Surface Preparation

Surface Preparation

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes, [and rust]” – Benjamin Franklin

August 2014: If a car needs a restoration, you’re inevitably going to find rust somewhere.  It may not be that nasty kind of flaky, holy rust we all dread, but even surface rust needs to be treated with care, lest it become the bad kind.  Rust creeps and crawls under paint once it’s taken root, so before applying new paint, it’s vital to treat rust or remove it as best you can.  Or at least that’s what I’ve been told.

Good surface preparation is crucial for any paint job, so in addition to treating rust properly, getting down to a good solid paint-able surface can also mean getting down to shiny metal or at least solid paint.  I’ve chosen the Eastwood line of products as my go-to brand.  And so far I’m liking what they’ve got.

Now that I have a clean surface, it’s time to treat those areas that have surface rust.  Eastwood’s Rust Converter turns surface rust into a black primer, which is pretty nifty.  You just wire brush the loose corrosion away and then spray or brush it on and let it go to work, according to the instructions.  I learned a few things very quickly: it’s a little thick so it very quickly broke the sprayer I was using, you have to wear gloves (it turns your hands black/purple), and if it hits concrete, it’ll turn it black, too, just like it turns the rust black.  That, of course, makes me question whether it actually converts the rust or just covers it with a black coating.

Eastwood offers several products that deal with rust, but from their website it’s hard to tell which product is best for each situation.  The rust dissolver may have been a better choice in retrospect, but we’ll see how this stuff performs once I’ve painted over it with Eastwood Chassis Black.  In any case, after applying the rust converter, I’m pretty pleased with how things are starting to look in the engine compartment.  Even though there’s a long way to go, it’s a nice preview of how things might look fairly soon!

Note: This is a status update post to catch readers up from my 18-month posting hiatus.  For simplicity, this entry is written as if it had just recently occurred, however it actually happened in August 2014, as noted above.