Painting a suitcase - rust on the latches - what to use?

by Carole
I have a fiber board vintage suitcase that I cleaned and painted with ASCP this morning. After the first coat, I noted that the rusty latches on the case, that I had sanded first before painting, had orange speckles coming through the paint. What should I use to fix this and stop the rust coming through my chalk paint? I was wondering whether to use a shellac based primer, such as Zinsser Bin, or use something such as Minwax polycrilic on the latches to prevent the rust bleed through? Thanks in advance.
  7 answers
  • Angelagloker Angelagloker on Jun 08, 2016
    I would try a bronze or copper bronzing liquid ( used for sculpting) from all good art shops.
  • Lee Lee on Jun 08, 2016
    Years ago I purchased a paint like product that when painted on metal melted the rust away. Since it worked so well, I am thinking it will still be available.Try a speciality paint store, or a big box store.
  • The reason that is happening is because chalk paint is water based and porous, so rust bleeds through it. Rust happens with water and oxygen. In other words, even if you covered it without any problem, chalk paint would keep feeding that rust underneath. Therefore, I would suggest first to clean off the rust, because as the metal underneath keeps rusting, it will start cracking one way or another after a time. You can find rust converters on Amazon. Here are a couple of examples for you so you know what they are like: or After cleaning the rust, use an oil based primer, and that should solve your issue. I hope this info helps :-) Good luck with your project and don't forget to post the finished suitcase here on Hometalk, as we all would love to see it! :-) -Handan
    • Carole Carole on Jun 08, 2016
      @Handan & Greg @ The Navage Patch Thanks. I think I already knew the answer but was hoping not to have to get the rust converter out! I have seen so many suitcase posts where the latches have been a little rusty and they just slapped chalkpaint on it with no problems and no mention of priming even that I guess I was hoping there was a quicker solution or that the chalk paint would be different! As you say, it is water based, so I guess that is why it does not lock the rust away.
  • Glaynebaker Glaynebaker on Jun 08, 2016
    I have neve heard of ASCP, but I'm guessing, from earlier answers, it is a chalk paint. I'd try Rustoleum primer and then use the ASCP over it ..
    • Carole Carole on Jun 08, 2016
      @Glaynebaker ASCP stands for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Yes, I will need to use a rust proofer and primer first. Was hoping to get away without it but rust will out!
  • Gladys Gladys on Jun 09, 2016
    Of course, there are those of us who would leave the rusty hinges as part of the mystique of an old piece.
    • Carole Carole on Jun 09, 2016
      @Gladys I decided for the moment to knock the paint back on the metal corners and the latches with some sandpaper. After all, this is the shabby chic look right! LOL! I will leave it awhile and see if I like it this way. I still need to clean a very sticky dirty old label off the handle, then I can paint the handle. I have waxed it but not sure whether to hit it with some dark wax too, maybe that will tone down the corners and latches a bit if the case looks less sugary pink! I used ASCP Antoinette on the case and Snow White for the stencil from a different chalk paint company. The stencil is in French. I am thinking perhaps I did not clean the corners and latches properly after sanding and that the orange spots may have been the dust from the rusty bits I sanded. Oh, dear, how slap dash of me! LOL!
  • Gladys Gladys on Jun 12, 2016
    It's good to hear from the land down under!
  • Redcar Redcar on Jan 02, 2019

    Hi Carole, I love the condensed red file cabinet-planter. I have 2 (2) drawer black file cabinets, was wondering how I could turn them into valuable containers. What kind of paint did you use(?). Regarding ur "rusty latches," try cleaning the rust with diet coke, this should get rid of any rust. Thank U 4 sharing. I love ur "red file cabinet-planter."