Ad Radar
Car Craft
Click here to find out more!

Paint and rust removal

Car Craft
Item Posts    Sort Order

Paint and rust removal

Robby7 Robby7
New User | Posts: 2 | Joined: 11/09
Posted: 11/02/09
07:39 PM

I'm looking to remove the paint and rust from a project. Almost the entire truck is covered in a light coat of rust. What is the best was to remove the rust and paint? I'd prefer a way I could do myself, without the help of a commercial method like acid dipping. Thank you in advance  

68scott385 68scott385
Enthusiast | Posts: 669 | Joined: 05/09
Posted: 11/03/09
02:12 AM

the best way i've found to remove all the paint and primer and get to bare metal is using 36 or 40 grit sandpaper and an air powered sander...electric sander will work also

there are composite discs made for use with grinders and you can also get them for use with a drill, for removing rust, even better than heavy sandpaper...but be carreful not to stay in one place too long because they heat up FAST and could distort the metal

i don't like to use the composite discs on paint because of the heat has a tendency to heat the paint, roll it off the metal, and clog the disc...

i get to bare metal with the sandpaper then use the composite disc to hit the rusty spots...then use a wax & grease removing metal cleaner to wipe the dust off  then hit the panel with some rust inhibitor/reformer and then use primer  
68scott385 68scott385 68scott385

Pontiacman Pontiacman
Guru | Posts: 1890 | Joined: 11/07
Posted: 11/03/09
05:41 AM

Ya sanding it down to bare metal is the best way I use 40-50 grit sand paper anything more then that can and will cause damage to the metal and keep the sander off the edges so you don't damage them. Once it is to the bare metal use some 80grit to help remove the 40-50 grit scratches.

Light rust can be removed with the sander as well and then treat the surface that was rusted with some ospho it works well.  
Professional hi-performance engine builder
Horsepower sells Engines and torque wins races.

toyota9 toyota9
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 04/12
Posted: 04/02/12
06:44 AM

hi -  when   you   finish   the   above    suggestions-  i   would   invest   in   some   por  15-   this   stuff  is   made  to   go  on   and   stay  on-   its   a   ceramic   coating   much   like  a   porcelin   coating-   is   made   for   high   moisture   areas-  rockers   and   floors-  you  can   save   entire   vehicle   with   this   stuff-   must   buy  at  autobody  supply  house-   or   through  eastwood   company-   it   dries   rock   hard  and  moisture   cant   penetrate  a   cerramic   coating-  dollar   for   dollar   probally  the  best   undercoating  system  to   come   down   the   block  in   years-   have  applied   to   my   vehicle  in  the   northeast   with   very   harsh   wintery   conditions  not   to   mention  the   hevy   salt   put   on  our   roadways- if   you   keep   tabs   on  it  and   dont  live   in  a   snowbelt  area   you  are   all   set-   great    stuff   but   expensive   about    75.00  a   gallon-   but   works-   where   all   others    fail-  breakdown-  forget   regualar   undercoats   they   break  down  to  easy-   good   luck-  

GearheadDiva GearheadDiva
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 01/12
Posted: 11/28/12
05:02 PM

Hi all,

Sanding is always a good option but if I have to remove paint from an entire car or truck down to metal I turn to chemical strippers, like Aircraft Stripper you can buy at Advance Auto Parts or AutoZone. The paint will bubble up within 20 minutes and you scrape it off. You can do entire panels at a time.

Then I finish off with sanding to get any off any remaining paint, get rid of the rust and end up with a smooth metal surface as a blank canvas to start with again.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use a chemical stripper to remove paint from your car.

Let us know how you make out or what you ended up doing!  Cool  

68scott385 68scott385
Enthusiast | Posts: 669 | Joined: 05/09
Posted: 11/29/12
09:27 AM

been here 11 months, first post is in a thread that is 3 years old, and has a how-to link that could be to something else...i'm confused and cautious...don't hit any link that does have a url in it  
68scott385 68scott385 68scott385

GearheadDiva GearheadDiva
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 01/12
Posted: 09/22/13
09:32 AM

I'm a fan of the magazine and at the time this post was at the top of the threads list. I didn't notice the date until after I posted. I like stopping by from time to time to check for new how-to articles and discovered the forum.

I recently stripped the paint off my '73 Cuda so this caught my eye. I tried sanding at first but my car had 2 different colors (some panels even 3) so it was going to take too much sandpaper. Chemical stripping ended up being faster and cheaper. Then I discovered all kinds of "creative" bodywork  Smirk

Some really bad rust areas I tackled with a wire wheel. Grinding discs work great but I've been into these course 3M pads (like a Scotchbrite pad on steroids) - they work great on rust without digging into your metal. The next step will be to install new floor pans and a quarter panel.

The link goes to a blog post where I've been chronicling my builds - that's all - didn't mean to spook anybody. I thought I'd save you some time and money in case you were in a similar situation in a few spots with your car.

On there you'll see a portion of my quarter panel where I tried out the chemical stripper before proceeding to use it on the rest of the car.

This thread is pretty old so you probably found a way that works for you but if someone else stumbles upon it maybe it will help them.  Laugh  

carmodz2014 carmodz2014
New User | Posts: 2 | Joined: 02/14
Posted: 03/01/14
11:56 AM

When you do get it down to bare metal be sure to get it cleaned and primed soon.  Clean and bare metal will surface rust quickly.  Generally speaking, on good metal a good epoxy primer provides great corrosion resistance and adhesion.If the metal is pitted or for whatever reason you can't get all the rust off then a moisture cure primer like POR-15 or Chassis Saver is a good option.  Moisture cures tend to fill the pits and encapsulate rust very well.  There are a lot of suppliers out there of quality products.  If you want to learn more there is some great info over at  good luck!