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How To Remove Rust from An Oil Field Truck

Rust happens, and when it does it’s important to address it as quickly as possible before you must replace truck parts. Oil field trucks can be particularly susceptible to rust due to their size and the amount of wear and tear they endure. You can remove rust and prevent damage safely with these directions.


  • Gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Safety glasses
  • Painter’s tape
  • Masking paper
  • Hand sander
  • 80 to 150 grit sanding attachments
  • Metal grinding wheel
  • 400 grit sandpaper (loose)
  • Paint thinner
  • Metal primer
  • Auto spray paint
  • Rag

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Put on the gloves, glasses, and dust mask. The process of getting rid of rust will kick metal filings up into the air, which can be very dangerous if inhaled.
  2. Using painter’s tape and tape masking paper, block off around the rust spot that is to be repaired. This will prevent any damage where the metal has not rusted over. Leave around four to six inches of room on either side of the rust spot to allow space for the sander.
  3. Use your hand sander to slowly buff away at the rust spot, beginning at 80 grit. Make sure that you get all of the rust. If you cannot get all of the rust out with 80 grit, use your metal grinder attachment to get the last remnants.
  4. Slowly begin buffing the surface in higher grades of grit until you reach 150 grit.
  5. Smooth the surface that you have just sanded with the loose 400 grit sandpaper. At this point, it should be clean and with a dull shine.
  6. Wipe down the entire surface with paint thinner to remove any dirt, dust, or excess metal filings and to prepare the area for paint.
  7. Spray the entire area within the painter’s tape with spray primer. Wait for three to five minutes and then repeat three or four times, until you have a thick and even coat of primer.
  8. Allow the primer to set for at least 12 hours, or overnight.
  9. The next day, sand the primer with 400 grit sandpaper until it is dull and the entire surface is even.
  10. Using a wet rag, wipe off any dust from the primer and then allow it to completely dry.
  11. Once dry, spray the entire area within the painter’s tape with automotive paint. Make sure that your strokes are thin and even. Do not try to coat the vehicle too much at any time, as this will cause dripping.
  12. Wait three to five minutes and repeat the process until the paint is even and opaque.
  13. Allow the vehicle to dry for at least a day before using.

The paint, along with the primer, will help protect your oil field truck from future rusting. Though you could simply sand the rust off to remove it, the vehicle would likely quickly rust again as the metal would be exposed to the elements. With an ordinary vehicle, you would likely jump through some hoops to ensure that the paint is the exact same color as the car–with an oil field truck, all that matters is that it does the job right.

Contact Tiger General

Speaking of getting the job done right – Tiger General always gets the job done right the first time and strives for excellence. Which is why our customers LOVE working with us! If you need a new piece of equipment, fill out the Tiger General Truck Inquiry Form today!