Primers & Undercoats

The range of rust inhibiting primer and undercoats for metal available at Rawlins Paints are compatible with products from the range of topcoats available by the same manufacturer (please refer to product datasheets for product combination recommendations) and provide the perfect start to any painting project. Using the correct metal primer with not only give superior adhesion, allow better coverage, and stain hiding power, it will also protect the underlying metal from rust.

It’s important to choose the right metal primer or undercoat for a project, whether you're looking for something to adhere to a difficult surface, prevent rust from forming, stabilise existing rust or a high-performance system that is going to stand the test of time we have a product suitable. Many of the primers and undercoats available from Coo-Var, International, Jotun, Sherwin-Williams and Rust-Oleum, amongst other manufacturers, have impressive certificates and approvals - including hygiene ratings, fire ratings, Network Rail approval, Highways Agency approval, London Underground approval and more. Ask our Technical Team for help in choosing the right primer or undercoat for your project.

There are 350 products.

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Hempel Hempadur Fast Dry 15560

Hempadur Fast Dry 15560 is a two-component epoxy paint with a very short drying time, containing zinc phosphate. Complies with EU Directive 2004/42/EC, The Paints Directive on the limitation of volatile organic compounds: subcategory j Recommended use as a quick drying primer or intermediate coat in Hempadur systems for especially fast...

Price £133.70 (ex. VAT)
In Stock and Available for Delivery

Rust-Oleum 3369/3380 CombiPrimer Anti-Corrosion

Rust-Oleum 3369/3380 CombiPrimer Anti-Corrosion is a high quality anti-rust primer for Rust-Oleum CombiColor. The Anti-Corrosion Primer will ensure an even longer anti-rust protection on new or rusted steel surfaces and provides and enhances protection against corrosion. Recoatable after 2 hours For new / slightly rusted surfaces Grey for...

Price £8.68 (ex. VAT)
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Rust-Oleum Mathys Pegalink Universal Adhesion Primer

Rust-Oleum Mathys Pegalink Universal Adhesion Primer is a water based primer for indoor and outdoor use. Adheres to many surfaces: wood, gypsum, cement, bricks and especially on smooth and difficult to adhere to surfaces like: galvanised steel, copper, zinc, polycarbonate, hard PVC, Pegagraff Hydro, etc. Excellent adhesion Flexible...

Price £17.89 (ex. VAT)
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Rust-Oleum Hard Hat 2185/1085 Galva Zinc

Rust-Oleum Hard Hat 2185/1085 Galva Zinc is the No.1 high zinc content coating providing superior protection and durability for metals exposed to the elements or adverse artificial conditions. Can be used as a primer or as a single coat in light industrial exposures, corrosive environments and high humidity areas. 90% zinc content, touch dry...

Price £13.03 (ex. VAT)
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Rust-Oleum Hard Hat 2117/1017 Galva Zinc Alu

Rust-Oleum Hard Hat 2117/1017 Galva Zinc Alu is an esthetically pleasing cathodic protection for damaged galvanised steel. A fast drying, zinc rich coating based on an epoxy ester resin, this product contains pure zinc and aluminium as pigments and provides cathodic protection. Zinc coating with sparkling aluminium particles Resists 340...

Price £13.03 (ex. VAT)
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Watco Galvaprime

Primes and prepares galvanised surfaces for painting. Overcoat the same day Essential for good adhesion Quick and easy to use Apply by brush Coverage Calculator More Information Delivery Info

Price £32.51 (ex. VAT)
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Rust-Oleum 769/780 Damp-Proof Rust Primer

Rust-Oleum 769/780 Damp-Proof Rust Primer is a single pack rust primer for direct application on slightly moist or dry metal surfaces. It is specially developed to be applied on hand tool prepared sound rusted steel surfaces. Available in 4,400+ colours, inc. RAL, RAL Design, BS, NCS & the new NCS 2050 colours Standard Light Grey is...

Price £19.59 (ex. VAT)
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Coo-Var Anti-Corrosive Red Oxide

Coo-Var Anti-Corrosive Red Oxide is a strong alkyd based red oxide product that can be applied directly to the metal surface. It is a general purpose primer and finish in one coat. Easy to use and it offers excellent protection. Primer and finish in one Can be over-coated at a later date Apply direct Protects and decorates Rapid dry...

Price £18.16 (ex. VAT)
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Coo-Var Red Oxide Metal Primer

Coo-Var Red Oxide Metal Primer is a good general purpose metal primer for ferrous metallic objects (iron and steel). It can be overcoated with a suitable Coo-Var topcoat to provide a durable lasting finish for metal. Good anti-corrosive properties Finish: Matt Application: Brush, roller or airless spray Drying time: Touch Dry 2 hours or...

Price £9.93 (ex. VAT)
In Stock and Available for Delivery

Coo-Var Rust Converter

Coo-Var Rust Converter will resist the rusting process and allow the surface to be overcoated. This product will turn any rust on the substrate into a stable surface allowing the user to then be able to coat the substrate without the risk of any further corrosion. Low Sheen finish Available in 250ml up to 2.5L - choose size below Suitable...

Price £16.44 (ex. VAT)
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Coo-Var Zinc Phosphate Primer

Coo-Var Zinc Phosphate Primer is a high performance, modified alkyd metal primer. It has very good anti-corrosive properties. Its high durability makes it ideal for use in coastal areas. Product Features Ideal when wood and metal are combined in the same structure as it will prime both surfaces A stronger primer than most basic DIY...

Price £16.90 (ex. VAT)
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Teamac Red Oxide Primer

Teamac Red Oxide Primer, is an inexpensive primer based upon iron oxide for use on structural steelwork, iron and metalwork which can be left as a short term finish or overcoated with Teamac Marine or Industrial coatings. Traditional general purpose primer for iron and steel Provides flat finish for topcoats to adhere to Perfect for...

Price £12.23 (ex. VAT)
In Stock and Available for Delivery

Rawlins Paints stock over 150 metal primers and undercoats, for any scaled project or environment – no matter how extreme the weather conditions are for external application. These range from Rust-Oleum’s CombiPrimer products for smaller surface areas, to Jotun’s Penguard, Pilot and Barrier ranges for larger surface areas in less hospitable environments – such as offshore areas. With many factors determining which primer will be best suit requirements, these may include one or more of the following:

  • Heat resistant surface requirements
  • Full anti-corrosive or chemically resistant system installation
  • Minimum business downtime on a maintenance or extension build
  • A new, submerged environment installation
  • Surface rust present
  • Exposure to high winds, rain, damp/moisture, or sunshine/UV
  • Flexibility and extra durability to protect against light vehicular traffic

Each product page will contain at least one datasheet documenting touch-dry times, surface preparation requirements, storage and application cleaning advice, and when the primer can have additional product coatings applied. Incorrectly applied coatings on-top of the primer/undercoat can drastically jeopardise its protective, rust-inhibiting, chemically resistant properties – so always follow application guidelines in the datasheets.

Rawlins Paints’ blog features many articles detailing how rust-inhibiting primers work, full system installations from primers to topcoats, product recommendations for specialist or unusual environments, as well as topics including how to paint on or over stainless steel.

When to Use Metal Primers

Metal primers may not always be required on a project, but will always remain a recommendation to improve surface and substrate protection, as well as extend the lifespan of the topcoat or full system installation.

A metal primer’s primary job is to stop the metal from getting wet, or coming into direct contact with any form of moisture, damp or humidity. Whilst some metals contain anti-corrosive materials (such as the addition of zinc – which oxidises first, before the metal substrate does), without using a primer as an added precaution, over time the paint system will age and may decay or begin to deteriorate. When this happens, oxidation will begin, and can quickly lead to rust forming on the surface. Flaking and peeling paint on a surface is most commonly caused from a primer not being used. Stripping back topcoats from metal that has begun to peel can be a large and expensive task – colours may fade on larger surface areas over time, and simply treating and recoating smaller areas is not a ‘colour matching’ option.

Please note that not all metal primers are rust-inhibiting. Some provide other forms of surface protection and topcoat/system installation preparation. Red oxide primers are rust-inhibitive and should be used on ferrous metals to prevent rust and substrate surface oxidisation.