Do Steel Gazebos Rust? 5 Ways to Prevent Rust

Yes, a steel gazebo can rust. Ordinary steel catches rust faster than stainless steel. Most metallic gazebos have ordinary steel rather than stainless steel. 

Ordinary steel has iron and carbon which are the main elements that accelerate rusting. Chromium is added in the steel to make stainless steel. Stainless steel can also rust if it is not well maintained. 

Steel is a strong metal, which means it can make a very durable gazebo. Rust is the only thing that can make steel weak. There are a few things that you can do to prevent rust on your steel gazebo. Rust develops when there is moisture on a metallic surface. Keep moisture or water off the steel gazebo and you will never see rust on it. 

Rust Protection Tips for a Steel Gazebo 

  1. Cleaning 

This is the first prevention measure. Make sure you clean your steel gazebo at least once a month. Experts in homeownership recommend you clean a steel gazebo every weekend. A stainless steel gazebo requires regular cleaning or else it will catch rust in a very short time. 

If your gazebo is new, use a soft scrubber and ordinary detergent to clean your steel gazebo. Ensure you dry up the gazebo with a dry cloth. If your gazebo is a little bit old and has some rust, use a wire brush installed on an electric drill to scrub off the rust. Paint over the areas that had rust spots. 

  1. Apply protective coat

This is a rust inhibitor solution that looks like paint. It is a solution that has a high concentration of potassium hydroxide & potassium nitrate that provide a high corrosion and rust resistance. Make sure the steel gazebo frame is clean and dry before you apply this rust inhibitor solution. 

Use a soft paintbrush to apply these solutions. However, some manufacturers put it in a spray can making it easy to apply. Ensure all parts of the steel gazebo have the rust inhibitor. Because rust starts at one point and spreads. 

  1. Apply a metal primer 

A metal primer is a paint that adheres well with any type of metal including steel. It protects your steel gazebo from rust and any other corrosive material. Make sure you apply a coat of rust inhibitor before you apply the metal primer. For maximum protection against rust, apply two coats of the metal primer. Allow the first coat to dry before you apply the second coat. 

  1. Painting 

This is the climax of rust protection. Use high gloss paint because it has oil that fights humidity and adheres longer on the metal. Ensure you apply the rust inhibitor and the metal primer before you paint your steel gazebo. Make sure you paint all nooks and crevices. Use a spray can where a paintbrush cannot reach. Apply two perfect coats of glossy paint. 

  1. Regular inspection and maintenance 

Always check the steel frame for rust. Early detection of rust is better than a late one. Take immediate action when you see any small spot of rust. Clean up the spot then apply metal primer and glossy paint. If the primer and paint are not close by, wrap the rusted area with plastic paper before buying them. 

Image credit: The Better Backyard

How to Paint a Steel Gazebo Frame 

Painting a steel gazebo is one of the rust protection measures you can do. Below is the procedure that will help you to paint your steel gazebo and it will have maximum protection against rust.

What you need 

  • A ladder 
  • Electric drill with a wire brush 
  • Ordinary detergent 
  • A scrubber 
  • Cob-web remover 
  • Hose water 
  • A bucket
  • Alcohol/ethanol for stubborn stains 
  • Painting brush (3 inch) 
  • Gloss paint, rust inhibitor, and a metal primer (quantity will depend on size of your gazebo)

Step 1 

Lay drop cloths around the structure and put on protective clothing like dust masks and gloves. Remove the roof if your gazebo has a removable roof. Then take up the cobweb remover and sweep off all cobwebs. Check for any rat nests or bats and remove them. 

Step 2 

Hose down the steel frame with clean water to remove dust and dirt that has accumulated over time. Use the electric drill with a wire brush to scrub off any rust that is on the frame. You can use steel wool or sandpaper if you do not have an electric drill. 

Step 3 

When all of the dust and rust is off, put some water in a bucket and add half a glass of ordinary detergent. Shake the water vigorously until bubbles form. Dip the scrubber in the soap solution and start scrubbing from one side of the steel gazebo. If you find any stubborn stains, pour alcohol on the stain and scrub gently. 

Step 4 

Rinse off the soap with a hose. If your gazebo is very big, you can rinse the soap as you move on with the scrubbing. Do not allow the soap to dry on the steel frame because it can be a headache to remove it. Allow the frame to dry. 

Step 5 

When the steel frame is clean and dry, apply a smooth coat of rust inhibitor solution. Use a soft brush to paint the frame. Many homeowners recommend you use a spray can because it makes work easier and produces a uniform coat. However, a spray can is very expensive. 

Now that you are done, allow the rust inhibitor to dry. 

Step 6 

Once the rust inhibitor is dry, apply two coats of metal primer paint. Metal primer paint comes in several colors, but the common colors are grey and red. Apply three coats of the metal primer if you want it to be your final paint without adding a coat of glossy paint.

Step 7 

Apply the final coat of glossy paint when the primer is dry. Accept the extra charges and use a spray can to apply this final coat. Call a painting expert if you only have a painting brush. 

This final layer will protect the steel frame from rust because it has oils that resist moisture. Allow the paint to dry and put back the roof if you had removed it. 


Yes, a steel gazebo can rust including stainless steel if you do not take good care of it. Moisture and dirt are what accelerates rusting in steel. This means the first prevention measure is cleaning the steel gazebo at regular intervals. Also, apply a rust inhibitor solution and two layers of metal primer to prevent rust. Paint your steel gazebo with glossy paint and it will be safe from rust.