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Automotive Application FAQ's & Useful Links

Rust Bullet Automotive is the ideal choice for auto restoration. Below you will find answers to many of the questions usually asked about automotive applications and Useful Links.  If for any reason you can't find the information you are looking for, please  Send Us a Message.

Useful Links

Rust Bullet Coatings Application Details
Professionals Guide to Automotive Application
Applying Rust Bullet over Rust
Video Gallery
Spray Painting
Automotive FAQ's. pdf
Rust Bullet Coatings v. Competitors Coatings. Accelerated Test

FAQ's

    1. What is the difference between Rust Bullet Standard formula (Gold Label) and Rust Bullet Automotive formula (Silver label)?
    2. Should I apply Rust Bullet only where rust is apparent?
    3. What are the application methods for Rust Bullet Automotive?
    4. How do I Apply Rust Bullet Automotive with an HVLP Spray System?
    5. Why Do I Need to Apply Multiple Coats of Rust Bullet?
    6. When Do I Apply the Next Coat of Rust Bullet or a Rust Bullet topcoat?
    7. Can Rust Bullet be used as a Primer? 
    8. Is Rust Bullet Compatible with Automotive Fillers, Fiberglass, and Primers?
    9. Can a surface coated with Rust Bullet be welded?
    10. What Should I do if I waited too long before applying the next coat of Rust Bullet?
    11. What steps are required when applying a top coat over Rust Bullet?
    12. What is necessary prior to applying body paint?
    13. Is Rust Bullet appropriate for undercoating my vehicle?
    14. Is Rust Bullet recommended fro use on small engine gasoline tanks?
    15. Is Rust Bullet recommended for use on an exhaust system?
    16. Can I apply Rust Bullet under a truck bed liner?
    17. What are the effects of fuels on a cured Rust Bullet Coating?
    18. Can Rust Bullet be applied over existing paint?


1.  What is the difference between Rust Bullet Standard formula (Gold Label) and Rust Bullet Automotive formula (Silver label)?

Both Rust Bullet Standard and Rust Bullet Automotive are industrial strength protective coatings. They have the same patented anti-corrosive properties and will out perform any other rust inhibitive, protective coating on the market.

Rust Bullet Automotive is formulated a bit thinner than the Rust Bullet standard formula to easily flow through an HVLP auto finishing spray system. Rust Bullet Automotive has more metal and will produce a smoother finish typically desired for automotive projects.
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2. Do I apply Rust Bullet only where rust is apparent?

Rust Bullet is designed to protect rusted and clean metal. It is always advantageous to protect metal, even when there are no visible signs of corrosion. The automobile industry uses steel in its manufacturing wherever structural strength is needed. Ideally this steel should be protected before it starts to rust and corrode; thus preserving the strength and integrity it was originally designed to provide. Rust Bullet not only kills existing rust, it seals and protects surfaces that have not yet started to rust, providing years of prevention. Rust Bullet should be applied even where rust is not apparent to prevent the occurrence of future corrosion. If it is made of iron or steel, it will rust and corrode if left unprotected; start protecting your investment today.
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3. Can I apply Rust Bullet Automotive with a brush?

All Rust Bullet coatings may be applied by brush, roller or spray equipment. A brush coat should be applied evenly without buildup in a crosshatch method (up and down and side to side) using continuous motion.Thin even coats using the crosshatch application method will produce the best results. Always keep a wet edge on the tip of your paint brush. The appropriate number of coats should be applied to achieve the recommended dft for your project. Brush and roller applications result in an approximate dft of 1.5 – 2mils per coat. An HVLP spray system applies approximately 1.5 - 2 mils with one coat, while the Airless sprayer application averages a minimum of 3 to 4 mils per coat.

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4. How do I Apply Rust Bullet Automotive with an HVLP Spray System?

Rust Bullet Automotive applied through HVLP spray equipment using a 1.7 to 2.0 tip with 40 - 60 psi will achieve a dft of approximately 1.5 - 2.0 mils per coat. It is important to run Rust Bullet Solvent through the spray equipment prior to spraying the first coat of Rust Bullet Automotive to remove any moisture that may be trapped in the equipment. After the application of each coat of Rust Bullet Automotive, flush the gun or submerge the tip in Rust Bullet Solvent. It is important to keep the equipment and sprayer clean. If the spray gun has a filter, it must also be cleaned. Acetone may be used if Rust Bullet Solvent is not available.

Application equipment must be cleaned immediately after use to avoid damage. Flush Rust Bullet Solvent through pump, line and gun to remove any existing moisture or alcohol from previous coatings or solvents. Do not re-circulate the solvent through the pump, as the solvent will be contaminated with moisture and debris. Draw solvent from one container and flush into another. Never allow old solvent in the coating lines to enter Rust Bullet. 

NOTE: If Rust Bullet Solvent is unavailable in your area, Xylene, Toluene or Acetone may be substituted.

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5. Why Do I Need to Apply Multiple Coats of Rust Bullet?

As Rust Bullet cures, it expels solvents and releases a carbon dioxide gas while dehydrating the rust. The first coat of Rust Bullet soaks through the rust down to the metal below, encapsulates the rust and dehydrates it. The first coat must be applied generously enough over the rust for this process to takeplace. As the first coat dries and gases off, tiny pin holes may form in the coating. The second coat is critical to fill any pin holes and seal the surface with an air-tight, armor-like shield of protection. If the pinholes are not sealed after the first coat, air and moisture may penetrate the coating exposing the surface to further damage. Apply additional coats to achieve the desired dft for the appropriate protection for the project.
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6. When Do I Apply the Next Coat of Rust Bullet or Rust Bullet Top Coat? 

When applying additional coats of a Rust Bullet Coating, the previous coat should not be wet or tacky; ifyou are unable to transfer the coating to a gloved finger, the surface is ready for an additional coat. Approximate drying time between coats is two (2) to four (4) hours for Rust Bullet Coatings, depending on humidity levels. When excessive wet film is applied, additional cure time will be necessary. Rust Bullet Coatings are moisture sensitive; in high humid conditions of 80%+, Rust Bullet will cure much faster than it will in lower humidity. When applying additional coats from one day to the next, especially in the morning, make sure there is no dew or condensation on the previous coat. The surface to be coated must becompletely dry. It is important that corners, edges and heavily pitted areas are adequately covered. When Rust Bullet cures, it pulls tight to the center; therefore, it is particularly important that edges and corners are sufficiently coated.

Rust Bullet Rapid Fire Accelerator can be added to Rust Bullet Coatings to decrease the normal recoat time of 2 to 4 hrs. to approximately 30 to 40 minutes per coat. Rapid Fire makes it possible to apply multiplecoats of Rust Bullet in a single day and reduces project completion time by as much as 80%. Rust Bullet coatings accelerated with Rapid Fire are designed for spray applications and can be applied with either an HVLP Spray System or an Airless Spray System. 

Only if absolutely necessary, Rust Bullet Solvent may be added to Rust Bullet Coatings for thinning by an approximate 3% - 5% (i.e. 1.0 - 1.5 oz. per quart of paint). 

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7. Can Rust Bullet be used as a Primer?

Yes. Rust Bullet can be used as an automotive primer. Before applying a finish color to a surface coatedwith Rust Bullet, we recommend applying a high build sandable primer to the coated surface. Rust Bullet produces a very hard surface when cured; therefore, applying a sandable primer to the final coat of Rust Bullet will accomplish two things: remove any imperfections in the coated surface and provide a surface that is easier to sand smooth. It will also allow you the luxury of applying the final color whenever you choose to do so. Many Body Shops use this method to save time and work. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
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8. Is Rust Bullet Compatible with Automotive Fillers, Fiberglass, and Primers?

Yes. Most body fillers, fiberglass and automotive primers may be applied directly over Rust Bullet. Two coats of Rust Bullet should be applied to the metal surface. The body filler, fiberglass or primer should be applied directly over the second coat of Rust Bullet between the time that the last coat of Rust Bullet is dry to the touch, up to 48 hours. If more than 48 hours have lapsed, the Rust Bullet coating should be etched with Rust Bullet Metal Blast following the application guidelines as appropriate, or sanded with 100-150 grit sandpaper, before applying the filler, fiberglass or primer to ensure proper adhesion. This 48 hour period is decreased in areas with higher humidity levels. After the application of the filler, fiberglass or primer, an additional coat of Rust Bullet should be applied to seal and protect the entire surface. Please note; latex-based caulks are paintable while silicon-based caulks are considered unpaintable.

Fillers have a tendency to absorb moisture which will cause further rusting of the metal and bubbling of the filler if applied directly to a rusted area that has not been protected with Rust Bullet. Rust Bullet works best when it is in direct contact with the metal.

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9. Can a surface coated with Rust Bullet be welded?

To ensure the welded metals are properly bonded, the Rust Bullet Coating should be removed to expose the bare metal. It is possible to join two Rust Bullet coated metals by welding without removing Rust Bullet; the metal will join together but may not achieve the strong bond expected from use of the welding process. If metal coated with Rust Bullet, or another coating, is welded without removing the existing coating, the extreme heat involved in the welding process will disintegrate the coating possibly releasing harmful gases; therefore, the appropriate safety precautions, such as wearing a gas mask and safety goggles, must be followed. After welding, Rust Bullet must be reapplied over the welded area to ensure complete protection of the entire surface.

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10. What should I do if I waited too long before applying the next coat of Rust Bullet?

Drying time between coats of Rust Bullet is approximately two (2) to four (4) hours. Drying time varies depending on humidity levels. If more than 48 hours have lapsed since the previous coat of Rust Bullet, the coated surface should be etched with Rust Bullet Metal Blast (simply spray it on, wait 15-30 minutes, either rinse it off or wipe it off with warm water and a shop towel and let dry completely), or scuffed up with a 100 to 150 grit sandpaper or sanding block to allow proper adhesion of an additional coat of RustBullet. This 48 hour period is decreased in areas with higher humidity levels. Remember, the surface to be coated must be completely dry.

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11. What steps are required when applying a top coat over Rust Bullet?

A topcoat should be applied from the time the Rust Bullet Coating is dry to the touch, up to 24 hours after the final coat of Rust Bullet. It is necessary to allow enough time for the curing or gassing off process to complete. The application of a top coat before this process is complete, may result in dimpling of the surface and an undesirable finish. If more than 48 hours have lapsed, the Rust Bullet coating should be etched with Rust Bullet Metal Blast (simply spray it on, wait 15-30 minutes, either hose it off or wipe it off with warm water and a shop towel and let dry completely), or lightly sanded with 100-150 grit sandpaper, before applying the top coat, to ensure proper adhesion. This 48 hour period is decreased in areas with higher humidity levels. 

If a spray application of Rust Bullet has been accelerated by adding Rust Bullet Rapid Fire Accelerator, a topcoat may be applied approximately one hour after the final coat of the accelerated Rust Bullet coating has been applied.

If you are using a premium finishing paint and the manufacturer has specific primer requirements, it is recommended you apply the primer over Rust Bullet after the surface has been scuffed. Rust Bullet is an excellent adhesion promoter and enhances the adhesive properties of almost any topcoat paint.

Rust Bullet and Rust Bullet Automotive are metallic gray in color and UV resistant. It is only necessary to apply a topcoat if you desire a different color other than metallic gray. Rust Bullet Topcoats are formulated specifically as a topcoat for both Rust Bullet Standard and Rust Bullet Automotive formulas if a smooth gloss finish is desired. Rust Bullet Coatings are a urethane coating and may be used in conjunction with any coating compatible with urethane and aluminum.

Rust Bullet Topcoats are scratch and chip resistant, UV resistant as well as resistant to Acid Splash and Chemical Solvents. Our Topcoats are excellent protective stand alone coatings, requiring no basecoat or topcoat; however, the combination of these premier topcoats over Rust Bullet or Rust Bullet Automotive will provide the ultimate surface protection. Always follow the manufacture recommendations.

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12. What is necessary prior to applying body paint?

For best results, the surface should be coated with a high build sandable primer prior to applying the desired automotive finish paint. Always follow the recommendations of the manufacturer of primers, sealers and finish paints for a proper application. Once a Rust Bullet Coating has dried to the touch, up to 48 hours, a primer may be applied directly to the Rust Bullet coating. If more than 48 hours have lapsed the Rust Bullet coating must be scuffed up prior to the application of the primer. The best method to scuff up a fully cured Rust Bullet coating is using Rust Bullet Metal Blast Surface Cleaner and Conditioner.

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13. Is Rust Bullet appropriate for undercoating my vehicle?

Rust Bullet Coatings are ideal for undercoating a vehicle and will provide outstanding protection against corrosives and abrasives. Use the Rust Bullet Automotive formula if you are using HVLP spray equipment for the application. Rust Bullet BlackShell is an excellent gloss black topcoat for the undercarriage of a vehicle. Rust Bullet Topcoats are specifically designed as the optimum topcoat for Rust Bullet Standard or Rust Bullet Automotive Formulas.

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14. Is Rust Bullet recommended for use on small engine gasoline tanks?

Rust Bullet is not affected by gas itself. Rust Bullet was not designed as a small engine tank sealer on the inside of a small engine gasoline tank. We have not tested for this application and can offer no promise as to what the outcome will be if used as such. Rust Bullet can be used on the exterior, but it was not designed for internal use on a small engine gas tank.(Motorcycles, lawnmowers, etc.). There is no guarantee the inside of the tank is covered evenly or thoroughly. The inside of the tank does not receive proper air circulation for the coating to cure properly.
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15. Is Rust Bullet recommended for use on an exhaust system?

After curing, all Rust Bullet coatings have a service temperature range of 314°F (157°C) continuous, and can tolerate maximum temperatures between 617°- 662°F (325°-350°C) for up to 72 hour periods. Rust Bullet provides excellent protection for most engine components; however, is not recommended for coating exhaust systems due to the excessive heat produced on headers, exhaust manifolds, catalytic converter or exhaust pipes.
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16. Can I apply Rust Bullet under a truck bed liner?

Yes. Rust Bullet provides excellent surface protection under bed liner material. Apply Rust Bullet according to the application guidelines. As with the addition of any topcoat or other product, if 48 hours have lapsed after the final coat of Rust Bullet, the surface should be etched with Rust Bullet Metal Blast or scuffed with100-150 grit sandpaper or sanding block to ensure proper adhesion of the liner material. This 48 hour period is decreased in areas with higher humidity levels. Always follow manufacturer recommendations.
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17. What are the effects of fuels on a cured Rust Bullet Coating?

Fossil fuels, such as refined oils (gasoline, diesel, jet fuels and kerosene) will not affect the integrity of the cured Rust Bullet Coating. Additionally, renewable fuels such as Biodiesel and Ethanol will have no adverse affect on substrates coated with Rust Bullet Products.


18. Can Rust Bullet be applied over existing paint?

When you have an existing coating that exhibits poor adhesion and is flaking off any coating applied over that coating is subject to the same behavior. As this coating continues to lose its bond with the substrate, the Rust Bullet or any coating on top would pull up with it or bubble. You can scuff up the surface and apply several coats of Rust Bullet, and extend the life. Although it will provide protection and longevity, it will not have the optimum performance of an application over a surface that does not have an existing coating failure. To achieve maximum adhesion and performance, it is always recommended to remove any old paint or coating before applying Rust Bullet Coatings.
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