My husband's car had developed a large rust hole in the fender under the gas cap. 

It needed to be fixed before the winter, and my husband hadn't had the free time to repair it himself; and I didn't want to pay the $150-200 to have it done by a body shop.

So I figured I'd do it myself and surprise him.

Step 1: scrape and sand

The first step was to scrape off the loose paint surrounding the rust spot, and to sand off most of the rust.

I found, under the outer layer of metal, what I thought were additional layers of rusted, chipping metal, was actually dense foam padding. I scraped the rest of the metal chips off of the foam. I then taped off the area, and sprayed it with a rust treatment.

Following the directions on the can, I allowed the rust treatment to remain on overnight before I continued. (Rust treatment goes on clear, dries black.)

 On day 2, I again sanded around the area, removing paint around the hole to prepare it to be built up. For rust and paint removal, I used a 60 grit sandpaper.
Wow. Well, that's a little more than I would've tackled...before seeing your project! That's pretty cool and for a first-timer, great job! I need to do some body work on my car but it's fiberglass parts. I wouldn't mind doing it myself to keep from paying uber amounts just for looks. Maybe I will try it thanks to you. :) <br> <br>cal_gecko - the site has a &quot;...'be nice' comment policy. Please be positive and constructive with your comments or risk being banned from our site. &quot; I don't believe your post was any of these...
Another commenter suggested a product called Kitty Hair for fiberglass. He says it works better than bondo, even on metal. You might want to check that out or mssg him. It looks neat!
I will check on that! Thanks. You wouldn't want a fiberglass-fix practice car would you? Lol.
Ah, for lack of free time.... ; )
Great work. Very well written and done. <br>You SHOULD be proud. <br>How many husbands have such a smart and capable wife? <br>More women should be willing to know how to fix things. <br>You can't always be sure there is a man around to do it for you. <br>And of course, the 'retail' market for fixing things (if you can even find anyone to really fix something) is absurdly costly. <br>We are a throw away society and will soon drown in our own junk. <br>Good for you on this well done instructable. <br>Let's hope it encourages more women to follow suit.
Thank you, CedricWard!
Not only is this lady's initiative, native good sense and intelligence commendable, but she did a good job with what she had to work with ... an older car. <br> <br>Also, this instructable was very well written, she should be writing manuals! Excellent job. <br> <br>One comment .. I think she underestimated the cost of a &quot;professional&quot; job by a factor of 3 to 5, depending on how &quot;professional&quot; the professional is. It costs soooo much money to get body work done. <br> <br>ps. My husband and I owned an auto repair shop for over 20 years, and we made a lot of money fixing the repairs done by &quot;professionals&quot;.
thank you so much, cwickenkamp! <br>that means a lot coming from someone with 20 years of experience!!
You are welcome. It's only the truth. :-)
It is refreshing to see how some people, like yourself takes the initiative to learn and prosper from &quot;first time&quot; experiences. I grew up doing what you did, trying and learning from successes and mistakes. And it has done me good for my building, repairs, jerry-rigging projects. Kudo's to you. Well done! You saved some $ and learned something that you can teach others and improve with each time you need to do it again!
Thanks, sdereis. There are a lot of things a person can learn just by trying it a few times. I'm quite accomplished at painting rooms in my house now. I'm great at canning pickles. They're projects I've done dozens of times. I bet the next time I refinish a hardwood floor or a staircase, it will be faster and easier than it was the first time. The next time my husband builds a shed, it will be even better than the one we built last year. And maybe, if this car lives long enough for that patch to fail, I'll try some of the great tips people on here have offered me, and it will be even better and last longer.<br><br>But if you never try, then you never learn anything!
<p>I use to do body work and I will have to say, not bad at all for your first time. But I will say that the sun does not skew the color, the shade does. The sun shows the true color. You want to match the paint to what the paint looks like in the sun. At the body shop we use a sun gun to replicate the lighting effects of the sun so we can match the paint. But kudos to you, very nice job. </p>
Would this same process work on most rust holes? I have a small metal shelf with holes, haven't been able to find other fix instructions so far...
You rock! And just the advice I needed, thanks.
You are an awesome wife.
<p>Nice post, it looks like its been a long while so how is it holding up? Super cool thing you did for your hubby! If times ever get hard maybe you could do a little patching for extra cash!</p>
<p>Your Instructable was very excellent (for me)! I'm definitely going to try it out when it warms up here a bit. Looks 'almost' fun- haha! I've got a few little spots on my beloved '99 CR-V that just keep getting bigger as the years go by. Thank you so much. Keep rockin' it, girl! Now I have some real confidence in my project.</p>
Go for it MaxineLaRue!
<p>Great job! Can I pay you to fix mine?</p>
<p>This gives me inspiration to maybe try fixing my '99 Honda CRV myself, instead of worrying about cosmetics and spending over $1000 to the body shop. It would definitely be interesting! I've done plenty of crafts in my time--doesn't seem like it would be that much different.</p>
<p>Thanks for making it easy!</p>
<p>This might be in the comment thread somewhere, but what supplies did you use, if you remember, of course. Or where did you find the supplies, if you don't remember exactly what you used.</p>
<p>awesome. great job.</p>
<p>Straight-up G. You nailed it!</p>
<p>Bravo KittyJ! I have seen individuals getting PAID to do this, not do as well. Very well done. </p>
<p>patch is still on there. </p>
you are the world's best wife ever!!! Ya gotta sister??? lol
Awesome job! I'll have to try it now that I know it can be done! Haha
You.Are.Amazing. Tell your husband he better not let you go! Wow.
Great job, especially for a first attempt. There seems to be a lot of people say you didn't do it right, but hey... if it looks good and fixed the rust (even temporarily), why worry about it being professional? That patch will probably last longer than the car.
Fantastic job especially to have done it in a parking lot!
Well, I admire your courage to delve into this project. However, your use of the mesh backing was not the way it should have been used. The mesh is sticky on one side, the side with the paper backing. The reason for that is that the mesh is normally applied on the outside of the area being repaired, not manipulated to the inside in the manner you did. So, you would sand and remove all rust, sanding 1/2 to 1 inch beyond the edge of the hole. Then, you would cut a piece of backing to cover the hole, remove the paper backing from it, and press it onto the clean, bare metal around the hole. The sticking side of the mesh holds it in place so that you can then mix your filler and not have to hold the backing in place while applying filler. When using mesh backing and filler in this manner, spreading some filler on some wax paper and then laying the wax paper over the backing, especially for all the area of the hole, is a good way to control the thickness of the filler you apply. If you simply spread filler over the mesh with a blade-type applicator, you may press an excessive amount of filler right through the holes in the mesh.
Great tutorial! I appreciate the help! No need to go to a <a href="http://www.fendermenders.net" rel="nofollow">body shop near broomfield co</a> anymore!
Thanks for sharing this! I've been looking for a place that does <a href="http://www.rainwaterstransmission.com/" rel="nofollow">car repair in Camp Bowie TX</a>, but didn't think about fixing the rust spots on my car. I'll have to try it! Thanks again.
Wow thanks a ton man this is incredible. I love this <a href="http://www.minit-tune.com/en/tune_up_auto_repair_oil_change_richmond_bc.html" rel="nofollow">auto repair richmond bc</a> stuff.
Thanks for this article! I have been looking at <a href="http://a-zautocenter.com/cambridge/index.html" rel="nofollow">auto body in Cambridge</a>, and the things I have seen could definitely use this solution! Thank you.
Thanks for the tutorial! I was going to take my car to a place that does <a href="http://www.parkerstire.com" rel="nofollow">auto repair in Ocala</a> but I think I can try it myself (or have my husband try it) ;) now! Thanks again!
My answer for most instructables: duct tape. hahah but not this one. This could use some real <a href="http://www.minit-tune.com/en/auto_repair_oil_change_chilliwack_maintenance.html" rel="nofollow">auto repair</a>
This looks amazing! What a difference! My husband's car has a hole like this and he has taken it to an <a href="http://www.islandmuffler.com" rel="nofollow">auto repair shop in victoria</a>, but this looks a lot better than anything they could do. Thank you for your help!
wish my rust cancer spots were this easy but they are quite a bit more difficult because of the positions they are in.....plus i have 6 of them DX
Goodness... where does one find such a sweet woman as you! lol. he reapir looks solid for a first time, im very impressed :D
Rust is the least of my sister's problems when it comes to auto body problems. She really needs an expert on <a href="http://www.collision1.com/locations/17/lynnwood-wa-auto-body-repair" rel="nofollow">auto body repair in Lynnwood</a> to take care of most of the problems. I think I'll have her try this on her hood first. Thanks for the rust tutorial.
Thanks for sharing this, it really helps. We've been hoping to do some <a href="http://az-autocare.com" rel="nofollow">mobile auto repair in Mesa, Arizona</a>. Our car really needs it, it's amazing what happens over time if you don't fix it right away.
Wow, I've herd of people doing there <a href="http://fordautorepairrocklin.com" rel="nofollow">auto repair in Rocklin CA</a>, but I didn't think it would turn out like this one! I have a daughter who needs help like this. She just got her first car and its a fixer upper and she will be pleased to see this! Thanks for sharing, thanks for sharing!
Wow I'm really impressed with how this turned out. Thanks for the tips. I'm thinking starting my own little <a href="http://www.collision1.com/locations/14/seattle-northgate-auto-body-repair" rel="nofollow">auto body repair business in Seattle</a>. With all the rain here there are many cars with rust so I think I should do well. Thanks again.
Thanks for the advice; I see a lot of vehicles around Lancaster with unsightly rust damage like this. I had no idea it was something that could be repaired. I just know it's an <a href="http://www.magnacolor.net" rel="nofollow">auto body</a> problem that I wouldn't necessarily want to have.
Wow! Thanks so much for sharing! I never would have guessed it would work this way! Can you tell me where I can find more tips just like this one?? My car needs a lot of work so I have been looking into <a href="http://www.magnacolor.net" rel="nofollow">auto body lancaster</a> and I think this would be helpful as well! Thanks!
Thank you for this great tip! I have been needing to get some <a href="http://www.riversideautocare.com" rel="nofollow">auto repair in Lincoln MI</a> done on my car. I Will use these tips when fixing my car. Thanks.
Your work is really amazing! I have a small rust spot that I have been wanting to fix for a really long time. Now I think I know how to do it! I have some other <a href="http://www.riversideautocare.com" rel="nofollow">auto repairs</a> that I need to finish as well, and it will be nice to do everything at once. Thanks for your help!
Nice Job!

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