Does Touch up Paint Prevent Rust?- Step by Step Guideline

Rust is always a concern whether you bought a new car or have had your old one for years. Touch-up paint can help you protect your investment from rusting, but it only works if you do it rightly. Still, does touch up paint prevent rust?

Yes, touch-up paint will protect your car from rust for a long time. It remains durable in exposed areas and has a long lifespan. Having quality touch-up paint matching your car’s color is vital as most touch-up paints don’t match every car color perfectly.

If you desire to improve the look of any metal object or protect it from corrosion, use touch-up paint.

The good news is that after you apply a coat of touch-up paint to your vehicle, it begins to cure and hardens instantly, making it much more difficult to be scratched off.

Also, the bad news is that no matter how careful you are with your paint job, it’s impossible to completely prevent all rust spots on your car because there will always be areas where the paint gets chipped, and the metal is exposed to the environment.

With the information on this page, you can get to know more about the use of touch-up paint to prevent rust and how to do it.

Touch a Paint: a Preventive Solution to Rust

Rust is like cancer to metals. Once it starts, it will only get worse and grow. Rust can be prevented and treated. The metal of a car, a bike, and even some work tools, for instance, are coated with paint and thin protection.

Touch a Paint: a Preventive Solution to Rust

Pebbles, debris, and even hail can cause this very thin protective layer to be damaged. Even the smallest damage such as a small cut can allow moisture to enter and this initiates oxidation of the metal.

Rust is easily recognized by its form of agglomeration of oxide red colored powder on the corroded surface. The rust color indicating oxidation is not always visible from the outside. However, we can sometimes easily recognize the oxidation effect on the support.

You can detect rust when you see blisters form in the paint. Also, rust appears gradually in the form of iridescent holes of small traces of full-blown rust color. In this case, the problem must be remedied quickly, otherwise, the oxidation of the sheet will continue until it is completely rotten. And it may be too late.

Luckily, there are different touch up paints for metals. The paint eliminates and prevents the further spread of rust on the metal by sealing the surface and protecting the metal to prevent oxidation. In addition, it improves the appearance of the affected part of the metal. Touch up paint is also one of the economical ways to prevent rust.

How to Prevent Rust with Touch up Paint?

You don’t want to wait for oxidation to attack the entire metal support before taking action, right? Here are the steps to take to prevent metal from rusting by retouching with paint:

How to Prevent Rust with Touch up Paint

Step 1: Delimit the Work Areas

When the presence of rust is confirmed, this problem should be remedied promptly. To do this, the support must be placed in a dry and clean place. Then, delimit the work areas using tape and film or waterproof paper. The essence of this action is to preserve the rest of the support which is still intact and does not require any repair.

Step 2: Degrease the Metal Surface

The next action is to clean the surface to be treated. You can start by degreasing the metal support using an abrasive sponge and a degreasing dishwashing liquid. In this way, the metal is cleared of dirt and dust. You should also check out tangled dirt such as bituminous dirt to remove them completely.

Step 3: Sanding

This step makes it possible to see the metal. It is done using an abrasive disc, a metal sponge, or sandpaper. This action aims to manually remove as much rust as possible. It is advisable to repeat this action as many times as necessary until all traces of rust are completely removed.


Oftentimes, you will need to degrease the work area again after sanding. To complete this step, it is advisable to take your time and not be in a hurry. It’s also important that you protect your hands and your face.

When you are sanding the affected area,  ensure that there is no irregularity at all on the metal surface that may cause a problem for the touch up paint later.

Step 4: Filling the Holes (Puttying)

The next line of action is the application of mastic which makes it possible to fill the holes and thus restore the support to its initial shape. Note that of all types of sealants available, a polyester sealant is the most suitable in this case.

Filling the Holes (Puttying)

You have to ensure that the puttying is done with the sealant having a depth of 1mm to 2mm. If this step is not carried out properly, the putty may break not long and then affect the touch up paint. You should also sand the surface again after puttying it.

Step 5: Applying an Anti-Rust Primer

When the rust is completely removed, the worked surface already cleaned, and puttying is set, proceed to the application of an anti-rust or rust-destroying primer. To do this, choose a product that is compatible with the type of paint to be applied to the support. You can make use of either a spray anti-rust or a liquid anti-rust primer.

You must apply two to three successive coats of primer, giving them plenty of time to dry. Once it’s done, you can degrease and sand the surface again if need be.

Step 6: Applying Touch up Paint

The last step in preventing the spread of rust is applying touch up paint. The touch up paint will effectively prevent rust if the other steps are carried out properly and the paint itself is correctly applied.

Applying Touch up Paint

To retouch the support with a paint gun, spray the area to be repainted, holding the gun upright. Several coats are necessary for the paint to hold. If you’re passionate about DIY, you can do this yourself. On the other hand, you may choose to hire the service of skilled painters in your area.


Touching up the damaged spot on metal with paint matching the exact color will look better and give good protection against rust. There are different variants of touch-up paints. The choice depends on the finish and durability that you want to give the repair. However, from a professional point of view, it is advisable to carry out touch-ups with a spray gun or spray paint.

Evan Cooper

Evan Cooper

Hi, I’m Evan Cooper, the founder and an editor of this site, Doesitrust. I’m a chemical engineer and working in a rust-eliminating paint manufacturing company. Besides this profession, I’m a researcher and blogger.

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