How-To Deal with Rust

There are Three Methods: Chemically, Mechanically, or Painting (and a BONUS method!)

Mechanically

The most basic way to deal with rust is mechanically. It takes a little elbow grease, but there are Eastwood tools available to make this job as easy as possible. There are three ways to approach rust mechanically. Cut & Weld, Abrasives, and Blasting.


How-To: Fabricating Door Skin Patch Panel using Metal Fab Tools – Ultimate Guide!

So, one of the most sure-fire ways to eliminate rust is to totally remove the affected area and replace it with a brand new panel. This will ensure the rust cannot spread. Also, your panel will be stronger than before when properly repaired in this manner.

Abrasives: Matts Frame
How to Prep & Paint an Old Rusty Frame with Rust Encapsulator PLUS & Chassis Black – Eastwood


Now, you cannot cut and replace all of your rust. Take this frame, for instance, I’d highly recommend against cutting and welding a frame. In this video, Matt does a fantastic job of prepping this frame. Here are the majority of the tools that he used to make his frame flawless

Randys B100 Blast Cabinet  Video
B100 Blast Cabinet – Great for Removing Rust & Paint from Large Parts at Home! Eastwood

The satisfaction of media blasting without the cleanup

One of the best, but one of the more labor-intensive ways (especially on a hot day) to get down to bare metal is blasting. The right media makes all the difference. Since blasting is “point and shoot” the size of the area being blasted is small. Which allows you to get into all the tight areas, but it will take some time to get to everything. The results of blasting are phenomenal.

Chemically

So, rust is a chemical process, right? Just like any chemical process, it can be reversed. The great thing about chemicals is that they take almost no elbow grease. Appy, wait, strip the chemicals off, and you’re done. Don’t forget the chemistry class safety goggles when using these chemicals! Rust Dissolver, Fast Etch, and Rust Converter

Rust Dissolver: Matt’s 33’ Chrysler Dash in Liquid Rust Dissolver.
How To Remove Rust with Rust Dissolver – 1933 Chrysler Dashboard Rust Removal – Eastwood
OR
Joe Reviving a Rusty Pipe with Gel Rust Dissolver
How to Remove Rust from Steel Tubing – Gel Rust Dissolver – Easy Rust Remover – Eastwood
In this short video, Eastwood Rust Dissolver saves a 90-year-old dashboard. Also, Joe demonstrates how to use gel on a rusty pipe. The nice thing about chemicals is that they can be specifically targeted at rust. They will leave all of the good remaining metal behind. That’s important if you’re working with something as fragile as this dash, or engine components. There are two options here. You can submerge your part in the reusable liquid, or you can brush the gel onto your part and wrap it in saran wrap. Rust Dissolver is not acid based. 

Fast Etch: Matt cleans a Corvair quarter panel with Fast Etch.
How to Remove Surface Rust & Protect Bare Metal – Fast Etch – Eastwood

On the flip side, Fast Etch is acid based. It dissolves iron oxide and it leaves a zinc phosphate coating that seals your fresh, clean metal from any flash rust. It can be applied with a sprayer, brushed on, or you can dip your parts into it. However, the coating will need to be removed before painting, a wipe-down with some Pre Painting Prep and a ScotchBrite does the trick wonderfully.

Rust Converter: Randy And Matt talk about Rust Converter (@ 5:00)
Rust Solutions for Your Car or Truck. Encapsulator, Converter, Internal Frame Coat & More.

Next up, let’s touch on Rust Converter. Rust Converter reacts with rust, so it needs a decent amount of rust in order to work. It turns rust into a hard, polymeric paintable material. Perfect for the stubborn, heavy rust. Comes in a spray aerosol, or you can brush it on out of a quart, or gallon. One caveat is that Rust Converter is not UV stable. It won’t oxidize like a bare metal will but it will require a topcoat. For that, you’d want to look to our painted rust solutions for double protection. 

Painting

Rust-targeted paints and coatings are a great second layer of protection. Both of our options here can also encapsulate rust and prevent it from spreading. The options here are Rust Excapsulator and Internal Frame Coating.

Rust Encapsulator: Matt applies Rust Encapsulator Plus to his frame. (@ 4:38)
How to Prep & Paint an Old Rusty Frame with Rust Encapsulator PLUS & Chassis Black – Eastwood


Rust Encapsulator can be applied right over rusted metal, Rust Converter, or even clean bare metal. It does two things, firstly, it seals metal from moisture, corrosion, and UV damage. Secondly, any rust that you might’ve missed is “encapsulated.” Once rust is encapsulated, it’s chemically prevented from spreading underneath. This stuff also holds up extremely well to heat, as it can stand up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also great for its ease of use. Rust Encapsulator comes in a sprayable aerosol, You can also purchase quarts for brushing or gallons for loading into a paint gun. Rust Encapsulator also comes with a textured or rubberized finish. The original formula comes in plenty of different colors for you to easily match what you’re working on.
We’ve talked about original but Rust Encapsulator comes in three formulas, Original, Plus, and Platinum. The Original formula is going to be the tried and true OG. Plus is going to give you twice the corrosion resistance, withstanding 1000 hours of salt spray testing. Lastly, Platinum is going to give you three times the corrosion resistance, withstanding 1500 hours of salt spray testing. All three formulas are tested in an independent lab to ensure that you can be confident when you apply any of the Rust Encapsulators to your beloved project car.

Internal Frame Coating: Jeep Wrangler TJ gets Internal Frame Coating.
Off Road Jeep: How To Protect Against A Rusty Frame – Eastwood

Similarly, to Rust Encapsulator, we have our Internal Frame Coating. Now, this is going to work similarly in the fact that it’s designed to chemically encapsulate and stop rust in its tracks. The formula is a little different as it’s designed to work itself into those hard-to-reach places that water loves to get into and cause a bunch of corrosion.
The aerosol can that Internal Frame Coating sprays out of includes a brass, 360 degrees, conical, nozzle on a flexible 24” long tube. That reaches into your frame to spray in a perfect radial pattern for complete coverage. You want to make sure that you totally cover the inside of your frame. Internal Frame Coating will fully cure in about 24 hours. It comes in either black or green, and it’s perfect for adding corrosion resistance to the inside of any frame. It also works on any of the internal areas of a vehicle that are common for rust, a-pillars, hood channels, rocker panels, and more.

Electrolysis: an oddball

Project Farm tests Electrolysis.
Is Electrolysis better than Evapo-Rust? Let’s find out!

(Photo Credit: Peoples Car – aka Volkswagen – YouTube)
Rust is a combination of iron and oxygen. In the process of electrolysis, you can use electricity to break the bond between oxygen and iron atoms. Which causes rust to break down into its more simple components, giving you a clean part. Electrolysis requires a little bit of setup but is relatively easy to do for small parts. 

Thanks for reading this article.
-JD
Media Host/Eastwood Content Creator

Here’s the YouTube video I made about this topic:
How to Remove Rust – 3 Different Ways to Completely Remove Rust! Rust Removal in Minutes!

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