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I have used this product for years to cover up rust on many items, such as my boat trailer, boat lift, trailer hitch receiver on my car, and black wrought iron furniture. This is very simple to use--just spray on and you have a paintable black surface instead of rust (though of course you don't have to paint anything). It's a very easy way to stop rust from spreading.

If you don't want something that sprays on black, then you can use naval jelly (which I have reviewed on Amazon), which will turn your rusted surfaces into a very dark brown, but will not affect surrounding painted or aluminum surfaces (like on patio or beach chairs) if you rinse it off right away.

I use this product on any surface where I want a black appearance and don't have to worry about getting it on surrounding painted or aluminum surfaces.

Bottom line: This is a great product for rust problems. Just keep in mind that using it is just like spraying on black paint.

Update February 27, 2011: I recently discovered VHT rust convertor on Amazon (and have reviewed it), which is a liquid spray that goes on clear and converts rusted surfaces the same as naval jelly. I now use that sometimes instead of naval jelly.
55 comments84 of 89 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 9, 2011
My comment here is for people looking to use this in an automotive underbody application.
None of it has to do with people using Rustoleum Rust Reformer for light-duty stuff like spraying patio furniture, or whatever.

Anyway, there are two types of rust. Surface rust, and structural rust.
If gone unchecked, surface rust can become structural rust. Once you've arrived at structural rust (as evidenced by material loss and heavy flaking), there is no liquid in a can- not even the much vaunted and very expensive POR15- that will conquer it. At this point, the best case scenario involves a welder. Worst case scenario involves the scrapper. If you're looking for something you can 'paint on and the rust will go away', maybe it exists on a magical island inhabited by the Tooth Fairy and Santa, but it doesn't exist in the world you and I live in.

I bought 3 six packs of this stuff from Harbor Freight for use on a car with heavy underbody rust. The car was at the point where immediately taking rust countermeasures might wring a few more good years out of it, but the beginning of the end had commenced and if left untreated, this winter would be its last.

First, you must prep, prep, prep. This involves a wire wheel on a drill or grinder. You must power off all the surface rust, flaking and get down to bare, solid metal. This can be a very intimidating task for a car that has a completely rusted underbody, but that's the job that must be done. If you aren't up to doing it, sell it to someone who is. There's also the painful possibility that as you remove rust, you're going to learn that it was worse than you had originally thought. Pay no attention to anyone who tells you to leave the rust there for structural reasons. Rust that can be removed with a wire wheel has lost all structural integrity anyway, so you aren't doing any 'harm' by removing it. At that point, it isn't holding anything together anyway.

You cannot just spray this over untreated rust and expect to be done. Sure, it might make the surface look prettier, but the cancer is still alive under that coat, eating away your car. There were some of areas I wasn't able to get the power tool in to (I was doing work with body on), so I just handbrushed them and sprayed. Sure enough, the rust reformer definitely had a chemical interaction with the surface rust, but immediately peeled back off once it dried, since the rust membrane was too deep.

Is this the fault of the product? Definitely not!
You can't expect a spray-on coat to penetrate into a rust chunk thicker than a quarter dollar and completely 'neutralize' it. It was very apparent, very quick, that this product worked just fine on light surface rust- it actually created a very nice, durable primer coat- but on thick structural rust? Forget it. Not this nor any other liquid product can remedy that.

Where this seems to really do well is delivering a coup-de-grace to rust on a surface that's already been mechanically prepped. No matter how hard you wire it off, there's still going to be microscopic rust in that metal- I believe this would work very well to finish that off. When I examined the backside of the dry peelings that weren't able to adhere to the structural rust, it showed there definitely was a good chemical reaction between the rust and the coating. On a 'bare metal' surface, there's no doubt this product would do the trick and kill whatever little rust that might remain on the surface that you can't see with your naked eye.

Also, this is pretty much a rust neutralizing primer- you're still going to need to topcoat with something.

4 stars out of 5 because of the three 6 packs I bought, there were two dead cans.
Don't buy it thinking it can perform miracles and you'll definitely be happy with it. Now that I know what this product is good for, I can envision myself using it quite a bit from now on.
77 comments115 of 127 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 3, 2014
I have used this for years, mainly on motorcycle body parts.

The most telling job it has done was on a replacement center stand. It was total thick junkyard rust on the outside. I wire brushed it for half an hour (under running water to keep the dust down) until no more rust would brush off. After drying I gave it a couple of coats of this and let it bake in the Texas sun for a couple of days until I found time to put it on the bike. Several years later, riding in all conditions, the Rust Reformer has not come off and the rust has not come through. It is flat black and I've never tried to top coat it. Note that it will not stick to bright metal; it scrapes off easily, but it will stick very tenaciously to rusty metal that has been thoroughly brushed to remove loose rust. It sticks somewhat to roughened bright metal, but on rust it's there for good. People who have given it poor reviews are either expecting things it's not designed to do or are misusing it.
11 comment22 of 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 8, 2011
Rustoleum makes great products, and this is no exception. Make sure you use the Rustoleum Professional series spray paint as the top coat. I retreated an outside gas pipe that had not been painted in 10 years, and the results were great using both products.
0Comment14 of 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 26, 2015
For an off the shelf product, this is pretty good. I had quite a bit of surface rust on my vehicle's frame since the last owner lived in a snowy, salty state. I wished to prevent further rust so I stripped it off the best I could with a wire brush attachment on an electric drill then got to work with the Rust Reformer.

It does a fair job of coverage - I got several square feet out of one can. It goes on looking like a matte black primer. The only caveat I have is that you must use several coats since the first coat is very thin. I noticed on a skid plate that I only put one coat on, rust had started to show through after two weeks. The areas that I put several coats on seem to be holding up well. I live in Eastern New Mexico, which is somewhat humid this time of year so I'm sure that contributes to the rust coming back.
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on February 7, 2014
This product does not work as well as a separate acid, covered up with brushed on Rust-Oleum, but it is a great product never the less. I use this product to reach hard to reach areas, and where there is very little rust, not enough to justify going through the process of acid treatment, wait 24 hours, wash with soap and water, wait for it to dry, then paint with good quality oil based paint.

This product prays on, kills rust, then dries as a primer. Can be top coated with just about any type of paint. I got a great deal, so I purchased 8 cans. Later I went back and purchased 6 more. I do love this product, especially because of the price and convenience factor.

Dries to a satin finish.
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on June 27, 2015
I use this stuff all the time. It really does work if you use it as follows. I use it after a long winter when rust appears to try to prolong the under chassis of my cars and RV. I 1st used it on a used SUV I bought that had surface rust under chassis. It really worked kill rust then I painted over the reformer and it seems to keep rust away now over a year, I don't know how long but its been a year and still working. If it slows down rust for the hour every few years I may need to do it its well worth it to help preserve my stuff.
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on June 19, 2015
Creates a nice dull black finish over rusted metal. I used it on an old rod iron gate. It took 4 cans to coat all of the 5' x 3' simple gate. It dried smooth and made a perfect base for the shiny black top coat. No rust showers through and the gate looks like new.
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on July 5, 2014
This is great for turning rust into a primer that you pain over. I have painted the underside of my wife's truck and plan on doing my car next. It is important that you cover up everything sprayed wit a paint to seal the surface and protect from future rust breakouts.
0Comment3 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 29, 2011
I used this product to get rid of the rust on the iron hand rails on my front steps.

It preformed as advertised. I applied a top coat and the rails are rust free six months later.
0Comment13 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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