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Does Treating a Rust Spot with Naval Gel Work?

have a 2003 Ford Taurus SES that had a half-dollar size spot rub off by the sprocket of a buffing machine by a detailer. Unfortunately, it was near the trunk key hole up under the bend of the a little overhang, and I didn’t see it until a while later–so I can’t go after them for the repair.

My cousin told me about this naval gel that supposedly is used on metal ships to arrest the rust by changing its chemical composition. He said to sand as much off as I can, treat it, and then tuse touch up paint on it. My questions:

--Does this naval gel actually work?

--If yes, do I need to prime first and then touch up, or just touch up?

Any info anyone can give me on this would be greatly appreciated. I want to take care of the rust before winter rolls around.

Thanks and have a great day!

Best regards–

Fran H.

Define work. If you mean that it may reduce additional rusting, then yea, it can work. If you mean can it fix rust that it already there, sorry no. It can’t replace metal that is not there. It can’t replace paint. It can’t make the surface smooth enough to paint.

Thanks for responding Joseph. With what you replied would you say it’s worth doing?

I think you’re wanting a ‘rust converter’ treatment, converts the (red) rust into an inert black compound. Not what is called ‘naval jelly’ which, if I recall correctly, gets rid of the rust (with some very active chemicals that might attack paint, too, as well as skin), and leaves bare metal behind, which you would have to prime and paint immediately. I’ve not used a ‘rust converter’, google it, see what you find.

I’ve treated rust areas with naval jelly before. It does do a reasonable job of converting the rust. You need to clean it off really good before painting. And yes, you should prime bare metal before applying any type of color top coat. The primer provides a good bonding surface between the metal and color paint.

I prefer the paint over rust formulations but for a small spot, it’s not economically feasible. The paint is too expensive because you have to buy a pint or more of it.

It’ll “work” for a year or 2. The rust will come back. Rust sleeps, but it doesn’t die.

There are more modern products than Naval Jelly that work better. NAPA stores sell a good one. Ask for a brush-on Rust Converter…I think the brand name is “Extend”

Thanks everyone for all the info–it’s much appreciated. I’m not in the position to have an actual paint job done to fix my issues, and I’m probably not going to be anytime soon. I just want to try to keep a hole from opening up in my trunk lid anytime soon.

In lieu of, or along with, buying and using the rust converter, can I buy a rust converter primer paint for cars that’s more economical than rust converter finish paint (this may be what TwinTurbo was talking about, but I’m not sure)? If there is such a thing, I also wonder if using both is overkill. Thanks again for all the help!!

Fran H.

Extend got bought out by rustoleum, and it has a new name. It acts as a primer so there is no need to prime. It is in almost every auto parts store and has worked well for me, I don’t know if it is better than naval jelly but less mess, fuss, and less dangerous.

I’ve never really found much that works very well except sand blasting the area and prime and paint. Navel Jelly is a very diluted acid and takes forever to dissolve the rust. Extend is just a coating and makes you feel good but doesn’t get down to the base of the rust. Dupont makes an etching solution that works well after wire brushing or sand blasting to then remove all microscopic rust, then prime and paint. If you are going to use something like Navel Jelly, let it sit for a while, then wire brush it, the apply more and repeat until all rust is removed. Then prime and paint again.

I prefer POR-15. I’ve actually put entire frames out in the yard to develop a flash coat of rust before painting them with this product. It provides “tooth” for the paint to adhere better. I have several that were done 10-15 years ago and look like the day they were painted. The newest formulations do not necessarily need topcoating but they only come in black or silver. If it’s visible you probably want a color finish over it. This stuff is not economical for a single spot repair though.

It’s acid and it eats rust and metal and gets it all out. You don’t need it in that location of the body. Sand the rust away and paint it. 100% success.