Owatrol Oil

Colourless, penetrating rust inhibitor & oil-based paint additive

4.88 out of 5 based on 17 customer ratings
(17 customer reviews)

At A Glance...

  • Rust inhibitor which penetrates deeply until it reaches the sound metal below
  • Drives out moisture and air, stabilising the rust and preventing it from reforming
  • Paint and wood stain additive for oil-based paints which improves the flow of paint and eliminates brush marks
  • Improves paint adhesion and prevents cracking and peeling
  • Improves uniformity and coverage of coat,

    up to 25% more


Owatrol Oil is a versatile, highly penetrating air drying oil that can be used alone or added to paint. Used alone as a rust inhibitor it provides a tough, flexible finish, driving out excess moisture and air; displacing it from rusted metal, so stopping rust dead in its tracks. Used alone on porous wood surfaces it will saturate and protect the wood from damage caused by moisture and prevent paint from peeling.

When added as a paint conditioner to any oil or alkyd based coatings and it will give increased wet edge time, improved flow ability, greater adhesion and unlike damaging thinners, will maintain the inherent quality of the paint without affecting its appearance or drying times allowing you to achieve a more professional finish.

NEW! Owatrol Oil is now available in a handy and easy-to-use 300ml spray can making it even easier to apply, especially to those hard to reach places!

Using Owatrol Oil as a rust inhibitor

Owatrol Oil penetrates through the rusted metal to the sound metal below, isolating it and protecting it from further rusting. As it is a penetrating oil it can be used directly on the rusted surfaces – it drives out moisture and air and stabilises the metal to protect it from future damage.

On brand new metal surfaces, use Owatrol’s AP 60 instead. If you are looking for a high gloss rusted finish you can also overcoat the surface with Deks Olje D2 high gloss clear oil.

Using Owatrol Oil to aid adhesion

Owatrol Oil leaves a bonding film on all surfaces it is used on which maintains the natural look of the surface but allows enhanced adhesion, making it perfect as a foundation for primers or finishing coats. It gives excellent adhesion including on galvanised steel, aluminium, zinc, wood and more. It allows paint to be applied directly to firm rust and is heat resistant up to +175°C.

Using Owatrol Oil as a paint conditioner

Owatrol Oil can be mixed into oil-based paints as a paint conditioner when several great benefits. Firstly, it gives the paint rust inhibiting properties and helps prevent rust on painted surfaces – even when rust is already present. It also improves the flow and workability of the paint, maintaining the ‘wet edge’ for longer and reducing brush and roller marks. Finally, it also gives the paint a better viscosity which allows painting work to be carried out in more extreme cold, heat and windy conditions. Unlike damaging paint thinners it does all this without altering the inherent qualities or the finish of the paint.

Please note that if you are looking for a product to give this effect but for water-based paints then please use Floetrol instead as it is designed for use in any water-based paint whereas Owatrol Oil is for use in oil-based paints.

Using Owatrol Oil for wood impregnation

When used on wood surfaces Owatrol Oil saturates the wood and protects it from damage caused by moisture. It also helps to prevent paint from peeling and protects metal parts such as hinges and latches from corrosion.

Ideal Uses for Owatrol Oil

  • Priming galvanised surfaces with no need for weathering or pickling
  • Preventing further damage in heavily rusted surfaces
  • Improving paint flow when working in cold environments
  • Preventing peeling paint on wood surfaces
  • Protecting metal part on wood surfaces like gates and window frames
  • Assuring better adhesion of finishes

Always read the Owatrol Oil Product Information before using and follow the instructions carefully.

Surface Preparation

Surface preparation when using Owatrol Oil as a rust inhibitor

First, surfaces must be clean, dry and free from oil, grease and other surface contaminants. Remove all scale; loose and flaking rust and old paint back to a sound surface and edge and feather in any sharp edges. Surfaces exposed to chemicals (acids, alkalis or salt deposits) should be washed using copious amounts of water or steam cleaned. Severely contaminated surfaces should be cleaned using an appropriate solvent.

Do not remove firm rust or clean the metal back to a bright finish.

Surface preparation when using Owatrol Oil as a paint conditioner

First prepare the surface as per the instructions on your paint can. In addition, if not asked to ensure that you remove all loose and flaking material and treat any organic growth with fungicidal solution or a mix of 1 part water to 1 part chlorine bleach (allow bleach solution to sit for 15 minutes), rinse thoroughly and allow to dry.

Applying Owatrol Oil as a Rust Inhibitor

Using Owatrol Oil on new clean steel

First prime new steel with a mix of 1 part Owatrol Oil to 3 parts primer. Then follow with normal paint system adding Owatrol Oil to subsequent coats as directed under ‘Mixing instructions’ below.

Using Owatrol Oil on lightly rusted surfaces

First prime the surface with a mix of 1 part Owatrol Oil to 2 parts primer. Then follow with normal paint system adding Owatrol Oil to subsequent coats as directed under ‘Mixing instructions’ below.

Using Owatrol Oil on new unpainted rusty steel

First prime the surface with a mix of 1 part Owatrol Oil to 1 part Primer. Then follow with normal paint system adding Owatrol Oil to subsequent coats as directed under ‘Mixing instructions’ below.

Using Owatrol Oil on old, severely rusted or previously coated surfaces

first apply wet on wet applications of Owatrol Oil to all exposed rust until fully saturated and allow it to dry. Saturation is indicated by a uniform glossy appearance to the surface when Owatrol Oil is dry. Before Owatrol Oil has hardened, check the surfaces and remove rust scale and old paint loosened by the above. If needed, touch up these areas. Allow to dry. Next apply a mix of 1 part Owatrol Oil to 2 parts primer and allow to dry. Then follow with normal paint system adding Owatrol Oil to subsequent coats as directed under ‘Mixing instructions’ below.

Note: Owatrol Oil will not lift well bonded paint.

Applying Owatrol Oil as a Paint Conditioner

First apply paint in normal the manner. If the paint is sticky, drags, sets up to fast or does not level properly add Owatrol Oil (stirring in well) until the paint works smoothly, easily and evenly. Allow the brush, roller or sprayer to be your guide.

Using Owatrol Oil as a Paint Conditioner for wood surfaces in sound condition

First prime any bare wood with a mix of 1 part Owatrol Oil to 2 parts primer and allow to dry. Follow with normal paint system adding Owatrol Oil as in ‘Mixing Instructions’ below.

Using Owatrol Oil as a Paint Conditioner on damaged, soft or punky wood surfaces

First apply 2 to 4 liberal applications of Owatrol Oil wet on wet, as fast as the wood will absorb it. Do not allow Owatrol Oil to dry between applications. When the wood cannot absorb any more wipe up any excess and allow to dry overnight (12 hrs). Follow with normal paint system adding Owatrol Oil as in ‘Mixing Instructions’ below to ease application and aid adhesion.

Mixing instructions

Topcoat: As required – normally 5 %-20 % by volume.
Undercoat: up to 30 % by volume.
Primer: up to 50 % by volume.

The above is meant as a guide only. Conditions of application, porosity of surface etc. will dictate the amount of Owatrol Oil to be mixed into the paint.

Clean Up

Clean all tools and equipment with white spirits while still wet. If allowed to dry, remove with paint stripper. Store and maintain equipment as directed by manufacturer.

NOTE: Any rags, steel wool etc soaked in Owatrol Oil may spontaneously catch fire if improperly discarded. Rags, steel wool etc must be saturated with water after use or placed in a sealed, water filled metal container, before disposing with household waste.


Do not mix or overcoat Owatrol Oil with paints containing hot solvents i.e. Xylene, 2 part coatings, chlorinated rubber etc. – for these type of paints use Owatrol CIP instead. Do not use Owatrol Oil as a paint conditioner in water-based paints, for this purpose use Floetrol instead – Owatrol’s water-based paint conditioner.

Things to Remember

  • Cover everything you do not wish to paint.
  • Apply between + 5°C and + 35°C.
  • Do not apply in direct sunlight or on to hot surfaces.
  • Test for compatibility when adding Owatrol Oil to paint.
Write a Review

17 reviews for Owatrol Oil

  1. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    Excellent product. Easy to apply. Perfect for the treatment of antique steel garden furniture.

  2. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    What a find…absolutely fabulous. Does what it says….renewed old bench, railings. Renewed keeping the look of antique…just what I wanted. To think I was going to throw everything in the skip!!! Don’t hesitate give it a go, good price goes along way and is easy to apply, rejuvenate your beloved “oldie” collection…you won’t be disappointed.

  3. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    I put an old Victorian Fireplace over the cat flap at the back of our house for fun !
    I coated it in Owatrol and it looks superb and is not rusting at all.
    Brilliant Product
    I also had a metal door knocked made in Marrakech – this has also been coated with Owatrol and looks superb.
    I have coated glazed pottery ornaments in the garden also. Not only do they look great, but the Owatrol has protected them from the elements.
    I am about to use this fabulous product on a metal arch in the garden and I will then know that it is safe from rust too!
    Fantastic help over the phone from the Owatrol team too !

  4. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    What extraordinary stuff!!! I was advised to buy this for my rusting horse manure trailer (you can imagine the damage!) and it has left an amazing finish. Sadly I didn’t order enough so will get more…………love it!

  5. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    I added this oil to undercoat on iron railings, it improved the flow, I have not seen any rust come through yet but its only been 2 weeks.
    When the top coat goes thick at the bottom of the tin this oil is a great additive, much better than thinning with white spirit, and now I know it is an ideal product for priming galvanised steel that means I don’t have to have that type of primer in stock so stocking this oil will save money in the long run.

  6. 5 out of 5


    Does what it says it does. I’ve struggled with the fight against rust on the rear crossmember of my 2012 land rover (all owners will irrespective of age) and this does the job with ease. Applied two coats and will probably apply as required. Epic product and has many applications its a must have in the garage.

  7. 5 out of 5


    I’ll keep this short, chassis of coach/bus very badly pitted with rust, chunks flaking off when struck with ball pin hammer.Removed all loose /flaking rust with air chisel.(took 4 weeks). treated chassis with owatrol oil. Cuple of days later spray painted with a rust primer with owatrol oil added 25%. then a final coat of paint. 2 years later paint still intact no rust. Expensive but well worth that bit extra. Excellent product.

  8. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    Owatrol was suggested to me by Matt Fairley (Sculpture Conservation and Installation) as a way treating the surface of my steel sculptures on which we have been working for some months.

    This seems to be an excellent way of fixing the rusty surfaces, not only in terms of preservation and maintenance – but also of producing a rich surface colour. It sinks into the surface and gives a more dense coat than varnish – less like an applied skin.

    We are aware that it is possible to mix the solution with paint and that it can provide an undercoat on which to paint – both of these processes could prove useful in the future.

    Owatrol has proved to be extremely versatile – and a splendid addition to the range products, which can be used in the making of sculpture for both inside and outside purposes.

  9. 5 out of 5


    i find that the covering power of gloss is greatly increased and the ease of application is improved, quite happy to use this in all my jobs from now on its not cheap but you get what you pay for would like a better pouring tin as it can drip easily but i stand the 1 litre tin inside a cut down milk carton then pour the drips back in the tin at the end of the day

  10. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    If you have a good smooth surface below you’ll get a superb professional looking job using Owatrol.

  11. 4 out of 5


    If there was one product we were itching to get our hands on, it was this! We’d heard so many good things about Owatrol Oil that we wanted to see if the hype was deserved. It¹s worth explaining that there are several strings to this product’s bow. It can be used as a rust inhibitor, paint conditioner or for impregnating wood, but we used it as instructed by our readers in a bid to enhance the look of an original tractor. Owatrol Oil allows you to achieve that’oily rag’ look, without the mess, while stopping rust and protecting the base metal from further rusting, eliminating moisture and penetrating down to the sound metal. We cleaned up the tinwork of our tractor before applying Owatrol Oil with a clean rag and achieved some excellent results. Yes, it’s expensive, but you don¹t need that much to achieve the desired effect, so it should last a while.

  12. 5 out of 5


    This is brilliant at stabalising rust inside van/car sills chassis and bodywork. It is the only product I’ve ever tried that actually genuinly stops existing rust in vehichles from getting any worse. I live on a farm in the west coat of Scotland, which is wet/mud all year round and salty all winter. It is a climate that kills cars as they never get a chance to dry out.

    I’m lazy, and prefer the effort of prevention than the effort of welding. I bought 5 litres of this oil to treat the rusty chassis and sills on my van, in preference to the vareous waxes that I’ve used (Dynax S50, Noxudol-700, Waxoil) . My van is an already rusty daily driver, and I was seeking a product to stabalise the existing rust, and prevent any more from forming, whilst at the same time not hindering any future welding that might be needed.

    I’ve found most products aimed at cars don’t solve existing rust, they expect clean metal, and even the rust converters are only converting the top surface of rust that is there. Even the best waxes I’ve trialed simply don’t soak that far into the rust, and in my experience allow the rust to carry on doing its thing underneath them.

    It took about 3 litres to fully coat all my chassis rails and sills, and to paint over all bare metal on the underside of my van. I did two coats on the exterior metal, and one on the sills. Areas vulnerable to stone chips were top coated with Dynax S50 (which is meant for sills but I suddenly have a lot of this that I don’t need so its been re-purposed.)

    I’ve also done some test pieces of rusty box section so I can have a side by side comparison with the waxes I use, and so I can test how slap dash I can get away with being on surface preperation.

    Below are the reasons why I think its brilliant, and what I’ve found as the negatives of it.

    1) It really really penetrates, and will genuinly soak through existing scale rust to reach the metal underneath. It soaked through all my van body seams, and completly saturated the rust already deep in those seams. I have been able to paint areas that I have no other way of ever reaching. It seems to penetrate to a similar level as WD40, but with the advantage that it dries afterwards.

    2) It dries clear (surface looks like its wet), so I am able to confirm that the rust underneath the coating is stable.

    3) The oil actually dries, as compared to cavity waxes which generally don’t. This is a significant advantage to me as it allows me to do welding repairs without setting the inside of the sills on fire, or contaminating welds with wax. There speaks the voice of experience.

    4) It smells pleasent, and is not sticky whilst applying it, and is easy to wash off, and clean up afterwards.

    5) Its fine with dirty/rusty base metal, which is the underside reality of a van. This makes preperation really easy, essentially a once over with a pressure washer, and a once over with a needle scaler. A wire brush would be OK, but the needle scaler is faster and better with some of the heavy scale that was on my van.

    BUT, its not all good.

    6) Its slow to dry, making it difficult to get two coats on in a weekend, when you need your vehicle on both Friday and Monday.

    7) It needs the metal to be dry, it won’t displace water that is already there. When I did the whole van I had a week of sun prior to coating. For winter spot treatment I use a hot air gun to get rid of water, if needed.

    8) Its so effective at penetrating that a lot of what went into the sills soaked through the seams and coated my garage floor.

    9) Because its clear it is very hard to tell how effectivly it has coated the sills as I can’t tell what has and hasn’t been covered when I inspect them with my borescope.

    10) Its not very impact resistant, so is vulnerable to stone strikes sprayed up by my wheels. In vulnerable areas I’ve overcoated it with underseal to avoid this.

    11) I’m 35 and never knew this stuff existed, I wish I’d discovered it decades ago, it would have saved me so much grief over the years. Seriously though its not something I can walk into a local shop and buy, but no worse than some of the other things I’ve thrown at my van over the years. I just wish it was more widely known, hence the review.

    So, I’m a fan, probably a customer for life, and feel slightly lighter knowing that all the rusty junk I love to acumulate won’t rot to nothing now.

  13. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    I have applied the oil to a totally unrestored walk behind tractor it applied well. will update at later date

  14. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    Wouldn’t dream of doing any painting on our canal boat without using Owatrol, especially good patching damaged areas .
    Brilliant product, does exactly what it says on the tin.

  15. 5 out of 5


    I felt compelled to write and tell you about my experience with the Owatrol products I used when painting my dining room. To give you some background, I hate glossing with such a passion that with my previous houses I removed all skirting boards and doors and architraves, replacing them with natural wood. However recently we have moved into an old cottage and removing these items would not have been in-keeping with the structure of the cottage.
    Searching on the internet I people recommending Owatrol Oil and ESP, products I have never heard of before. After searching out the company on the web and phoning your help-line to find a local distributor I purchased both products. Unbelievable!!! The outcome is amazing. I have always wanted gloss that resembles the finish on car body work…well now I have found the product that delivers such a finish. Just a few words of gratitude from a new life long customer of the Owatrol products.

  16. 5 out of 5


    I used Owatrol Oil on some rusty railings the other week and the result is great! Now I’m just waiting for some dry weather to paint them…

  17. 4 out of 5


    Your paint conditioner Owatrol Oil is superb! It’s a bit difficult to get out of the tin but a big thumbs up from me!

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How much do I need?

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This coverage indication is only a guide and actual coverage is dependent on surface type, age, porosity etc.
Coverage: 18m2 per litre
Tools: Brush, Roller, Airless or HVLP Sprayer, Garden sprayer, pump sprayer
Suitable for: Exterior & Interior use
Clean up: White Spirit
Drying Time: Touch Dry: 12 hours, Full Dry: 24 hours depending on temperature and humidity
Re-coating Time: 24-48 hours
Finish: Transparent Matt