The cost of purchasing brand new weights can add up fast, especially if you're just getting started and need a large amount of plates or dumbbells. Instead of shelling out the cash for new equipment, you might be able to salvage some old weights that were discarded due to ugly rust spots. You can't erase any damage that the rust caused but you can stop the rust from spreading and hide it so your secondhand weights look just as good as new.
Scrub away any loose or flaking rust with a wire brush and water. Keep working until the rust stops coming off of the weights.
Rinse the weights with clean water and dry them thoroughly with a towel to prevent new rust from forming.
Place the weights on a piece of cardboard outside on a clear day.
Spray paint the top of the weights with a rust inhibiting spray primer. Look for a spray primer that specifically claims to inhibit rust or contains zinc chromate.
Flip the weights over when the primer is dry and spray the other side to completely cover the weights with primer. Wait for the primer to dry before you continue on to the next step.
Repeat Steps 3 through 5 with an oil-based spray paint in the color of your choice.
Do not use the weights until the paint is completely dry.