How to repaint and durably protect rusted metal beams using just one product!

RD-Elastometal, a very high performance elastomeric coating combining superior anti-corrosion and waterproofing properties.

The products you need

Repainting rusty metal with a single product in video

The problem

Usually, the surface of old rusty metal objects is not even. Some areas have lost their protective layer of paint, others have deep craters caused by rust, other areas may appear to be in good condition and have rust hidden underneath…, it is ultimately a surface that is not very homogeneous.

Edges, ridges, bolts, joints between beams are sensitive areas where rust develops more quickly because water and humidity easily take refuge there.

In addition, for objects located in or near occupied areas, painting work generally means danger, discomfort and shutdown of the affected areas. This can lead to stopping the activity and therefore a loss of income.

Conventional anti-corrosion systems based on solvents, such as zinc rich epoxy primers, imperatively require blasting the surface to be effective and to play their role of cathodic protection. Then you have to apply several more coats of different products. It takes time to apply and then to dry ...

The solution


RD Coatings has developed a solution to easily renovate all types of rusty objects such as certain steel structures and equipment. Field experience around the world and in various environments, as well as numerous tests carried out in accredited laboratories, have demonstrated the superior behavior of our coatings, even in marine and polluted industrial environments.

Our solutions are simple and applicable in record time that will limit downtime. RD-Elastometal is a quick, simple and economical solution for renovating any type of metal structure, even when rusted.

RD-Elastometal is the perfect choice to obtain long-lasting protection that can exceed fifteen years!

It combines in a single product: anticorrosive properties, flexibility and elasticity, good adhesion to different types of surfaces, resistance to UV and weathering. RD-Elastometal is one component and water based, does not present any fire hazard and is very suitable for application in occupied areas as it will not affect occupants. It is available in most RAL, NCS and other colors that can be custom made.

RD-Elastometal is applied in only two coats, directly on most substrates. No need for a primer or topcoat!

Recommended quantity and thickness

The thickness to be applied will depend on the environment and the type of project.

However, considering that it is the surface preparation and the labor to apply the paints that represent the majority of a renovation budget, we generally recommend opting for the most efficient combination:

400 grams per square meter or 130 square feet per gallon per 175 µ / 7 mils coat.

The total thickness obtained will be +/- 350 µsec / 14 mils.

RD-Elastometal is part of the  Single Coating System family developed by RD Coatings and can be used both as a primer and as a topcoat.

The  products provide the ability to solve specific problems using just one single product. These are easier, faster and very reliable solutions that do not compromise on quality in any way!

Our products being water-based, you avoid:

  • bringing hazardous products to the site and at the same time eliminating the risk of fire or explosion;
  • nuisance in the vicinity with unbearable odors during and after application;
  • emissions of harmful substances;

You respect nature, the applicator and your immediate environment.

Benefits and expected performance of the system

The system will have a long life if applied correctly and according to our recommendations.

The service life of the system is generally more than 15 years! Many projects can benefit from the RD Coatings warranty. See the "RD Coatings Warranty" page for details.

One of the great advantages of the product is its ease of use. If there are touch-ups to be done several years later, the use of RD Coatings solutions makes it possible to carry out occasional repairs very easily and in record time!

It offers many advantages, both for the project manager and for the applicator:

For the project manager/owner :

  • No blasting required, economical solution
  • High performance and durable system
  • Eco-friendly
  • Water based, safe, no fire hazards
  • Virtually odorless, can be used in occupied buildings without disturbing
  • Wide choice of colors
  • Limited downtime, possible to apply within 24 hours

For the applicator :

  • SCS solution
  • Easy application
  • Almost no VOC
  • No isocyanates
  • High performance
  • Proven track record
  • No pot-life
  • One-component and quick-drying
  • No need for solvents nor thinners.

Getting ready


If the project is outdoor, avoid starting a job if it may rain within 3 hours after application. A minimum of 12°C / 54°F is recommended to have comfortable and safe working conditions. It also allows higher productivity.

Avoid working under direct heavy sunlight, especially in very warm regions where early-morning work or late evening are preferred.

Make sure there is no condensation on the surface before and during the application and the first hours of drying. If you are working indoor, make sure that the area is well ventilated.

Tip: RD-Elastometal has no recoating window. In other words, should the works be interrupted because of a sudden change in the weather, they can be continued later without any problem!

Surface preparation

The most popular and fastest way to achieve a good surface preparation is to high-pressure wash the surface at 300-350 bar or 4000-5000 psi of pressure with a zero-degree angle oscillating tip. This procedure will remove contaminants, poor adhering paint and -rust from the surface. Remaining paint or rust that resisted may remain as the adherence is still sufficient.

Hand- or power tool cleaning (with abrasive paper or steel brush) is also an option and is advised when more detailed surface preparation must be carried out. 

Make sure that the surface is free of moss, mildew, oils,  greases and chlorides (salts). Rinse using an alkaline solution if not already mixed to the high pressure washer. Think of using biodegradable solutions that can be easily found and are very effective. 

Verify if the existing coating is still adhering properly and there is no loose rust. Never paint on top of a poor adhering coating.

Inspect and treat bolts

Inspect the bolts and screws if any. Defects should be repaired or replaced with new ones. Apply a spot coat of RD-Elastometal by brush after inspection. This will help in the inspection process and provide added waterproofing and anti-corrosion protection in these critical areas.


Check edges, especially when sharp. They are the weakest parts and are quickly subject to corrosion if not treated correctly. Apply a spot coat of RD-Elastometal by brush. It will perfectly cover these edges and further protect them.


An additional step which may depend on the location and the extent of the pollution would be to use soap and water to degrease the surface and remove any oils, pollutants and grease. Observe the surroundings to see if any chimneys are emitting fumes as they can cause an accumulation of contaminants on the surface.

Preparing products

Products are ready for use.

Mechanically stir the products for a few minutes before the application. Do not add any water to any of the products except when clearly specified.

Only if you are working in hot weather conditions, you may dilute the coatings with clean water to delay its drying. But do not add more than 3% of water in order not to diminish its anti-corrosion properties.

RD-Elastometal is best to be applied by brush on specific areas and airless sprayer on the main areas. If spraying is not possible, you can also brush the coating. 


Choose the type of brush according to the size of the objects to be painted.

Specifications for an airless application

RD-Elastometal: minimum output of 180 bar or 2600 psi and a nozzle between 0.015 and 0.019 inches.

RD-Elastometal can also be applied using the Graco Ultra Max portable airless device. It's a simple and effective method for small jobs or for touch-ups on larger scale projects.

At the end of the job, simply clean your equipment with plain water or according to the equipment manufacturer's manual.

We do not recommend applying by roller as it is difficult to achieve the prescribed thicknesses. If you decide to do this, you will need to apply multiple coats to achieve the recommended thicknesses. We recommend using 14mm polyamide rollers or 3/8 inch nap rollers.

The application

Verify that the surface is dust-free with no contamination and no condensation.

If interrupted during the application we recommend that the areas to be coated be re-pressure washed or rinsed, usually if the surface has sat for more than 3 days without rain fall or located in a polluted environment.

When spraying RD-Elastometal, applicators are amazed to see that there is almost no overspray, which results in a better yield. The coating is also Dry Fall, paint dust can easily be removed once it is dry.

Using an airless, the prescribed thickness can easily be achieved in one single pass and beginners who may sometimes spray too thick will notice that there is no sagging up to 1mm and more!

If you are using a brush or roller, you may need to go through 2 or more times to achieve the recommended thickness. But you can finish details such as small metal objects, corners and edges with a brush.

You can measure the wet film thickness during application to determine the future dry thickness.

Allow the paint to dry for 4 to 6 hours depending on the weather and the thickness you applied. Then apply a second full coat of RD-Elastometal over the entire surface in the same way as you did previously.

Finally, finish off details such as sharp metal objects, corners and edges with a brush to make sure they are well covered.

After 4 hours of drying at 20 ° C, the coating is dry and already resistant to rain.

Some further advise

Color choice

Feel free to use two different colors to distinguish the first coat from the second. On some projects, when it is dark or there are a lot of nooks and crannies, it is not always easy for the painter to distinguish the layers.


If the aesthetic aspect of the object is very important, we recommend replacing the second coat of RD-Elastometal with a coat of RD-Monoguard to obtain a more semi-gloss industrial lacquer finish.