How to Repair Rust Damage on a Car

by Contributor

Rust damage can bring down the resale value of a car quickly and dramatically, and it's important to nip it in the bud when it's a small problem and an easy repair. Here are some easy tips for repairing that rust damage on your car or truck.

Inspect your car regularly. Small rust spots are easy to fix and can be repaired in your garage with a few simple tools. If the problem gets too big, you're looking at a much more costly fix.

Find the rust spots and prep them for treatment. Remove the rust from the affected area by rubbing it with white spirits or rubbing alcohol and a sturdy wire brush or coarse sandpaper.

Scrape away any loose paint or rust. Then apply a rust-removing solvent to get the last remaining bits of rust from the area. Wipe clean with some rags.

Use coarse sandpaper to work your way down to a good paint sample on all sides of the affected area. Once you've reached unaffected paint on all sides, brush away the dust to clean the area.

Tape off the affected area to protect unaffected areas from the putty and paint you will be applying.

Apply glazing putty to the affected area as smoothly as possible. This will fill in all the pits or scratches so that the paint will evenly cover the area. Allow it to dry.

Get a sample of your car's color either from a paint chip or an identification plate under the car's hood. Take the sample to a paint or accessory shop and purchase the matching color, as well as primer.

Apply the primer and let dry. Then apply a fresh coat of paint. Do so smoothly, quickly and blend it as best you can with the existing paint on all sides.

After the paint is dry, polish and wax the affected area to finish.

Tips

  • check Paint can be purchased in spray form if you desire.
  • check Wear safety goggles and gloves when handling any dangerous solvents.
  • check Wear a facial mask when removing paint and rust so as not to inhale any foreign particles.
  • check Make sure you're happy with your color matching. Let the sample dry before comparing it to the existing color of the car.

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About the Author

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