Welcome back to the 6th Gear Garage!
Today I’ll show how easy it is to repair this rust around the windshield of my Toyota
I’m working on the $500 Toyota Camry again this week.
So far I’ve replaced & painted a fender, repaired & painted the plastic bumper, replaced
the radiator and Now There is an ugly rust spot on the roof that I’ll take care of
This all started with a stone chip in the paint and overtime, the exposed metal rusted
and has bubbled beneath the surrounding paint.
This is what happens if rock chips are left alone, so cover up chips with touch up paint
as soon as you see them.
First thing to do is clean the entire area with some wax & grease remover.
This will remove any contaminates like wax, tar, road salt, dirt… stuff I don’t want
to grind into the surface with sand paper.
Before I go to town grinding and sanding this rusty area, I want to protect the rubber gasket
seal trim around the windshield.
Most older cars have removable trim but in the 2000’s most vehicles had trim that is
part of the windshield seal, which isn’t removable without taking out the glass.
So I have some Q-tips here and I’m just tucking it down between the rubber trim and
the roof to help it stay away from the roof edge.
Once the Q-tip is tucked in, I’m going to use tape to keep the trim pulled forward.
I now have space to get in there and the tape is going to protect the rubber trim.
I’m going to try using a wire brush on a drill first, to see how much of the rusty
area I can strip.
This is easy, just rest your arms on the car to help hold the drill steady.
If you’re nervous about the drill kicking back, skip to the next step.
The wire brush worked ok, but I couldn’t get down in the crack and the whole area still
needs some sanding, so I’m going to use some 80-grit sand paper on a sanding block.
80 grit is really rough, so it will go down to bare metal with no problem.
The reason for the sanding block is so the paper will have a more uniform, flat contact
surface than if it was just my finger behind the paper.
That can cause low spots and lead to an uneven surface.
Also notice I’m changing sanding directions.
An opposite cross hatch pattern sands better than the same direction.
Look at all of the rust I’m removing now that I didn’t get with the wire brush.
I have a brass brush, which is probably too soft for this job.
I’d go with a steel brush for something like this.
So now for the vertical edge…
The 80 grit paper is thick and rigid, so I let it hang down past the edge of the block
to get into the crack.
I’ll keep doing this until I’m past all of the rust.
Ok I’m done sanding for now.
80-grit sand paper really made this go fast.
That’s bare metal but I see some pitting from the rust.
I can feel it when I drag a finger nail across the top.
That’s going to require some body filler to make it smooth before painting.
First I’m going over the pitted area once more with the wire brush, since those bristles
should be able to get down into the tiny pits and brush out any remaining rust that I didn’t
get with the flat sandpaper.
All rust must go!
I made a lot of dust so far, so I’m blowing it away with compressed air.
Now it’s time to apply the body filler.
It’s pretty simple to use…
Just mix the filler & hardener per the instructions on the can, and using a spreader, lightly
squeegee it over the pitting from the rust.
A light skim coat is fine… go too thick and you’ll have extra sanding to do.
you can always add more if needed.
I forgot to record this step, so here’s filler being applied with a spreader to the
bumper repair I did in a previous video.
Then allow the filler time to cure, according to the instructions of the product you used.
I have my 80 grit paper and sanding block again, and I’m just going over the body
filler real quick to knock down the really high points.
This doesn’t take much sanding.
Notice I’m working further and further outside of the original repair area.
That’s alright because it will all blend together once it’s done.
Now I’m sanding again with 180 grit paper, going sightly outside the area I sanded with
The higher the number, the finer the grit.
Once I get up to 400 grit paper, the scratches will be small enough to cover with filler
Notice I'm doing a cross hatch pattern again.
I’m only building back up where I took down to bare metal, so the filler is going to be
This looks even now and most importantly feels even.
Because my work area is growing, I taped further down the rubber trim to be sure I don’t
scratch it up.
Look at this, I have a pit in the filler.
There could have been an air bubble when I mixed it on the board.
Or maybe I just didn’t spread it evenly - it happens.
Because that area is so small and everything else is so smooth, I’m just going to fill
it with some spot putty.
Spot putty is meant for really small imperfections.
It doesn’t need to be mixed with a hardener like body filler, so it’s easy to use in
I wiped a little too much there, so I put some back down.
Let it dry according to the instructions and it will be ready to sand smooth.
Ok the putty has cured and now I’m sanding it and the surrounding area with some 320
grit on a sanding block.
And doing the same thing again with some 400 grit.
Remember to go over the scratches left by the previous grit each time you sand with
a higher grit paper to ensure no deep scratches are left behind.
It’s better to go outside the repair area and make it larger than to miss some scratches.
Alright I kept sanding and here’s where I am.
Now it’s time for some primer.
I have some paper down to block the windshield from overspray.
I also blew away any dust and now I’m cleaning the entire area with the wax & grease remover.
A clean surface is essential to a good final product.
Let it dry…
Near the edge I have some bare metal showing where I sanded through the filler.
This surface is perfectly smooth so I’m done adding filler.
Instead I’ll just hit it with a coat of Self Etching Primer.
Self Etching Primer is formulated to bond to bare metal, so it’s perfect to use here.
Next I’m using Filler Primer.
This is a high-build primer that helps to fill any minor scratches or imperfections.
Once again, I’m going to do some quick sanding with the 400 grit paper to ensure that the
surface is perfectly smooth and uniform.
Now I’m doing the final sanding with 600 grit and this is covering the entire repair
area and even going a little outside to be sure all the scratches from the 400 grit are
Just be sure not to sand too much and go through the primer, back down to bare metal.
I’m wiping the entire repair area with the wax & grease remover.
Even your hands can leave oils on the surface, which can cause problems when it comes time
So there’s all the prep work I’ve done so far.
Most of the time and labor involved in a paint job is in the prep.
I’m blowing any dust out one last time with the compressed air.
And one last cleaning with wax & grease remover.
I’m going way outside of the repair area this time, because I’m going to blend the
spray paint with the factory paint.
On the first color coat, don’t go too heavy.
If the first coat doesn’t completely cover the primer, that’s ok.
That’s better than a sag or run in the paint.
This is DupliColor Perfect Match paint by the way.
Most auto parts stores carry this line.
My local store didn’t have this OEM color code in stock so they ordered it for me.
So I gave this about 10 minutes to dry, and you can see there is still primer showing.
Here’s a second coat.
That’s looking better.
And a third coat.
I let the color coat dry and it’s time for clear coat.
But before I lay that down, it seems like dust loves to land on fresh paint.
So I’m going to use a tack cloth to clean any dust or overspray from the surface.
I’m going to feather the clear coat into the rest of the roof, so I’m wiping a large
That was dirtier than it looked, although some of that was probably overspray from the
I have some Lacquer Clear Coat here and the trick is light coats at first.
I’m going further out than I did with the color coat.
And now the second coat of clear.
I’m going a tad bit heavier than the first coat.
This can nozzle has a nice wide spray pattern.
Now it’s time for the third coat, which is the wet coat.
The wet coat should be thick, without being so heavy that it creates a run or sag.
The wet coat helps to fill in any light areas from the first 2 coats and doesn’t leave
any texture from overspray.
Here’s a better look at the wet coat.
Notice how I feathered the wet coat to be lighter around the edge to blend it into the
original finish on the roof.
It looks really glossy now, but it won’t for long.
Ok the clear coat has fully dried and the wet coat no longer looks wet.
It’s actually less glossy than the original finish.
I pulled the car outside so you can get a better comparison.
Time for polish!
Lacquer paint is softer than the factory urethane paint, so it’s easy to polish to a shine
using a buffer and cloth pads.
I’m using a light cutting compound by Meguiars.
If there’s an orange peel surface texture in the clear coat, I’d start with a heavier
cut compound and then follow up with a light cut.
So one more look at the new paint before polishing…
And here’s how it looks after polishing.
Now polishing does remove some material, so if I was going to do a lot of polishing, I
would have done more coats of clear.
But this is a $500 daily driver with a quarter million miles, not a show car.
If this was a show car, or something newer and nicer, I’d spend the extra money on professional
One more thing do to… wait a couple days for the new paint to fully cure and put a
coat of wax on it.
Keeping a coat of wax on the paint will make it last.
I saved a lot of money and did this job right here in my garage - and so can you!
I’ll put a list below of all the products I used today.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.
As always, thanks for watching and subscribe for more how-to videos and other project updates,
here at the 6th Gear Garage!