Surface Rust

Keeping your vehicle free from rust is key to preserving its value and ensuring your car continues to look good throughout the years. A car’s paint job is its first line of defense against rust, and even minor scratches, dings, nicks and cracks in the paint can allow surface rust to begin to form. If not taken care of quickly, the rust can begin to penetrate deeper into the steel. When this happens, the problem can suddenly become much greater and also much more difficult to repair, which means it is essential that you take steps to remove the rust as soon as you spot it. While you could always take your vehicle to a body shop, you can easily remove surface rust on your own by following these simple steps.

Identify the Extent of the Rust

Although surface rust is generally not much of an issue and is typically fairly easy to get rid of, you’ll find yourself facing a much bigger task if the rust has penetrated deeper into the metal. If you notice only a small amount of rust around any cracks, nicks or dents, this is usually a sign that you’re only dealing with surface rust. Over time, the rust will begin to penetrate deeper into the metal resulting in scale rust, which usually results in the paint beginning to bubble. If left unchecked, the result will be penetrating rust that begins to actually eat away the metal and cause small holes to appear.

Prepare the Surface

If you have determined that you’re only dealing with surface rust, the experts at recommend that you attempt to take care of it on your own. The first step to removing surface rust is to prepare the surface by using a grinding wheel or sandpaper to remove all of the paint and rust from the affected area until you can see clean, shiny metal. It is then a good idea to fully wash and dry the area to remove any dust and debris.

Prime, Paint and Finish

After the surface has been prepared, you will then want to fully prime the area using a high-quality auto-paint primer. From there, it will be necessary to apply a few coats of paint to ensure the metal is completely covered with an even layer. It is essential that you either buy the paint directly from the manufacturer or use a small chip of the paint to create a perfect color match. Otherwise, the repainted area won’t ever look quite as same as the rest of the vehicle if you’re unable to perfectly match the existing paint. After the paint has fully dried, you’ll want to add a layer of clear coat to help protect the new paint job, and then gently buff the surface to help blend the new paint with the old finish.

If you’re lucky enough that the vehicle only has surface rust, and it has yet to penetrate deeper into the surface, you should be able to repair the problem on your own in only a day or two. However, it is essential that you immediately take action. Otherwise, the rust could penetrate deeper into the metal, in which case it may be necessary to seek professional help to fully eliminate the damage.

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