Fix a hole in a fibreglass car body by following this simple step by step guide.
As automobile owners drive their cars longer between trade-ins, wear and tear becomes a more frequent problem. When cars age, rust becomes a problem, most often making its appearance as a relatively small hole (rust out) in a fender or rocker panel. If addressed early, small rust holes can be repaired to prevent further spreading of the problem.
Prepare the Rust Out for Patching - Sand the rust out and the area around it using a number 40 (coarse) sandpaper disc on a electric sander. Sand until no rust is seen beneath the paint and sand until bare metal only is exposed (no rust).
Cut away edges of metal if rust surfaces remain. Expand the hole until all rusted edges are removed. Clean the sanded area using naval jelly applied with a rag. Naval jelly will neutralize any remaining and unseen rust. Allow naval jelly to work for 30 minutes and then wipe surface clean.
Insert heavy screwdriver into the hole and wedge downward around the perimeter of the hole to recess the metal edges. The objective here is to create an indentation around the perimeter of the hole that will provide a pocket for the fiberglass patch. If necessary to create this indentation, use the ball peen head of a hammer to indent the edges, creating a pocket 1/2 inch in width around the perimeter.
Patch the Rust Out Hole - Cut fiberglass patch in the shape of, but slightly larger than, the rust hole. The patch should be large enough to cover the hole but small enough to fit within the depression made around the perimeter of the hole in Step 4. Insert the patch into the recessed area, being sure that the adhesive side is down and makes contact with the metal edges.
Mix body filler and hardener according to directions on body filler. Using putty knife, apply mixed body filler in thin layers, beginning with filling the hole, gently covering the glass patch and then the 1/2-inch-wide depression ring surrounding the hole, and continuing up to 2 inches beyond the perimeter of the rust-out hole. Allow body filler to cure overnight before sanding and feathering edges with number 80 sandpaper.
Finish and Paint Patch - Soak one piece of number 240 sandpaper in water and use to further sand the patched area 1/2 to 1 inch into the surrounding paint by feathering the edges. Keep sandpaper and sanded area wet.
Cut a hole in several pages of newspaper 2 inches larger in diameter than the patch and position this hole over the patch, taping the newspaper in place with masking tape on four sides. This will serve as a paint shield during spray painting.
Use masking tape to cover any chrome or painted surface in the vicinity of the area to be painted. Shake the spray can of primer well and hold 14 to 16 inches above the surface while spraying. Apply a very light coat to prevent paint from running, using horizontal hand motions while spraying
Allow primer coat to dry 30 to 40 minutes before sanding with number 400 sandpaper that has been soaked in water. Sand until primer surface is smooth. Clean primed area with rubbing alcohol applied with a clean rag.
Allow surface to dry completely (3 to 4 hours) and apply final paint color following the same procedure as for applying the primer coat. For final color painting, apply multiple, thin coats with drying time between coats to avoid running and blotches. Buff to smooth finish, after paint has dried for 3 days, using a commercial polishing compound.