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Overhaul on an ammo can


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I bought my 6 year old daughter an ammo can today from the Army Surplus Store. She is going to use it for her 1000th cache celebration cache.

It has been used and is a little rusty. It is also quite hard to open...however, my daughter is delighted with it!

How can I give it a good overhaul before placing out?

 

Many thanks.

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Give it a good sanding with 100 to 150 grit sand paper. be sure to get all of the rust off. You can treat the rust spots with some WD-40. That will help get the rust off pretty well. Then get yourself a good primer paint. Let that dry for a day or 2. Then give it a light sanding with 100 grit paper. A can of Rustolium Primer would be a good choice. Then go with the color of your choice. Take your time and do several coats giveing about 8 hours or more between coats. A light sanding with 200 grit paper is good between coats. Be sure to give it a good wipe down after each coat.

 

Make sure the can isn't bent anywhere. If you see excessive rubbing between the lid and the can then the lid flaps may be bent in slightly. Sometimes the rubber seal in the lid gets sticky. So clean that off with a bit of rubbing alcohol to clean it. Then maybe rub a bit of gear oil on the gasket to keep it from sticking and help insure a good seal.

Edited by mpilchfamily
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Give it a good sanding with 100 to 150 grit sand paper. be sure to get all of the rust off. You can treat the rust spots with some WD-40. That will help get the rust off pretty well. Then get yourself a good primer paint. Let that dry for a day or 2. Then give it a light sanding with 100 grit paper. A can of Rustolium Primer would be a good choice. Then go with the color of your choice. Take your time and do several coats giveing about 8 hours or more between coats. A light sanding with 200 grit paper is good between coats. Be sure to give it a good wipe down after each coat.

 

Make sure the can isn't bent anywhere. If you see excessive rubbing between the lid and the can then the lid flaps may be bent in slightly. Sometimes the rubber seal in the lid gets sticky. So clean that off with a bit of rubbing alcohol to clean it. Then maybe rub a bit of gear oil on the gasket to keep it from sticking and help insure a good seal.

 

I suspect the WD-40 stage should be left until after the painting, though. Or does Rustoleum stick to oily surfaces? (I know that the original one did have fish oil in it, so maybe it will stick?)

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Give it a good sanding with 100 to 150 grit sand paper. be sure to get all of the rust off. You can treat the rust spots with some WD-40. That will help get the rust off pretty well. Then get yourself a good primer paint. Let that dry for a day or 2. Then give it a light sanding with 100 grit paper. A can of Rustolium Primer would be a good choice. Then go with the color of your choice. Take your time and do several coats giveing about 8 hours or more between coats. A light sanding with 200 grit paper is good between coats. Be sure to give it a good wipe down after each coat.

 

Make sure the can isn't bent anywhere. If you see excessive rubbing between the lid and the can then the lid flaps may be bent in slightly. Sometimes the rubber seal in the lid gets sticky. So clean that off with a bit of rubbing alcohol to clean it. Then maybe rub a bit of gear oil on the gasket to keep it from sticking and help insure a good seal.

gear oil is not a good idea. it will eat away at the gasket material.you could get a can of spray silicone and use that on the seal and then spray a little on the door seals and window felts on your car while you're at it.

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Take your time and do several coats giveing about 8 hours or more between coats.
Be sure to read the label on the paint. Many of the paints I've used say "apply a second coat within 1 hour or after 48 hours". The specific times vary depending on the formula of the paint, but there is usually a period while the paint is dry to the touch but still curing when you shouldn't apply a second coat.
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I wire brush and sand inside and out, then apply some stuff I got at Ace that is made to be painted on rusty surfaces. Any place where there is rust, the paint turns black. I like it because it gets into all the cracks, seams, etc. It acts as a primer, so once it's dry, I apply spray paint.

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Give it a good sanding with 100 to 150 grit sand paper. be sure to get all of the rust off. You can treat the rust spots with some WD-40. That will help get the rust off pretty well. Then get yourself a good primer paint. Let that dry for a day or 2. Then give it a light sanding with 100 grit paper. A can of Rustolium Primer would be a good choice. Then go with the color of your choice. Take your time and do several coats giveing about 8 hours or more between coats. A light sanding with 200 grit paper is good between coats. Be sure to give it a good wipe down after each coat.

 

Make sure the can isn't bent anywhere. If you see excessive rubbing between the lid and the can then the lid flaps may be bent in slightly. Sometimes the rubber seal in the lid gets sticky. So clean that off with a bit of rubbing alcohol to clean it. Then maybe rub a bit of gear oil on the gasket to keep it from sticking and help insure a good seal.

 

I suspect the WD-40 stage should be left until after the painting, though. Or does Rustoleum stick to oily surfaces? (I know that the original one did have fish oil in it, so maybe it will stick?)

 

If you let it sit for a few days, preferrably in the sun, the WD-40 will eventually completely evaporate.

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A few notes on the above replies:

 

WD-40 will most certainly not evaporate. Ever. It contains (believe it or not) fish oil compounds that will stay on (and attract all kinds of dust) unless removed by an appropriate solvent. It is an excellent cleaner/degreaser/de-gummer (as I use it often to clean my model trains, but then I remove the WD-40 with either electrical parts cleaner or brake/carb cleaner before re-lubricating the model train mechanisms with an appropriate lubricant.)

 

The sanding/wire brushing is a good idea to remove the rust, as most spray paints will not only NOT stick to anything oily or greasy, but also not to anything rusty (for any measurable length of time anyway.)

 

Most spray primers these days seem to work better if you apply a light coat, then immediately (like, 15 minutes) apply your top coat. If you let primers dry too long, the top coat won't adhere very well, and it will wear off, exposing your primer layer. I like the idea of just using several coats of gray or brown primer at short intervals, so they stick well.

 

Have fun, I love bringing old, beat-up stuff back to life and a new purpose!

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1)Remove heavy rust with steel wool.

2)Work the lid alot until it moves freely.

3)Clean entire can (except rubber seal) with denatured alcohol (rubbing alcohol will do also).

4)Spray entire can (except rubber seal) with Extend by LocTite to neutralize remaining rust.

5)Paint w/ your favorite color of Rustoleum.

Edited by Sharks-N-Beans
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