How to fix rusted doors

How to fix rusted doors

In this video, I show a case study of how an inexperienced amateur was able to repair and paint the rusted doors of a 1998 Dodge Ram, in his driveway, with no prior experience spraying automotive paint. This is worth watching if you are considering accepting this challenge yourself, because you’ll see several examples of what not to do along the way.

This video clearly shows the good, the bad, and the ugly of DIY rust repair. The result is not perfect and you’ll get to follow along as I climb up the novice part of the learning curve. Professionals generally don’t fix these problems because old trucks are rarely worth the cost of repair, which leaves it to amateurs to experience how difficult this can be.

One of the most critical parts of the task is to have a protected area where problems of pollen, insects, rain, wind, dust, and cold/warm temperatures can mess up the job. I used an old carport tent that offered some protection from wind, though it was far from perfect.

In the end, it was a lot of work, I’m reasonably happy with the result, and I learned a ton about how this is done.




Not bad for an amateur and I'm impressed with your abilities. I painted cars for nearly 30 years and done all kinds of repairs spot jobs touch ups you name it and I've probably done it. For future reference you don't have to remove aka tear down the entire door to do that kind of repair work. Kudos for applying the epoxy primer Before applying the body filler! Most people don't have a clue about how much that will help however you should scuff sand the primer Before applying the body filler with something like 80-180 grit sandpaper, dry. There's a simple fix for the right door just tape up everything that you can and remove just the Ram 1500 emblems and the mirror then block sand the door with 400-500 grit set sand paper using water final sand with 600-800 wet then mask off the door and simply respray allowing adequate time in between coats and leave a little place in your masking to peel the tape back on the front edge and rear edge of the door to better match the color. Tip: on the primer Before you sand it apply a very light coat of black rattle can primer or paint ( I mean just lightly fog it on ) this will act as a guide coat for all the high and low spots to ensure that you have sanded the primer completely and smoothly. And next time try doing an overlap with the sheet metal putting the new metal just under the old, that will help you with the welding and once all is completed get some bad and chain oil and thin it down with kerosene and coat the inside bottom half of the doors and you'll never see rust like that again plus you can do that for the entire undercarriage for rust protection, that will require you to get a Body Shultz gun in order to spray it, warning it Will Be Very Messy.
Please feel free to ask me anything about paint and bodywork if I can help you I will if I don't know I could probably find out but if not I'll simply say I don't know, I would Not tell you to do something that will not work.
I enjoyed the video very much thanks!

hunkydude322 says:

i went to the autobody shop to get an estimate on my 2013 silverado wheel wells the uppers have a little bubbleling showing on each side of the box, anyways the shop said we can do it for 2000 thousand dollars each side so thats about 5000 dollar in all, so, i know how to do it , just was feeling lazy, but anyways, i went to the auto paint shop and bought the paint etc… i needed to do it myself for under 200 bucks.

Yücel Cakir says:

don't bother uncle, buy a new door

Jeff Jackson says:

Greased lightenin

jessman1004 says:

You did a good job for a nonpro!

ofastauto says:

all the respect to YOU! you actually did a decent job for a DIY! A+ for effort!


You restored those doors as well as a restoration shop, cool job.

Rob S says:

You did a good job, the actual metal patching and repair was probably better than you would have gotten at a commercial body shop. The paints not perfect but really good enough to me. Main thing is it wont rust again any time soon

Dean Barr says:

Awesome job in my unprofessional opinion. Your exactly right, makes you appreciate the pro's.

Jonny Fran says:

Not bad for an amateur at least made a good attempt and didn’t turn out too bad those Dodgers were they were they were nice looking truck to a man they were alpha roster night around the doors it was too bad but I like them all dodge trucks like at

goawaken everyone says:

Rebuild the door bottoms using fibre glass and the door bottoms never rust out again.

Peter Rivney says:

A cheep can of white or black spray bomb for a guide coat to see high and low spots comes in handy in all stages of metal work to bondo spot puddy and blocking primer .
If you painted outside in the sun that was your problem the metal was to hot even with slow dry reducer it will not flow very well.. the max course to put primer is 220-240 grit us safe for primer for paint 400 -600 usually 500 grit is good for base clear or single stage . But using epoxy primer was your best choice I do that all the time the do body work on top the another coat then quick blocking 240 – 320 grit then a couple coats of high solid primer then fin sand for the paint I'm putting on . I usually block all sanding for show cars but they pay for that process or buzz sand for street use.
I know the feeling about that person hitting your door to bad you did not notice it sooner.

Stevo736 says:

You did a great job. Was well worth doing it.

Old Griz says:

When you are painting parts off of the vehicle you should paint them as they are not the vehicle. Don't lay doors flat or hang a hood vertical that way the paint is done as it was in the factory.

Timothy Thomas says:

Orange peel can be minimized by polishing with a Dual Action Polisher?

Amelia Roberts says:

Practice makes perfect. Its a good job since you've never done it before!

Dave Chapman says:

for an amateur and a great effort you did a splendid job,.By comparison with the original rusty doors it looks great and you are the only one that in general would notice the mistakes. and you explained it with excellence . well done Sir and very best wishes from NZ.

Stein Bauge says:

Great job! Now the only way to be sure to stop rust in a cavity is lanoline grease (made from wool), fluid film or other brand. This would have prevented the issue in the first place. And of course fix scratches etc sooner rather than later.

Stein Bauge says:

Yes, paint under filler.

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