If rust is showing up on the body of your vehicle, you may want to engage in some simple rust removal and color blending in order to maintain the vehicle's appearance. There are ways to do the job yourself, although it will take several steps and a couple of days to accomplish. If you have a free weekend coming up, you can remove rust from a car by taping off the rusty area, gently sanding off the rust, cleaning the area thoroughly, and then repainting it.
Rusting normally occurs because the car's finish has been damaged in some manner. The rust spot increases as oxidation on the exposed bare metal in a hairline scratch or a small dent causes the rust to spread.
The first step to remove rust from a car is to gather your tools together. You will need rubber gloves, safety glasses and a dust mask for protection. To protect the surrounding areas of the vehicle, a cheap paint tarp and some painters tape will also be necessary. A sanding wheel along with a few sheets of sandpaper will also come in handy. You'll need to have a small amount of rust acid compound on hand as well.
Begin by covering and taping off the area surrounding the scratch or dent. The idea is to protect the immediate surface that is still in good shape. The painter’s tape is not likely to hurt the finish of your car, and will stay in place for the duration of the process. Roll up the windows on the vehicle too, because when you begin to sand the rusted area, tiny particles will fly in every direction. Make sure none of the fine rust particles have a chance to settle and begin to imbed themselves in other areas of the car body or you will find yourself having to repeat the removal process.
Your first task is to address the thicker outer layer of oxidized rust using the sanding wheel. Do not rush with this step, as moving too quickly makes it easier to damage the metal. Once the tougher outer layer of rust is removed, switch to the sandpaper sheets to get into the fine nooks and crannies. This will help ensure you get all the rust off of the car during this procedure, including any small amount or residue that may have resettled when you used the sander.
When the sanded surface feels smooth, gently wipe it clean and apply a thin coat of the acid to the area. This step will take handle even the tiniest of particles and leave the exposed metal perfectly clean. Make sure to not leave the compound on the exposed metal longer than recommended in the instructions. Failure to remove the acid could lead to pitting and even more work. After removing the compound, gently wipe the area with mineral spirits and a clean cloth, and allow the section to dry.
Keep in mind that removing rust from a car should only be done when you can reprime and repaint the sanded area within the next 24-hour period. If you choose to leave the bare metal exposed for even a short time, rust can start to develop again and the damage will be worse than the initial problem.