How to Fix Rust Holes on a Car Door

Written by linda emma
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How to Fix Rust Holes on a Car Door
Regular washing and attention to scrapes can help prevent rust. (car image by Brett Bouwer from

Rust holes are both repairable and preventable. Regular washing and attention to scrapes can help prevent rust. Immediately addressing the smallest rust spot will keep it from eating away at the metal of your car.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape
  • Tarp
  • Sander
  • Grinding wheel
  • Sanding wheel
  • Sandpaper (120 grit)
  • Metal sandpaper
  • Evapo-Rust
  • Bondo
  • Wire mesh
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Paint sprayer

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  1. 1

    Determine the size of the hole. If the hole is more than a few inches in diameter, consider replacing the panel.

  2. 2

    Cover everything but your work area with a cloth or paper tarp and painter's tape, which won't harm your car's finish.

  3. 3

    Grind around the hole with a sanding wheel, starting in a circular motion. Remove large patches of rust and decaying metal. Grind in intervals of a few seconds at a time, and don't apply too much pressure.

  4. 4

    Remove any remaining rust with a grinding wheel and smooth the surrounding area down to bare metal.

  5. 5

    Apply Evapo-Rust to the back of the hole and the surrounding metal to eliminate rust in any areas you were unable to sand.

  6. 6

    Use Bondo, a fibreglass fille, to fill the hole. If the hole is large, work a small piece of wire mesh behind the hole and then apply the Bondo. Allow the area to fully dry.

  7. 7

    Sand the area by hand.

  8. 8

    Clean the area completely and allow it to dry.

  9. 9

    Prime, dry, then wet-sand the area. Allow it to dry completely.

  10. 10

    Spray-paint the area with the manufacturer's recommended colour.

Tips and warnings

  • If you cannot match the colour, contact a dealer with the make, model and vehicle identification number and order the paint.
  • The area around and behind the hole must be free of rust or the oxidation that caused the hole will continue to cause rust.

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