In this article we will discuss ways in which you can keep your vehicle together, that is, how applying rust-resistant paint can significantly extend the chassis durability.
Moreover, we will also discuss the necessary steps you should take before applying the paint. Though most paint manufacturers claim you can apply their paint directly on the rusted frame, we feel that thorough cleaning and preparation is necessary before using the paint.
We will go through the 4 best chassis/truck frame paints, describe them, explain product’s strengths and weaknesses, and so forth. In our buyer’s guide, you will find all the data you need regarding the chassis and truck frame paint, why is it good, and how to know which product suits you best. We will also explain the preparation process.
We hope that this article will provide you with enough information regarding chassis paint, from choosing the right one to correctly applying the paint to ensure maximum quality and efficiency.
The List: 4 Best Paints for Your Frame and Suspension
1. Chassis Saver UCP99
The Chassis Saver UCP99 is precisely what it says to be, a chassis saver. This paint was designed to protect and extend the durability of the automotive chassis.
The paint is dense, good at preventing and eliminating the rust, so it acts as a 2 in 1 paint. I love the fact that the manufacturers (Magnet Paints) suggest minor preparation before using this paint. Even a simple hand scraping or brushing will enhance the plant’s efficiency.
Chassis Saver UCP99 feature Rust Stopping technology. Once applied, the paint binds with the chassis, living no room for the air to come in or out through the paint. It will suffocate the existing rust, cut down the oxygen supply and thus prevent future oxidation. So, this paint does the most important thing: it prevents rust.
Furthermore, you can only use this paint to finish the job: no catalyzers or activators are needed. The paint drys and cures pretty fast, and it is best just to leave it as it is once you apply it. One layer of this paint will do the trick, so you don’t have to put an additional layer atop of it.
Chassis Saver UCP99 is very durable and is resistant to rain, ice, rust, acid and other harmful chemicals that can damage ordinary paint. This paint is used worldwide, in all regions and under all conditions, and will pertain its rust-resistant abilities for more than ten years.
I have to commend the manufacturer’s transparency regarding the UV lighting. Chassis Saver UCP99 is, they claim, sensitive to sunlight. The paint will pertain its rust stopping ability but will lose appearance over time. You can reach their customer service to discuss potential solutions to this problem. Or, you can simply apply the new layer once the original one loses its appeal.
Chassis Saver UCP99 isn’t the cheapest, but also not the most expensive paint, but is very cost effective and durable. I recommend this paint to everyone who wants a long-term rust-free solution for their automotive or trucks. Note that you can apply this paint on other automobile parts, such as bumpers, under fenders and so forth.
The paint is easy to use and apply, so using a simple paint brush will do the job. If you are looking for the paint that will prevent the rust at all cost, then going for the Chassis Saver UCP99 might be a decent option for you.
CHASSIS SAVER Pricing:
|UCP99-04||CHASSIS SAVER Gloss Black – 1 Quart||Check Price|
|UCP99-01||CHASSIS SAVER Gloss Black – 1 Gallon||Check Price|
|UCP99-05||CHASSIS SAVER Gloss Black – 5 Gallon||Check Price|
2. POR-15 Rust Preventive Coating
POR-15 Rust Preventive Coating is coating designed for preventing the rust and protecting the metal material from other harmful elements. This coating should not, however, be directly applied on the rust.
Though the manufacturer claims you can apply this coating directly on the rusty material, they suggest proper preparation before using the coating for optimal performance and maximum durability. The paint acts as an anti-corrosive shield and is extra resistant to other chemicals due to its density.
Consistency is the POR-15 Rust Preventive Coating most prominent ability. It introduces cross-connected molecular structure and is as such very dense and flexible. The paint is cohesive but still features adhesive properties once applied on the dedicated surface. It adheres fantastically: it won’t peel, wrinkle nor fall off for a very long time.
Applying this paint is very easy; a simple brush will do the job. For better leveling and accuracy, you might want to use more precise tools. Though the POR-15 Rust Preventive Coating is mostly used for metal, you can also apply it to wood, concrete or other material. Though this isn’t relevant to our article, it is still an interesting feature.
Because of that, we feel the POR-15 Rust Preventive Coating is the best all-around rust prevention. It is suitable for both homeowners as well as professionals. I also love the coating’s indestructibility. Due to the molecular structure of the paint, it is highly dense and resistant to most chemicals. When it comes to resistance, other contenders don’t stand a chance with this paint.
What’s Wrong with this Product?
There are, however, some problems with this coating. First one is the price. Though this isn’t a problem regarding quality and performance, it is a problem for your wallet. But, if you look for the best, you have to be willing to pay for the best.
There is a, however, more significant issue regarding this coating: the can. While we can’t say anything wrong about the paint itself, the can is very difficult to open, and even more difficult to reopen. Its a shame, having a premium paint in a poorly designed box and is something the manufacturers are likely to change.
Other than that, we have no complaints regarding this coating. It will repel rust, it is resistant to ice, rain, acid and other substances, and is highly durable (but sensitive to UV light). If you do purchase it, don’t get annoyed when you try to open the can, for this is truly a premium coating.
POR-15 Rust Preventive Paint Pricing:
|45008||POR-15 Gloss Black – 1 Pint||Check Price|
|45004||POR-15 Gloss Black – 1 Quart||Check Price|
|45001||POR-15 Gloss Black – 1 Gallon||Check Price|
3. KBS Coatings RustSeal
KBS Coatings took their manufacturing to the 21st century, using only top-quality materials and mixing it using superior color formulations. This paint features amazing sealing and coating capabilities, thus preventing the rust from spreading.
Once the holes are sealed, the oxidation will stop, and your vehicle will no longer be a suitable host for rust. The KBS Coatings RustSeal is inexpensive but highly durable, making it one of the most cost-effective rust resistant paint.
The product is also very versatile since you can use it in your home, for your vehicles, farm, or for any other similar needs. In essence, wherever you have a problem with rust, you can use this paint due to its coating and sealing ability.
Speaking of sealing, this paint penetrates deep into the material to the point where it becomes that material. The KBS Coatings RustSeal won’t seal, tear nor peel, and is as such very durable and resistant to any conditions. The RustSeal is moisture-cured paint, which means that it is very suitable for areas where the humidity and moisture could damage your appliances and vehicles.
The product is also very easy to apply. By using a simple brush, just apply the paint directly to the surface. It will protect the material from rust, ice and high temperatures (up to 316°C). The paint is also very flexible so that you can apply it to the movable parts, the ones that expand and contract.
And I do like the flexibility this paint brings with it. It is very easy to apply, using brush, spray or any other tools. The paint will self-level and fill the pores, so you don’t have to press hard when you apply it.
What’s Wrong with this Product?
RustSeal is not intended for use as a final finish. Repeated or prolonged exposure to direct UV light will cause cosmetic alteration to its color and sheen. RustSeal’s guaranteed rust protective properties, however, will not degrade.
The downside also is, it won’t leave the most beautiful impression once the paint is cured. While it is rough and durable, it isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as I would like it to be. Furthermore, proper preparation isn’t necessary, but you should do it to achieve the best results when using this paint.
To achieve better, more aesthetically pleasing finish, we suggest you use foam brushes or sprays if you want to avoid paint streaks on the dedicated surface. This step isn’t necessary if the part you are painting isn’t visually exposed.
KBS Coatings RustSeal Pricing:
|4301||RustSeal Gloss Black – 1 Pint||Check Price|
|4401||RustSeal Gloss Black – 1 Quart||Check Price|
|4501||RustSeal Gloss Black – 1 Gallon||Check Price|
|4601||RustSeal Gloss Black – 5 Gallon||Check Price|
4. Rust Bullet RBA54 Automotive
Rust Bullet RBA54 Automotive is a metallic gray, 1-gallon product (by default), though you can purchase larger or smaller quantities if you desire to choose so.
This paint is easy to use since you can apply it using brushes, rolls or spraying it on the dedicated surface. RBA54 Automotive can be applied to chassis, undercarriage, suspensions, and other similar vehicle parts.
This is a high quality, value for money paint, one you can apply directly to the surface without any preparing the surface (though, we do not recommend this, and will explain why). This formula uses more metal than the Rust Bullet’s Standard formula, and is also thinner, granting you the ability to apply the paint quickly.
The paint itself is rust resistant, chip resistant, and is also mildly resistant to UV lights. RBA54 Automotive is a 2 in 1 paint, using 2 US patents, of which one eliminates the rust from the surface, while the other patent prevents the rust from reoccurring.
Applying Rust Bullet
Rust Bullet suggest applying two layers of this paint, on any metal or iron surface, regardless of the quality of that surface. The dedicated surface can be rusty, painted or unpainted. For best results, the Rust Bullet recommends using the finishing guns.
We recommend this paint to any road vehicle owners, for it does do an amazing job when it comes to rust prevention. The good news is that the paint acts almost instantaneously. Once you apply the first layer and let it dry, the paint will already strengthen the material, so the second layer will be much easier to use.
What’s Wrong with Rust Bullet?
We have two minor concerns regarding this product. First is the price. RBA54 Automotive is very expensive (I believe it is the most expensive product on our list). The second issue is the product’s storing. Once you use it, make sure you store it properly, or better yet, use the entire product within a year.
Why? Well, the product will harden and become thicker if you do not use it over an extended period; it will morph into a gluey-like liquid. Note that you can use it, but it will be harder to use once it hardens. So, we suggest you to either buy smaller quantities (which are also cheaper) or to use the 1 gallon within a year or two.
Other than that, you should experience no problems using this paint.
Rust Bullet RBA54 Automotive Pricing:
|RBA52||Rust Bullet – 1 Pint||Check Price|
|RBA53||Rust Bullet – 1 Quart||Check Price|
|RBA54||Rust Bullet – 1 Gallon||Check Price|
|RBA55||Rust Bullet – 5 Gallon||Check Price|
In this section, we will name and explain the factors you should consider when selecting the best paint, the one that will suit you the best. More importantly,y we will expand on the necessary preparation you should do before you apply the paint. We will also recommend the products that might help you with that. So let’s start.
Why Go For The Anti Corrosive Paint
The reasons are obvious. While automobile and truck manufacturers do a decent painting job as they make the vehicles, the paint loses its quality over time.
Because of that, you should, after the original paint has lots its merit, apply the anticorrosive paint on the chassis or other parts. The logic is simple: by applying anti-rust paint, you prevent further oxidation and damage to the material. Rust spreads like weeb, and it is best to act as soon as you notice it. Even the most tin spots can do immense damage to the frame, to the point where the frame is no longer usable.
Which Paint Should I Buy?
Your selection should be affected by numerous things:
Naturally, you can’t go over your budget. Thankfully, we have included several products on our list, some of which are cheaper than other. Note that the price is affected by the quantity, so if you don’t need, let say 1 gallon, go for the smallest possible amount to pay less.
I don’t look at the anticorrosive paint as an expense, but as an investment, for it will make my vehicle more durable and resistant to rust or other conditions and chemicals.
Consider what the paint can do, what are its pros and cons. Is it UV resistant? Do you need a UV resistant paint or the dedicated material won’t be exposed to sunlight? Furthermore, consider the pain’s density. Some of our recommended products feature more density and require that you apply only one protective layer, other’s need two for best results.
If you live in humid areas, then going for the KBS Coatings RustSeal is the best option, since it does deal with humidity better than other coatings. The more factors you include the better because it will help you narrow down your choices.
Durability And Versatility
Are you looking for specific, chassis paint or a solid all-around anti-corrosive paint? If you want a paint that you can apply to multiple materials, then going for the POR-15 Rust Preventive Coating is the best option. However, if you want the paint specifically for chassis, then perhaps CHASSIS SAVER UCP99 GLOSS BLACK is the right option for you (its named Chassis Saver for a good reason).
Furthermore, consider the usability of the things you want to protect. Do you use them frequently? Are these things (perhaps your car) exposed to heavy rain, sunlight, and so forth. If so, choose according to the item’s usability. Not all our paints offer the same durability.
If you want your paint to last for a very long time, look for those that won’t lose their corrosive resistance. Be aware of the fact that every coating loses its appeal over time, but that doesn’t mean they’ll lose their anti-rust capabilities.
How to Paint a Truck Frame
Many truck frames around the country get rusty because they are exposed to rough roads that erode the paint over time. The undercarriage parts will immediately begin to oxidize once the factory finish gets sandblasted off by road debris. The paint can also soften in hot weather and rust out if you live in areas near the beach due to the salty atmosphere. If you remove the wheels and other parts to do a thorough job using the right tools, supplies, and preparation in repairing the finish, you will wind up with stellar results and a truck that you can hang onto for a lifetime.
Tools, Supplies, Protection Required for the Job
We recommend that you secure the following tools and supplies before attempting the job. You don’t want to be breathing in paint fumes or dust. Furthermore, you’ll be wasting your time if you don’t prep the vehicle correctly. Painting a vehicle is about 90 percent preparation and only 10 percent laying on the paint.
- Air compressor
- Surface sanding air tools
- Sanding discs
- Clean shop rags
- Quality rust preventative
- Wire brush
- Paint scraper
- Oil spray rust preventative
- Wax and grease remover
- Spray on rust converter
- Cartridge respirator mask
- Latex gloves
- Disposable paint suit (optional)
Step #1: Clean and Degrease
Once you have the wheels off and the vehicle is on a lift where you can get at the undercarriage, you should remove any rusted parts that are worn and that you plan on replacing. You should also remove the parts if they are simply in the way of rusty areas that you want to paint. Once everything is opened up, you can pressure wash the areas that you will paint and use a degreaser. Having a clean surface to work with makes it easier for you to sand the truck down and to get straight to the bare metal without clogging up your sanding discs with oily residues. Furthermore, the paint won’t bond to the surface if it is not cleaned properly and residue free.
Step #2: Remove Scaling
Give the truck frame a few days to dry out. Then, it is time to play dentist. A dentist will drill into your teeth when you have a cavity until they get to the hard material that isn’t easily removed. You can use a ball peen hammer as your virtual drill. But, instead of drilling, you are going to break away any soft areas where scaling is developing. You want to use enough pressure to remove loose material but not enough to cause any damage to strong pieces of metal that are not rusted out.
Step #3: Grind Away the Rust
For this step, you will need your air compressor and an air tool that allows you to sand down the surface. It is suggested that you start out with a course abrasive pad around 80 grit. This is also a situation where you will want to use your cartridge air filter mask and any eye protection. Although the dust particles are too heavy to penetrate deep into your lungs like tobacco tar, it can cause respiratory irritation and get into your bronchi and sinuses. The P95 is an inexpensive disposable cartridge respirator that is ideal for painting projects.
Once you have the rust removed, you will want to even out the surface with a 220 grit abrasive pad. Then, move up to a 320 grit. The goal is to smooth out the surface to remove any pitting or high spots that the paint may have trouble reaching. You should be able to get it down to the bare metal without any visible surface rust. It should also feel and look as smooth to the touch as possible. It is suggested that you buy a sander with at least two speeds so that you can dial the speed back at rough spots.
To get into the pitted spots where the sander won’t remove the rust, you have to use a wire brush head on a drill or other rotary tool. If that is not working well enough, you should try a rust converter.
Step #4: Applying a Rust Converter
When you apply a rust converter, you are changing the oxidation into a protective coating. If you brush it on properly and have removed enough of the surface rust to allow for full penetration, you won’t have to worry about rust coming back and eating out the body under the new paint. Use latex gloves and a paintbrush to simply paint it onto areas that you would like to convert and protect. Be sure to do this in an area with fresh air and use your P95 respirator if you wish. You should only apply the rust converter in places where you see rust, not all over the entire truck frame.
Most rust converters use tannic acid to change the rust into iron tannate. They also have polymers that seal the coating. You should allow 48 hours for the rust converter to cure before following with any other work. Before rust converters came along, vehicles would start to form cancer on metal parts that would come back quickly even if the rust was sanded down and no longer visible. The rust converter protects the truck frame because it is able to change the rust at a microscopic level. This makes it difficult for the rust to return and eat the metal out from underneath the paint.
Step #5: Degrease and Clean Again
Once you are done converting your rust, you have to prep the vehicle for the primer. You can simply wipe down the undercarriage with a damp cloth and then follow with a wax and grease remover to pick up all the dust and residue remaining. The rust converter creates a primed surface that is ready for paint. You can also use mineral spirits or denatured alcohol if you don’t have an automotive degreaser on hand.
Step #6: Prevent Overspray
The final step in the prep process is preparing your vehicle for paint and preventing the overspray from hitting parts that you don’t want to paint. You should simply use tape and paper to exclude any surfaces such as the engine or steering knuckle parts. You can also use small garbage bags or other plastic to wrap items up that you don’t want to be painted.
Step #7: Applying Paint
When it comes to applying a protective undercoating paint, you will want to avoid asphalt and rubberized coatings because they can trap moisture underneath and rust out the frame. The right chassis paint coating works the best because it repels any moisture and forms a deep water-tight bond. I have found a number of paints that I like to use, but I suggest using a rust-preventative chassis paint that is designed to hold up strong. I like to use a soft brush that paints a nice smooth surface. It is better to do this when it is room temperature and not too hot or cold out with a humidity level around 50 percent. Allow at least a half hour between coats for the paint to dry properly.
If you are spraying the paint on, you should wear a disposable paint suit. These are only a few dollars and can protect you against chemicals on your skin. You should also wear your goggles and a paint respirator mask.
Step #8: Applying a Rust Preventative
You should give the paint a few days to dry out before reassembling the components and driving it. After a few weeks, you can apply a rust preventative as an additional coating. This sprays onto the vehicle using an oil or wax base. Be sure to apply it liberally but taking care not to get any on the brake areas or exhaust. There are silicone-based sealants that can be used to protect exhaust parts. You can apply some plastic sheeting or lay down cardboard to protect your driveway from the drips.
This is an inexpensive method that is best suited for an older truck. A full paint job at a car shop can set you back $7,000 or more. The shops that spray on undercoatings may not take on extensive rust and paint restoration. Furthermore, no auto body shop will provide a warranty on rusted parts with a promise that the rust won’t return.
Painting your truck frame is easy when you prepare and take your time. You should never try to rush when you are using air tools because this is how injuries occur. If you choose a high-quality chassis paint and follow these instructions, you should never have the need to paint the frame again.
Reviewing these anticorrosive coatings was quite a journey, and we hope you’ve learned some new things with us. As we already stated, painting is a delicate activity, and picking the right paint, the one that will suit you is preferable. It is valuable to invest some time and do the research before you decide to buy it, and reading this article should help you with that.
We also recommend you go through our buyer’s guide and genuinely consider the preparation steps we suggested to ensure your paint job goes as smooth as possible.
We hope this article helped you realize the role of the anticorrosive paint, and why it is a good idea to use it and apply it accordingly. It is certainly better to invest in paint, than having to purchase new things just because of the rust. So, remove the rust, prevent it from reoccurring, and enjoy the rust-free environment!