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Owatrol Oil

Colourless, penetrating rust inhibitor & oil-based paint additive

from 32 reviews
Owatrol Oil 1L With 300ml Spray Can
  • 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

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!


Owatrol Oil is 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 it will give increased wet edge time, improved flow and greater adhesion. Unlike damaging thinners, it will maintain the inherent quality of the paint without affecting its appearance or drying times, allowing you to achieve a more professional finish.

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. Directly use on rusted surfaced – the penetrating oil 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

A bonding film is left on all surfaces Owatrol Oil 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. Paint can be applied directly to firm rust when Owatrol Oil is used and is heat resistant up to +175°C.

Using Owatrol Oil as a paint conditioner

Mix Owatrol Oil into oil-based paints as a paint conditioner to get several great benefits. Firstly, it gives the paint rust-inhibiting properties and helps prevent rust on painted surfaces (even when rust is already present). Secondly, it also improves the flow and workability of the paint. This means that you can maintain the ‘wet edge’ for longer, reducing brush and roller marks. Finally, it gives the paint a better viscosity allowing painting work to be carried out in a more extreme cold, hot 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.

Application tools

  • Brush
  • Roller
  • Airless or HVLP sprayer
  • Garden sprayer, pump sprayer

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 the 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.

32 reviews for Owatrol Oil

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  1. Avatar

    Philip Cutting

    I used this to protect the patina of an old sewing machine base, used as a table on the balcony. I didn’t want to lose the rusty look but wanted to protect the cast iron from rusting away and from leaving rusty dust marks on anything that touched it. After a going over with a wire brush on a drill and one coat of the oil it immediately looks fab. It has sealed the metals, leaving a clear, gloss finish. I’m delighted with the result. I bought a 500ml tin but used hardly any (say 100ml) to cover the entire base.

    After application of Owatrol Oil to rusted metal
    After application of Owatrol Oil to rusted metal
  2. Avatar

    Paul Forster

    I have a old corrugated steel roof that I used to have to paint yearly with red oxide.

    Every year the paint would peel and I would have to wire brush and pressure wash and reapply.

    I was recommended to try owatrol oil as a primer and applied thos after the aforementioned preparation.

    7 years later the roof finally needs another coat, not because it has peeled but because the paint has faded!

  3. Avatar


    OMG, seeing is believing. Thought our Red composite door had seen better day’s, brought 3 years ago but the sun had fadded the colour. Used this product and i am absolutely amazed and happy on how its brought the door colour back to life. Thank you. Excellent product.

  4. Avatar

    David Hunter

    I have been using this product for over 25 years and it without one of the best, most versatile products on the market.

    Great as a paint conditioner and additive to give a top quality finish (even makes me look like a great painter) But my recent use for this product? Restoration of a Landrover Defender. Now there’s a test!!

    And as usual Owatrol Oil comes up trumps. After some buffing off loose and flaking material the product can be applied directly into the chassis and cross member ( and any other metal).

    Does a fantastic hardening job in preparation for under seal – I mean ‘top job’ . I am no longer worried about what’s going on behind the under seal on those uneven tricky metal surfaces-

    Owatrol Oil has it covered! 10/ 10👍

  5. Avatar

    Chris Kampf

    I’ve been using Owatrol Oil on my garden sculptures for over 5 years now – it just gives a quality finish.

    Garden sculpture by Chris Kampf finished with Owatrol Oil
    Garden sculpture by Chris Kampf finished with Owatrol Oil
    Garden sculpture by Chris Kampf finished with Owatrol Oil
  6. Avatar

    Andrew Verified Owner

    Amazing stuff,stops rust stabilises crumbly concrete,stops wood rotting etc etc.
    One coat is all you need so it goes a long way!
    I am on my second can,its so useful if you live in a wreck of a cottage like I do,its the only thig holding it together!

  7. Avatar

    Josh – SPRUE Furniture

    At SPRUE Furniture we design and make industrial style furniture by hand, it’s one of the few places locals can work where they get hands on experience with fabrication in wood and steel.

    Jake is applying Owatrol to the frame of a prototype cabinet. On this steel frame we want to only brush the welds and leave the mill scale untouched on the rest. We want the complex colour of the steel to be visible to set off the deep black of the ebonized oak on the cabinet.

    Owatrol Oil was chosen as our finish as it penetrates the steel and seals it from moisture – this way the owner will be able to enjoy the look of the steel. We want it to stand up as long as the oak cabinet.

    Owatrol Oil being applied to metal legs on a piece of SPRUE furniture
    Owatrol Oil being applied to metal legs on a piece of SPRUE furniture
    Owatrol Oil being applied to metal legs on a piece of SPRUE furniture
  8. Avatar


    I own a 26 year old MK2 Golf GTI 16v and it has acres of plastic and rubber around the body that is supposed to be black and not grey, so this stuff is my new favourite thing.
    I have found a little goes a long way, so hopefully a 1L tin will last me years if not forever.

  9. Avatar

    Paul Flohr

    I only discovered Owatrol Oil about a year ago and it is just amazing. Wish I had known about it earlier!

    I make decorative and sculptural pieces from steel and Owatrol Oil gives a lovely chestnut colouring to my rusted work and stops any further rusting. I’ve used it to coat whole pieces that are designed to be outside in the elements, but also selectively with colours and rust to give a varied finish and one off patina.

    MEtal sculpture finished with Owatrol Oil
    MEtal sculpture finished with Owatrol Oil
  10. Avatar

    Tony Robinson Verified Owner

    Great Product. I used it to preserve a 1910 petrol can. I wanted to keep the age related rust and remaining paint, yet stop it from deteriorating any further. I now have a can that looks a bit ‘oily rag’ in finish, but perfect for what I needed.

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This coverage indication is only a guide and actual coverage is dependent on surface type, age, porosity etc.
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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