Asked on Jan 03, 2020

How can I restore rusted chrome coated steel wire shelving?


I have several rusted chrome coated steel shelving units 48" WX60"HX14" deep. All the upright poles are badly rusted as well as the wire shelving units themselves. What is the best way to remove the rust from the metal and hopefully repaint the shelving units with chrome paint??

  8 answers
  • Gk Gk on Jan 03, 2020

    You could start out using some steel wool to remove as much rust as you can. If you can get most of it off then you can spray paint with Rustoleum spray paint in any color you choose.

  • Sharon Sharon on Jan 03, 2020

    You can also get a soft brass brush at the hardware store thats good for getting into that grid..... I would spray with a rust retardant before applying the chrome paint. Its very expensive to restore chrome as its a very toxic process and not many do it anymore.

    If there are large pieces you might check with an auto painter to sand blast them and paint them for you.... I've done this plenty of times and always get good results.

  • Laura Cooper Laura Cooper on Jan 03, 2020

    You can use a rust converter. It comes in different forms, but I've found the spray can type to be very convenient. Use a wire brush to remove any loose flakes first, then spray converted onto surfaces. I really like the matte black look of the converter, but it will allow you to spray any color paint over the converter once it has dried.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jan 03, 2020

    Wire brush to remove the rust then paint with RustOleum chrome paint.

  • Cindy Cindy on Jan 03, 2020

    Make a paste with salt and lemon juice. Put it on the rusted areas and let it sit for an hour. Since the shelves are wire, tape some Saran wrap (or cardboard) under the shelves so that the salt paste will note fall thru the wires. After the hour come back and wipe the paste off.

  • Dee Dee on Jan 04, 2020

    There is a product called Naval Jelly especially used to remove rust. You brush it on, let it do it's thing and then wipe it off. Works great. After it is clean I would prime with Rustoleum auto primer, then paint with Rustoleum paint.

  • Deb K Deb K on Jan 04, 2020

    Hi Gauye, use steel wool to sand the rust off the stainless, then make sure it is clean and paint it with a rust paint like rustoleum, use your imagination, they don't have to be paint chrome color!