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Cold Galvanizing Compounds, Zinc-Rich Coatings, or RustSeal?

Rust Protection - Rust Prevention

What’s The Best Rust Preventive Coating?

How does RustSeal compare with cold galvanizing compounds and zinc rich coatings for rust protection and rust prevention. The primary purpose of all these coatings are to protect against rust or rust prevention, and all can be applied with a roller, brush, or spray equipment. However, RustSeal prevents rust and corrosion in a very different way than cold galvanized compounds and zinc rich coatings.

What are cold galvanizing compounds?

Cold galvanizing compounds are coatings that contain zinc particles and are used to provide corrosion protection and rust protection on metal surfaces. Cold galvanizing is a term used to describe the application of a zinc-rich coating without the need for hot-dip galvanizing, which involves immersing the metal in molten zinc.

Cold galvanizing compounds are often used for touch-ups, repairs, or as a quick corrosion protection solution for steel surfaces. They are commonly applied in the field where hot-dip galvanizing may not be practical.

The primary active ingredient of cold galvanizing compounds is zinc dust or zinc powder. Zinc is a corrosion-resistant metal and serves as a sacrificial anode, corroding in place of the underlying steel or iron.

How does a sacrificial anode work?

A sacrificial anode is a component made from a metal that is more reactive to corrosion than the metal it is intended to protect. The idea behind sacrificial anodes is based on galvanic corrosion, where the more reactive metal (zinc in this case) sacrifices itself to protect the less reactive metal surface.

What are zinc rich coatings?

Zinc-rich coatings include cold galvanizing compounds but also include other zinc impregnated coatings, like epoxy or polyurethane zinc-rich coatings, that are used for a variety of applications beyond touch-ups such as industrial coatings for structures, pipelines, marine environments, etc. Like cold galvanization, zinc rich coatings use zinc as a sacrificial anode to prevent rust.

What is RustSeal?

RustSeal is a single part (no activator required) moisture cured, high solids content, rust preventive coating. When applied, RustSeal flows out to a beautiful, rock-hard, tough ceramic-like coating that is tough to chip or scratch and will not crack or peel. RustSeal has incredible adhesion to prepped bare metal (ferrous and non-ferrous) surfaces and prepped galvanized surfaces.

While cold galvanized and zinc rich coatings prevent rust and corrosion by implementing zinc as a sacrificial agent, RustSeal does its work by forming a permanent non-porous barrier against moisture and oxygen. Without moisture and oxygen present, metal can’t rust. This is lifetime protection versus sacrificial protection which only lasts a finite period of time.

How does RustSeal compare against zinc coatings?

Here is how RustSeal outperforms the zinc coatings to be the best rust preventive coating.

Surface Preparation

Whether prepping metal for RustSeal, cold galvanizing compounds, or zinc rich coatings the surface must be clean and free of surface contaminants. All rust must be removed before applying the zinc coatings; however, RustSeal can be applied to light surface rust to stop and prevent future rust. This saves preparation time and labor.


The appearance of zinc-rich coatings are typically not as smooth or aesthetically pleasing as RustSeal. This can be a consideration in applications where appearance is important. For appearance, RustSeal the best rust preventive coating.

In addition, sacrificial corrosion can lead to changes in the appearance of cold galvanizing compounds and zinc rich coatings over time. RustSeal is a permanent coating and maintains its original finish quality.


As galvanic corrosion relies on the depletion of the zinc to protect the underlying metal, the protective capability of cold galvanizing compounds and zinc rich coatings diminish over time. Eventually, the coating will need to be reapplied or touched up. Once again, RustSeal is a permanent coating and maintains its original high-performance characteristics. For low maintenance considerations, RustSeal is the best rust preventive coating choice.


Cold galvanization compounds and zinc-rich coatings may not provide as thick a protective layer as RustSeal. The thickness of the coating is essential for optimal corrosion resistance, and in certain environments a thicker coating is needed.

Cold galvanization compounds and zinc-rich coatings may not be suitable for applications where the metal is constantly immersed in water. However, RustSeal will keep water away from metal for the lifetime of the surface or object when immersed making RustSeal the best rust preventive coating choice in this case.

Non-Ferrous Metals

Non-ferrous metals, such as aluminum, copper, and brass, do not contain iron and therefore do not benefit from zinc coating as ferrous metals do. However, RustSeal is equally effective sealing ferrous metals from rust as RustSeal and sealing non-ferrous metal from corrosion.


Cold galvanizing compounds and zinc-rich coatings have provided critical rust protection in the past and they were the best options available. But, like all technologies, coatings technologies have advanced over the years and there are better options for rust protection these days and RustSeal incorporates these new resins and coating technologies. Cold galvanizing compounds and zinc-rich coatings only provide a sacrificial system which only lasts a period of time until all of the zinc has been used up whereas RustSeal, thanks to using the newest in coating technologies, forms a permanent non-porous barrier to protect against rust for a lifetime.

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