nail head rusting

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Nail-head Rusting

Nail-head RustingReddish-brown stains and spots on the paint surface.

Possible 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.


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