How to Remove Rust from a Truck Fender

How to Remove Rust from a Truck Fender

Today we will go over how to remove rust from a truck fender. The metal fenders of your truck or car are more likely to get rusted than the other parts as they are exposed to harsh climatic conditions. In places that witness heavy snowfall, salt is rubbed on the wheels to make it comfortable for you to drive through the ice. However, continued use of salt can cause your fenders to rust easily, especially if you don’t take care of them properly.

Removing rust from the fenders may be a challenging job, but when you do it regularly, you can increase the longevity of your car or truck wheels. It would take you almost an entire day to get the rust of truck fenders; therefore, if you love a long DIY car project, this is a good idea for you. Choose a weekend to do this, and ensure you have a lot of space all around your truck when doing this, because you will do different tasks like removing rust, cleaning the fenders, priming, painting and more.

What supplies do you need to remove rust from a truck fender?

Before you proceed to the task of removing rust, you should first have all the supplies ready in one place. The basic things that will help you get the job done are:

  • Sandpapers of different grits (preferably 80, 180, 800 and 3000 grits)
  • Spray Bottle
  • Wax
  • Grease and Wax Remover
  • Grinder
  • Body Filler
  • One spray can each of sandable primer, paint and clear coat
  • Blue Painters Tape (1-inch ones)
  • Mild-abrasive quality of Grinding Wheel
  • Polishing Machine
  • Polishing Pad
  • Rubbing Compound
  • Polishing Compound

How to Remove Rust from a Truck Fender

The actual process of rust removal

Once you have all the supplies ready, you can proceed with the task of removing rust from the truck fenders. If you have any questions about the brand, or quality of supplies that we have listed above, you can always cross-check them with a mechanic, or from the manufacturer.

  • Identify the rusted area on the truck fender. Clean it thoroughly with a solution made of soap and water.
  • Pour some grease & wax remover on a soft & clean cloth. Rub it over the affected areas. Allow the mixture to settle in there until it dries completely.
  • Use the 180-grit sandpaper to sand over the affected areas. Keep sanding until you notice that all the rust stains have vanished. You should only be able to see the shiny, metal portion of the fenders at this stage.
  • Make a mixture of the body filler exactly as per the instructions on the label of the product.
  • Apply a thin coating of the body filler over the rusted areas. This mixture becomes hard very quickly. Hence, you should act swiftly during this process.
  • After you have evenly applied a thin coating of the body filler on the rusted areas, wait until it has dried up fully. It is highly recommended to read the manufacturer’s instructions on the package of the body filler to know how long you have to wait for the mixture to dry.
  • Use the 80-grit sandpaper once the body filler has dried completely. Keep sanding the affected areas, until that part of the fender becomes very smooth.
  • Sometimes, sanding with 80-grit sandpaper can leave some scratches on the fender. If you notice such scratches, you should use 180-grit sandpaper to get rid of them.
  • Use the 800-grit sandpaper to get rid of the scratches formed by the 180-grit sandpaper. While sanding with the 800-grit type, you can also mix some water.
  • Rinse the affected areas properly, and allow them to dry completely. This stage is very important, because the steps after this one require the rusted areas to be 100% dry.
  • You have to apply three coats of sandable primer on the affected areas once dry. Allow a time gap of 5 to 10 minutes after the application of each coating. After you have completed the third and final coating, give about 30 minutes of resting time for the sandable primer to dry completely.
  • Use the 800-grit sandpaper to sand this layer of primer. Add some water during this process, and keep sanding until the area becomes very smooth.
  • Rinse the smooth area properly, and allow it to dry completely. Pour some wax and grease remover on a soft & clean cloth. Rub this over the dried area, and wait for this to dry as well.
  • Apply the paint (it should be of the truck’s matching color) evenly over the affected areas in three coats, allowing a few minutes of gap between the application of each layer. The goal here is for the paint to cover the primer completely. So, if you achieve this after the 2nd coating itself, you can stop the application. Wait for 30 minutes until the paint has dried up.
  • Now is the time for applying the clear coat on the painted area. You have to apply three layers of clear coat, allowing a time gap of 5 to 10 minutes between each coating. After you have applied the third and final coating of the clear coat, allow it to settle in the affected areas for at least 48 hours. Yes, you heard that right!
  • After 48 hours, make sure that the clear coat has properly cured before you proceed to the next step. Use the 3000-grit sandpaper to sand this cured clear coat. Keep sanding in one particular direction evenly on the coating.
  • Use a polishing machine and a polishing pad to apply some rubbing compound on the sanded areas. You can apply some compound on the nearby areas of the fender as well.
  • Use the same technique for applying the polishing compound as well.
  • Clean your truck thoroughly, and wait for it to dry completely.
  • Now apply a layer of wax (or a sealant) all over the vehicle. This will conceal all the rust stains, and make your truck look new and clean.


The above steps will give you fenders protection for up to 6 months. So, it is highly recommended that you repeat all these processes once every 6 months. You can do it sooner if you live in a place where your truck fenders are exposed to harsh and erratic climatic conditions.

Related Posts:

How to Clean Foggy Car Headlights

How to Clean the Inside of a Windshield

How to remove tar from tires

How to Clean Chrome Rims


what you need to know

in your inbox every morning