My car's trunk lid has a nasty rust spot. My Dad recently asked me why I don't just sand it down, bondo and paint it and that probably isn't a bad idea. The thing is that from the outside it looks manageable but on the inside of the trunk lid the sheet metal is folded over and it looks like there's already a decent amount of rust both on the inside of the crease and in the hard to reach area below it.

Is it too far gone? Will the rust just creep through a few months later?

I have some experience spray painting but I never removed rust before.

2002 VW Polo 9N

rust spot on the outside rust spot on the inside

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Commented Apr 23, 2020 at 12:10

1 Answer 1


As far as the rust goes, you are exactly right in when you can see rust, the rust you can see is only the tip of the iceberg. Usually there's a ton of rust you can't see. The easiest (and probably cheapest) way to repair this is to go to the junkyard (breakers) or out on Criagslist (or eBay or wherever) and find a replacement trunk lid which is already painted the correct color. If you can pick one up for $50 or so which is the right color to begin with, it will save you a ton of time, money, effort, and angst. Just pop the old one off, line up the new one, and bolt it in. This is probably the best way to go for any removable part like the trunk lid, doors, or what have you. Even if you find one which isn't the right color, it's probably cheaper/easier to get a replacement and have it painted. The problem with rust, as I've already stated is, there's usually more which you can't see ... if you repair this now, give it a couple of years and it will most likely be back with a vengeance.

As far as your question goes, that's something only you can answer for yourself. Is it worth it to you? I know what I would do.

  • 1
    This is a good answer to a somewhat opinion based question. If there's rust there it will almost certainly be appearing other places as well, you have to think about how much you want to spend on the car's appearance @dohamann.
    – GdD
    Commented Apr 23, 2020 at 13:16
  • For a < one year repair ;sand and touch up ( outer surface ) with paint in a little touch-up bottle ( with built in brush.) Commented Apr 23, 2020 at 15:53
  • You can go down the rabbit hole chasing rust .
    – Moab
    Commented Apr 23, 2020 at 19:18

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