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Thread: How to properly prep rusted area for paint?

  1. #1
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    Default How to properly prep rusted area for paint?

    Ok, I'm not a body guy at all. I'm working on getting the windshield edge on my Bonneville cleaned up for a new windshield and have some rust to deal with.

    What steps of sandpaper grit should I use to get rid of it so I can spray it with some rust preventer and then paint? Keep in mind this section of the roof is NOT visible once the windshield and upper trim is installed. I just want to do it right so I don't have any rust or sealing issues in the future.

    I took a coarse wire wheel to it just to knock off the scaly stuff already. The metal is pitted in some places on the vertical edge of the roof and there are 2 holes. One is the size of a pencil and the other is about the size of the tip of a pen. What would be the best way to fix this?
    These are highly engineered precision vehicles, the first step in diagnosing the problem is to strike the suspected offending part sharply and repeatedly with a blunt object, then re-test.

  2. #2
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    I’ve dabbled in paint and body as a hobbiest only, but from what I’ve gathered: rust, if left in place treated or untreated, will eventually cause a problem down the road. They would say media blast the area, weld the holes, and epoxy prime. If not visible, no need to topcoat the epoxy.

    That said, lots of people use Eastwood Rust Encapsulator, or something similar, with good results. Wire wheel tends to polish rust, so I’d hit it with 80 grit before applying if blasting is not an option. JB weld will fill the holes over the rust treatment product.
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  3. #3
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Wire wheel is a good start. Hit it with the wire wheel in as many directions as possible to try and get those wires into all the crevices from every which way to dig out as much of the pits as you can.

    As mentioned above 80 and finger sand it good so you get some more out of it.

    Blow the area dry.

    You can get crazier with a dremel and dremel attachments to clean the area up too. The cleaner the better before you apply your rust converter/preventer whatever you are planning on using.

    If you want to fill up the holes you can use jb weld (again this is an area you mentioned wll never be seen once the window goes back in) or a fiber glass reinforced body filler. You will want to apply either to a nice and rough surface...so break out the 80 grit again.


    Sand that stuff down up to 320 and then prime it.

    Let that dry good and then sand that primer out with 400 and then you can paint.

    This will get you a fine result.

    What you have working for you is that it is an area you will never see. Most window company's will just wire wheel the rust down and apply a primer and be done with it.
    ~David~

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  4. #4
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Quick note..

    I would normally recommend to follow up a fiber glass reinforced filler with a light weight body filler for areas that will be seen. Fiberglass filler can quite difficult to smooth out and normally requires a light weight body filler over top of it before priming.
    ~David~

    My 1987 Crown Victoria Coupe: The Brown Blob
    My 2004 Mercedes Benz E320:The Benz

    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    But, that's just coming from me, this site's biggest pessimist. Best of luck

  5. #5
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    Sand blast it to bare metal, cut away and weld in new sheet metal. After that seal with epoxy. Anything else and rust will come back.

  6. #6
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    Thank you for the info on the sanding. I'd love to cut all the rust out and weld in new steel to keep the rust from coming back but time/money is working against that. Don't have a way to blast it so that's out too. I think my best bet at this point is grind it all down to bare steel and see what I have left.

    I'll fill in the holes with JB, fiberglass filler where needed followed by the lightweight body filler to smooth it out then sand/prime/paint.
    These are highly engineered precision vehicles, the first step in diagnosing the problem is to strike the suspected offending part sharply and repeatedly with a blunt object, then re-test.

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