Hooniverse Weekend Edition: Would you paint your ride with Rustoleum?

While catching up at Car Domain, I read this great article by David Belau about how he wanted to repaint his Dodge Dakota Pickup. How did it come out? Read more after the jump.

Remember the paint jobs from the late 80’s to early 90’s? Remember how sheets of paint seemed to flake away at just the slightest hint of wind? Remember how a perfectly fine running truck or car looked like hell because there was little or no paint left on the vehicle? Well, it seems that David Belau over at Car Domain (Who has a screen name of dartslantsix!) needed to take care of this. In David’s own words:

Last summer my 1992 Dakota looked like just about every other neglected 1992 Dakota out there–terrible. Its paint was coming off in sheets. Coworkers complained that after parking next to me during a windy day, their own car received a new paint job. After reading this thread on Moparts.com about Rustoleum, I decided to give it a try.

David explains that he never painted a car before, and used an inherited paint sprayer from the 60’s to apply the primer, and the color coats. It actually looks great based on the pictures in the posting. Read all about how David did this at CarDomain.com.

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  1. loudvilledan Avatar

    When I was in highschool, I painted a Buick Skylark with Rustoleum. Primered x2, color x3, metalflake and clearcoat x3. It looked kickass until it was wrecked hard. The car had a vinyl top overlay, what a huge pain in the ass those were…

  2. discontinuuity Avatar

    One of my old roommates had a truck like this that he painted in a barn. It looked good from a distance, but had quite the orange peel matte finish up close.
    This is probably foolish hubris on my part, thinking that I could do a better job, but I'd still totally paint a car with Rustoleum (even use the roller method maybe).

  3. Bill Avatar

    I painted the top, trunklid and hood of an 89 celeb that had faded from black to white.
    I used a roller, came out pretty good, the trick was to thin the paint down to milk-like consistency, that way it goes on smoother.. 😛

  4. dead_elvis Avatar

    Not mine… but I helped a friend paint his 70-something F100 with white Hammerite Rust cap hammered finish paint. Considering that we used 4" brushes & paint rollers, along with a case or so of Miller Lite, it came out looking just as good as you might expect.

  5. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

    Yes I would. Lacquer based paints are very forgiving and easy to apply outdoors or indoors, assuming you can get or have a suitable ambient temperature. I have seen and have done paint that is as good if not better than the quickie job you can get at the pull in spray places. A decent can gun is cheap, and the HVLP guns are reasonably priced, but much trickier to use. Depending on vehicle an purpose, even a rattle can could be good enough.
    DIY for the show and shine, buzzing around town, or making a project look presentable,? Sure no problem. Am I taking it to Autorama and expecting great things? Not a chance in hell. Least not if I sprayed it in the backyard.

  6. buzzboy7 Avatar

    Depends what it is. My dad's pickup. Yes. My comet, maybe. My mom's car. No.

  7. Alff Avatar

    Sure, if I had a lot of time to sand.

    1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

      This, not to mention doing a good prep job beforehand (minor bodywork, remove all the trim/lights/etc., of course).

  8. CptSevere Avatar

    There's a guy down in Naco with a shop literally half a block from the border (Naco, AZ) who takes your vehicle across and he has a guy there who will do this for almost as cheap. I've seen the work, it comes out pretty well. A buddy of mine had his F100 done, they fixed some rust, a few dents, prepped it, painted it for under a grand. A quick respray would be pretty reasonable.

    1. coupeZ600 Avatar

      That guy painted my first car, a '69 Nova!…. Navy Blue metal-flake body and a White top with white tuck-and-roll upholstery done by the guy next door. Quality was great.

  9. bzr Avatar

    I tried painting my CB550F with Rustoleum. Halfway through sanding fisheyes, spilling paint on Chinese newspapers and copious swearing, I passed it off to a friend in the hopes that he would finish the rest for $50 and a 12-pack of Blue Moon.That was a year ago, and he hasn't touched it since.

  10. smokyburnout Avatar

    I've considered it, because I love the idea of a low/no maintenance finish on my car, but I think it'd be less work to redo the clear-coat when it's done flaking off the hood and maybe tackling the fender rust at some point.

  11. Maymar Avatar

    A couple years back, I got a cheap Escort to replace my Intrepid after getting tired of sinking money into it. It was a bit of a rust bucket, so I went for the cheap fix to get it to pass safety – cardboard duct taped over the rusty bits, slathered shoddily in Bondo, and sprayed with an almost matching shade of blue. It held up pretty well for the time I owned the car. So, yeah, I'd paint a car with rustoleum if I only needed something functional.

  12. dmilligan Avatar

    If I didn't give a damn what the car looked like, sure. If I cared about the car, no way. I worked in the auto industry for close to 20 years and spent a lot of time working with body shops and painters, and I learned from the people who do it what a good paint job is. As a result, I tend to notice all sorts of flaws in paint jobs and body work and it drives me nuts. Just the idea of using rustoleum gives me chills.

  13. P161911 Avatar

    My 88 F-150 I probably would. My Z3 I definitely would not.
    I'm really torn on repainting my F-150. There is no doubt it needs it. It has some pretty bad faded paint, a few surface rust spots, etc. Do I spend the $300 or so and let Maaco do it or try to do something halfway decent with a spray gun or just rattle can it? It would look better than it does now after any of these. I can get all the prep supplies and such for nearly free, my father is a sales rep for a paint and body shop wholesale supply house. However, there is something to be said for a big (long bed and extended cab) truck that has the "I DON"T CARE" look and attitude. It helps in traffic sometimes, especially considering the part of town I live in (Lots of M-B, BMWs, Lexus, etc.)

  14. MarionCobretti Avatar

    Count me among those that have. I picked up a 1991 Pontiac Firebird Formula a few months ago, and it had the same problem the Dakota did. Manufacturers were transitioning to more environmentally friendly paints and application methods, and hadn't quite gotten the hang of it. So the car had paint leprosy. It's a beater, and it wasn't worth spending 2 to 4 times what I paid for it to have it done, so I sprayed it with Rustoleum. I'd intended to roll it, but due to the uneven surface left by the paint coming off in some places and not others, I had to go down to bare metal in places, and wanted to spray a good coat of primer, so I ended up spraying the whole thing.
    It does have some orange peel, but it looks okay going down the road or from 15 feet away. I saved a bundle, and while it's far from perfect, it's light years better than it was. I've even gotten a couple of compliments on it.

  15. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    As a maintenance job on an aged work/beater vehicle? Sure. Better than rusting out.
    I'm kinda torn with the Country Sedan. It needs both paint and body work, but not particularly badly. It barely rains here in LA, and I'm far enough from the beach that salt air's not really an issue. For me it's a toss-up between doing nothing, attempting a DIY rustoleum/primer/whatever job, and maybe a cheap Maaco/Scheib job. There are more pressing issues than paint, so for the time being it's a philosophical question.

  16. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

    My boss has a '92 Dakota – 4×4, steelies, regular-cab – that he got in good running condition, with a Fisher plow and not much rust, for $350.
    (Frankly, I'm envious.)
    However, his truck – originally blue and silver – has the same paint issues that this guy's did. Knowing him, though, if he ever does get around to fixing it, it'll literally be with a roller and he won't bother even to remove the badging first.

  17. Van Sarockin Avatar
    Van Sarockin

    Rustoleum is cheap and convenient. If I cared about the car and planned to own it for a while or wanted to maximize its value I would use real auto lacquer – it's made for cars, it's tougher and will hold up better, and the color selection is vastly larger and better. That said, I've only painted with spraypaint or touch up paint.

  18. BPR Avatar

    I’ve done it on both cars and bikes. By the time I did the bike I was much better at it. After wet sanding and buffing it looked great. Then I dribbled a little gas while filling up, and it stained. I’ve been told it’s related to the bight MTBE content we have around here. Does clear coat help?

    1. Mechabearshark Avatar

      I rattle can my cars. I would never use rustoleum I use Krylon. I use Flat or satin depending on my mood.

  19. Beaverton Body Shop Avatar

    Great site here. So many websites like this cover subjects that can’t be found in magazines and newspapers. I don’t know how we got on 10 years ago with just print media.