Removing Rust from Metal Doors

Rusty metal doors.
  • 1 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50
What You'll Need
Wire brush
Baking soda
Soft cloth
Rust sealant

Metal doors are among the most durable you can select for your home. The doors come in various types of metal with aluminum, iron, steel, and bronze as the more common types. Metal doors hold up extremely well to impact, making them highly durable. However, rust is a problem for metal surfaces. It ruins the appearance of the door and diminishes its durability. It helps if you know how to remove rust from metal surfaces using a combination of methods that provide positive results with just a little time and effort.

Step 1 - Scrape the Rust

wire brush

Rust can be effectively removed with a wire brush. Scrub gently at rusted areas on the door surface. Be careful not to scrub the door too deeply as it will leave scratches. It helps if you brush in small circles. You’re likely to remove some of the paint as you scrub. However, you can repaint the door once you’ve removed all the rust and cleaned the door.

Step 2 - Apply Sandpaper

This complements the efforts made with the wire brush. Take a small portion of sandpaper and rub affected areas in a circular motion. Once you remove rust from one area, proceed to another area until all rust is cleared. Sand away as much rust as possible as this helps prevent a recurrence. Use a soft brush to clear away all dust, dirt, and debris.

Step 3 - Use Vinegar

Use a sponge to dab some vinegar onto rust remnants. Allow about 30 minutes for the vinegar to dissolve the rust. If the rust proves to be stubborn, re-apply more vinegar and allow more time for the vinegar to saturate the area and dissolve the remaining rust.

Step 4 - Apply Baking Soda

If you still spot traces of rust, apply a paste made of baking soda and water. Apply the paste directly onto affected areas and allow about 30 minutes for the mixture to work. Wipe the paste away with a soft cloth.

Step 5 - Clean the Door

Use an ordinary detergent and water to clean the door of dirt, rust particles, and any other leftover remnants. Rinse well, then dry with an old towel. Allow the door to air dry.

Step 6 - Apply Rust Sealant

spray sealant

It is a good idea to seal the door to prevent a recurrence of rust by applying a rust sealant over the entire door surface. Wait a few days to allow the sealant to absorb into the metal before applying paint.


Be alert for discolored spots on your door. This signals rust development. It is best to apply treatment as early as possible as this slows the progress of rust developing. Usually, sandpaper or a wire brush is adequate for small rust spots.

It helps if you clean your door regularly. This makes it easier to spot rust. You also need to keep your door free of moisture as this encourages rust.