How to fix rust on your car
Sure, you can lower your risk of rust and rust spots on your car by applying paint protection film to chip-prone areas like the front edge of the hood, and by frequently washing off road salt and waxing your vehicle regularly. But even then, you’re still going to get rust spots.
Rust repair isn’t hard, but it is time-consuming (mostly waiting for primer and paint to dry between steps). Plan to spend about $100 on supplies like sandpaper, primer, masking tape and poly sheeting, a tack rag, polishing compound and touch-up paint and clear coat. Choose a calm, overcast day and block out the full day to fix the most common rust spots on the hood and doors.
You can buy automotive touch-up paint in pints and quarts to use in a spray gun, in aerosol cans, or in roller ball applicators. Even if you know how to use a spray gun, mixing automotive paint with a reducer to match the temperature and humidity conditions can be mighty tricky. We don’t recommend it. Instead, buy aerosol cans for larger repairs and roller ball applicators to fix scratches.
In order to buy the perfect colour match for your vehicle’s factory paint, you’ll first need to find the car manufacturer’s paint code. It can be in a variety of places on the body, in the engine compartment or trunk, or other places. Use either of these online resources to find instructions on how to locate your paint code: automotivetouchup.com or duplicolor.com.
Most late-model vehicles were painted with base coat/clear coat paint. The base coat contains just the pigment and binding resins-the clear coat is just the gloss. You’ll need equal amounts of both. You’ll also need an epoxy self-etching primer to bite into the bare metal and a lacquer primer to hold the paint. We used paint, primer and sanding supplies from automotivetouchup.com for this repair. The Dupli-Color brand is available at most retail auto parts stores, car dealers and online retailers. Or, you can buy automotive paint locally from a professional auto body supplier.
Next, buy 40-, 600- and 1,000-grit sandpaper, a sanding block, grease and wax remover, poly sheeting, painter’s tape, a tack rag and a micro fiber cloth.