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Product Details

Pettit 6980 Rustlok Steel Primer is a one-part, moisture-cured polyurethane coating designed for application over any steel or cast iron surface, including galvanized and stainless steel. This Primer contains an aluminum flake pigment which forms a dense barrier impervious to water. The result is excellent corrosion protection.

In addition, Rustlok utilizes polyurethane chemistry to offer tremendous adhesive strength and wetting ability. It is this combination that performs well even when applied over rusted surfaces.

Rustlok Steel Primer is recommended anytime an easy to apply, effective anti-corrosive barrier coat is desired. Available in Quart and Gallon sizes.

Tech Specs
Estimated DRY TIME at TemperatureTo Recoat
10 degrees F 3 hours
30 degrees F 2-1/2 hours
50 degrees F 2 hours
70 degrees F 1-1/2 hours
90 degrees F 1/2 hour
Info & Guides


Rustlok Steel Primer may be applied by brush, roller or spray. A minimum of three coats of Rustlok is recommended to achieve good, long-term corrosion protection. Four or more coats of Rustlok will yield excellent long-term results. Rustlok reacts with ambient moisture. To avoid gelation of the paint, keep containers tightly sealed when not in use. Thinning is not normally required and is not recommended. Follow the recommended dry time and recoat guidelines carefully. Once fully cured, Rustlok forms an extremely hard surface which is very difficult for other coatings to adhere to. If the dry to recoat time is exceeded, heavy sanding with 80 grit sandpaper is mandatory to achieve proper adhesion of subsequent coats of paint. To eliminate the labor of sanding, plan your work carefully so that each coat of Rustlok and the first application of topcoat (antifouling or topside enamel) will be done before the previous coat dries hard.


Coating performance, in general, is proportional to the degree of surface preparation. Follow recommendations carefully, avoiding shortcuts. Inadequate preparation of surfaces will virtually assure inadequate coating performance.


New Steel: Disc sand with 80 grit sandpaper or sandblast to clean bright metal. Wipe clean with Pettit T-10 (aka 120) Brushing Thinner and immediately apply at least three coats of Rustlok following the recoat instructions carefully. Finish with antifouling bottom paint or topside system.

Rusted Steel: Clean the surface by wire brushing, wire wheeling, or light sandblasting. All loose rust must be removed. Firmly attached rust does not have to be removed. Wipe the surface clean with Pettit T-10 (aka 120) Brushing Thinner and apply a minimum of three coats of Rustlok. Finish with an appropriate antifouling bottom paint or topside system.

Galvanized Steel: Galvanized steel must be clean and free of oil or grease before it is painted. Thoroughly clean the surface with Pettit T-10 (aka 120) Brushing Thinner and plenty of clean rags to ensure complete removal of contaminants. Then apply a minimum of three coats of Rustlok. Finish with antifouling bottom paint or topside system.

Stainless Steel: Follow the "New Steel" system above.


Antifouling Bottom Paint: All Pettit antifouling bottom paints may be applied directly over Rustlok Steel Primer. Adhesion is always best when Rustlok is topcoated when it is still slightly tacky. If Rustlok is allowed to dry hard, thorough sanding with 80 - 100 grit sandpaper is recommended to ensure adequate adhesion of subsequent coats of paint.

Topside Finishes: All Pettit topside finishes are compatible with Rustlok Steel Primer. If the surface is sufficiently smooth, Pettit Easypoxy, Shipendec or Polypoxy may be applied directly over Rustlok. If the surface needs additional smoothing, use an undercoater as a base over the Rustlok. Use Pettit 6165 Yacht White Undercoater or 6149 Easypoxy Undercoater for Easypoxy or Shipendec topcoats and Pettit 4172/4027 Epoxy White Undercoater for Pettit Polypoxy topcoats. Remember to start the finish coats or undercoaters before the Rustlok dries hard. If the Rustlok dries hard, thorough sanding with 80 - 100 grit sandpaper is mandatory before topcoating.

Technical Information

  • Exceptional adhesion to all ferrous metals also including steel, cast iron, galvanized and stainless steel.
  • Wets, seals and adheres to firmly attached rust.
  • Dries rapidly allowing multiple coats in one day.
  • May be applied at temperatures down to 10 degrees F.

  • VEHICLE TYPE : Moisture Cured Polyurethane
  • FINISH : Matte
  • COLOR : Aluminum Metallic
  • CURING MECHANISM : Chemical Cure
  • SOLIDS (theoretical)

  • By weight : 56.4 +or- 2 percent/ By volume : 43.3 +or- 2 percent
  • COVERAGE : 350 sq. ft/gal.
  • VOC : 470 g/l max.

  • METHOD : Brush, Roller or Spray
  • NUMBER OF COATS : 3 minimum
  • APPLICATION TEMP : 10 degrees F. Minimum; 90 degreesF. Maximum
  • THINNER AND CLEAN-UP : T-10 (aka 120) Brushing Thinner or Xylol or 12115 Acetone.
  • ASSOCIATED PRODUCTS : T-10 (aka 120) Brushing Thinner, Easypoxy Topside Finish, Pettit Antifouling Finishes


When brushing or rolling Rustlok, wear safety goggles if there is any chance of the product getting in the eyes. SINCE THE PRODUCT IS MOISTURE SENSITIVE, IT WILL CURE RAPIDLY WHEN IT COMES IN CONTACT WITH THE SKIN. WEAR GLOVES AND HAVE ARMS COVERED FOR CLEANLINESS. THE PAINT MUST BE REMOVED FROM THE SKIN WITHIN 15 MINUTES WITH LACQUER THINNER, XYLOL, TOLUOL OR ACETONE OR IT WILL TAKE SEVERAL DAYS TO WEAR OFF. When spraying this product, an air-supplied face mask must be used. Urethane products can cause allergic sensitivity and lung irritation.
WARNING: Cancer -

Reviews for Pettit Rustlok Steel Primer

4 of 4 Reviews

August 7, 2023

Good product
By Old goat from Proctorsville Vermont

Verified Purchase

Have used for years; does an excellent job on properly prepared rusted surfaces. Follow directions on can.

Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend to a friend

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December 1, 2022

Awesome paint
By North Maine from Maine

Verified Purchase

This is a paint that if used correctly is simply awesome. Watch Pettit's youtube videos for advice if you're new to the product- but I love this stuff and have many applications over 15 years old and this is still holding up. If you properly apply and topcoat this primer you'll never worry about it again.

Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend to a friend

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September 2, 2020

I would buy this product again
By Jolly good from Northport New York

Verified Purchase

I have a steel ballast on my Sail Boat he did a really good job of covering it

Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend to a friend

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April 28, 2014

By wisriverrat from lake wisconsin

used to prime steel pontoon house boat, Its the onlyprimer needed under antifouling paint, works great.

Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend to a friend

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