Repair minor Rust on a car.

When bare metal comes into contact with the oxygen in the air, it creates a chemical reaction which causes rust in your car.If you have a little elbow grease to spare, you can get rid of minor rust before it becomes a real problem.

Step 1: Scales can be used to identify areas of surface and rust on a vehicle.

Depending on how serious the rust is, it can be placed into one of three categories.If the metal has rusted all the way through, it's time to check the rust spot.The metal cannot be fixed if it has.The first sign of rust is surface rust.It forms in scratches or nicks in your paint.It will look like rust on the metal.After surface rust is allowed to spread, scale rust develops.It is the most serious rust you can address at home.It may include paint bubbling or rusty metal.Penetrating rust develops after a long time without treatment.If there are holes in the metal, the only way to fix it is to cut it out and replace it with a new piece.

Step 2: Find the paint code for your vehicle.

You need to find an exact match for your vehicle's paint color if you want to repaint the part of your car you remove the rust from.Most cars have labels on the body inside the driver's side door frame and occasionally under the hood that list the paint code used by the manufacturer.You can get a can of paint that matches the code by giving it to the clerk at the auto parts store.Sometimes the owner's manual can be used to find the paint code on the body of the vehicle.

Step 3: Purchase primer, base paint, and clear coat at the auto parts store

The paint code can be used to match the primer and paint to the vehicle's color.A can of automotive clear coat is required.If you have an air compressor, you can get these paints in spray cans.For most minor rust spots, spray cans of paint are sufficient, but if you need to repaint an entire door, hood, or trunk lid, you may want to use an air compressor or a bodywork technician.

Step 4: The area has a rust spot.

To make sure you are able to clearly define what needs to be repaired, use car wash soap, water, and a sponge to scrub any dirt or debris away from the area.When you are done, wash the area with clean water.If you want to look for other rust spots, you should wash the entire vehicle.As the rust comes up, be careful scrubbing the rusty area, as metal may poke into you.

Step 5: Remove the rust from the body panel with tape.

You need to cover anything you don't want covered in sand and then spray paint the area because you're going to be sanding and painting it.You can use painter's tape to cover headlights, tail lights, windows, or anything else near the rust spot that you don't want to repaint.The painter's tape will come back off of the car.If you want to tape off a large object, you can use plastic bags and painter's tape.

Step 6: Remove the blisters and rust chunks from the paint.

Wear gloves and use a scraper made of metal or plastic to prevent sharper chunks from cutting you.Sanding will be easier if you remove as much rust and paint as you can.Release any loose bits by pressing the scraper into the rust.Most hardware stores sell metal or plastic paint scrapers.All the loose material needs to be removed from the rust spot.

Step 7: Most of the rust can be removed using 40-grit sandpaper.

40-grit sandpaper is so rough that it should be able to work on most surface and scale rust.Press the sandpaper against the rust spot and move it quickly from side to side, as the area gets worn out.It might take a few sheets of sandpaper to get all the rust off.You should keep sanding until you see the metal.

Step 8: The edges of the spot should be feathered with 120-grit sandpaper.

If you want to remove any edge from the paint, you need to use a fine sandpaper to expand the area you've sanded.Make sure the metal feels flat, and that there is no transition between the painted and bare metal.If you want to create a flat, even surface, try sanding in small circles along the edge.If you want a better finish, you may want to use 220-grit sandpaper.

Step 9: The area should be treated with rust inhibitor.

Even though the rust has been sanded away, it is still important to apply a liquid rust inhibitor to make sure there is no new rust.Depending on the brand, spray the rust inhibitor on and let it dry or wipe it away.It's possible that some rust inhibitors come in a gel, which you wipe on and then wipe away.Before moving on to the next step, make sure the surface is completely dry.

Step 10: Don't wash the area again.

If there is a lot of loose debris on the area you will need to paint, you can wipe it down with soapy water, rinse it off, and let it dry.Before moving ahead, make sure the entire area is clean and dry.towels can be used to speed up the drying process.

Step 11: The primer should be applied evenly to the entire area you are painting.

If you are using a gun, hold the spray can close to the metal and spray in a left to right direction.If the spot is large enough for you to make multiple passes, you should overlap each pass by 50%.If you hold the paint can or gun in one place, it will become too thick and start to drips.Keep the paint distribution even by shaking the can periodically.

Step 12: The primer needs at least 20 minutes to dry.

It is not necessary to apply a second coat of primer for most small jobs.If you read the instructions on the primer, you should be able to dry it in 20 minutes.It may take longer than 20 minutes for the primer to dry in humid climates.

Step 13: The best results come from wet-sanding the primer with 2,000-grit sandpaper.

If the rust spot is easy to see, you may want to go the extra mile to ensure an even, glossy finish.To create a very smooth finish, pour water on the primer and sand it with a 2,000 grit sandpaper.The water helps keep the paint cool and lubricated.Before moving on to the next step, make sure the entire area is clean and dry.

Step 14: Place the spray on the base coat.

Just like with the primer, you want to hold the can close to the metal as you spray.If you need more than one to cover the area, spray from the left to the right in horizontal rows.Too much can collect and result in dripping if you don't keep the can moving.Don't wet-sand a base coat of paint.

Step 15: Wait at least 60 minutes to dry the base coat.

The base coat needs to be completely dry before you can apply a layer of clear coat.Most automotive paint is dry enough to be worked with in about an hour, even though it may take days for it to cure.If it is humid, you should wait 90 minutes to be safe.

Step 16: There should be a layer of clear coat.

You can get clear coat in spray cans.It protects the base coat and gives it a glossy shine.Just as you did the primer and base coat, spray it on.Just like the other paint, apply the clear coat in smooth rows.Clear coat can be purchased from any auto parts store.It's a good idea to read the instructions on your coat to know how long it will take to dry.

Step 17: If you want an excellent finish, wet the clear coat after it is dry.

The paint should already look good, but you can make it look even better by sanding it with 2,000 grit sandpaper and water to remove any small blemishes and achieve a good shine.As you sand the paint, keep pouring water over it.It is possible to skip wet-sanding the clear coat and still have an excellent looking paint finish.Hoods, door panels, and trunk lids are some places you may want to wet-sand because paint issues will stand out on large, flat surfaces.

Step 18: Remove the painter's tape.

Pull all the tape and plastic from the vehicle and look at the finished product.If you want your new paint to cure quickly, don't wash or wax it for a week.The new paint may be slightly brighter than the old, but the two colors should be nearly indistinguishable.You should repeat the wet-sanding process if you notice any issues with the paint.

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