Removing surface rust without ruining paint.

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  • Evening all,

    So I have just taken stock of a lovely old Raleigh Team Pro track frame, a frame I have been hankering after since I can remember.

    The thing is the frame itself has a good few blemishes over it in various places that look like surface rust... Nothing too bad and not structurally damaging but enough to notice. So I wonder, is it possible for me to remove these blemishes without ruining the paint as I love the paint job and I would quite like to keep it O.G.

    I have heard WD-40 and a green scourer works ok but I just wanted to see if anyone else has had any similar experiences and if so how did you go about sorting it.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have.­ilarystone/Raleigh-Ilkeston-track-dets-1­.jpg

    *Edit. you can see it there on downtube near the BB and on the top tube near the headtube.

  • Don't use the green scourer! if you must scour, then use a white one.
    I have used Hammerite Rust remover Gel with some success. Not the common one which strips to bare metal, but one which is safe for use on paints (from homebase)
    For such a nice frame I would suggest Oxalic Acid bath is the way forward, though I don't know how it would affect the paint.


  • I've used the Hammerite stuff along with some wire wool, and then clear coat over. Works ok on the bigger patches, looks as though you've got lots of small patches though ? Using wire wool or a scourer on small patches may be troublesome if you don't want to effect the surrounding paint

  • Hagesan Blue, aka phosphoric acid.

  • If it's genuinely only surface rust try Duraglit.

  • Any advice on what to use for removing rust from some chrome handlebars?

  • Thanks for all your suggestions...

    I think I will start with something real soft like sheepskin and slowly work up towards something more coarse like sandpaper or a file until its gone and hopefully the paint won't be gone when I get done with it!

  • Any advice on what to use for removing rust from some chrome handlebars?

    peek metal polish, its like a paste, spread it on and let it dry then rub it off. there is another call "metal polish" Bernie at Archway cycles uses it for restoration. its fking magic

  • peek metal polish, its like a paste, spread it on and let it dry then rub it off. there is another call "metal polish" Bernie at Archway cycles uses it for restoration. its fking magic

    nice one slag!

  • for chrome...try 'autosol' white paste (sounds like it looks like the other one above) tubes gold and black ...use soft cotton, on an old t shirt is ace, tear a strip...squirt on 1'' strip of metal polish, if you use the strip as a drag it back wards and forwards with both hands, you greatly increase the friction and's loads quicker than rubbing with your finger....
    it's also great on ally, copper, brass...etc

    with regard to rust...if it hasn't broken through and is more of a stain...then use's paint restorer for cars though can greatly reduce it looking like a trawler...if it has broken the surface then you can remove all but the bobble of rust...

    never use a pot scourer on anything...they really fuck up paintwork and chrome and aluminium...

  • I've got a similar job to do on my bike. What worked for you in the end?

  • Apologies for the mega-dredge, but thought better to resurrect this discussion than start a fresh one. I've got some parts that could so with rust removal, a rear rack, wheel skewers, that sort of thing, and was wondering if anyone had any recommendation for current rust removal products, or good suggestions for rust removal methods?

  • Depends on the extent of the rust but something like kurust will stabilise surface rust prior to applying protective coatings.

  • Hi all, I recently refurbed a Roberts tandem, the campag headset was quite badly pitted with rust along with some of the other components, what I used (hold on before you scoff) was aluminium kitchen foil, the sort you cover your chicken in. just get a piece, fold it a few times and rub the rust with the shiny side, I was amazed, all the parts came up like new.

  • A better version of that is to scrunch the foil into a loose ball and dip in CocaCola at regular intervals whilst rubbing on rust area.

  • I can second the alu foil, I think it works like a mild abrasive but not abrasive enough to damage chrome etc.
    There's old fashioned cleaning product that when disolved in water will remove rust. I used it on an old RD and the chrome and paint came out fine but it dulled the alloy parts. I'll look later for cleaning product, from memory I got it from ebay for £2

  • ^ This might be Bar Keepers Friend (not sure if it works though)? Or Naval Jelly equivalent (that'll probably knacker paint, as there's all sorts of nasties in it)?

    Alu foil + cola works for me though. Worked wonders on some pitted chrome forks.

  • Brillo pads soaked in water and a gentle run down.

    Vinegar also does miracle things to rust. Submerge whatever it is in vinegar and leave for a few hours. The rust just completely dissolves but you need to thoroughly wash the vinegar off as it causes rust as much as it kills it.

  • Or an oxalic acid bath for complete overkill!

  • I bought bilt hamber deox gel, requires a bit of patience but does a good job and is gentle on the paint.

    Depending on how serious the rust is you may need to do multiple applications

  • Oxalic was what I thinking of

  • Cheers for the responses Gents, a non-abrasive Brillo pad was ok for the rust I needed to remove, but it took ages. Had heard of the tin foil trick, will definitely try it next time. The product I really want to try is Evapo-rust, seen a guy use it on bike parts on You Tube and the results are fantastic, but annoyingly it's not for sale in the UK.

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Removing surface rust without ruining paint.

Posted by Avatar for aeronaught @aeronaught