Chromium (VI) compounds are commonly used in paint systems to provide corrosion protection, particularly for aerospace alloys. These compounds are toxic, carcinogenic and environmentally detrimental, therefore alternatives that are safe, environmentally benign and meet or exceed current levels of corrosion protection are vital. Multifunctional rare earth organic compounds incorporate known inhibitor species, achieving synergistic inhibition in corrosive environments. The mechanism, efficiency and surface interactions of these complexes are explored. The complexes were effective inhibitors for steel and aluminium alloys, through mixed inhibition. Advantages and limitations of these inhibitor complexes, along with applications and future research direction, are discussed.