How to Remove Rust From Garden Tools

Removing rust just got a whole lot easier. This simple method can be used on any rusted item such as garden tools, bicycles, auto parts, hand tools or outdoor decor. Find out how we gave new life to a couple of old, rusted garden tools.

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June 11, 2020
Refurbished Garden Tools

Refurbished Red Garden Tools

Odds are you have an old, rusted garden tool lying around. Give the tool new life by removing that unwanted rust and applying a fresh coat of paint.

Photo by: Clara MacLellan

Clara MacLellan

Refurbishing Old Garden Tools 02:42

Derek Trimble gives tips on how to refurbish old garden tools.

Supplies Needed

  • rusted garden tool
  • rust remover
  • bucket
  • water
  • fine-grit sandpaper
  • all-purpose cleaner
  • rag or sponge
  • spray paint
  • painter's tape

Soak

When it comes to removing rust, there are a lot of options. You can spend hours scrubbing, sanding and scraping or you can use a rust remover. The rust remover we're using is non-toxic, biodegradable, safe to the touch and reusable. Begin by soaking the rusted garden tool in a bucket of rust remover overnight.

Rinse

Next, rinse the tool with water. Rinsing neutralizes the rust remover so you can safely apply paint.

Rinsing in Water

How to Remove Rust From Garden Tools: Rinse

Next, rinse the tool with water. Rinsing neutralizes the rust remover so you can safely apply paint.

Photo by: Clara MacLellan

Clara MacLellan

Sand

Prep the tool for paint by sanding the surface with fine-grit sandpaper.

Sanding Tool

How to Remove Rust From Garden Tools: Sand

Prep the tool for paint by sanding the surface with fine-grit sandpaper.

Photo by: Clara MacLellan

Clara MacLellan

Clean

Spray a rag or sponge with all-purpose cleaner and thoroughly clean the handle to remove any dirt or grime (Images 1 & 2).

Paint

It's important to paint the surface of the tool after removing rust to add a protective coating. If you don't, it's likely the tool will rust again. Before painting, apply painter's tape to the handle. Next, spray paint the newly rust-free tool until coated (Image 1). Now, it's time to put those "new" tools back to work (Image 2).

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