There are a few common problems with old cars that we will all need to deal with at some point, and they all have a couple of things in common: Mother Nature and Father Time. These two play havoc on cars: drying out seals, fading paint, and probably the worst of all, causing rust. Iron Oxide is a nasty thing that literally eats away at our projects. If rust is not dealt with correctly—even if it's in its infancy—it will come back. If left alone, rust will get to the point you can't do anything but cut it out.
Surface rust, or "patina" as some call it, has not reached the thick scale type rust, so the metal that is still there is thick enough to be left alone once the rust has been eradicated from the surface. The usual way to remove this type of rust is to media blast the vehicle, either by a pro or at home with your own gear. Both of these are somewhat expensive, and can be very messy and/or inconvenient.
So what is a DIY'er who doesn't have a blasting rig supposed to do? Use modern chemicals and some good old fashion elbow grease. Eastwood, a well-known name in the DIY department, has a full line of rust products specifically geared for at-home use. It has liquids that remove rust, encapsulators to lock in rust, and even converters that change rust into something inert. From there, the company has all you could need to further prep the surface and ready it for paint. Heck, it even has paint if you are proficient with a spray gun.
We have been slowly working on a '70 Z28 Camaro. Most recently we changed the quarters and some other sheetmetal out because the rust was so bad. The rest of the car is covered in surface rust that we need to remove before we could get it all in one single color. We just want the car to look somewhat respectable while we are upgrading all the mechanical parts. Once we have that all done, we will then send the car in for a paint job. The Eastwood products will help us get there and save us a ton of money. We won't have to buy all the supporting sundries that go along with using a spray gun. No stir sticks, mixing cups, filters, and cleaning solutions will be necessary when you are using a rattle can, even expensive ones. Not only did we fix all the rust and smooth out the body, we even sprayed the entire car with some flat black to see if rattle cans could do an entire car. But you will have to wait till the end of the story to see those results.
Paint It Black
Speaking of paint, Eastwood also has some low-gloss black paint in the 2K line. With the same can technology as the primer, this time the can is filled with a ceramic-infused paint. We like the flat-black look, but we are not good enough with a pro spray gun to do it ourselves. We decided to find out if this new stuff can be used as a viable option to painting the car.
It took 12 cans (a little over a gallon) of the 2K Aero-Spray Underhood Black to fully cover the Camaro. Even with the decent fan the can provided, it was still hard for us to keep the paint from tiger striping. We suspect a few washes and a bit of wear should even the finish out. So the big question is, is this a viable option to painting your car? The answer: It's possible. The black paint is $25 a can so it cost us $300 to paint it black, which is a lot less that a professional would charge, but on par if you had to buy a gun, paint, mixing sticks, filters, mixing cups and so on from Eastwood. The clean up is as simple as throwing the can away. Overspray is pretty minimal so the need to mask everything perfectly was unnecessary. Keep in mind we did this just to make the car look presentable while we do all the mechanical upgrades. When we are done with those we will paint the car properly. One good thing about the Eastwood stuff is we won't need to strip all of this off. With the 2K we can just scuff it and apply our next paint job.