Im going to be getting a Macao paint job inn the coming weeks. they're not doing any primer or anything, the car has its factory paint job, just getting something to match up door paint after replacing a door. I'm not 100% sure if they'll even be painting this inner-lower part of the door, because they're not taking the interior molding off to paint the whole thing or anything. I know they're not painting the inside of the trunk hatch.

Heres the outside and inside of the door currently: enter image description here enter image description here

Im curious what peoples thoughts are on Pros/Cons with:

a) going through with paint job as-is, meaning Macao would likely just paint the exterior, not sure how much of the door's inside would be painted

b) get another driver side door without rust then have it painted

c) use existing door, but sand down rust as best as possible, prime and then have Macao paint

Keep in mind, im just looking for the car to look decent for the next 5-7 years. it won't last forever, especially in the midwest

  • 3
    Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! I'm not a paint & body guy, but I can tell you, if you don't get the rust cleaned up and fixed correctly before you paint it, the rust will be back within a year (if not sooner). You really need to get that fixed or you'll be wasting your time & money. Jun 20, 2020 at 23:36
  • thats what Im afraid of, do you know anything about what to try to avoid when sanding down rusted metal with the goal of re-painting? @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2
    – Jim
    Jun 20, 2020 at 23:41
  • 1
    I'm not quite sure I understand what you mean? You need to get that sanded down to bare metal, then put some rust converter, then sealer, then primer on it (at least I think that's the order). This is something you can do and will save you some money at the shop. Again, I'm not a paint & body guy, so you might want to do some YouTube research on it. Jun 20, 2020 at 23:49

3 Answers 3


As several others have indicated, you need to address the rust prior to getting it painted, otherwise the rust will be back and will probably be worse. There are several videos on YouTube that show how to attack and stop the rust before you get it painted. It will take some elbow grease, some simple tools and some consumables such as primer, filler, rust converter, etc. It's not a hard job, more time consuming than anything else, but above all, don't paint over it.


Here, check this out, https://youtu.be/n4vusY2-rkQ

I'm going to be rattle canning my truck, I've done this before. I came across a great DIY video by ChrisFix on YouTube. Here is link to the video: https://youtu.be/vUdSUDObwVc , check out 12 minutes into the video, Chris talks about hiding "hard lines" even if just wanting to paint a small section of the door, usually the entire panel will need to be done, atleast until you can find a seem or edge to blend the existing paintjob with the new.

Hope this video helps!


The most expensive but probably the best fix is to replace what you have with a rust-free used door and have them repaint it when they do the other side.

Second best would be to media blast the rust on the door with crushed walnut shells. Treat the rust after media blasting with a rust preventative. Do any patching on the outside that's needed with filler and have them refinish. It should buy you a few rust free years if it's done right.

Repaired rust ALWAYS comes back. Always. The galvanized coating that was placed on that part of the body when the car was built has eroded away, and paint alone will not prevent the rust.

There is no magic cure that will stop that from happening unless you just replace the door. Even then, it could be a pattern failure (i.e. all cars of that make and model rust there) in which case replacing the door just buys you time.

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