Return to the California Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

rust in metal birdbath

Posted by pugsgarden Sacramento 14 (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 16, 06 at 1:40

I have a small birdbath that is made out of a heavy metal (iron? copper?) and it develops rust in it very easily. Is there anything I can use to clean this with, or better yet, something to prevent the rust? Thanks for any suggestions.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: rust in metal birdbath

Copper won't rust.

You can use steelwool to scrape off the rust. You can spray with rustoleum, but I do not know if that will harm the birds.

RE: rust in metal birdbath

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 16, 06 at 10:00

Also, according to Rust-Oleum's FAQs, their "products are not suitable for continuous water immersion."

From what I've gathered on some other forums here on GW, you might be able to use the Rust-Oleum Primer for Rusty Metal as a base coat, as long as you eventually paint over it. Below is a link to one of the threads I found here which gives at least one personal experience with the stuff.

Hope you find some help soon! :) You might try a full site search here, in case there's more helpful info out there.


Here is a link that might be useful: Cast iron birdbath - Garden Junk Forum

RE: rust in metal birdbath

My wheel barrow rusted through 20 years ago and I laid up a glass fibre and resin coating and it is still going strong. al

RE: rust in metal birdbath

If you REALLY want to get rid of 100% of rust on something, use electrolysis. It is somewhat complicated, but can be done with a plastic tub, a few misc scraps of wood and iron, and a car battery charger. Some people have these things lying around in their garage :) Here is some info: Otherwise, scrub away, using a steel brush or steel wool depending on severity of rust. Use a rust remover like CLR or Naval Jelly to speed things along - but be prepared for a VERY messy job.

To coat your iron bird bath so it NEVER rusts, you are best off using pool paint or epoxy paint (two-part). These paints are specifically designed to be in constant contact with water (unlike Rustoleum). Pool paint can be found in any Home Depot, though it is typically either white or blue. I use this on concrete fountains and it dries to a fingernail polish hard finish that lasts for decades. If you want to go really hardcore, get some 2-part epoxy paint (food grade NOT marine). This is the stuff you can use in aquatic environments like koi ponds, large aquariums, etc. You can typically buy this from koi stores, or order it from many places online (it is not cheap but when you paint a pond you don't want to have to repaint for YEARS). DON'T get the marine grade because, though it is the same basic product, it will often contain algicides (to keep marine growth off the bottom of boats) and it will poison water left in contact with it (as well as kill fish if you use it in a pond).

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the California Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here