repairing and repainting a rusted metal washing machine lid

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Repair and repaint a rusty washing machine lidDo you have a rusty washing machine (or other rusted objects around the house)?

Living in coastal areas, especially right near the ocean, can mean metal objects tend to go rusty very quickly.

But there’s no need to throw them away. Rust can be removed and metal painted to prevent further rusting.

Our washing machine lid had gotten rusty, particularly the bottom/back where the water drips down once the lid is opened.

We thought we were doing the right thing by keeping the lid open and airing the washing machine out, only to have the lid rust.

And lately, in every wash, little bits of rust would fall in and stain our clothes.

Rust is hard to get out of clothes, so I’ve learned the hard way.

Apart from the rusty lid, there’s nothing wrong with the washing machine, so treating the rust and repairing the lid was an obvious choice.

(By the way, my washing machine lid is not usually dirty like it is in the picture, I forgot to take a ‘before’ photo, and took one half way through the rust removal process Smile ).

If you have a rusted washing machine lid, or any other rusty metal around the house that needs treating (our ceiling fans are next), here’s how to remove rust from metal and repaint it.

Repairing a rusted washing machine lid (or any rusted metal)

What you will need:

  • Scraper or wire brush
  • Sandpaper, fine grit
  • Rust-proof metal primer (spray or brush on)
  • White metal paint spray

How to do it:

  1. Remove lid (on our washing machine, the lid just lifts off) and using a wire brush or scraper (I used an old knife), scrape away the rust. Hopefully, it hasn’t been left too long, otherwise there might not be much metal left!
  2. Now get a piece of fine sandpaper and give the rusted parts a good sand to remove all the rust and make a smooth transition between the bare metal and remaining paint. It’s important that this preparation is done thoroughly, otherwise the metal will continue to rust.
  3. Wipe the dust off, then give the whole lid a good clean with a degreasing cleaner. I just used plain soap. Make sure your lid is completely clean and dry.
  4. Once completely dry, apply one or two coats of rust-proof metal primer, making sure you have complete coverage and all the nooks and crannies are covered. Several light coats is better than a heavy coat that will drip.
  5. Once the primer is dry, apply your metal paint. If you’re using a spray can, shake the can really well. Really, really, really well. Otherwise the paint will come out lumpy and you will get a rough finish. Also, do a light coating. It’s better to build coverage with several coats of paint, rather than try and get a complete coverage on the first go. Too much paint will just run, leaving streaks on your lid. As with the primer, make sure you get into all the nooks and crannies and get a good coverage.
  6. Let the lid dry and replace lid. Now it should look as good as new and no more rust in the wash!

Thanks to living on the coast, we also have rusty ceiling fans. It seems such a shame to replace fans in perfect working order just because the blades are rusty, so I’m going to have a go at repainting them over the winter. That should spruce up the look of our rooms, without outlaying a fortune.

What’s something you’ve fixed lately (metal or otherwise) and given a second lease on life?

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  1. Eileen Miles says:

    I can remove one step for you . There is a product on the market available in spray cans in many colours called ‘Killrust 3 in one’ it neutralises the rust -primes and is a gloss top coat. you can even buy it in cans up to 4 litre (brush on of course) its great for trailers- verandah railings and the like. You still have to prepare the surface like removing flaking rust and paint and sand of course but it does cut down on time not having to wait till primers and undercoats dry. Normal paint spray size is about $17 but if it is a one off repair saves having to buy more than 1 product.

    1. Melissa Goodwin says:

      Hi Eileen,

      Thanks, I’ll have to look out for it if I need to get extra paint for the fans.

    2. chris grimes says:

      hi Eileen- was going to try this, but afraid detergent will put paint in clothes

  2. Your article came up in a Google search I was doing on caring for/reviving ceiling fans!
    I can’t believe the difference in your machine lid, it looks brand new! Such a great idea.
    But I am now interested to know how you fans look? Did they work out just as well?

    1. Melissa Goodwin says:

      Hi Alicia,

      Sorry, I’ve been on holiday. I have not done our ceiling fans yet.

  3. does this work on refrigerator doors?

    1. Melissa Goodwin says:

      Maybe. If you try it, let me know.

  4. My washing machine lid and all around the top of washing machine area you put the laundry in is the time away, will try this! Thanks.????

    1. Melissa Goodwin says:

      Hope it works for you :)