Learning About Auto Body And Paint Projects

A Car Owner's Guide To Repairing Automobile Rust Spots

Serious automobile rust will likely require the intervention of a professional. Yet less serious instances of rust--patches that are only a few inches in diameter, and haven't eaten all the way through the metal--can be addressed even by relative amateurs. If you have a rusty car in need of repair, read on. This article will present an overview of the rust removal process.

Sanding Away The Rust

Your first objective is to remove every last trace of the rust using sandpaper. If you have an electric disc sander, that will work great; however, you can also sand successfully remove rust using a manual sander. 100 grit sandpaper should be sufficient to remove light automotive rust. Be sure to sand a little ways beyond the visibly rusted area, so as to create a solid, rust-free patch.

Next you're going to want to smooth the area using a couple of progressively finer sandpapers--first one with a grit between 120 and 150, and then one with a grit around 200. Don't worry about going any finer than that; a little bit of roughness is useful when it comes to promoting a strong bond between the metal and the primer.

Priming The Area

Use masking tape to attach pieces of newspaper all around the border of the sanded area. This will help to keep the primer strictly where it belongs. Now apply several coats of self-etching primer. This special type of primer won't in itself seal the surface of your car against rust. However, it contains the metal zinc, which helps to keep rust from spreading, should it become a problem again in the future. Let each coat of primer sit for several minutes before applying the next.


It's important to be sure that the color you've selected is an exact match. If you're unsure, check your car's vehicle identification plate. There you should find the color code for your specific shade of paint. As with the primer, it is important that you apply multiple coats of paint, this time letting each coat dry thoroughly before applying the next. Be patient and apply five or six coats; the results will appear much more natural, and provide much more protection as time goes on.

Washing And Waxing

Finally, it's a good idea to give your car a thorough wash, and then apply an even coat of wax. This will provide an outer layer of protection against paint oxidation, which over time will lead to rust and corrosion.

For more information, contact George's Eastside Shell or a similar company.