How To Hide Rust On Wheel Wells (5+ Ways Explained)

To conceal rust on wheel wells, you can clean and paint the area, using a rust converter followed by matching paint. Alternatively, consider installing a wheel well liner or splash guard, using a wheel well cover or fender flare for a sleek appearance, or seeking professional repair for extensive rust. Addressing rust promptly is essential, and implementing maintenance measures like rustproofing can help prevent future issues.

Visible rust can be an eyesore on wheel wells, making a car look old and neglected.

But it doesn’t have to be this way!

With a few simple steps, you can hide that rust and transform the wheel wells on your car into a source of pride.

Painting, priming, and waxing are all great ways to hide rust from sight, giving your car’s wheel wells a smooth, clean look.

With the right supplies and a bit of elbow grease, you can make that rust disappear and make your car look and feel brand new.

How To Hide Rust On Wheel Wells (5+ Ways Explained)

Prepare The Wheel Well

To commence the preparation process, any existing rust must be removed from the wheel well. Afterward, a thorough cleaning of the surface is needed to ensure a smooth and even application of the primer. Finally, the wheel well must be primed to provide a stable base for paint.

Remove Any Existing Rust

Having already prepped the wheel well, it is now time to remove any existing rust. Rust is a destructive force that can quickly corrode metal if left unchecked. It is important to take measures to protect the wheel well from any future rusting.

The first step in removing rust is to use an angle grinder with a wire brush attachment. This is a quick and effective way to scour away the rust. The wire brush attachment should be used on the lowest speed setting to ensure that the metal remains intact. After the rust has been removed, it is important to inspect the wheel well for any remaining rust. If any rust is found, it should be removed using sandpaper.

Once the rust has been completely removed, it is important to clean the wheel well. This can be done using a damp cloth and a mild detergent. It is important to ensure that the cloth is not too wet, as this could cause the metal to rust. After the wheel well is clean, it should be dried thoroughly. This will help to prevent any future rust from forming. Once the wheel well is clean and dry, it is time to prime it.

Clean The Surface

The next step in preparing the wheel well is to clean the surface. To ensure a successful paint job, the wheel well must be thoroughly cleaned of any dirt, dust, or debris. A wire brush can be used to scrape away any rust and remove any lingering particles.

Then, use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheel well. For any particularly stubborn spots, use a mild detergent and a stiff brush to get into the crevices and remove any dirt or residue. Once the wheel well is completely clean, make sure to dry it completely.

Finally, use a damp cloth or brush to wipe away any left-over dust. This step is particularly important, as any particles left behind can prevent the paint from adhering properly. After the wheel well is completely dry, it is ready for priming.

Priming The Wheel Well

Having removed any existing rust and thoroughly cleaned the surface of the wheel well, it is now necessary to prime the area. Priming the wheel well is an important step, as it will help to ensure a smooth and even finish when applying the final coat of paint.

The primer should be sprayed onto the wheel well using a spray gun, taking care to ensure an even coverage. Depending on the type of primer used, it may need to be applied in several thin layers in order to achieve the desired result. Once the wheel well has been properly primed, it should be left to dry for the required amount of time according to the instructions provided with the primer.

Once the primer is completely dry, the wheel well is ready to be painted. At this point, any imperfections or damage to the wheel well should be corrected, such as filling in any dents or holes with a suitable filler. This will help to ensure a satisfactory finish once the final coat of paint is applied.

Apply A Primer

Choosing the right primer for the job is essential for achieving optimal results. Applying primer evenly is imperative to achieving a smooth surface and rust removal should always be done prior to priming.

Choose The Right Primer

To get the most out of the primer, it is important to choose the right type. There are many types available, including oil-based, water-based, and epoxy-based. Each type provides varying levels of adhesion, rust protection, and durability.

Oil-based primers offer excellent adhesion to metal surfaces, making them ideal for wheel wells. They also provide great rust protection and are highly durable. However, they can be difficult to clean up and are not suitable for use on plastic components.

Water-based primers are easy to clean up and can be used on plastic. They also provide a good amount of adhesion and can protect against rust, although not as much as oil-based primers. The downside is that they are not as durable as oil-based primers and can be prone to fading.

Epoxy-based primers are the most durable of the three types, but they also offer the least amount of adhesion. They are ideal for wheel wells that require a hard finish, but they are not suitable for plastic components. Additionally, they do not offer as much rust protection as oil and water-based primers.

When deciding which type of primer to use for a wheel well, it is important to consider the desired level of adhesion, rust protection, and durability. Each type offers different benefits, so it is important to select the one that is best suited to the project.

Apply Primer Evenly

Having prepared the wheel well with a wire brush and rust remover, it is now time to apply a primer. Choosing the right primer is important, as it will ensure a better bond between the primer and the paint, ultimately producing a better end result. Once the right primer has been selected, it is time to apply it evenly.

When applying primer, it is important to use even strokes, preferably with a paintbrush or roller. As the primer is applied, pay close attention to make sure the coat of primer is even and smooth. Any areas that appear patchy or uneven should be blended into the primer already on the wheel well. Additionally, the primer should be applied to the edges of the wheel well to ensure a complete coverage of the area.

It is also important to take the time to inspect the wheel well for any newly exposed rust. If rust appears, it should be removed using a wire brush or rust remover before proceeding with the application of the primer. This will ensure that the rust does not spread under the primer and cause further damage to the wheel well. Taking the time to properly apply the primer will ultimately result in a better finished product.

Rust Removal

Having prepared the wheel well for painting, the next step is to apply a primer. Before doing so, however, it is important to ensure that any rust in the wheel well is dealt with properly. To start the rust removal process, first take a wire brush and gently scrape away any loose rust flakes from the surface of the wheel well. Take caution not to press too hard as this may cause damage to the surface. In order to remove the rust which has become ingrained in the wheel well, a rust-removal chemical should be used. After selecting the appropriate chemical, pour it into a bowl or bucket and use a brush to apply it to the area. Be sure to cover the entire wheel well with the chemical, and leave to sit for the prescribed amount of time. Once the time has elapsed, take a clean cloth and wipe away the rust. Rinse the wheel well with water and inspect the surface for any remaining rust. If necessary, repeat the chemical application and wiping process until all traces of rust are gone. Once the rust is completely removed, the wheel well is ready to be primed.

Apply Rust-Inhibiting Paint

Choosing the right paint for rust-inhibition is an important step in the process. It should be formulated to prevent rust, withstand the elements, and provide a smooth finish. Taking the time to apply the paint evenly ensures the best protection from rust and corrosion. Careful attention should be paid to the application, as this will be the basis for a long-lasting and durable rust-inhibiting paint job.

Choose The Right Paint

With the foundation of the primer in place, it’s time to choose the right paint for the job. Rust-inhibiting paint is designed to protect surfaces from the pervasive threat of moisture and corrosion. The most effective paint will be one that is designed for the specific surface being painted. An oil-based paint is often the best choice for metal, but it’s important to check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the surface being painted.

The thickness of the paint is also an important factor. For metal surfaces, a thicker paint will provide better protection. Thicker paint also does a better job of hiding any imperfections in the surface. The downside of thicker paint is that it can be difficult to apply evenly. It’s important to avoid brush strokes and to use a roller or a sprayer if possible.

When selecting a color, it’s important to consider whether the goal is to make the surface look more attractive or to provide better protection. If the goal is to protect the surface, then going with a light color can help reflect the sun’s heat and reduce the amount of surface temperature rise. This can provide additional protection against rust and corrosion. On the other hand, if the goal is to look more attractive, then it’s best to choose a darker color that will better hide the imperfections on the surface.

Apply Paint Evenly

Now that the primer has been applied, it is time to begin applying the rust-inhibiting paint. It is important to remember that in order to achieve the desired results, the paint must be applied evenly. To ensure that the paint is spread evenly, it is recommended to take the time to use the right materials and techniques.

The best method for applying the paint is with a roller. This allows the paint to be evenly spread over the surface with minimal effort. When using the roller, make sure to start at one corner and work your way around the area in a consistent motion. This will ensure that the paint is spread evenly and without any bumps or ridges. Additionally, use a back and forth motion when applying the paint. This will help to fill in any crevices or bumps that may have been missed when using the roller.

For further accuracy, it is also a good idea to use a brush for the edges and hard-to-reach places. A brush allows for greater control when applying the paint. Simply use a steady hand and an eye for detail to ensure that the paint is spread evenly and without leaving any gaps.

Using these techniques, the rust-inhibiting paint will be applied evenly and with great precision. Now that the paint has been applied, the surface will be well-protected against rust and other forms of corrosion.

Applying Rust-Inhibiting Paint

Having applied the primer and allowed it to dry, the next step is to apply the rust-inhibiting paint. Choosing the right paint for the job is essential, as it must be capable of withstanding the environment it will face. Look for paints that are specifically labeled as rust-inhibiting and use an oil-based formula.

Before applying the rust-inhibiting paint, it is important to make sure the surface to be painted is properly prepared. Take the time to make sure that all dirt, grime, and other debris are removed from the surface. This will help ensure the rust-inhibiting paint adheres properly and provides the greatest protection.

Once the surface is properly prepared, the rust-inhibiting paint should be applied evenly. Start at the top and work down, using smooth, horizontal strokes. Allow the paint to dry completely before applying a second coat. This will ensure the best coverage and protection possible. The rust-inhibiting paint should be applied until the desired coverage is achieved.

Apply Protective Sealant

When it comes to applying a protective sealant, choosing the right sealant is the first step. Then, evenly apply the sealant to create a strong protective layer. Afterwards, consider applying rust converter to prevent further damage.

Choose The Right Sealant

After ensuring that the rust-inhibiting paint has been applied evenly, the next important step is to choose the right sealant. It is important to select a sealant that will protect the paint from the environment and that will last for a long period of time.

The right sealant should be chosen based on multiple factors, such as the condition of the surface and the types of chemicals that may come into contact with the sealant. For instance, if there is a chance that the surface will come into contact with harsh chemicals, such as salt water, then the sealant should be able to withstand these corrosive materials. Additionally, the sealant should also be able to handle extreme temperatures, as this will help to ensure that the paint job lasts for a longer period of time.

The type of sealant chosen should also be based on the surface that it will be covering. For example, if the surface is a light-colored one, then a light-colored sealant should be chosen. On the other hand, if the surface is a dark-colored one, then a darker sealant should be used. This will help to ensure that the sealant does not clash with the paint job. In addition, the sealant should also be easy to apply and should provide an even coverage over the entire surface. This will help to ensure that the paint job is properly protected.

Apply Sealant Evenly

Finally, it is time to seal in all of the hard work from the previous steps. Choosing the right sealant is essential to ensure the best protection for the metal surface. Once the correct sealant is chosen, applying it evenly and meticulously is key to creating a strong barrier that will stand up to the elements.

When applying the sealant, take your time and focus on spreading it evenly. The nature of the sealant requires that it is applied in a thin, consistent layer, so that there are no gaps or weak spots in the barrier. To achieve this thin, even layer, start in the middle of the surface and make small circles or figure eights with the applicator. This circular motion ensures that the sealant is spread out evenly in all directions.

It is also important to ensure that the sealant is getting into all of the nooks and crannies of the surface. Take care to move the sealant into any indents or seams, as these are areas that could be prone to rust if left unprotected. Make sure to cover the entire surface with the sealant and pay particular attention to the edges. Once complete, take a step back and make sure that the sealant is evenly distributed. If there are any areas that look sparse, go back and touch them up. When the sealant is applied evenly, the metal surface will be well-protected for years to come.

Applying Rust Converter

Having applied the rust-inhibiting paint, the next step in the process is applying a protective sealant. Now, one must choose the right sealant for the job. For this task, a rust converter is the ideal product, as it not only adds protection against moisture, but provides a layer of protection against the formation of rust.

When applying rust converter, it is important to do so evenly, in order to ensure maximum coverage. The best way to achieve this is by using a long-handled paint roller. The extended reach of the roller will allow for a consistent application, without the need to stand on a ladder or scaffolding. Additionally, the roller should be prepped with a thin layer of rust proof paint, in order to ensure a smooth, even application.

Once the rust converter has been applied, it should be allowed to dry thoroughly before applying a second coat. This will ensure that the rust converter is given the necessary time to adhere to the surface, thus providing maximum protection. Additionally, the rust converter should be applied in multiple thin coats, rather than a single thick coat. This will help to ensure that the rust converter is properly sealed and that it will last for years to come.

Apply Rust-Proofing Spray

Choosing the right rust-proofing spray is essential for protecting the wheels of your car from rust and corrosion. Applying the spray evenly is key to ensure maximum coverage. Finally, you must clean the wheels before applying the rust-proofing spray to remove any dirt or debris that could prevent the spray from adhering to the wheels.

Choose The Right Rust-Proofing Spray

The next step in the process is to choose the right rust-proofing spray. It is important to choose a reliable brand of spray that is designed for automotive rust prevention. For best results, look for a spray that contains zinc and phosphate, which are two of the most common rust-proofing agents. Additionally, choose a product that is easy to apply and will not require extra steps or too much effort.

When selecting a rust-proofing spray, it is important to consider the climate of the area in which the car is stored. For example, if the car is stored in a humid climate, it is important to find a spray with a heavier viscosity that will form a protective seal. On the other hand, if the car is stored in a dry climate, a lighter spray may be sufficient.

Finally, read the product reviews and compare different brands to determine the best rust-proofing spray for the job. It is wise to look for a product that has a good reputation and can provide reliable protection against rust and corrosion for many years. By taking the time to find the best-suited rust-proofing spray, drivers can ensure that their car is well-protected and will look great for years to come.

Apply Spray Evenly

Having applied the protective sealant, it’s time to move on to the next step – applying rust-proofing spray. To ensure that the car stays rust-free and protected from the elements, it is important to apply the spray evenly.

The first step is to choose the right rust-proofing spray. The spray should be designed to protect metal surfaces from rust and corrosion. It should also be non-toxic and odorless in order to maintain the car’s original look. Once the right spray has been chosen, the next step is to apply it evenly.

When applying the spray, start by spraying the wheel well. Make sure to cover the entire area and get into all the nooks and crannies. Follow this up by spraying the wheel. Pay special attention to the areas behind the spokes and between the spokes. Make sure to coat the entire wheel and to evenly spread the spray. If there are any areas that have been missed, apply the spray again to make sure that the wheel is fully protected.

When applying the spray, it is important to maintain an even and consistent pressure. This will help ensure that the spray is applied evenly and that the car is fully protected from rust and corrosion. After applying the rust-proofing spray, take the time to clean the wheel and make sure that the spray has been evenly applied. This will help maintain the car’s original look and ensure that it remains rust-free.

Cleaning The Wheels

Next, it is important to make sure that the wheels are as clean as possible before applying the rust-proofing spray. Any dirt, grime, or other debris that is left on the wheel can interfere with the performance of the rust-proofing spray. To clean the wheels, start by rinsing the wheels with a hose and a low-pressure spray nozzle. This will help to loosen and remove any large pieces of debris. Afterward, use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the wheel, paying particular attention to any areas with dirt or debris. Finally, rinse the wheel with a hose and a low-pressure spray nozzle once more to remove any remaining dirt or debris.

Once the wheels are clean, dry them off with a clean, soft cloth. It is important to make sure that the wheels are completely dry before applying the rust-proofing spray. Any water left on the wheel can prevent the spray from adhering properly, leading to a less effective rust-proofing application. After drying off the wheels, the rust-proofing spray can be applied as instructed on the product label.

Inspect The Wheel Well

Carefully inspecting the wheel well is essential to maintaining a vehicle’s condition. Utilizing a flashlight, check for any signs of rust that may have formed, as rust can quickly spread and cause significant damage. To ensure its condition remains optimal, monitor the wheel well regularly and apply a rust protection coating if necessary.

Check For Signs Of Rust

It is important to inspect the wheel well after applying the rust-proofing spray. This will help to ensure that no rust has formed and to also keep an eye out for any potential rust in the future. To check for signs of rust, start by visually inspecting the wheel area. Look for any discoloration, bubbles, or flakes of paint. If any of these are present, they could be an indication of rust formation. Then, feel the area with your hands to check for any rough patches, as these could also be signs of rust.

In order to prevent rust from forming in the future, it is important to monitor the wheel well regularly. If any rust spots are noticed, they should be treated right away. Additionally, it is wise to apply rust protection to the wheel well every few months. This will help protect the area from the elements and keep it looking like new.

Monitor The Wheel Well Regularly

Having applied the rust-proofing spray, the next step is to inspect the wheel well. Like the frame, the wheel well is susceptible to rust, so it’s important to monitor the area regularly. To do so, start by checking for any visible signs of rust on the wheel well. Rust is usually characterized by a reddish-brown color and a flaky texture. When examining the wheel well, look for any discoloration or bubbling on the surface.

When inspecting the wheel well, it’s important to take note of any changes in the area. Over time, rust can spread, so it’s important to monitor the wheel well regularly. After looking for signs of rust, use a flashlight to peek inside the wheel well to see if any rust is developing on the bottom. Taking the time to monitor the wheel well can help detect any rust that may be forming.

The best way to keep the wheel well in good condition is by applying a rust-proofing spray. This will help protect the wheel well from the elements and ensure it stays rust-free. Look for a spray specifically designed for use on a wheel well, as this will provide the best protection. Make sure to cover the entire area thoroughly and reapply the spray every few months. With proper care and maintenance, the wheel well can remain rust-free for years.

Apply Rust Protection

Now that you have rust-proofed the wheel well, it is important to also apply rust protection to the well on a regular basis. This will help to ensure that the wheel stays rust-free and that no new rust develops. Rust protection comes in many forms, including waxes, sealants, and specialized rust-preventative paints.

Wax is a great option for rust protection. It is easy to apply and can be done in a matter of minutes. Simply apply a thin coat of wax to the wheel well with a clean cloth and buff it out until it is glossy. The wax will create a barrier between the wheel and any moisture that could lead to rust.

Sealants are another good option for rust protection. These products form a protective layer over the wheel well that will help to block out moisture and keep the metal free from rust. Sealants are usually applied with a brush or roller and can be found in many automotive stores.

When it comes to rust protection, it is important to make sure that whichever product you choose is specifically designed for automotive use. Applying a product that is not designed for automotive use could potentially cause more harm than good. So, take your time and choose the product that is right for you.

Repair Any Damage

To begin the repair process, any minor damage must first be addressed. This includes filling in any dents and scratches, and using a putty knife to smooth out any imperfections. Once the minor repairs are complete, any damaged parts must be replaced with new ones. Finally, primer must be applied to ensure a smooth, even finish and to prevent rusting.

Repair Minor Damage

Having successfully inspected the wheel well, it is time to begin the repair process. Minor damage can be addressed first, often requiring only a few tools and a bit of elbow grease. To start, a wire brush can be used to remove any rust and debris that has accumulated on the surface of the wheel well. If the surface is particularly dirty, an all-purpose cleaner can be used to further remove any grime that may be present. Once the surface is clean, a can of touch-up paint or primer can be used to seal the area and protect against further rust or corrosion. For particularly deep scratches or dents, a putty knife can be used to fill in the area before painting. Working carefully and thoroughly, these minor repairs can restore the wheel well to its original condition.

Replace Damaged Parts

Time for the real work to begin! Replacing damaged parts is a time consuming, but necessary process. Every inch of the wheel well must be carefully examined to identify any weak spots that need attention.

First, the old, damaged parts must be carefully removed. This requires using a variety of tools such as screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches. Depending on the severity of the damage, some parts may be salvageable and can be reused, but others must be completely replaced. It’s important to ensure that all bolts, nuts, and screws are properly tightened.

After the old parts are removed, the new, replacement parts must be installed. This means aligning the parts so that they fit securely into place. It is essential to take extra care when installing any electronics or wiring. A few extra minutes spent ensuring a proper fit can save a lot of time and frustration later on.

Once the new parts are in place, they must be thoroughly tested to make sure they are functioning properly. If any adjustments or repairs are needed, they should be done now. In the end, it can feel satisfying to see a new, fully functioning wheel well.

Applying Primer

After carefully inspecting the wheel well for any damage, it’s finally time to start the repair process. The first step is to apply primer to the entire wheel well. This will not only provide a better surface for the paint to adhere, but also help protect the metal from further damage.

When applying primer, make sure to use a brush specifically for automotive painting. A brush made from natural bristles will provide the best coverage. Be sure to gently stroke the brush in one direction, avoiding back and forth motions, as this can create air bubbles. After the first coat of primer is dry, you may want to apply a second coat for extra protection.

Once your wheel well is completely covered in primer, it’s time to begin the painting process. Make sure to use a type of paint specifically made for automotive purposes. Using a high-quality paint brush, gently apply the paint in one direction, taking your time to get into all the nooks and crannies.

Maintenance Tips

Maintaining the health of your vehicle’s wheel wells is essential for preserving good roadworthiness, and there are a few tips to keep in mind. Firstly, it is paramount to regularly wash the wheel wells to remove any dirt and debris that can lead to rusting or corrosion. Secondly, waxing the wheel wells on a regular basis helps to further protect them from harm. Lastly, it is important to inspect the wheel wells to ensure they are in good working order.

Regularly Wash The Wheel Wells

Now that the damage is repaired, it’s time to create a regular maintenance plan to keep the wheel wells looking their best. One of the most important facets of this plan is regularly washing the wheel wells. Not only will this keep the wheel wells looking shiny and new, but it will also help remove any salt, mud, or dirt that may have accumulated.

Ideally, the wheel wells should be washed at least once a month, or more often if the vehicle is exposed to harsh weather conditions, such as rain, salt, snow, or dirt. For best results, use a mild car soap, a bucket of warm water, and a soft sponge. Start by dipping the sponge into the soapy water and gently wiping the wheel wells. Make sure to pay special attention to any crevices or hard-to-reach areas, as these are often the areas that get neglected. Rinse off the soap with a hose or bucket of clean water, and then dry the wheel wells with a soft cloth.

Not only will this process help keep the wheel wells looking clean and shiny, but it will also help reduce the likelihood of rust or corrosion. Regularly washing the wheel wells is an important part of any vehicle’s maintenance plan.

Wax The Wheel Wells Regularly

Having done the necessary repairs, it is important to follow a few simple maintenance tips to keep your wheel wells in top condition. One of the most important steps is to wax the wheel wells regularly. Wax will create an invisible barrier that will help protect the wheel wells from dust, dirt, and abrasive materials. It will also help prevent corrosion from forming due to exposure to the elements.

To ensure the best results, it is best to use a high-quality wax specifically designed for cars. Start by applying the wax onto the wheel wells using a soft cloth or brush. Work the wax into the wheel wells thoroughly, making sure to cover all surfaces. Allow the wax to dry for a few minutes before buffing it off with a clean, soft cloth.

The process should be repeated every few months to ensure the wheel wells remain protected and looking their best. With regular waxing, you can be sure that your wheel wells will remain in excellent condition for years to come.

Inspect The Wheel Wells Regularly

Now that the damage to the wheel wells has been repaired, it is time to make sure that the repair is maintained. To do this, one must inspect the wheel wells regularly. Observing the wheel wells can provide valuable information about the condition of the car and can make sure that any further damage is avoided.

One should inspect the wheel wells from the inside and the outside of the car. Checking the tire wear and the alignment is important as they can both indicate a problem with the wheel wells. Carefully examine the wheel wells themselves, looking for any signs of rust, dents, or other damage. It is also important to make sure that the wheel wells are securely fastened. If they are loose, it can cause further damage to the car.

Finally, take a close look at the lines and curves of the wheel wells. Any jagged edges could suggest a problem. Keeping an eye on the wheel wells can help ensure that the car is in top condition and well maintained.


Keeping your wheel wells rust-free is a great way to ensure the longevity of your vehicle. With the right preparation, supplies, and techniques, you can easily hide rust and keep your car looking great. Taking a few steps to prevent rust before it starts with regular maintenance will also help keep your vehicle looking like new. Keeping your car in good condition will also help you save money on costly repairs in the future. So, take the time to protect your vehicle by caring for your wheel wells and keeping them rust-free.

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