How to Paint Lintels – Easy Solution for Rusty Metal Lintels

Author: Pat Freling | Updated: | Affiliate links may be present.

If you’re wondering how to paint lintels, you’d be happy to know that it’s a rather easy job!

Painting lintels is an easy DIY job! Find a high quality oil-based paint and apply primer before painting to protect the metal from rusting. If the lintels have already rusted, remove the rust before applying new paint. Make sure you have a clean and dry surface before applying rust-preventive primer and metal-safe paint.

Rusting on lintels can be avoided by using primer before you paint and cleaning the lintels routinely. If the metal starts to rust, remove it before it causes further damage to the metal surface.

How Do I Paint Lintels?

It’s possible to paint lintels – even if they’ve rusted! Make sure to remove any rust before repainting your lintels.

Prime Before You Paint

If you have lintels that are in good condition, prime and paint them to prevent rusting. Find a high-quality primer that’s safe to use on metal.

Sherwin Williams and Rust-Oleum are recommended paint brands that sell metal-safe primers like this. Find a primer that works for the material of your lintels.

Wait for the primer to fully dry before applying the paint. Use an oil-based paint and apply at least two coats to the lintels. Oil-based primers and paints are safe to use on metal and will work to prevent rusting.

Can I Paint over Rust?

It’s possible to paint metal that has been rusted. However, you’ll need to remove the rust before repainting to prevent the paint from flaking off.

Remove the Rust

You’ll need to remove any rust before repainting lintels. Use a metal bristle brush to scrub off flaking rust from the lintels.

Use a degreaser or metal-safe rust cleaner to prep the surface and remove any remnants. After washing the lintels, let the metal dry completely before applying primer or paint.

Use Protective Paint

It’s recommended to use a primer like this to help protect the metal from rusting or deteriorating. There are certain primers that are made to protect surfaces from rusting.

After priming, apply at least two coats of metal-safe paint to the lintels. I recommend opting for a trusted paint brand like Rust-Oleum to get a high-quality paint that is safe to use on metal. To ensure protection, apply full coats of paint and avoid leaving any gaps.

How Do I Remove Rust?

Use a Bristle Brush

Remove rust with a metal bristle brush! Bristle brushes are a simple solution to removing rust from lintels.

Scrub the brush on the metal surface to remove flaky rust and prep for repainting. Spray the lintels with a baking soda or vinegar solution to help loosen any rust before brushing.

Repeat this process until the metal surface is clean and rust-free!

Try a Vinegar Solution

Make a cleaning solution with the ingredients in your kitchen! Spray the lintels with undiluted white vinegar. If you don’t have a spray bottle handy, dampen a rag in the vinegar and thoroughly dab the lintels.

Allow the solution to soak for about 30 minutes before rinsing the metal. If any rust remains, repeat this process until you reach your desired result.

Lemon Juice and Baking Soda

If you have any lemons lying around your kitchen, put them to good use! Create a cleaning solution with baking soda and lemon juice to remove the rust from the lintels. Borax will also work if you don’t have any baking soda on hand.

Apply the paste generously with a clean rag onto the lintels. Let the paste soak for about 30 minutes and spray it with water to re-wet it if it starts drying before then.

After 30 minutes, scrub the paste with a bristle brush until the rust begins to lift. If there’s any remaining rust, repeat the process and let the metal surface dry completely.

How to Prevent Lintels from Rusting Going Forward

The main way to avoid rusted lintels is to keep up with maintenance and cleanings. If your lintels are past saving, consider replacing them with stainless steel.

Apply Sealant

Use a sealant after the lintels are painted and fully dried to further prevent rusting. A sealant will help secure the paint and protect it from moisture damage.

Replace It with Steel

If you have outdated lintels, consider replacing them with ones made out of steel. Steel is easier to clean and maintain if it rusts.

Stainless steel lintels are also a good option, but they do cost more because of their corrosion-resistant qualities.

Final Thoughts

Painting lintels can be an easy job, even if you don’t have experience in household DIY projects! The first step to painting lintels is to always remove any rust or dirt from the surface so you can start off with a clean slate.

Remove any rust with a white vinegar solution and a sturdy bristle brush for a fresh surface.

After the surface is dry, apply primer and multiple coats of paint. Use a sealant once the paint dries to fill any gaps and protect the paint from damage.

About Pat Freling

Pat has been into DIY painting since he was 14 years old. He's painted interior walls, decks, patio, and even the first car that he'd purchased at 18.

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