How to paint a rusting wrought iron birdbath

I have a birdbath that I would like to mosaic or paint (again!), but can't get all of the rust off. Can I mosaic over the rust or is there a paint that will hold up to the elements? I'm thinking I may have to go with a pool paint, but don't even know if that'll work on metal. Thanks for your anticipated help!
  7 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Apr 19, 2016
    You can purchase rustoleums 2x color spray paint for metal. I have used it many of times and it covered the rust.

    • Karen Pullen Karen Pullen on Apr 19, 2016
      @Janet Pizaro Janet: I've actually tried that, but it doesn't hold up to using it as a birdbath, i.e. to have water sitting in it. That's why I was thinking about a mosaic and grout, but I don't know if that'll stand up with the paint over the bare metal and mosaic and grout over that. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Leslie Leslie on Apr 20, 2016
    Karen rust does not go away if you just paint over it. It will continue to eat at the metal. That is why car restorers sand down to bare metal before painting. If your husband has tools and he has either a disk grinder or a drill you can get wire brushes and attach to the tool. Ask for help if you need to at HD or Lowes. Wire brush the birdbath till all the rust is off of it and it looks clean. Make sure before you paint to clean the birdbath from all the grit. Use paint that is a match for the job. If the bath is now clean the 2x may work. You can also ask for help on this part too. Paint or mosaic the inside and or the outside of the bowl. Good luck.

    • Karen Pullen Karen Pullen on Apr 20, 2016
      @Leslie Thanks, Leslie. I will try the sanding, after making sure I know what I'm doing from the experts you referenced. Thanks again and take care.

  • Ray Phillips Ray Phillips on Apr 20, 2016
    If nothing else works, find someone in your area that can sandblast it. That will take all the rust off. them you can paint it with automobile paint or tile it. Hopes this helps and now you have a great and wonderful day.

    • Karen Pullen Karen Pullen on Apr 20, 2016
      @Ray Phillips Thanks, Ray. I thought I might need to sandblast it, so I've got some feelers out for someone that could do that. Thanks again and take care.

  • Johnchip Johnchip on Apr 20, 2016
    If it is real nice, sandblasting is the answer for sure. (You might check around to see if you can rent one, other easy to operate)If your want to DIY, wire brush and think biceps workout.

  • Bruce Bruce on Apr 20, 2016
    Wire brush or sand blast to remove rusting. Paint with rust inhibiting spray paint - probably available from Rustoleum and or at auto parts stores. Then a couple of coats of paint should work. A few extra coats in the bowl because of the water. Or put a sundial in/over the bowl. Bruce - CT

    • Karen Pullen Karen Pullen on Apr 20, 2016
      @Thank You Bruce I'm trying to find someone to sandblast it for me...figured out that was key after my last paint job failed! I'm thinking about using Loctite Rust Neutralizer...have you ever tried it? Thanks again.

  • Melbrooks Melbrooks on Apr 20, 2016
    I have a metal windmill in my yard that had some rust on it. I tried Rust-oleum Rust Reformer- it says it "instantly converts rust to a protected paint able surface" It goes on to say that it bonds with rust and transforms it to a non-rusting surface and prevents future rust. I just used it this past month, so I can't give testimony for it, but it may be just what you need, or at least worth a try!

  • Melbrooks Melbrooks on Apr 20, 2016
    Also, you might consider using boat paint on it. Like pool paint, it's meant to be in constant contact with water, but may be available in better colors and smaller sizes than pool paint!

    • Karen Pullen Karen Pullen on Apr 21, 2016
      @Melbrooks I'd just about decided the same thing! If I decide to mosaic it, do you think I should paint it after the Rust Reformer and before I mosaic it? Thanks again!