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Is Rustoleum LeakSeal Flexible Rubber Coating suitable for car bodies?

14 years ago a bear attacked my pickup while I was out hiking. She bent the cowl louver completely over, the hood edge touching the windshield edge. I bent it back and re-anchored it but it still bends slightly and every attempt I have made at painting it has cracked at the bent spot. It annoyed me again recently so I stopped by the paint section for new inspiration and saw Rustoleum LeakSeal Flexible Rubber Coating, the description of which makes it seem as if it would work; it even comes in clear and can be painted over. I have an '87 pickup whose clear-coat long ago baked and sanded and blew away: it’s not pretty (but the engine still has the correct compression, it gets book mileage, and everything else mechanical works well), so I don’t care much how it looks.

I also thought of that vinyl grip paint made to coat tool handles.

Has anyone an idea about these?

I’ve not seen anyone try the LeakSeal, but the vinyl grip paint, known as PlastiDip, has been modified to work as a car coating. See it at They have lots of user videos on YouTube. I’m considering this for one of my beaters.

PlastiDip: that’s the stuff. The ads, and testimonials on, say that you can peel it off easily if you don’t like it. That doesn’t sound like it sticks well. The guys on dipyourcar paint already-painted vehicles; I’m painting bare metal: does that matter?

I’d put a primer coat on first if it is bare metal. The dip sticks pretty good. If you watch some of the videos, you can see how it takes some effort to peel off, so ‘easy’ is a relative term.

there will be a boundary between the patch and the original paint - same problem when patching the body - is that a problem? one of my back-burner projects…

I want to protect the metal. I don’t care about variations in the look.

@RandomTroll “I want to protect the metal. I don’t care about variations in the look”

precisely - the boundary is where the elements can invade.

It’s a 1987. What do you have to loose ? Go for it.

Okay, Mr JuniorMint, doesn’t ‘the boundary is where the elements can invade.’ apply to everything I would do? Or is there something special about PlastiDip that its boundary with regular paint leaks? If so, is there something that would seal the edges? I need only a few inches of coverage. I have to buy a much-larger amount of PlastiDip than I need: I could paint way beyond the target area.

Mr BustedKnuckles recommended that I prime the bare metal before PlastiDipping - the primer cracks too.

To Mr Dagosa: I have time and money to lose. It’s not a big deal but worth asking about in hope that someone has experience. I could just go on repainting it every year.

I wonder if it wouldn’t be easier to just find a different one from a salvage yard - that hasn’t been molested by a bear. Short of that I’d be tempted by the Plastidip because it is flexible. The primer underneath may or may not crack after some amount of time, but its only job is to help the plastidip stick. So once that is on there, the job is basically done.

@RandomTroll " doesn’t ‘the boundary is where the elements can invade.’ apply to everything I would do? Or is there something special about PlastiDip that its boundary with regular paint leaks?"

(note: the following should be read in a man’s voice - Peter Cullen, or even Morgan Freeman would be good):

in order: I suppose so and I don’t know.

I’m really not going to be able to help here, because I am wondering about these types of things myself.

Easier to find one in a salvage yard? Hard to believe.

The primer underneath cracks: the metal underneath rusts. Once it cracks anything attached to it loses its grip. Primer isn’t like flux one uses with soldering or welding; primer separates the paint applied on top of it from the metal underneath. If I prime metal first then paint the primer with PlastiDip when the primer cracks the PlastiDip falls off. I suppose if PlastiDip infiltrated primer that could keep primer from cracking - but that’s not what it does.

I notice PlastiDip has noticed this conversation.

I’m kinda confused. The primer will crack? That typically happens if you have a badly contaminated surface or a lot of flex in the surface. Both can be resolved. Or is it badly rusted? Even PlastiDip won’t stick to rust or contamination. Maybe post a picture of the damaged surface?

“Easier to find one in a salvage yard? Hard to believe.”

Ummm. Yeah. How long have you been messing around with the thing? How many times have you messed with it? You make it sound like a lot. I’m not sure why you find that easy.

You can get here with your keyboard:

The primer has cracked, every time: that’s why the place that cracks doesn’t just stop being red but starts rusting. The problem is a lot of flex in the surface: that’s the topic of this discussion. I’ve fixed lots of other places the finish has damaged - from the looks of it nearly the whole body - this is the only place the finish continues to fail; everywhere else holds until some jerk runs into me or a rock gets kicked up or any of the other insults a car’s body is heir to. It’s not badly rusted because I attend to it quickly. I know how to paint correctly and do it correctly, including sanding down to shiny metal. If Mr BustedKnuckles has advice on how to make it not flex I’d be glad to read it. It is already perfectly anchored on both sides.

I’ve re-painted it some 5 times. It takes a few minutes and doesn’t require a trip anywhere or significant amounts of money - I have paint left over from other repairs. I’d like to know how to make the paint there stick as well as it does everywhere else - I’d just like to know. Buying another part is giving up: I still wouldn’t know. And I’ve hunted around in junkyards to help friends; it’s not my idea of fun.

So let me ask you something. You came in asking about flexible rubber coatings. It was suggested that you try a flexible rubber coating. But then you went on to skepticism about flexible rubber coating working. So then there were other suggestions that don’t have to do with flexible rubber coatings. But those are no good to your either. In fact, it just seems that your situation is impossible - according to your own theory that your situation is impossible.

So what is it, exactly, that you want to know? And if it’s not an idea on flexible rubber coatings, then why did you ask about those? Or is all of this just about your chosen screen name - RandomTroll?

I began the thread asking about Rust-Oleum LeakSeal to paint a bit of my pickup that flexes enough to crack every paint I have put on it. No one had experience with it.

Some suggested PlastiDip, which I investigated and asked questions about, namely that all the examples at were for applying PlastiDip over existing intact paint; I’m painting bare metal. One responder told me I should prime the spot first. I pointed out that the primer I applied cracked, which didn’t bode well for PlastiDip holding. Maybe applying PlastiDip to bare metal would work - or maybe not if it doesn’t hold to bare metal well.

I don’t recall any other flexible rubber (plastic, actually) coatings mentioned.

Whatever you apply, I would strongly suggest that you scuff the surface up with a Scotch-Brite pad and clean it thoroughly with lacquer thinner before the application.