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Marine Use

Marine & Leisure Application 

Rust-Bullet-Harry-Truman

Welcome to the FAQ's  and Helpful links section for Marine & Leisure applications.  Rust Bullet has been used on private vessels, fishing boats, commercial vessels and off-shore rigs all over the world.  It has also been used by the US Navy. Its ultra tough coatings protect metal from the harshest environments.

If you cannot find the answer to your questions below; or would like to discuss a project in further detail, please Contact us directly.

Tug Boats Coated in Rust Bullet


Useful links

Rust Bullet v Competitor Testing

Rust Bullet Application Guidelines
Marine FAQs pdf.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the recommended method of Application for Marine use?

Rust Bullet coatings can be applied by brush, roller or spray equipment. An airless spray system using a 517 or a 523 tip at 3000 PSI pressure is the suggested method for Marine, Industrial, or other commercial applications. A minimum dry film thickness (DFT) of 12 mils is recommended. It is recommended that before and after each coat of Rust Bullet is applied; the pump, lines, and sprayer be flushed with RustBullet Solvent. It is essential to keep the application equipment clean and the line free of any build up of Rust Bullet product.  Application equipment must be cleaned immediately after use to avoid damage to the equipment.  
CLEAN UP TIPS Use Rust Bullet Solvent for cleanup or if unavailable Xylene, Toulene or Acetone. Do not make assumptions about other cleanup solvents without consulting Rust Bullet Customer Support. Even a very small contamination of Rust Bullet with alcohol or other hydroxyl-containing solvents can destroy the moisture-cure reaction partly or entirely without any indication or gelling.  Spills must be cleaned up immediately with Rust Bullet Solvent or the product will harden and become next to impossible to remove. Avoid getting on body, clothes, or any surface not intended to be coated.  Rust Bullet coatings are permanent; after curing, Rust Bullet can only be removed with rigorous abrasive action. Clean up fresh, uncured Rust Bullet immediately by using Rust Bullet Solvent, following the directions on the label.  Thoroughly flush equipment clean with Rust Bullet Solvent. Do not leave residue as it will harden and become insoluble in solvent. Clean equipment as you would with any typical two component catalyzed coating. Always clean brush or roller thoroughly. Dunking dirty equipment in solvent will not prevent the coating from curing overnight. If Rust Bullet Solvent is unavailable, Xylene, Toluene or Acetone may be substituted.
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Are there recommendations on Media Blasting?

The substrate must be free of loose rust, paint, moisture, dirt, mildew, oily substances, wax and loose particles. It is extremely important to remove embedded salts (chlorides) from the surface prior to the application of a new coating system. The surface to be coated must be completely dry. Although it is not always necessary to blast surfaces prior to a Rust Bullet application, Soda Blasting and Dry Ice Blasting are two methods of media blasting that are effective, clean and environmentally safe. Both media are sound options and cleanup will be relatively minor including the drying procedure after the dry ice blasting.
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Is it necessary to remove surface paint prior to applying Rust Bullet?

When you have an existing coating that exhibits poor adhesion and is flaking off any coating applied over that coating is subject to the same behavior. As this coating continues to lose its bond with the substrate,the Rust Bullet or any coating on top would pull up with it or bubble. You can scuff up the surface and apply several coats of Rust Bullet, and extend the life. Although it will provide protection and longevity, it will not have the optimum performance of an application over a surface that does not have an existing coating failure. To achieve maximum adhesion and performance, it is always recommended to remove any old paint or coating before applying Rust Bullet Coatings.
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Do I Apply Rust Bullet only where Rust is Apparent?

Rust Bullet is designed to protect rusted and clean metal. It is always advantageous to protect metal, even when there are no visible signs of corrosion. If Rust Bullet is applied only in the rusted areas, it will stop the rust on that surface area, but the uncoated area will be left unprotected. Remember, if it’s made of iron or steel, it will rust and corrode if left unprotected.
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Are additional coats of Rust Bullet required for Marine Applications?

Rust Bullet recommends a minimum 12-15 mil dft for any Marine or Industrial applications for optimum protection. Rust Bullet can be applied by brush, roller or spray equipment. The application method used will determine the number coats that are needed to achieve a minimum dft of 12-15 mils. When using a roller or airless sprayer, three to four coats of the Rust Bullet Standard Formula will generally achieve a dft of approximately 12 mils. It is our experience that a brush application will generally achieve a 1.5 - 2 mils dft per coat. As Rust Bullet cures it releases carbon dioxide gas while dehydrating the rust. This process of “gassing off”(expelling solvents) may create small pin holes in the first coat of Rust Bullet. A generous initial coat of Rust Bullet will penetrate the rust down to the original metal surface while the second and any successive coats seal these tiny pin holes, forming an air-tight, armor-like shield over the application surface. If these pin holes are not sealed after the first coat, air and moisture may penetrate the Rust Bullet, allowing rust and corrosion to form.
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Is there a recommendation of the number of coatings for a ship submerged in Sea Water and what is the effect of salt water on Rust Bullet?

A minimum 12 - 15 mil dft (dry film thickness) is recommended for Marine applications. Additional coats or mils may be needed for adequate protection dependent upon substrate and exposures. Sea temperatures vary as does the salt content; these factors may also help determine the appropriate dft. Salt water should have minimal effect on Rust Bullet. Refer to ASTM B117 Seawater Spray (Fog) Test Results and ASTM D870 Seawater Immersion Resistance Test Results for further technical and engineering data on salt water exposures.
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What is a marine tie-coat and when should it be used?

A Marine Tie-Coat is a general purpose chlorinated rubber type product used on metal surfaces and as a tie coat between different types of coatings. This versatile product can be used successfully above and below the waterline and over a variety of coatings as a tie coat. It is generally compatible with anti-fouling bottom paints and various types of topside finishes.
As Rust Bullet contains aluminum, when it is applied to a hull, the hull must then be treated as an aluminum hull. As most anti-fouling paints contain copper, applying it directly onto a cured Rust Bullet coating would create an undesirable Dissimilar Metal (Galvanic) Corrosion. This galvanic corrosion occurs when two dissimilar metals (in this case aluminum and copper) are in contact with each other in an electrolyte (salt water). Due to the distance between aluminum and copper in the galvanic series, a non-conducting insulator (e.g. rubber) should be placed between them or they must be isolated from the electrolyte. On an ocean-going vessel the isolation is not an option and therefore the tie-coat must be applied.
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Does Rust Bullet recommend the use of antifouling paint?

Rust Bullet provides durable surface protection that is scratch, chip, chemical and UV resistant. Antifouling bottom paints reduce or eliminate marine growth that develops on a boat’s underwater surface. Antifouling paints do this by using biocides (chemicals) that slowly release to repel underwater aquatic life. Most antifouling paints require a chemical reaction with the surface to which it is applied for proper adhesion. If you do use antifouling paint, please refer to the Rust Bullet Marine FAQ regarding the use of a Marine Tie-Coat. Always check with the antifouling paint’s manufacturer before applying an anti foulingpaint over Rust Bullet.
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Can Rust Bullet be used on gasoline tanks?

Rust Bullet is not affected by gas itself. Rust Bullet was not designed as a tank sealer for the inside ofgasoline tanks We have not tested for this application and can offer no promise as to what the outcome will be if used as such. Rust Bullet can be used on the exterior, but it was not designed for internal use on a gas tank. There is no guarantee the inside of the tank is covered evenly or thoroughly. Th inside of the tank does not receive proper air circulation for the coating to cure properly.
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Can Rust Bullet be applied to an Aluminum Hull?

Yes; Rust Bullet can be applied directly to the clean surface of an Aluminum Hull. Etching the aluminum surface with Rust Bullet Metal Blast prior to the application of Rust Bullet is recommended for optimal adhesion.
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What are the effects of fuels on a cured Rust Bullet coating?

Fossil fuels, such as refined oils (gasoline, diesel, jet fuels and kerosene) will not affect the integrity of the cured Rust Bullet Coating. Additionally, renewable fuels such as Biodiesel and Ethanol will have no adverse affect on substrates coated with Rust Bullet Products.
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Slocum Spray hull coated in Rust Bullet® Standard