Although the steel window frames manufactured today are normally coated with a rust protector, older frames may not have had this advantage or the inhibitor has weathered away from the many years of exposure. In addition, older steel tends to be more susceptible to rust due to a higher iron content, which is more easily rusted than the newer alloys. The beauty, strength and durability of these units make the effort to ensure they are protected from the damage of rust and look great well worth the effort to preserve them by removing the rust.
In order to remove the rust, the owner will need to gather tools, including a paint scarper, a cold chisel, hammer, safety goggles, gloves, paint brushes, wire brushes and paint thinner or stripper Another option includes rust remover and protectant. If the damage is deep, an epoxy filler can be used to fill any gaps. Once the rust is removed a good quality zinc-based primer and paint can be used to provide the new finish and prevent rust for several years in the future.
Before beginning the project be sure to put on the proper protective gear. Use goggles to protect the eyes from flying metal debris. Wear gloves in order to protect hands from sharp tools. Begin by scraping off the old paint. The paint scraper and wire brush may be useful in removing the loose and peeling paint. Remove as much paint as possible before proceeding. The chisel can be used to scrape rust. The colder the chisel the better for this job. The wire brush can be used to remove the smaller pieces that remain after the chisel. Sweep away any dust and debris using the dry paint brush. Any holes should be filled with epoxy. This filler requires two parts to be mixed together in order to harden. Allow to dry according to the package directions before painting. Paint the frame using rust remover. This uses provides a polymer resin that converts rust back to metal and prevents further rust. The zinc based primer will protect the metal from future rust, just as galvanized metal resists rust. Once the primer has dried, apply two coats of paint according to the label directions. The newly finished window frames should look just like new and last many years.
While rust is often a pain to remove, the time spent is well worth the finished job. Metal frames offer a strength and durability that are not found in many other types of windows. They provide more light and a larger, unobstructed view than other types of windows. While they may need to be resurfaced on occasion, the pain is well worth the other benefits these windows have to offer.
Clara Lapis writes for Euroline Steel Windows and Doors. Euroline is the premier manufacturer of steel windows and doors. Visit their homepage for more information at EurolineSteelWindows.com.