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Renewing Old Playground Equipment & Remove Rust

Posted by Rodger Busse on

It’s Fun to Be a Kid

It’s great to see children play on outdoor equipment. It helps to develop their muscles, coordination and social skills. Check out the  research on the benefits of outdoor play here.

Kids love to climb, slide, ride, spin, shoot baskets and swing at home and in neighborhood parks and schools. However, if the play equipment is old and in need of repair, it could be a safety hazard and it just looks run down.  Playground equipment for the most part is designed for extreme  weather conditions, but over time elements like water, the sun and wind takes a toll on metal. You can restore and bring to life on your own backyard or neighborhood playground is made easy with the Rust Doctor products. Outdoor equipment is expensive to replace. With Rust Doctor, you can remove the rust with ease and make your outdoor playgrounds look new again.

Kids playing

Virtually all standard paints require the removal of rust before surfaces can be primed and painted. With Rust Doctor, rust does not need to be removed. Rusty surfaces only need to be cleaned before they are treated with Rust Doctor. This saves a great deal of time and effort in the repair and maintenance of metal surfaces. In addition, Rust Doctor incorporates a clear latex primer that dries on the surface, allowing for the application of a topcoat. The Rust Doctor converts the rust and primes the surface, all in one easy step. Rust Doctor products are safe to use – non-toxic, non-flammable, and biodegradable. There is no need for respirators and other safety measures that are required with solvent based products. Water clean up makes this job easy.


merrygoround close up

Remove rust before it goes too far


Still not too far gone

play equipment

A classic waiting for help from Rust Doctor


Remove rust from these rusty side rails on this slide

Steps to Remove Rust from Playground Equipment

1. Prepare the Rusty Metal for Treatment
Using Rust Doctor is very easy. Clean the rusty surface with a wire brush to remove any loose rust and paint flakes.  On large surfaces this can be done with high-pressure washing. Clean the surface to remove any surface contaminants such as dirt, grease, and oil . Use a water-based degreaser such as the Grease Doctor. (If you are pressure washing, add the degreaser to the pressure washing water. Rinse thoroughly with water. If a water source is not near by, use a bucket with water and wipe it down. Here are some extra tips for preparing to paint your playground equipment.

2. Apply Rust Doctor to the Rusty Metal
Be sure surface is dry. Apply Rust Doctor with brush or spray system. On some surfaces, such as the rungs on your jungle gyms, you can use paint mitts. These paint mittens are available at your paint stores and home improvement centers.  These mitts have a plastic lining to protect your hands from getting pain all over them.  Apply enough Rust Doctor to cover the rust completely. Do not allow any rust to show through the surface. If necessary, apply a second coat of Rust Doctor while the first coat is still tacky or after 24 hours.  In a few minutes, Rust Doctor begins to convert the rust, turning it black.


Helps to keep paint off your hands

The conversion process turns the rust black as it changes to magnetite – a very hard form of iron oxide. This hard surface protects the metal from future rusting and is not affected by moisture or oxygen. After the conversion process is complete (in 16 to 24 hours), the surface has turned completely black and has a slight sheen. This sheen is the result of the latex primer that remains on the surface. The primer creates an excellent base for any kind of kind of topcoat.

3.  Obtaining a Smooth Surface
There are various ways to obtain a smooth surface when using Rust Doctor. You can sand the rust to a smooth surface (it is not necessary to sand to bare metal). If, after applying the first coat of Rust Doctor, it still is not as smooth as you would like, a second coat can be added to achieve a smoother surface. Another and perhaps easier method is to use sanding primer on the metal after the Rust Doctor has dried. Sanding primer is a fast drying paint that fills and smooths surfaces effectively. Because it dries quickly, successive coats can be added in a short period of time. Sanding between coats helps to smooth out the surface.

When you have achieved a surface that is as smooth as you desire, you can top coat with any type of paint. Specifically, Rust Doctor will accept enamel, alkyd, oil, vinyl, latex, epoxy, urethane and lacquer topcoats. You can also weld on surfaces treated with Rust Doctor.  It’s always a good idea to save the leftover paint to touch up any future nicks or scratches.
What could be more fun that choosing some great colors for a children’s playground?


Go wild with these colors

If you have any questions about Rust Doctor products or its’ application, call or email us.  We welcome pictures and stories of the projects you are working on for our blog. Send us a JPEG of your pictures, and we will do the rest!  Want to see a short video on the use of Rust Doctor? Click here.

Best Wishes for Happy Playgrounds!

The Rust Doctor Team


The post Renewing Old Playground Equipment & Remove Rust appeared first on The Rust Doctor.

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