Close up image of a surface with reddish-brown stains.

Nail Head Rusting - EXTERIOR

Reddish-brown stains on the paint surface.

Causes

  • Non-galvanized iron nails have begun to rust, causing bleed-through to the top coat.
  • Non-galvanized iron nails have not been countersunk and filled over.
  • Galvanized nail heads have begun to rust after sanding or excessive weathering.

Solutions

  • When painting new exterior construction where non-galvanized nails have been used, it is advisable to first countersink the nail heads, then prime with a rust-inhibitive primer, and caulk them with a top-quality, water-based all-acrylic or siliconized acrylic caulk.
  • Each nailhead area should be spot-primed, then painted with high-quality exterior paint. When repainting where nailhead rusting has occurred, remove rust stains, sand the nail heads, then follow the same surface preparation procedures as for new construction.

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