The problem with having a rust spot on your vehicle is not only that it looks bad but also because rust has a tendency to spread further. That’s right, once rust has begun on a piece of metal, it will continue to spread until it has consumed all of the metal. And that can cause the vehicle owner to have to spend a ton of money on the vehicle’s bodywork.
Fortunately, there is a way to stop rust from spreading further, and that’s by using the best rust converter available. These products render rust inert, so it doesn’t spread any further, and so it can be easily primed and painted over properly. These products are extremely useful, so we decided to review the ten best ones currently available. Brands that we’ve listed below.
Best Rust Converters – Reviews & Buying Guide
10Krylon Rust Protector & Converting Primer
This high-quality rust converter from Krylon is designed to convert rust on a vehicle or other surface into a paintable primer. That’ right, when applied, this product will render the rust inert and provide a nice base coat that’s suitable for painting over. It’s an easy-to-use product that comes in an aerosol can and is equipped with a 360-degree spray nozzle that allows more precise coverage and control over the paint. And since this product dries in 3-hours or less, the surface can be painted quicker than is the case with other products.
- Has a 360-degree nozzle for precise control
- is an easy-to-use product
- Instructions on can are hard to read
9VHT Specialty Products Converter
This inexpensive aerosol spray from VHT Specialty Products is designed to be sprayed directly on rusted areas to render the rust inert and prevent further spread. It sprays on clear and dries to a black metal finish, that allows the user to know that the surface is ready. Although this product does do a good job at stopping rust spread, it doesn’t present a paintable primed surface as some other products do. This shouldn’t be a problem, however, for people who intend on stripping the surface to the bare metal. For others looking for a primed surface, it is most definitely a problem.
- Sprays on clear & turns black when dry
- immediately inhibits further rust spread
- Rust has to be scrubbed off after use
8PlastiKote 623 Rust Converter
Like similar products, this rust converter will organically change the chemical nature of rust and turn it into a primed surface that’s ready to be painted. It’s an easy-to-apply product that doesn’t foam or bubble and goes on exactly where it’s sprayed. It’s also a non-flammable and non-toxic formula that’s more environmentally friendly than other conversion products. When using this product, the user will still have to paint the surface immediately because it’s not a sealant, so it doesn’t seal the surface against further rust damage.
- Provides a good primer coat
- It’s an easy-to-use product
- Doesn’t seal the surface
7Gempler’s Rust Primer & Converter All-In-One
Gempler is a trusted name in the automotive rust prevention industry, so it should be no surprise that they make a great rust converter product. This product will not only stop the further spread of rust, but it also acts as a primer that’s ready to accept an oil-based paint in just 2-days. Although the bottle this product is contained in could’ve been easier to use, this product nonetheless provides good coverage. And because it primes the surface, there’s no need to scrape, grind or sandblast the surface to prepare it for painting.
- Provides good coverage
- Is both a rust inhibitor and primer
- Can be difficult to apply
6Gempler’s Fast-Rust Primer & Converter
This simple-to-use product comes in an aerosol can that allows it to be used exactly where it’ needed. Once applied, this product immediately goes to work and not only prevents further rust spread but also creates a primed surface that’s ready to be painted in 48-hours. The great thing about this product is that it doesn’t require any further processing to be effective. This means that it doesn’t need to be ground down, sanded or scraped before it can be painted. All of this makes it a great product, although it does cost more than most other brands.
- Aerosol is easy-to-use
- Provides great results
- Costs more than comparable converters
5Total Boat Professional Metal Treatment
When professional results are needed, then this product is ready to get the job done. It’s a thin formula that can cover up to 500 square feet of surface area per gallon and immediately stops the spread of rust. Although this gallon container might be a little bit too much for most people, it is an economical choice for professional body shops. All that has to be done to apply it is to use a spray bottle or brush to add it to the surface and then let it dry fully overnight. The next day, the surface is then ready for priming or painting.
- Provides profession results
- Might be a bigger container than what most people need
4Corroseal Water-Based Metal Rust Converter
This quality product is easy-to-apply and produces great results. It’s a non-flammable and non-corrosive formula that’s easy to clean up using only water and soap. This product also immediately stops rust on any metal surface and can be used for a variety of all applications including automotive, marine, general household or even industrial projects. Although it’s supposed to prime the surface as it stops rust, we’ve found that the surface does benefit from some light sanding to avoid bubbling or a swirl effect in automotive paint.
- Easy-to-apply product
- Stops rust instantly
- Surface still needs some light sanding after use
3Rust-Oleum Automotive Rust Reformer
This product can be sprayed on any rusty surface and not only immediately stop the rust from spreading but also create a beautiful, primed surface. It comes in an aerosol can that’s equipped with a nozzle that allows it to be sprayed from any direction, even upside down. This makes it easy-to-apply, although the can does seem to need constant shaking when over half the product has been used. Once applied, this product will dry in approximately 40-minutes and within 24-hours, it will be ready for a coat of paint.
- Provides great results
- Container can be sprayed in any direction
- Can has to be constantly shaken to work properly
2Rust-Oleum Rust Reformer Bottle
It doesn’t matter how this product is used, it does a great job. It can be used to stop rust for household, automotive, marine, or industrial applications. This product doesn’t just stop rust, however. It also primes the surface, so that it doesn’t need to be primed further or sanded. When applied to rust, this product produces a durable black finish that can be painted withing 24-hours or so. Although this bottle of rust converter is a little bit expensive for its size, it does do a great job.
- Produces professional-level results
- Is an easy-to-use product
- Surface doesn’t need sanding
- Container is a little small for the price
1FDC Rust Converter Ultra
This product might cost more than comparable products, but it produces some great results. One gallon will cover approximately 500 square feet of any nonporous surface and instantly converts rust into a black surface that’s suitable for painting. This product is easy to use, dries quickly and the surface it’s used on doesn’t require any further processing such as scraping or sandblasting. And because it seals out moisture, it prevents further rust from developing on the surface.
- Provides 500 square-feet of coverage
- Converts rust immediately
- Provides professional results
- Surface doesn’t need sanding or grinding
- Costs more than comparable products
More products also worth checking out:
Rust Converter Guide
When left to the elements, expect rust to fester and spread. If you neglect it, this can lead to expensive repairs, not to mention the fact that no one is going to want to buy your car if this is where the problem is. This is why a lot of people turn to a rust converter to get rid of this issue.
When you buy an effective product, it doesn’t take long to stop the spread or prevent it from forming altogether. They can be used on just about any metal surface so it is important to make sure you get a quality product. The following guide is designed to make this purchase simple.
What To Look For In A Rust Converter
Easy To Apply
A rust converter can come in different forms. Sometimes a liquid can be best for your needs although there are water-based products that you will have to pre-mix before using.
The best rust converters are the ones that comes in a spray form so you get a wide coverage and an easy application. Alternatively, a product you have to brush on can mean you are accurate and even in applying the fluid.
No one likes to stand around waiting for a rust converter to finish drying before they can use the tool they have primed or move onto the next stage if the area needs painting.
The better products won’t take too long to dry although a lot of products can take up to 24 hours. If the drying time is important to you, choose one that takes a matter of minutes, not hours, as some products can dry within 20-minutes.
Easy To Clean
Because a spray rust convert can mean the product gets into different places, it is important to find one that is easy to clean. The majority of products should be fine in this area but those will fewer harsh chemicals will require less elbow grease to remove.
For it to be worth buying it has to protect the metal to ensure that rust is not a reoccurring problem or never shows up at all. Look to the ingredients to be sure it has the right type of actve ingredients such as tannic acid and an organic polymer.
Not only is this safer for the user but it can also stop it from being as flammable. Of course, you should never use one around a flame and ensure that you are using it for its intended purpose.
Rust Converter Vs Rust Remover
Sometimes a rust converter is a more appropriate product to use and a lot will depend on the level of rust and the type of metal it is on. When it is widespread on the surface a rust converter can be a good option as it conceals the rust and helps to protect it from spreading further.
Those who want to remove rust will have to deal with more toxic chemicals and should use them with extreme caution due to the hazardous ingredients. Not only will you have to sand the rust away before application you will also have to prime and paint the area to protect it.
The best way of preventing the area from further corrosion is by using the best rust converter you can find.
What Can A Rust Converter Be Used On?
Virtually any metal surfaces can be protected with a rust converter although some of the most common include steel and iron. This opens up a lot of possibilities and you will find a rust converter is often used on vehicles, stairs, fences, mowers, cast iron, tools, and a lot more.
How To Remove Rust With A Rust Converter
The easiest way to make sure the brand you use works to its best capabilities is by following the instructions as every product will differ slightly. A general rule is to work as follows:
Start by scraping at the rust to lift the surface rust before sanding it down. This is because a rust converter works best on smooth surfaces and be sure to get rid of as much debris as possible so no rust is left behind. Next, spray or brush the rust converter (depending on the product) and leave it to dry. This might take a while unless you use a fast-drying rust converter but when it has dried you can paint the surface an appropriate brand of metal paint.
Do I Need To Paint The Surface After Using A Rust Converter?
Although a rust converter will help to protect the surface after you have used it, the best way of prolonging the results is by painting it. This stops the metal from being exposed to the elements and keeps moisture out.