After only a couple of years, would you like your metal screen like this or like this? The rusty door is right across the hall from me, installed the same week about two-and-half years ago. I live in a condo complex, about 300 yards away from a brackish water estuary and about a mile from the ocean.

Our doors are not directly exposed to the elements. This rust is a result of moist, salt air and wind that blows into the hallway and penetrates the doors, cracks and crevices. Here’s a door down the hall that does have more exposure to the elements… not a pretty sight but take heart, it’s easy to prevent your steel security doors from rusting and looking bad.

With just a few minutes of preventive maintenance every 2-6 months and around 12 bucks worth of supplies, your steel door can look new for years and that’s a lot better than having to replace one.

The cost is around two hundred dollars and up for a quality powder-quoted steel door.

And that doesn’t include removal and installation.

Here is all you need to do to keep your steel doors looking great for years:

  1. Remove grease, dust, dirt, any salts brought in by the moist air by spraying both sides of the door with any household all-purpose cleaner.
  2. Wipe both sides of the door clean and wipe completely with a rag or towel.
  3. Spray both sides of the metal door with a carnival spray car wax. I use the Meguiars brand. I’m sure other brands will work but Meguiars had great online reviews and I’ve used it for the last couple of years and it works great.
  4. Be sure to spray the crevices of the scrollwork and in between the metal screen, and especially coat the lower part of the door where moisture and salt collect.
  5. When the wax is dry, wipe with a soft rag and apply another coat, especially if your door is directly exposed to the elements and be sure to apply both sides of the door.
  6. Reapply every 2-6 months or whenever is necessary to prevent the rust. I apply about every 3-4 months. If your door is exposed to extremely salty conditions, you might want to do it once a month.

If it works for a car, it’s going to work for your door. Keep in mind that this same technique can be used for your appliances like refrigerators and stove doors. It’s best to start waxing your door as soon as it’s installed, but if you’re like me and didn’t know about this technique and your door is starting to rust a little, you can still fix it like I did.

Here’s how:

  • Purchase a rust converter at your local hardware store. Rust converters stop the rust and convert it into a paintable surface. I use Rust Reformer by Rust-Oleum.
  • Remove grease, dust and dirt with any household all-purpose cleaner.
  • Wipe both sides of the door clean and dry completely with a rag or towel.
  • Knock off any flakes of rust, if you have any on your door, with a wire brush and lightly sand rusted areas of your door with 150-200 grit sandpaper. Just follow the directions on your brand of rust converter.
  • The rusted areas will turn black and then you just let it dry.
  • Paint the door with a quality spray paint that matches the original colour. The brand of paint that I used is Rust-Oleum’s White Gloss Protective Enamel. You might like something else that’s more available in your area.
  • Apply carnival spray car wax as described in the first part of this video.

And again, this technique can be used to repair rust on other appliances such as stoves and refrigerators. That’s it, save money and keep your steel security screen door looking great for years to come. Aloha!

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