Ways to Protect Metal Surfaces from Rust

Metal surfaces are commonly found almost everywhere. Metals are used in machinery, reinforcement for structures, small fixtures, and many more. This material is strong, durable, and could withstand heat, pressure, and other elements. However, it has one big enemy – rust.

When rust forms on a metal surface, it eats up the metal making it brittle and damaging it through time. Rust is formed when a metal is exposed to oxygen or moisture. It may seem almost inevitable since oxygen and moisture is all around us, but there are actually some ways to protect metal surfaces from rusting. Here are some of the preventative measures to avoid rust from forming on metals.

Paint the Metal

Painting is one of the simplest ways to protect metal from rusting. Instead of having the metal surface exposed to air and moisture, paint acts as a protective layer that covers the surface of the metal from those rusting elements.

You need to use metal paint and not just any other paint to be sure that it sticks to the metallic surface and protects it properly. Paint also makes metal surfaces more beautiful to look at especially when you are following a certain color palette for your décor.

Apply Oil to the Metal

Another simple way of protecting metal is to apply oil to it. This technique is commonly used for metals on machinery, gears, and other metal parts that move. Aside from acting as a lubricant for moving metal parts, oil also creates a protective barrier on the metal’s surface. Moisture and air can’t get into the surface of the metal, thus, reducing the chance of rusting. Oiling metals need to be done regularly since it doesn’t stick that much unlike paint.

metal paint
Image Source: Unsplash

Galvanize Metals

Galvanizing metals is another way of preventing rust from forming on a metal surface. In this method, a coating of zinc is applied on metals that easily rust like steel or iron. Unlike other metals, zinc corrodes a lot slower making it a perfect protective coating for metals that easily rust.

However, this technique changes the appearance of the metallic surface and could also add some thickness to the surface where it is applied. Since it is formed with a chemical reaction, galvanizing lasts longer than just paint or oil applied to metal.


This process is named due to the bluish appearance of the metal after the treatment. In steel bluing, the metal is protected by a new top layer made from black iron oxide coating. Although this substance is similar to rust, black iron oxide is far less damaging than regular rust. This process works perfectly when the metal is also oiled regularly.

There are different ways to protect metals from rusting. If you’re worried about your machinery and other metal surfaces getting rusty through time, you could protect them through any of those methods mentioned above. Be sure to use the right method depending on what metal item you need to protect.

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