation would be that taking the time to apply your chosen product carefully is what is going to increase the durability of your results the most. Specifically, mixing it thoroughly (if the instructions specify so), and allowing enough drying time, again according to manufacturer recommendations.
Before We Announce Our Top Pick
If you like to DIY, rather than pay exorbitant fees to professionals who are only going to use the same products as you would, there are a few other reviews you may be interested in.
For vehicle cleaning and paintwork care, head to the Best Buffing Pads, the Best Bug Tar Removers, the Best Car Waxes, and the Best Car Vacuum Cleaners Reviews. For maintenance, see reviews for the Best Carburetor Cleaners, and the Best Mechanic Gloves currently available.
Back to rust converters…
Final Thoughts on The Best Rust Converters
DIY rust converters are becoming the norm, and there are many great products on the market.
While the strongest and fastest working product here is FDC’s rust converter, if protecting the environment is as important to you as it is to us, then the best converter on our list is… GEMPLER’S Eco-Friendly RCQ Rust Converter and Primer.
It does a great job of converting rust and providing a suitably smooth surface ready for a coat of paint. It has an excellent shelf life, and after only one coating, most rust will be gone. Then, applying paint to the new, smooth black surface should be relatively hassle-free, but more importantly, totally guilt-free.
Here’s to rust-free surfaces and a happy environment.