How to Repair Rusted Steel Windows

  • 24-48 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-100
What You'll Need
Coke or Pepsi
Baking soda
Phosphoric acid concentrate
Sand paper or emery paper
Rubber gloves
Paint stripper

Rusted steel windows look unsightly, especially when the rust has not been treated for a long time. Luckily, the rust on the windows can be repaired easily using inexpensive methods. Here are some recommendations.

Step 1 – Removing Surface Rust

Surface rust is rust that has not been embedded to the metal yet. However, if the rust is not repaired anytime soon, it will eat away the steel and cause more problems in the future. While the rust is still fresh and easy to remove, soak a rag with coke or any drink containing phosphoric acid. Afterwards, rub the rag onto the steel window surfaces to remove the rust. The acid will eat away the rust and reveal a cleaner surface. Wipe the steel window afterwards with a clean dry rag.

Step 2 – Removing Embedded Rust

Rust that has been left uncleaned for an extended period of time requires a much stronger phosphoric acid concentrate like naval jelly. This solution eats away rust effectively, but needs to be applied with caution because it is corrosive.

If the steel windows have been painted previously, remove the paint first by applying paint stripper. If not, remove the paint using sand paper. Sanding the steel window surfaces will also remove a good amount of the rusted surface. This will ensure that the rust removal solution will penetrate on the steel easily. Steel wire brushes, steel wool, and metal files can also be used as alternatives especially if the rust is too much to handle.

Wear rubber gloves and scoop out a good amount of the rust removal gel. Apply it liberally on the rusted surfaces. Wait for about 15 to 30 minutes before washing it off with water. Do not leave it longer because it will eat away the metal. Take note that the acid may not be good for plants so it is a good idea to sprinkle any flowerbeds with baking soda to neutralize the acid. As the phosphoric acid concentrate washes off to the ground, the baking soda will keep the plants safe.

Step 3 – Refinishing the Windows

Take note that the rust can reemerge if the steel window surfaces are not coated with paint or any other sealant. To complete the repair project, make sure to prepare rust-resistant paint. Choose a paint color that matches the background of the home and purchase a primer that is at the same time a water sealant. Remember that water is usually the catalyst in the oxidation of iron. When water is prevented from coming into contact with the metal, rusting will be prevented as well.

Sand the windows lightly with emery paper and wipe them clean with a dry rag. Apply a coat of primer and wait for it to dry. Next, apply multiple coats of paint until every surface is completely covered. Allow the paint to dry for about 48 hours.