I spray WD-40 on metal parts in a high moisture area to prevent rust. But in one particular case, I don't want the oil getting on other things in a tight area, so I'm reluctant to use the spray. Is there like a non-spray equivalent of WD-40 that I could smear on by hand or coat with a paint brush to the thing I want to protect from rust? It should ideally protect against rust for several years without requiring any more applications.

  • You can purchase wd40 in gallon cans
    – Kris
    Jan 12, 2021 at 23:29
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    Someone actually using WD-40 for what it's designed for? I was about to jump in with "WD-40 is rubbish for that, you really want <X>" which applies in almost all cases... but protecting metal by displacing water is actually what WD-40 is for. Do keep it off plastics unless you want them damaged. Jan 12, 2021 at 23:49
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    Although now that I said that, I think what you really want is Rustoleum 7769 Rusty Metal Primer. Only have to apply it once instead of weekly, and it applies with a throwaway bristle brush. Jan 12, 2021 at 23:53
  • coat with a paint brush to the thing I want to protect ... what is preventing you from spraying WD-40 on the brush?
    – jsotola
    Jan 13, 2021 at 21:23

3 Answers 3


Spray onto a cloth or rag and wipe on.

Avoids any overspray if you prepare the cloth/rag away from that area.

  • wouldn't the rag absorb most of it though? Is there a particular type of rag that would work best for this? I guess I could put on some disposable latex gloves, spray on the gloves, and then wipe on Feb 9, 2021 at 19:39

You can buy WD-40 in gallon cans that are not aerosol spray. These are meant to refill manual pump spray bottles, but you can use it in the way you proposed of course.

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But if you want it to stick around for longer, it might be better to use something like actual grease or even paint. WD-40 is pretty thing, and does evaporate.

  • only problem is a gallon is way too much! Feb 9, 2021 at 19:40

Cosmoline. Or grease, but cosmoline is (now) formulated specifically for rust prevention.

Petroleum jelly or Vapo-rub are moderately effective and perhaps easier to clean off, not to mention being available at any drug store or grocery store.

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