Removing rust from your car is no small matter and many car owners would do well to simply take their car into a body shop to have it addressed properly. However, you can remove small areas of rust if you take the right steps beforehand and use the best tools and a bit of knowhow. Read on to learn how to do this and some common steps that many car owners miss.
1. Protect yourself and your car first
Removing rust will mean kicking up dust and rust particles, and you can breathe these in and they easily settle onto your car. Protect yourself with a dust mask, or even a respirator, and protective eyewear and gloves, even if you're only tackling a small spot of rust.
These dust and rust particles will settle onto your car, so you need to protect it. Don't use newspaper, as ink can seep through this paper, but instead use what's called dust paper. Be sure it's taped in every corner. Mask along the existing panel lines and be prepared to repaint the entire panel so the paint will match more evenly.
2. Remove the rust with the right sander
Use what's called a dual action sander. This will give you control over the speed of the sander and its direction. Start with a lower number of grit and work your way up to a higher number so you can remove larger portions of rust and then gently sand it down to a smooth surface. Many car owners use just one type of sanding paper and then wonder why they don't get a smooth finish, so start with a low number and change the paper with each pass. Your car should feel smooth to the touch when you're done sanding.
3. Prime before painting
This step, too. is often overlooked. Primer will help the paint to adhere better to your car and will ensure you get a truer color. It will also make the surface as smooth as possible. Use primer meant for auto body painting or bare metal and apply three coats, letting each coat dry completely.
4. Buff the spot and then paint
Even your primer should be buffed until smooth, so use sandpaper with a very high grain number to make it smooth to the touch. Wipe this away with a wet cloth and let it dry completely, and then use car spray paint over the area. Apply two coats of paint and allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next.
If you find that the job looks uneven or if there is too much rust to address with simple sandpaper, take your car to an auto body repair shop such as Collision-One, Inc. so they can address the rust properly.