How to Remove Rust from Your Car

Rust Sucks! It makes your car look bad and slowly “eats up” the metallic elements on your ride. Those nasty brown stains and paint bubbles that keep on popping up are the ultimate enemy of a vehicle. 

Ignore them long enough, and this could mean an early trip to the salvage yard for your once beloved automobile!

To prevent this, you need to move with speed to arrest the rust problem before it gets out of hand! But not many drivers know how to go about it; so in this post, we will be looking at how to remove rust from your vehicle!

Tools Required

Before you start the rust removal exercise, be sure to have the following tools of the trade at your disposal:

  • Rust Removal Spray 
  • Sanding Disc 
  • Masking Tape
  • Sandpaper 
  • Scoring Pad 
  • Stainless Steel Brush
  • Gloves
  • Dust Mask
  • Eye Protection

Make sure to use quality tools to get the best results. Choose puncture-resistant gloves to protect your hands from injury and prevent direct contact with rust and chemical cleaners. Be diligent about wearing protective gear for your own health and safety.

To remove rust from your car, follow the step-by-step guide below:

Step 1: Mask Off the Repair Zone

You want to ensure that the entire vehicle is protected from overspray, which you can do with poly sheeting. Spread your poly sheeting over the fenders and engine if you plan to paint the hood. In the door area, cut the sheeting so that it fits the door opening then tape along the frame. 

The masking should be done at one foot from the rust repair area to leave enough for you to mix the touch-up paint into the unaffected areas. 

Step 2: Scrape off the Rust

Use a scraper to crack any blistered paint areas on your car’s body. Take 40-grit sandpaper and thoroughly sand all the rusted spots until you get to the base metal. If the rust is too severe and will not budge, use a sanding disc to eliminate it. 

Enlarge the sanded region before feathering the paint edges with the help of 120-grit sandpaper. Use a 220-grit to finish off the feathering. For the frame areas, apply the best rust frames converters before sanding off the rust.

Using a tack rag, remove the rust particles from any unmasked areas and if you notice pits on the car body, fill them up with a body filler or apply several coats of filler primer. 

Step 3: Clean with Detergent

Clean the whole unmasked region using dishwashing detergent then rinse with clean water. Allow the surface to dry and wipe it one more time using a lint-free piece of rag to get rid of any remaining rust dust. Apply the manufacturer’s prep solvent!

Step 4: Prime the Surface

Apply epoxy primer followed by filler primer on the area. Add a heavier coat of filler over the entire repair region then blend it into the adjacent painted area. 

Spray around 2 to 3 medium coats, with 15 minutes of waiting between each. After the last coat, let the epoxy dry for one hour then sand it with 1000-grit sandpaper. 

Wash the car body with clean water then dry the epoxy primer using a lint-free and dry rag. Apply three heavy coats of lacquer primer and let the vehicle dry for around one hour before you start sanding.

Step 5: Sand the Primer 

Use 320-grit sandpaper to work all drips and sags before finally sanding the whole repair area. Do this with 600-grit sandpaper to smoothen the primer along with the edges. For the final sanding, switch to 1000-grit sandpaper.

Step 6: Spray the Base Coat

Start applying a base coat at the bottom of the repair area in left-to-right rows as you overlap each pass by a third. Build the colored coat gradually into the rust repair area and the surrounding region, allowing 10 minutes of healing between coats.

Spray the repaired zone while holding the spray can 12″ away from the surface. Do this slowly until you achieve a nice-looking surface. Let the base coat dry for one hour and slightly sand it before respraying the touched-up regions. 

Apply several clear coats as you allow them enough time to dry and slowly work the clear coat into the car body paint job to deliver a smooth blend line. 

Using a microfibre cloth or unused cotton t-shirt with buffing compound, hand-buff the area you just repaired. Remember not to use a polishing machine here, then wait at least 30 days to wax your car for a smooth and glossy finish.

Final Thought

If you notice rust developing on your vehicle, do not wait for things to get out of hand before you take it to the repair shop. Rust removal is an easy process that you can perform right at home! Use the above guide to restore the integrity of your vehicle! 

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