Skip to Content
Back

Quick & Easy DIY Car Rust Repair

Prolong the life of your vehicle and keep it looking healthy by treating rust as soon as you spot it. Here’s how to repair the rust on your car, quickly and easily.

Step 1: Sand

For small areas of surface rust, sanding and a primer and paint job is all that’s needed. Wear goggles and a dust mask to protect your eyes from any flying rust particles.

Start sanding the area by hand, using 80 grit sandpaper. In order to prime and paint properly, the bare metal of the body will need to be exposed. If you need a sander with more impact, use an electric sanding wheel, which will add power to the abrasion.

Sand slowly to ensure a smooth finish. When all the rust is clear, wash the area with soapy water.

Step 2: Mask

After the surface is completely dry, mask off the area that needs painting with masking tape. Remember, paint covers everything it touches – preventing overspray will greatly improve the quality of your paint job.

A single sheet of automotive masking paper (or newspaper) secured with tape is all you need. If you’re using using a spray primer or paint, be mindful that the pressure of the spray may blow the paper over if not properly taped.

Step 3: Prime

Look for a primer that’s suited for painting bare metal, (self-etching primer is ideal for areas with little rust), and follow the instructions on the can to apply.

Spray in thin, even layers and allow the primer to dry fully before applying paint. If sanding between coats, use a fine grit sandpaper and damp cloth to remove dust before applying the next coat.

Step 4: Paint

To select your shade, get in touch with the original car paint suppliers or recruit the help of expert car paint suppliers. Apply paint as you did primer – in thin, even coats to avoid risking dripping. Paint in a well-ventilated area, as paint fumes can be noxious.

Apply extra protection & patch holes

If the area beneath a rust bubble goes deeper than you assumed, a heavy-duty anti-rust primer or can be applied to provide an extra layer of protection beneath your paint job.

If the rust has caused a hole in the metal, look for hole repair kit at your local hardware store, which will contain everything you need. Adhesive body patches, wire meshing, or plastic sheeting are all options for filling holes and providing support for filler pastes, which allow you to cover and shape the area to the contour of your car.

To fill a hole, sand the area of the damage and tap with a body hammer. Apply your wire meshing or plastic sheeting, then add layers of paste filler with a scraping tool to slightly higher than the surrounding surface. Dry completely to harden, then sand with fine grit sandpaper. Prime and paint as instructed in steps 3 & 4.

To finish, wash the entire car with a mild soap and apply a light coat of wax after 48 hours.

Prevent rust

The best way to prevent rust from forming is to keep your car clean. How often you wash will depend on how often you drive, the condition of the roads you drive on, and time of year. Give your vehicle a thorough detailing twice per year and before long periods of inactivity, wash and spray down with a rust-prevention spray before covering.

Examine your car for rust regularly, especially around tires and the lower edges of the body sides. When you see signs, take action as soon as possible to prevent spreading.

An older car doesn’t necessarily have to mean a rusty car. Keep your car well-maintained and adequately insured to ensure it has a long lifespan.

Quick & Easy DIY Car Rust Repair

Rust stains are not only unslightly, but left over time they can spread and cause damage that goes beyond the surface of your car’s body.