Was looking at my garage door as I pulled into home yesterday and noticed that the bottom panel is starting to rust slightly at the bottom. The rust looks like a small mountain range from one side to the other.

My question is: What is the best way to go about repairing this? I'm going to guess I'm looking at 3 steps

  1. Remove the rust (how do I go about doing this?)
  2. Prime/rustproof the metal
  3. Repaint the door

Has anyone done rust removal/repainting on metal before and is it even worth it? I'm basing this on the assumption that the door isn't completely rusted through. If that's the case then I'll just replace the panel and be done with it.


Is the garage door made out of steel? Here is a good article on repainting rusty steel:

I think the key is to prep by washing the area and then removing as much rust as possible by scraping and then using a wire brush (or even sanding). Prime the area with Rustoleum. The topcoat should be high quality latex exterior paint.

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  • great article ! thank you. I'll have to check the temperature at which the paint can be applied. Now that winter is setting in it might be too cold to do it now but come spring I definitely need to do this.
    – user45
    Dec 3 '10 at 17:55
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    if for some reason you find minor pin holes or some rust through, you can fill them with auto body filler after you remove all the rusted metal first, then proceed with the above paint procedure. Dec 5 '10 at 13:42
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    Note that there are some primer compounds that react with the rust to neutralize it. You still want to clean it as much as you can, particularly removing flakes, but in my experience these "rusty metal primers" do a really fantastic job. Make sure you get one for use on rusty metals, not all primers are the same. Dec 6 '10 at 7:10
  • I'll echo what Sean has said about rusty metal primers. Get the rust off, but then these primers will do a splendid job of inhibiting further rust. I'd be tempted to use the primer, and only then fill any holes with a body repair compound, so no further rust will set in.
    – user558
    Feb 4 '13 at 15:04

It is difficult to find a "rusty metal primer" which is intended to take a latex paint topcoat. The Rust-Oleum product shown recommends an oil-based top coat which should not be used when repainting a metal garage door. An alternate product might be Corroseal which is a rust converter and latex primer in one which can then be topcoated with a latex paint.

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