[DIY] Guide to Rust Repair by A&G Customs


Who would have thought a simple chemical reaction when metal is exposed to moisture can ruin your car?

It starts with an ominous brown stain, a bubble in the paint at the bottom when you first notice it. 

An individual who knows the consequences of this will instinctively show it to an auto body repair shop in Doylestown - but this is probably where they’re going wrong!

The crucial thing that you need to know is rust is preventable and most importantly, it can be fixed on your own.

Here’s how...

6 DIY Steps to Fix the Rust on Your Car

1. Getting Started With Paint and Supplies

You’ll need about $100 for the following.

  • Sandpaper
  • Masking tape
  • Primer
  • Poly-sheet
  • Tack rag
  • Polishing compound
  • Touch-up paint
  • Clear coat
  • Sanding block
  • Grease and wax remover
  • Painter's tape
  • Microfiber cloth

Preferably, choose an overcast day and block out the whole day to fix some common rust spots on hoods and doors.

Buying the Paint

In order to buy exactly the same paint as your vehicle's factory paint color, you'll need to find the car manufacturer's paint code, which could be on a number of places on the body. 

Check the engine compartment or below the trunk or places with higher probability to find printed codes that resemble factory settings for your specific car.


2. Mask the Vehicle 

Start taping the edge of poly sheeting some inches away from the repair area, so you'll have plenty of room to blend the touch-up paint in unaffected areas.

The goal is to safeguard your entire vehicle from paint overspray. 

For example, if you're painting the hood, spread poly sheeting only over the engine and fenders. For doors, cut poly sheeting to fit the door opening and paste it to the jamb.

3. Sanding and Feathering

This is an important step for you. 

7 Steps to Get Sanding and Feathering Right

  1. Sand the rust spots down to the metal area. 
  2. Enlarge the sanded area so you'll have enough space to feather the edges.
  3. Start with a 40-grit sandpaper, then switch to 120-grit sandpaper to feather the edges. Lastly, complete the feathering with 220 grit paper.
  4. Rip off any blistered paint with a scraper. 
  5. Use a tack rag to get rid of particles from the unmasked area.
  6. Clean the sanded area.
  7. Apply the paint prep solution as advised by the manufacturer.


Also read, Automotive Repair DIY Tricks for Dummies

4. Surface Priming

  • Start with epoxy primer
  • Then apply filler primer in heavier coats to cover most of the repair area. 
  • Keep moving the can out of the surface area to blend it with the surrounding painted area.
  • Epoxy primer is known to provide a strong bond to bare metal, so it is used as a primary coat. 
  • Make sure to spray two to three medium coats, allowing the recommended wait time mentioned on the label between coats. 
  • Wait an hour for the epoxy to dry.
  • Sand the epoxy primer with wet sandpaper of 1000-grit. Wash and let it dry.
  • Then wipe the dried epoxy primer with a lint-free cloth, while applying two to three heavier coats of lacquer filler primer, and allowing enough drying time between each coat.

5. Applying the Base Coat

  • Start at the bottom and apply the color coat in a left-to-right row manner, overlapping each pass by about 1/3rd. 
  • Slowly, build the color on the repair and surrounding areas in approximately three coats. 
  • Wait 10 minutes between each coat.
  • Hold the spray can about 12 inches away from the surface rust repair area. 
  • The slower you build the color coat, the better it'll look after the clear coat.
  • Wait nearly 60 minutes for the base coat to dry.

Don't sand the base coat, especially the metallic colors, unless you've created sags to care about. Only, in that case, sand lightly and then retouch the specific areas.

6. Last Layer of Clear Coat

The last part is the hard part. 

It may ruin your whole thing if done incorrectly. 

If anything goes wrong, you have to wait 48 hours before attempting to fix it with sandpaper and polishing compound. 

So, get a feel of the nozzle and speed of application on a scrap piece of cardboard before going live.

Once everything is done, you are only left with waxing.

For professional grade car rust repair, contact only A&G Customs.

A&G Customs offers a wide variety of auto repair services including brake repair, inspections, 24/7 towing, restorations, custom paint, and many more services for you.

Call 215 669 3072 now!