When you are venturing into your first attempt at auto body work, it's important that you understand the risk of rust development on metal body panels. The best thing you can do is treat the body panels to protect them from rust, otherwise you'll end up replacing them again in time. If you're unfamiliar with the treatment options available to you, this article can help. Here are some of the things you should consider to protect your car's new metal body panels.
You can prevent rust development easily by investing in auto body paint and covering the body panels. If you're replacing a panel and eager for everything to match, this may be the best and quickest option available to you. When the paint is finished with a clear coat, it makes it glossy and more durable than if it were unprotected. Unfortunately, even clear-coat auto paint can chip and scratch, exposing the metal beneath. When that happens, the metal can still be vulnerable to rust. For that reason, paint alone isn't always effective.
Powder coating involves creating an even, hardened layer of paint polymer on the surface of the body panels. It's applied in a powder-like form and then baked on so that it hardens and stays in place. It's usually done by a professional who has the curing room and all of the equipment to bake the powder coat so that it seals properly. Then, you can cover it with a clear coat for shine. Powder coating is often more durable than standard paint, and it can be less susceptible to scratches and similar damage.
Rust inhibitor, also called rust sealant, is a product that is sprayed or brushed onto the metal. It bonds to the surface of the body panels, creating a solid barrier to protect against any rust development. This is an effective and efficient manner of preventing rust development, particularly if you treat both sides of the body panel. The best part about opting for a rust inhibitor is the fact that you can then finish the metal panels however you prefer, from spray-on auto body paint to powder coat or even just basic primer.
You can even order complete metal body panels that are already treated with rust inhibitor and finished with color to match your car. Especially if your car is still carrying the factory paint, it's easy to match. This ensures that you have precisely the finish that you are looking for. If you order bare sheet metal panels, though, you'll want to work with someone locally to treat them with rust inhibitor or the paint product that you prefer for your car.