Owatrol Oil

Colourless, penetrating rust inhibitor & oil-based paint additive

from 26 reviews
Owatrol Oil
  • 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 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.

26 reviews for Owatrol Oil

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  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Avatar


    I used this to improve flow of littlegreene traditional oil eggshell and Littlegreene Tom’s oil eggshell, it certainly improves flow and slightly increases drying time, but strangely as another reviewer has mentioned it did significantly increase the sheen level of the traditional oil eggshell (no longer available) but not noticably for tom’s oil eggshell!

    • Owatrol Team

      Owatrol Team

      Hi David,

      As mentioned in the previous review, could we please ask how much Owatrol Oil you used? If you used a similar amount that they did, you would unfortunately experience the same issue.

      If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to contact us – Email: sales@owatroluk.com or call us on: 01582 592707

      All the best,
      The Owatrol Team

  6. Avatar

    Paul Eyre

    Used Owatrol oil on my faded composite door and door now looks as good as new. Very impressed. Easy to apply and quick drying. Had been contemplating buying a new door, the fading was that bad, but took a punt with Owatrol and it came up trumps.

  7. Avatar

    Simon Verified Owner

    Used it on some rusty letters for a bar and did exactly what we wanted. Retained the rust and clean to the touch.
    Don’t quite understand the tin design. Difficult to open and needs to be put into another container.

  8. Avatar


    Beware if you want to use this to improve the flow/wet edge properties of Eggshell paint.

    We had used Little Greene’s Traditional Oil based eggshell to paint furniture before and we loved the flat, near matt finish. However the paint dries very quickly and it is difficult to keep a wet edge (something our excellent professional decorator also sees).

    Owatrol is supposed to improve paint flow and it says ‘ will maintain the inherent quality of the paint without affecting its appearance or drying times allowing you to achieve a more professional finish.’

    Spoke to Little Greene who said use 3% – didn’t need more and if you did, the drying time would increase. However they also said that it would not make the paint shiny even if more was used.

    In reality, the paint flow did improve a bit, but the appearance ended up halfway between eggshell and gloss – not the effect we were looking for. Now have to rub it down and buy some more paint (might use white spirit this time).

    • Owatrol Team

      Owatrol Team

      Hi there,

      Unfortunately you seem to have been given incorrect advice from your paint manufacturer. You do need a minimum of 10% as a start point (as directed on the Product Information TDS) in order to see results. Then there should have been no degradation to the paint and a far improved wet edge working time with the paint.

      Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss this further.
      The Owatrol Team

  9. Avatar

    Deborah Pollock Verified Owner

    Excellent product. I have used it to seal rust pieces in my art to prevent further corrosion and longevity.

  10. Avatar

    Peter White Verified Owner

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

  11. Avatar

    Jane Eamonson 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.

  12. Avatar

    Sallyanne Jones 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 !

  13. Avatar

    lynda calcutt 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!

  14. Avatar

    nick wilson 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.

  15. Avatar

    Adam Flint

    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.

  16. Avatar

    a. mccoy

    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.

  17. Avatar

    Michael Lyons 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.

  18. Avatar


    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

  19. Avatar

    Leslie Kay Verified Owner

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

  20. Avatar

    Scott Lambert

    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.

  21. Avatar


    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.

  22. Avatar

    George Shearer Verified Owner

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

  23. Avatar

    Terry 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.

  24. Avatar

    Richard Baker

    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.

  25. Avatar

    Paint It Now

    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…

  26. Avatar

    Lees Decor

    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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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