Note: The set of questions from this particular sender has been divided into two. This is part 1 which covers questions related to surface preparation.

Good day, Lettie!

Our metal gate has a coating of Boysen Quick Drying Enamel. The primer we used was Boysen Red Oxide.

We painted the gate several years ago and I think it’s now due for repainting. It’s very dirty. The area around the gate’s hinges even has oil and grease mixed with dirt. There are also areas that are rusty and have corroded already.

I have many questions and I hope you can help me. Your response will be greatly appreciated.

Question 1: How do I prepare the surface for repainting? If there’s sanding involved, please know that I’m not familiar with it. How do I sand a surface and what grit sandpaper should I use?

Question 2: The gate is very dirty. How should I clean it? Would it be okay to wash it with water and soap? I am afraid it would cause more rust since the gate has recessed areas already due to corroded metal so it would be hard to wipe it dry.

Question 3: Do I need to fill up the holes left by the corroded metal prior to applying the primer?

Thank you!

Boysen User A

Hi, Boysen User A.

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover so let’s get started!

1. How do I prepare the surface for repainting?

For areas in good condition:

First, you will need to sand lightly using sandpaper with a grit of 320 to 360. Do this by simply going over the areas lightly with the sandpaper. This should help clean the surface and, importantly, allow your new coat of paint to better adhere to the gate.

Then, wipe down the surface with a clean, dry rag. After, remove all loose paint film that you see. This could expose the metal underneath. If it does, prime the exposed areas with one coat of Boysen Red Oxide Metal Primer.


Paint TechTalk with Lettie: I Need Help Repainting My Old Metal Gate (Part 1) | MyBoysen

For areas with rust or corrosion:

Before anything else, you will need to address the rust. First, remove the rust manually using a steel brush. Try to get rid of as much rust as you can.

If you still see rust even after brushing and sanding, take Boysen Metal Etching Solution and apply liberally on the areas. Let it stay for 10-15 minutes. Then, wipe the area with thinner using a rag. Once the area is dry, immediately apply Boysen Red Oxide Metal Primer to avoid flash rusting (the rapid rusting of a metal surface after it has been cleaned or washed).

2. The gate is very dirty. How should I clean it?

Light sanding and then wiping with a clean rage after should be enough to clean the surface. The sanding should be able to remove dirt from the surface as well.

With that said, you can clean the gate with water and mild detergent if you prefer. Remember that you will still need to sand the surface to help your new coat adhere to your gate. Make sure the surface is completely dry before you apply the paint.

Paint TechTalk with Lettie: I Need Help Repainting My Old Metal Gate (Part 1) | MyBoysen

3. Do I need to fill up the holes left by the corroded metal?

For dents, you can use a metal putty. Sadly though, Boysen doesn’t manufacture one so you will have to look elsewhere for this. When you do so, kindly check with the manufacturer if it’s compatible with all the other products you will be using to repaint your metal gate.

It may be best, however, to replace your gate if the rust has created holes or has caused your gate to become dilapidated. There’s only so much that rust treatments and paint can do!

We’ll talk about the next steps, a.k.a. applying your gate’s primer and topcoat, in part 2 which will be published a few days from now (April 7). Stay tuned!

If any of the above is still confusing or raises more questions, our Technical Service Department will be happy to help as well. You can call (02) 8363-9738 local 413 to 418 during office hours for a one-on-one consultation. And don’t worry, consultations are free of charge!

Your painting partner,


Jill is a writer on a continuous journey to learn about paint and share them with you, the reader. She has an interest in the technical side of things but also thoroughly enjoys playing with colors. She likes calm greens, quiet blues, and mellow yellows best.

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