Epoxy Primer Over Rust Converter – Some Things to Consider

Usually, an epoxy primer over rust converter is not necessary. However, if you want to change the finish color of the rust converter, you can apply oil-based paint.

Before applying the paint, to enhance the adhesion, you can apply a coat of epoxy primer.

But there are various factors to consider when applying epoxy primer over a rust converter. In this post, we will discuss the different things to consider when applying epoxy primer over the rust converter.

5 Things to Consider When Applying Epoxy Primer Over Rust Converter

1) The Chemical Composition of Converter

Based on the chemical composition of the rust converter, you cannot use water-based primer or latex over it. Rust Converter is a water-based compound. It constitutes two components, an organic polymer that offers a protective layer and tannic acid that converts rust into a more stable compound.

The product is formulated with a rust-inhibitive agent that converts rust into a water-resistant barrier. Also, it contains a corrosion-inhibiting agent that protects the metal from further rusting.

Tannic acid, one of the components, chemically reacts with the rust and changes it to a natural dark-colored material called iron tannate. Organic polymer, the second component, provides a protective layer. The chemical reaction between tannic acid and rust results in an inert, black substance that protects the surface from further rusting. The black substance is a great base layer for oil-based and epoxy paint coats. Also, it provides a protective coating to keep rust from coming back.

Therefore, epoxy primer is one of the excellent primers to use under oil-based paints. This powerful primer is specifically used as a binding ingredient between the metal and the topcoat paint. The primer is a perfect foundation for a fresh coat of paint.

2) Benefits of Applying Epoxy Primer Before Painting

The Rust converter is a sufficient primer, and you can apply all oil-based paints over it without applying another primer. You don’t have to apply an epoxy primer.

However, you can still apply epoxy primer.

Usually, there are many benefits of applying epoxy primer on any metal surface. Although the rust converter can serve the same purpose and negate the need for an epoxy primer, the following are the benefits of epoxy primer:

  • Acts as a sealer. Epoxy primer provides a smooth, non-porous surface finish.
  • Waterproof. Epoxy primer prevents water from penetrating the metal surface and protects the metal from oxidation.
  • Easy to apply. Epoxy primer is easy to use and provides excellent coverage. You can get the job done quickly and efficiently as a DIY project.
  • Prevents rust.Applying Epoxy primer is a great way to deal with rust in small areas.

3) Application Process

The effectiveness of epoxy primer is not only dependent on the quality of the primer. The nature of the application will determine the effectiveness of the epoxy primer. You should be careful when applying epoxy primer over a rust converter. For instance, always do proper surface preparation. Ensure the surface is clean and dry before applying a coat of epoxy primer.

Also, ensure you mix the epoxy primer thoroughly before application. When you follow the proper procedure while mixing and applying epoxy primer, the primer will effectively resist corrosion and improve adhesion.

Notably, there is more than one method you can use to apply a rust converter and epoxy primer. The method you choose depends on the size of the project and the type of surface. Applying a rust converter using a brush is ideal for smaller projects, such as wrought iron gates or a vintage tool that’s rarely used.

On the other hand, paint rollers are great for larger surfaces. Also, you can even do a combination of the two.

How do you apply a rust converter and epoxy primer over it? Here are easy-to-follow steps for applying a rust converter and epoxy primer

  • Identify the parts that are rusted.
  • Sand and clean the surface.
  • Wear a dust mask and gloves.
  • Apply the rust converter evenly with a brush or a roller. If you’re spraying, apply the rust converter evenly.
  • Allow the first coat to dry.
  • Apply a second coat.

To apply epoxy primer over a rust converter, allow the rust converter to cure fully. Wait for the rust converter to cure for 48 hours.

  • Prepare the surface. Ensure the surface is clean and dry.
  • Apply the epoxy primer. You can apply one or two coats of primer.
  • After application, use soap and water to clean the application equipment after use.

4) Manufacturer’s Instructions and Specifications

When applying epoxy primer over a rust converter, you should consider the manufacturer’s instructions. Carefully study and follow the instructions on the packaging to make sure you’re using the products correctly for the best results. Different manufacturers give different application instructions. The instructions differ slightly depending on the product.

Usually, most instructions are similar regardless of the product brand. Some of the basic instructions include:

  • Surface preparations. Clean your rusted item before applying a rust converter.
  • Use a suitable applicator. The manufacturer will recommend a special applicator brush necessary to apply the product. This will enable you to apply the rust converter more evenly and smoothly, making it easier for the primer or rust converter to protect the surface. If the product is not spread evenly, it can reduce its effectiveness of the product. This would negate using the rust converter or the epoxy primer.
  • Apply two coats of the product. In many instances, one coat of rust converter or primer is sufficient. In most instances, you should apply two layers of the rust converter and then top it with another layer of primer paint. Applying two coats of oil-based paint over the metal surface is essential if the metal object is exposed to outdoor elements.
  • Safety precautions. Manufacturers recommend you wear gloves and eye protection. Also, be sure to ventilate the room or area where you work.
  • Thinning instructions. Rust converters should not be thinned, as their effectiveness may be compromised. The rust converter comes in a bottle, which should be shaken or stirred before use. After adequately shaken or stirred, the rust converter should easily come out of the bottle without the need for thinning.
  • Rust converters are not heat resistant. Rust converters can get damaged when exposed to extreme heat. Therefore, you cannot use it on surfaces exposed to high heat, such as engines, boilers, or grills.
  • Storage. You can keep the rust converter for up to 3 years before it loses its potency. For the best results, it’s essential to use it immediately after you purchase it. Also, you should keep it in a cool, dry place, so it retains its quality over a longer time. When you want to use it, shake the can before applying it.
  • Use oil-based or epoxy paints. Don’t use latex or water-based paints over a rust converter. The Rust converter is water-based; hence a coat of water-based paint over it will not bond well.
  • Drying period. The Rust converter dries very fast after application. After about 20 minutes, the rust converter is completely dry. If you want to apply a second coat, wait for 24 hours, then apply the second coat.

5) Rust Converter Over Non-rusted or Painted Surfaces?

Can you apply a rust converter over a non-rusted or painted surface? No. Rust Converter is a rust remover for metal surfaces and works well when used on a rusted surface. It converts rust to an inert black substance that prevents further rusting. Notably, rust converters have no rust-prevention properties. Therefore, it’s recommended that you apply it over an oxidized surface. If you use it on a surface that isn’t rusted, it will not adequately bond to the surface.

Significantly, although you can apply a rust converter on non-rusted or painted surfaces, it does not add any additional rust prevention. It only treats any existing rust. Therefore, use the Rust Converter to treat the existing rust.

Can You Apply Paint Over Rust Converter without Epoxy Primer?

Yes. Mainly, applying a primer over a rust converter is not necessary. In some cases, it can even hinder its effectiveness. For instance, a primer will work well when applied over a rust converter only if it’s oil-based or epoxy.

Although you can apply a coat of oil-based paint over a rust converter, you can apply a coat of epoxy primer before painting. The epoxy primer will seal the pores preventing further rusting. Also, the primer will act as an adhesive to ensure the paint binds well.


By considering all the above essential factors when removing and preventing rust from the metal surface, you will likely love the outcome.

Therefore, if you find rust on your objects’ metal surfaces, don’t despair. Use a rust converter and epoxy primer to remove rust and prevent further corrosion from a bare metal surface before painting. Brush or sand the rusted surface quickly and evenly. Then clean and apply the first coat of rust converter followed by epoxy primer.

Follow the instructions provided on the label to apply epoxy primer over the rust converter. Once the epoxy primer has dried, apply the top coat of your preferred oil-based paint and enjoy the new look of your metal object.