Hammerite Metal Paint review

Updated Feb 13, 2024 | Posted Jan 18, 2023 | Product Review, Paints | 4 comments

Hammerite is what you’d call an old-school metal paint, and it’s a brand that every single decorator in the UK has used at one point or another. They manufacture a range of metal paints, but I want to review their signature product, which is Hammerite Direct to Rust and Metal.

You can buy this paint online by clicking here in various sizes and colours. The finishes include Smooth, Hammered and Satin. Touch dry in around an hour, recoat after 4 hours and it offers 8 years of protection. You might use these paints for exterior metal work such as railings, cast iron gutters, and shutters.


Hammerite Direct to Rust and Metal Paint Review


There are loads of products available nowadays which you can use on exterior metal work, but I still have an affection for Hammerite. It’s thick and gloopy to apply, which can be a real pain, especially in warm conditions. However, there is a trick to applying it which will make the application process easier. (I’ll go into that a little later in my review).


Hammerite Direct to Rust and Metal does contain rust inhibitors, which is why you can use it on rusted metal work, but I’ve found you still need an oxide primer for heavily rusted areas for your painted surface to have any real longevity.

It may sound like I’m being too critical of Hammerite Direct to Rust and Metal, because I honestly do like it. I find the paint reliable, and I honestly think it looks fantastic once it’s on. Plus, it lasts longer than any of the water-based alternatives I’ve tried. I have even used it on my own garden railings.


The Easiest way to Apply Hammerite Direct to Rust and Metal


As promised, I’m going to talk a little bit about the application. There is a knack to using Hammerite. If you were to just grab a paintbrush and try to paint in the usual way, then you’d probably struggle. Hammerite is simply too thick and gloopy. Instead, what you need to do is get yourself the correct type of brush and a mini roller.

Your chosen paintbrush needs to be relatively stiff for use in Hammerite, but also cheap. There’s no point in using an expensive paintbrush because it is going to get wrecked by the paint! I’d recommend Hamilton for the Trade, which is available online by clicking here.

Next, you’ll need a medium pile mini-roller. I like the Hamilton For The Trade with these too. They’re cheap, hold plenty of material, but are thin enough to manoeuvre around railings and mouldings. Available online buy clicking here.


You should roll larger areas with your mini roller, then touch the edges up with your paintbrush, ensuring you keep your wet edge. I know this is a strange way round to do it, but trust me, it’s the easiest way. You can get your mini roller right into railings and the painting is much faster.


Hammerite Direct to Rust and Metal Aerosol

It’s worth mentioning the Hammerite Aerosol. There are pros and cons of opting for the aerosol version. It is quicker and easier to use on smaller areas, plus it gets into the corners.

 “A quick spray” every couple of years on your garden gates is probably all the maintenance you need. It might take 20 minutes and will last a while. If your metal work is in good nick, then Hammerite Aerosol is fine.

However, you can’t really work it into rough surfaces. The liquid paint version coats everything in a thick gloop, which is perfect for this type of thing. The spray is a bit thin.

I prefer the Maston Hammer if I’m using an aerosol, but 9 times out of 10 I opt for proper liquid paint.

Hammerite aerosol is good paint

Final Thoughts


So, Hammerite Direct to Rust and Metal is thick and gloopy but is easy enough to apply with the correct method. I don’t like applying it to heavy rust, but the fact this paint has rust inhibitors in it gives me confidence of its longevity.

There are new water-based alternatives popping up all the time, but I still like Hammerite. It’s a brand you can always rely on. Click here for more information or to see the current prices.

Hammerite Direct to Rust and Metal Paint review – by Mike Gregory

Updated Feb 13, 2024 | Posted Jan 18, 2023 | 4 comments


  1. Richard

    Rustoleum metal paints online and trade has twice the spreading rate hammerite. It’s far easier to apply and good paint. Colour range far better.

    Coovar metal paint still uses the thinners and it’s like hammerite used to be.

    Also Johnstone makes their own brand metal paint in any colour.

    Good review as always Mike personally l don’t rate hammerite nowadays years ago yes before it was changed to white spirit based but its far to hard to apply in my view kinda like toffee.

    Public like the hammerite name though just like Dulux retail. Power of branding.

  2. Ian Coles

    I have just tried using Hammeright garage door paint .. never again it is like water on the roller .. you cannot put enough on before it starts dripping off the roller .. if you put a little on it does not cover enough .. very very poor product.. I used to spray my truck chassis with hammeright as it was such a good product



  4. Russell Bennett

    Iam a retired Paint Shop owner of some 30 years 45 years in the industry allup ,what I don’t know about paint is not worth knowing, Right, Hammerite Direct to Metal,had some little jobs to maintain, my preparation on my Metal chairs was perfect as you would expect, used Satin Black & Hammerite Hammer Silver ,No Covering power, Stupid to Apply, then wait for it RUST BUBBLES after 4 Months, this stuff is rubbish, to think I use to stock and sell this Brand to my customers in Bundaberg Australia. OH Dear.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *