Step 6: Final result

Picture of final result
So there you go. My first attempt at auto body repair.
It turned out pretty well, in my humble opinion. I learned a lot. It cost me about $60 in supplies, and some of my time over the course of three days.
My husband's pretty pleased about my little present to him, and I'm proud of myself for figuring it out.
sdereis3 years ago
It is refreshing to see how some people, like yourself takes the initiative to learn and prosper from "first time" 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!
KittyJ (author)  sdereis3 years ago
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.

But if you never try, then you never learn anything!
MaxineLaRue9 months ago

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.

KittyJ (author)  MaxineLaRue9 months ago
Go for it MaxineLaRue!
DB287041 year ago

Bravo KittyJ! I have seen individuals getting PAID to do this, not do as well. Very well done.

jimmygman1 year ago
you are the world's best wife ever!!! Ya gotta sister??? lol
davjon1 year ago
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.
vanwazltoff2 years ago
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
Lowriderpr2 years ago
Nice Job!
reinovator3 years ago
I admire the work done here and this looks very well thought out. For a temporary repair well done! This is cool! I'm a Certified bodyman and I would not do this but Please understand this looks good for a first time " temporary fix" the issue at hand is" Why did it Rust out" that is where I would attack this from the picture shown It tells me that the rust started between the two panels, interior and exterior, if you choose to investigate this further you will find the problem. and prevent this from happening again
Again I admire ambition in this. and you did a good job with what you had to work with. If you don't try you wont learn.
Don't Stop trying, keep at it.
KittyJ (author)  reinovator3 years ago
Thanks for the encouragement!
Would you explain more about the internal and external panels, and the foam, and what your recommendation would be?
dr2chase KittyJ3 years ago
Reinovator is right in theory, but in practice (sufficiently old car, ability to apply another patch in the future) it probably doesn't matter. We worked with polyester resin a lot when I was a kid (it's what holds most "fiberglass" boats together; you should recognize the smell now if you sniff inside the hull of any fiberglass sailboat) and damp can diffuse through very slowly -- enough to eventually rust steel, which then creates a gap for more water to collect -- but not enough to rot wood. If you can get at the backside of a repair, it's a good thing to apply a few layers of paint or tar after it's all done, but if not, figure that five years from now you might need to do another repair if you still own the car. It's a good thing that body shop pros want their work to last longer than five years, so no knocks on renovator.

It's also possible, though messier, to work directly with fiberglass and liquid resin instead of Bondo. The advantage is that the resulting patch is stronger, but it won't look as nice, you'll need to use a power sander, and definitely you'll want a dust filter while you're sanding. We had to patch some serious holes in non-cosmetic structural places once on a very used car, and we just piled on the fiberglass, layer after layer, binding to rough-sanded metal edges, and when we were done, we laid down rusty-metal primer, then roofing tar.
KittyJ (author)  dr2chase3 years ago
wow! what a project!
I many cases there are internal structural Panels and external Contour panels, or the panels which gave your car their looks. in the first picture you posted where you had started your repair there looked to be an area which had a lot of holes and, with out being there, in looks like there is an interior panel with some kind of material, not steel, That area if I'm seeing it right will act like a sponge and release moisture slowly after absorbing it, there fore creating rust. I cant be sure with out a specific model car. but I used to live in an area where Salt and cinder was used on the roads in the winter and this made a mess of cars. it would get in to every thing and rust out just about any cars. the Point is moisture is getting in and it's rusting from the inside out that is what causes bubbles in paint.
Bondo A brand name or Polyester filler is made up of two main components Polyester resin and Talc. this makes it easier to sand and create contour. when paint is applied it becomes mostly sealed. but what about behind it. Polyester filler" Bondo" is Porous water will seep through it. that is why I recommend finding out where is the problem coming from. or this will happen again. Sorry I can't help more but I would need the car in front of me to say more. find a Good body shop check with your insurance agent see whom they would recomend and some friends. they may have run into this before and know why. Good luck.
dzenizo3 years ago
Cool! One of my favorite Instructables.
KittyJ (author)  dzenizo3 years ago
Gregoirski3 years ago
What a nice gift to your husband,
and thank you for the useful tips,
i really learned something from the way you resolve your mistakes,


azzbi3 years ago
Great Job!!! I wish that I saw this while I still had my Durango. I wanted to fix the small rust holes myself, but didn't know how. Thanks for sharing!
tonygoffe3 years ago
..Well done, Miss Kitty...its all about trying..is'nt it? NOW..all you have to do is teach your husband to can stuff while you open a neighbourhood auto-body shop..!! Dont laff! Remember, Bill Gates never gradded from clollege!! Yeah!!
KittyJ (author)  tonygoffe3 years ago
I'm graduating in Dec, and my husband has given me quite a bit of ribbing on how he spent too much money on my education, when I could have been running a body shop out of the house the whole time instead!
He's very funny!
maxhuey3 years ago
Great Job! But your hubby is a smart man :-)

a couple of things...
1) there's a paint code on the door pillar plate, use this to match original paint color.
2) a few light coats of the clear lacquer sprayed 2 minutes apart makes a nice wet coat without the runs. this Technics takes practice though...
KittyJ (author)  maxhuey3 years ago
thanks for the tips!
all sorts of folks seem to think that this is something that has to last until dooms day. It doesn't. Look at that car, it's an old ass chevy, it's probably paid off and probably has almost 300K miles on it.

It has to be made to look nice for a little while. And that costs 60 bucks according to the OP. She posted a way for regular folks to get a result like this one without having welding equipment or lots of cash lying around. I say good job!
Zombie_BBQ3 years ago
Awesome work =) very nicely done and the fact that its your first time blows me away well done .
Nice work Kitty, that is a great result for a first effort!
A home repair will at least arrest the spread of rust temporarily, even if it doesnt meet with the pros approval.. (hint - ignore the negativity)

mr fat3 years ago
You really rock! that was a really well done job and a great instructable
schmitta3 years ago
tjchop3 years ago
Great work Kitty! My wife and I are usually a pretty good team together and she really learned to be a pretty darn good mechanic. If I can only can get her to stop calling tools and parts, thingamajigs' and whatchamacallits'.
mjursic3 years ago
tmorsch3 years ago
Great job! The last time I tried something like this was 1981 on my 69 Nova.
It was a disaster!
I wish Instructables and KittyJ had been around then.
gaschult3 years ago
A bit of advice. If you used clear coat from a spray can, then sand if off again. Gasoline spilling on it will instantly ruin the paint. It will eat through and your work will be all for nothing. You need to use a professional spray gun and use a urethane clear top coat to seal it up so fuels won't ruin your work. After several coats you can buff it out and it will look great.
Cambenora3 years ago
That's a bloody good job for a first attempt. Well done.
BTW metallic paint is notoriously difficult to match. Even with the correct colour for your duco it'll still not go on just right. It's to do with the metallic particles in the paint. So don't worry if you can't make the repair completely invisible.
lsmith2543 years ago
Ha! This is great...I subbed just because I do things like this myself! Every human can do things like this if we only stop listening to people who say " you're going to need a professional...." Just take your time and research how to do it. I have learned to solder and weld this year...have been doing woodwork for years, too. If someone doesn't or won't answer your questions, go ask another person. Oh, and if you are really into it, you can find excellent quality tools at thrift stores and pawn shops. I snagged a set of Husky wrenches and two full socket sets for under twenty five dollars...no kidding! Twenty five cents a socket and a little digging through a plastic bin full of them.
Tell hubby you need a tool budget...hehehehe!
Moondawg003 years ago
Great job. Now wait a couple of weeks and use some compund to smooth out the finish and bring the shine out, They make compund for clear coat. Then wax the heck out of it. You probably won't be able to tell where you did the work! Great jpb again!!
artemff3 years ago
great job, congratulations. I did a number of repairs like this and can say that if the weather was dry and everything was cleaned and sanded then the repair will last for years.
The most difficult thing in this type of repair is to match the paint and to make the painted spot to look like original paint (this is not guaranteed even if the color is matched 100%). In general, it is considered to be impossible :) and the recommendation is to paint the whole element or (what is worse) to make a gradual transition.

ohowson3 years ago
Flippin' 'eck! My wife called me today when I was half way to work because she doens't know how to fit my daughters car seat and didn't want to try in case she got it wrong!!!
SkinnE3 years ago
I think I'm in love... [sigh]

It might not be a professional repair, but then, you're not a professional body repairwoman. Just the fact that you had the thought to do this, then on top of that, taking the initiative to get it done... What a woman!
skjain23 years ago
Not bad for your first time! There are some splotchy areas, but painting with a spray can will do that.. One thing to consider is that metallic paints almost always have a clear coat. If you lightly sand the repair matte and apply clear, the unevenness will likely go away!
KittyJ (author)  skjain23 years ago
Thanks for the tip!
OhWheelie3 years ago
Wow. Your husband is one lucky fella!
KittyJ (author)  OhWheelie3 years ago
Thank you :)
jongscx3 years ago
And the awesome wife award goes to...
KittyJ (author)  jongscx3 years ago
: )
alexpoho3 years ago
Nice Job! Came out great! 1st time or not! Now you are ready for some light welding!!!!
cfchenot3 years ago
My wife doesn't do any type of car repairs. I'm impressed. Remind your husband that he's got quite the catch.
KittyJ (author)  cfchenot3 years ago
Thank you!
Since he was the one who told me to post on here, and he watches my page, I think you just told him for me! :D
dnz4203 years ago
nice job..
minsk3 years ago
i think you did an awesome job. its really hard to match paint fomr a rattle can.
an HVLP paint gun would have worked wonders..and an auto parts store would have given you a perfect match. But for the budget and a first timer you did a really nice job. You should be proud.
Hippykidz3 years ago
Very nice work! Most won't attempt this kudos to you!!