What to Spray Underneath a Pickup Truck to Stop Rust

by Lisa Wampler
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Protecting the underside of a truck is an important part of preserving the life of the vehicle. If you live in an area that is prone to winter weather and you own a truck, you should have the underside of the truck protected from salt and snow. These are the primary causes of rust and can cause a vehicle to prematurely age. In order to properly protect your vehicle there are several areas you must consider.

Avoid General Spay Paint

General aerosol spay paints are not adequate to prevent rust. Salt and ricocheting rocks will weaken the paint and it will chip off the vehicle quickly. According to Duplicolor.com, undercoat paint is formulated with a rubberized base to allow better adhesion and will protect the underside of a vehicle much better than standard enamel aerosol paints.

Brushing, Spraying and Aerosol Cans

Some companies sell a variety of paints that can be applied by brush, automotive air gun painter such as HVLP (high volume low pressure) systems and aerosol cans. Painting with a brush is the most cost-effective but will take the longest time. Using aerosol cans will be more costly because you will need several cans depending on the size of your truck but it will be relatively quick. Using an HVLP system requires specialized equipment but can be completed in a very short amount of time.

Removing Rust

Unless your vehicle is new, it’s likely that the underside of the truck has some surface rust. This can be especially true on axle housings and cross members. All surface rust should be removed to help promote adhesion. Removing the surface rust is usually done with a stiff wire brush, an orbital sander or chemical rust removers. Painting over rust could cause improper adhesion and could cause the vehicle to rust faster.

Prepping for Paint

Proper body preparation is needed when painting. There are various parts, like break lines and wire harnesses, that you may not want to cover in rubberized paint. This can make it hard to repair or replace parts if needed. Using painter’s tape to tape off areas that you do not want to paint will prevent this problem and will also improve the final look of the undercoat.

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