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Paint loss

I have an '06 Ford Escape Hybrid that has a tennis ball size patch on the roof that is missing paint. The sheet metal is exposed & has the faintest amount of surface rust on it. It looks as if the paint bubbled in that one area & peeled off. I’m not really concerned with aesthetics that much, but wanted to know what folks recommended for patching this spot. I assume I would need to remove the rust (it’s barely noticeable) before applying any kind of primer. Do they sell patch paint in an aerosol can that matches the factory finish? I don’t have the money budgeted for any full paint job at the dealer, MAACO, or wherever. I just want to halt any more rust & patch the paint without it looking too ‘ghetto’. Any suggestions?

Yes, you can paint it yourself. Get some auto body sandpaper and sand the rust off Thoroughly. Even microscopic bits of rust will grow again under the paint, so be sure to get it all off. Then mask the area around the spot with newspaper and masking tape. Spray on a few coats of gray auto body primer, letting it dry thoroughly between coats. Then top coat with matching color spray from the auto parts store. Let dry and finish with some clear coat spray on top.

Don’t wait because the rust will grow quickly and become diffiult to remove.

Must have been some ssttrooonngg coffee they set up there :wink:

Thanks, jesmed1. I figured I’d be prepping by sanding; it’s always the prep that’s such a pain.

ken green, I don’t know what caused it. I bought it used & it wasn’t there when I bought it to my recollection. It was weird that it was only in one spot. The rest of the paint is flawless. I can only think of 2 causes:

  1. snow/ice that slid off during the winter driving
  2. my young girls think its fun to climb on top of the car

It doesn’t sound like too much of a pain to do it myself; just need to find the time to do it. How many coats of top coat & clear coat is sufficient?

I would do two each.

Just a note of caution- if you decide to sand the area, you need to strip it of any wax (or any other foreign) residue first. If you just start sanding the current paint around the bare spot, you’ll pollute the bare metal with the wax residue and it may spoil your paint adhesion.

The number of coats will be dependent on how heavily you apply it and what standard of quality you expect. If the rest of the car is in really good shape, here’s what I would do-

I would use naval jelly to convert the rust. Be really careful, it will remove paint if left on it. Use it sparingly on a rag only where rusty. Follow directions but once the rust disappears (15 minutes or so), flood/rinse the entire area really good with water. Then wash the roof with something like dawn dishwashing liquid soap. This will wash off any remaining jelly and strip the roof of any residual wax in preparation for painting. Let it dry in the sun. Paint as soon as it is dry but definitely within 24 hours, you need to prime and paint.

Move it to the painting spot and allow roof to cool. Wipe the entire area to be painted with a lint free rag soaked in Isopropyl alcohol. When dry, prime the bare spot. It will dry very quickly. Primer is not water resistant so you need to shoot the color shortly afterward, not a week later.

Shoot the color coats over the primer and fade into the surrounding good paint. Use multiple light coats, they dry faster and are less prone to runs and sags.

Wet sand or use polishing compound to refine the color coat and blend it into the surrounding paint. Do not get too aggressive, you can burn through the color and into the primer. You just want to remove any loose paint that dried in the air and blend the edges. Clean off and dry.

Then shoot the entire roof with clear. This will blend the patch into the rest of the roof and make it less noticeable. Again, two light coats are better than a single heavy one.

When shooting the paint, always stay with the wet front. Don’t go all the way across the entire length and then come back to a completely dry spot. If it flash dries before you get back, it will be noticeable. Look at an angle while working and you will see what is wet and where it is drying.

It sounds like a lot spelled out like this but it’s not bad at all to get to this level of finish quality which will look better than having noticeable lines where the old paint stopped and new stuff begins…

Just like TT’s advice about cleaning. my joke about strong coffee is actually an important caution.
What caused it in the first place ?
Any residual could cause the repaint to bubble again. So, an extensive cleaning is paramount.

My kids climb on my 3 trucks and none have peeling paint. In fact, they ‘camp out’ on the roof of the Expedition ! ( 3 kids or mare with pillows and blankets to watch the meteor shower, eclipse, or just the stars. )

+2 on Turbo’s advice. Sanding will not stop the rust. You need to chemically remove it/stop it also or it’ll just bubble up again. Most likely you had a stone chip or something up there and rust started and bubbled up under the finish. If you started sanding the whole roof, you’d probably find lots of small chipped areas with rust forming. Keep a good wax coat on it.

I really don’t know what caused it. I’ve had it for a yr now. I looked at it during lunch & the paint is peeling back at the edges of the bare spot. Unfortunately, I also a few more spots on the roof just on the “top” side of the lift gate at the hinge.
Can’t blame that on the kids. there’s no rust in those spots; just bare metal.

Usually when paint peels from one area of the body, there was some sort of contamination in the area that didn’t allow the paint to adhere.

The area must be first cleaned of any contamination before any work is performed.

Then sand the rust until it’s all removed.

Then prime the area.

Clean the area again and remove any dust with a tack cloth.

Then with 1000 grit sandpaper wet sand the primer so it’s feathered into the surrounding area.

Clean the area again and tack cloth it.

Apply the base coat.

Then with 2000 grit sandpaper wet sand the base coat so it’s feathered into the surrounding area.

Take buffer and buffing compound and buff the paint into the surrounding area.

Clean and tack cloth.

Apply the clear coat.

With 3000 grit sandpaper wet sand the clear coat into the surrounding area.

With a buffer and buffing compound, buff the clear coat into the surrounding area.

With a buffer and polishing compound, polish the clear coat until featured into the surrounding area.

Wait a month and wax the area.