The Rust Project

Fiberglass, body panels, valences. Also interior pieces like seats, dashes, etc
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Yoshi
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The Rust Project

Postby Yoshi » Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:13 am

The idea just kinda popped into my head today So I went out and did it. I apologize for the pictures. My good camera died.

Intro: This is an exercise in the average man. This isn't 100% following manufacturer's instructions. This is what normal people do because they scan labels and don't prep 100%. For consistency, the painting was done in a ventilated basement. Each area received 2 coats with the appropriate flash time (minus the canned rustoleum). The metal will be then left outside until whenever I have answers to my questions!

Prep: I took a 1/4" thick plate of mild steel I got from my local hardware store and took my angle grinder to it. I scuffed it up like many of you would. Maybe I welded a bracket to my car or made a patch weld to fix my body. I did NOT wipe it down with any chemicals.

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To further test this, I took a sharpie to 1/4 of each test area to simulate a bad contaminant (if you've ever tried to paint over sharpies, you know what I mean). On another 1/4, I smudged my finger prints and rubbed my hand into it to simulate extreme handling conditions after the metal has been exposed but prior to painting.



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Paints used (Rustoleum unless otherwise noted):
3M Rubberized undercoating $9.50
Spray Truck Bed Liner $13
Primer Filler $6
Primer Sealer $6
Appliance paint $8
Regular Gloss Enamel $6.50
BBQ paint $8
Engine Enamel $8
Krylong Regular Enamel ??
Canned Rustoleum ??
Rust Bullet (A POR15 competitor) $13 for a 1/4 pint

Pictured but not used was etching primer. It has been swapped for clear coat for giggles.



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Here is the ground down metal. Nothing special. Just a quick quick job.


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Duct tape separates each section. Note the quarter painted with the sharpie.


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No reason for this. I just thought it was cool.

Initial Coatings/Findings/Specs:


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I left an area completely untreated. I'm not sure if it's coated with anything.


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Here is the control area. It has the sharpie section and the finger smudge section. It should rust nicely.

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3M Undercoating
Instructions: Sand off rust. Apply to bare metal or primed metal
Flash Time: 3-5 min
Recommended Coats: 2
I've had experience with this stuff in the past. Initially it's wet and coats well but it expands over time and can create air pockets. This is what I used on the underbody of my car and it is currently rusting. I'm unsure if it was my prep/application. This will prove it.

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Spray Truck Bed Liner
Instructions: Apply to bare or primed metal
Flash Time: 2 min
Recommended Coats: 2
I've never used this stuff before. It wasn't gritty like the stuff you get in the can but it does have a texture to it. It didn't coat well and doesn't inspire confidence. That's just my gut feeling from spraying it.

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Primer Filler
Instructions: Sand off rust. Wash with soap and water.
Flash Time: Did not say
Recommended Coats: 2
This is first of many that suggest soap and water. It baffles me why you would want to wet the metal at all and chance surface rust from forming. Regardless, I did get some contaminants from the bed liner (as pictured). It did do a great job of filling in gaps though. It's very smooth in appearance.

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Primer Sealer
Instructions: Sand and wipe down with mineral spirits
Flash Time: "A few minutes"
Recommended Coats: 2
I'm unsure if "primer sealer" means it's primer AND sealer, or it's just sealer. Regardless, it did say you could apply it directly to rust so it doesn't mention any other layers of paint. In fact, none of these cans tell you to layer. I could baaarely see the sharpie through this one. It definitely didn't fill as well as the filler above.

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Clear coat alone (ran out of etching primer)
Instructions: wet sand. Makes no mention of rust
Flash Time: "A few minutes"
Recommended Coats: 2
This one was just for fun. Clear coats will probably chip easy but why not? A big notable is that the sharpie almost dissolved after the second coat. You can barely see any of it left. It simply tinted the clear a darker color. This makes me scared to apply it to any non Rustoleum spray paint as I'm not sure if it would wrinkle. Ironically, I have high hopes that this will prevent rust. But, due to easily chipping, it already isn't a viable permanent solution.

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Appliance Epoxy
Instructions: Remove rust. Wash with soap and water if desired
Flash Time: No mention
Recommended Coats: No mention
This stuff looks pretty. It went on thin at first but the second coat was very thick. I'm unsure if this will be easily chipped but it definitely is the best looking on the list.

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Regular Rustoleum Gloss Enamel
Instructions: Sand/soap/water (mentions to sand off rust)
Flash Time: "A few minutes"
Recommended Coats: 2

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BBQ specific flat black paint
Instructions: sand off rust. Soap and good old water
Flash Time: "A few minutes"
Recommended Coats: 2
Not much to say on this one. It went on fine. Coated the sharpie in the first go around. It did smell like dead old tires or old fish when sprayed. It was a very unpleasant smell.

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Rustoleum Engine Enamel
Instructions: Sand, use degreaser (rustoleum brand of course)
Flash Time: 10
Recommended Coats: 2 light, 1 medium
Much as my experiment, I pretended to be a normal guy. So I did 2 coats with about 5 min flash time. As this metal will never see the advertised 1200+ degrees, I don't foresee this doing much. It is interesting that this is the one paint that suggests wax and oil degreaser instead of soap and water. Chevy orange! Note you can still see the sharpie through the paint. There's probably a reason for that third coat?

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Krylon Enamel "Rust Tough" (specifically says "Eliminates rust")
Instructions: Remove grease with household cleaners. Does not require primer
Flash Time: no mention
Recommended Coats: no mention
This can immediately made me angry. The term "household cleaners" is used o the can. I can think of many household cleaners that would do more to prevent the paint from sticking than what is probably on most metal surfaces. On top of that, it seemed that 90% of the paint went into the air and not on the metal. There was a huge yellow cloud immediately. On top of that, the very long and slow fly bys that I did coated very very thinly. I went over what you see in the image several times and you can still see the sharpie plain at day. Even if this is the best rust preventer, I wouldn't use it I'm so angry.

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Rustoleum from a can
Instructions: Sand/Soap/Water
Flash Time: none Recoat when dry
Recommended Coats: no mention
Ok I cheated with this one as I didn't want to thin due to my time constraints. I just kinda painted it on there and let it go. I've used this in the past with reasonable success with primer underneath. The can makes no mention about applying it to bare metal or rust areas. Regardless, this is one of the more expensive solutions as it needs to be thinned and ideally sprayed on with a minimum of 5 coats (in my experience).

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Rust Bullet
Instructions: A lot but very vague. Basically sand, use degreaser, prep prep prep.
Flash Time: no mention
Recommended Coats: 2
A warning says this stuff will need to be grinded off as it will "permanently bond" to the metal. For $13 a 1/4 pint, it damn well better. The product went on fairly thick compared to the others but was "wet" enough that there definitely no air pockets. This stuff doesn't seem to be designed to be painted on top of. It seems to be more of an undercoating or floor type coating. As the picture shows, it's very textured. This I have the highest hopes for.



Closing: Tomorrow the slab of metal will see the outside. Once a week or so I will take pictures and report back. So far my bet is probably on the bbq or the regular rustoleum enamel. My assumption is that an etching primer with an enamel on top would be a winning combination. Maybe I should throw that up there too. I'm kind of out of metal though.
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Re: The Rust Project

Postby AustinR » Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:01 am

Nice. I'll be checking back for sure.
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Re: The Rust Project

Postby Nsquared97 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:12 am

Very interesting. curious to see what you find.
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Re: The Rust Project

Postby M20_fever » Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:23 am

Awesome idea here. Don't agree with your "common man" idea though. I think I'm pretty common and I follow application instructions. A good example is that engine paint. I've used that stuff many times, and you HAVE to follow the directions to get good results. The #1 rule to being a successful DIYer is following directions.
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Re: The Rust Project

Postby Yoshi » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:12 pm

M20_fever wrote:Awesome idea here. Don't agree with your "common man" idea though. I think I'm pretty common and I follow application instructions. A good example is that engine paint. I've used that stuff many times, and you HAVE to follow the directions to get good results. The #1 rule to being a successful DIYer is following directions.


Well, for instance, I didn't wipe down the metal with acetone/mineral spirits/soap water. I did state my reasoning for not doing a third coat. The main purpose of this is to see what stops rust the best. I don't have the time/resources to do heat cycles on an engine. Plus, those things rust differently (kinda).
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Re: The Rust Project

Postby ponycarman » Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:35 pm

Sweet idea! Looking forward to the results!

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Re: The Rust Project

Postby M20_fever » Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:13 pm

yeah, i just think the results will be interesting, but wont actually rule out any product that wasnt applied per manufacturers directions. Assuming 'the common man' is too lazy to do the proper prep work, or even apply the product as directed takes away a lot of the validity of this test IMO. Reguardless of the results I'm going to question whether the product works when properlly applied like I do.
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Re: The Rust Project

Postby Yoshi » Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:51 pm

Think of it more as a stress test than cutting corners. If it'll work for a dumbass, imagine how good it would be if applied properly? Hence the sharpie and finger oil.
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Re: The Rust Project

Postby Yoshi » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:39 pm

Random update of no significant note. There definitely is some kind of coating on the metal as the unground area has only tiny bits of rust in scratches. The ground but untreated area is already surface rusting after 1 full day outside. Everything else is still rust free for now.
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Re: The Rust Project

Postby M20_fever » Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:42 pm

sheet metal almost always comes with a rust inhibitor on it, otherwise it would never handle shipping from the supplier to the vendor.
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Re: The Rust Project

Postby Yoshi » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:08 pm

I know I know. Just being captain obvious. Side note, the sharpie is doing an equally good job at stopping rust as the paint so far. IE the bit of sharpie on the ground down but bare metal has yet to rust lol.
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Re: The Rust Project

Postby blasphemy101 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:35 pm

I was thinking about that last night. Watch Sharpie show to be an excellent rust inhibitor. The ultrasoopermegabold thick sharpie is on its way....
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Re: The Rust Project

Postby M20_fever » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:10 pm

All Sharpie.

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Re: The Rust Project

Postby AustinR » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:40 pm

Damn. That's awesome ^
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Re: The Rust Project

Postby 87e30 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:43 am

I've seen that car before. Did they at least clearcoat it? If not that sharpie WILL come off eventually.
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