Do 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 ).
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:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
Melissa Goodwin is a writer and the creator of Frugal and Thriving who has a passion for living frugally and encouraging people to thrive on any budget. The blog is nine years old and is almost like her eldest baby. Prior to being a blogger and mum (but not a mummy blogger), she worked as an accountant doing other people’s budgets, books and tax.