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How to Fix A Rusted Truck Bed? Is It Worth Fixing Rust on A Truck?

How to Fix A Rusted Truck Bed

If you’re looking for how to fix a rusted truck bed, you need to do the followings:

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  • Prepare the rusted area
  • Use a wire brush to remove larger patches of rust
  • Sand down the area for a smoother surface
  • Use body fillers, if needed
  • Apply a primer at least two times
  • Apply at least three coats of body paint
  • Apply a clear coat

Body rust is a common problem with many truck beds, even those purchased from larger automakers. Getting rid of this rust is a must to prevent damaging the metal frame of your truck.

This article provides you with a step-by-step procedure on how to fix a rusted truck bed. It also highlights when it’s worth fixing the rust on your truck.

Why is rust bad?

Since your vehicle is made almost completely with metal, rust is one of the worst enemies that your vehicle can ever face. Rust primarily targets metal, and it eats it out by some chemical interactions. Using oxidation, rust can easily dissolve your vehicle's metal components, making it weak to do its job. As a result, your vehicle frames and other major components will not hold the vehicle, and you will see it collapsing over time.

Rust does not happen or affect every component in your vehicle. There should be a certain environment for the rust to happen. Usually, rusts require moisture to come and get to the metal component somehow. One might ask, why doesn't the entire vehicle's exterior get rusted since it can be exposed to a lot of moisture, especially on rainy days?

The good news is that certain coatings and paints cover all vehicles to prevent moisture from reaching the metal components or the major structure in your vehicle. However, if the coating or any protective layers got removed for any reason, moisture can easily reach the underlying components and impact them. 

The good news is that rust does not immediately cause significant damages to your vehicle. If you can successfully detect rust and take care of it as soon as possible, you wouldn't reach a stage where rust reaches the metal frame.

If you would like to take good care of your vehicle, we recommend that you remove any rust immediately after you notice it.

Rust can appear in any component around your vehicles external. More specifically, if you own a truck, you expect us to appear a lot on the truck bed because it's exposed to external moisture. 

How to fix a rusted truck bed?

Since your truck bed might not be covered most of the time, it could be one of those components that are susceptible to get rusted more than others. Therefore, one of the very common questions that we receive a lot from truck owners is how to fix a rusted truck bed. 


  • Get the rusted area ready

The first step in how to fix a rusted truck bed is to prepare the impacted area. To do so, you need to make sure that every other component in your vehicle's exterior is covered completely by certain paper or any masking tape.

You don't want the cleaning process to impact the uninfected areas by rust. If you did not completely cover the good portions of your trunk, you can easily scratch the paint and even cause these portions to get trusted. 

  • Use a wire brush to remove the rust

After covering the unimpacted areas, the next step is to use a wire brush or a specific drill to remove any huge areas of rust. Keep in mind that using these tools requires patience and caution to prevent damaging unimpacted areas.

The best part about using wire brushes that you will be able to move the bulk of the rust easily in a short time. 

  • Use sand to get rid of any remaining rust

After using the wire brush or the drill, you'll still have some smaller portions of the remaining crust. Therefore, the next step is to use certain sandpaper, which is usually the 150-grit type. Then, go ahead and sand down any areas that still have minor rust.

  • Clean all sediment and dust

After sending out the remaining rust, it's recommended that you clean out any dust and sediment residual from the cleaning process. Take advantage of this time to inspect the truck bed thoroughly and look for areas that were not cleaned successfully to take care of them before moving to the next steps. 

  • Depending on the severity of the rust, apply a rust restorer or rust remover

Sup automotive experts recommend using certain rust remover or rust restore chemicals to confirm that you have completed the job successfully. Applying these materials take care of any smaller remaining breast areas that you didn't pay attention to.

If you decided to go this route, we recommend that you follow the instructions explained on the chemical package to prevent damaging the truck bed or causing any undesirable outcomes. 

  • Patch any holes using a body filler

In some scenarios, rust might create larger holes inside your vehicle’s body. The best solution is to use body fillers; a chemical compound designed purposely to fill and harden any holes due to corrosion or rust. 

There are plenty of body fillers available in the market. Take a look at some of the available examples and review the main characteristics of each one while making sure the body filler kit’s price is within your budget. Ensure to follow the instructions in detail to prevent any wrong applications from making the filler harden fast in the wrong location.

One thing about body filler to keep in mind is that its mixture hardens very fast. Thus, when you start mixing the kit, you need to work as quickly as possible to make sure you filled the entire hole, and nothing is left before the mixture hardens. 

  • Use sandpaper to smooth the body filler

After patching the holes with the body fillers, it’s important to let them sit for up to 2 hours. Then, sand the area down using 150-grit sandpaper to smooth it out. Continue sanding until the surface of the body filler becomes even with your vehicle’s body. Sometimes you might need to go with finer sandpaper for final touchups.

  • Add several coats of primer

When there is no remaining rust or corrosion on the vehicle’s body, you can go ahead and apply a couple of layers of primer. After letting the primer set for at least four hours to dry out, use 400-grit sandpaper to sand out the area one more time to ensure no remaining rust.

It’s recommended that you repeat the process at least two times before applying the final car paint.

  • Paint the area and apply a finish coat

The primer should set on the vehicle overnight for best results. In the morning, was and dried your truck bed to get it ready for painting. 

Automotive experts recommend applying three coats of body paint to the impacted area and sanding down the area between each application for best results. 

The final step in how to fix a rusted truck bed is to apply a layer of clear coat to give your truck a nice sleek look. Keep in mind that the clear coat is not essential in removing the rust but, it’s more of an aesthetic option.

How much does it cost to repair a rusty truck bed?

Repairing a rusty truck might cost you between $20 and $2,000. The exact price depends on several factors.

For example, if your truck bed is severely rusted, you won’t pay as much as someone who’s trying to fix a truck bed with small rust areas.

Also, if you got the job done at a dealership, costs will be much higher because the hourly rate of dealership employees is much higher than any independent shop mechanics.

Finally, your vehicle’s model, make, and year might be another factor to consider when evaluating how much it will cost to fix a rusted truck bed. Some modern larger vehicles require caution and more time to get rid of the rust than other older smaller trucks. 

Is it worth fixing the rust on a truck?

It all depends on several factors, like the status of your truck and the severity of the rust. For instance, if rust is severe and reached the metal frame of your truck, it might not be work doing some surface cosmetic repairs, and instead, you might need to replace the part.

Also, if your vehicle has many mechanical problems related to major components like the engine or the transmission, it might not be worth fixing its rust. You can sell your truck and use the money as a down payment for another better truck without any rust. 

Why do Chevy trucks rust so badly?

Many customers indicated that Chevy trucks are known for not passing some vehicle tests due to rusted frames. Strangely, most Chevy’s trucks suffer bed rust very badly.

There is not published clear reason behind the rust issue in Chevy’s trucks. But, if you’re planning to buy a used Chevy truck, you need to think twice about the rust issue and bring a professional to inspect the bed before making your final decision.

Can body rust be fixed?

In most cases, yes, body rust can be fixed. However, if rust made its way to the metal frame and created many body holes, it might not be worth fixing the rust, and instead, you should replace the impacted part easier.

What is the best homemade rust remover?

Some drivers found vinegar as the best homemade rust remover. You can try soaking the impacted area or probably rusted screws in vinegar overnight to let the vinegar dissolve any rust before wiping it out.

White vinegar can effectively remove minor rusts; it doesn’t do the best job when dealing with deeper and more severe rusts. Therefore, you need to evaluate the rust on your truck’s bed before relying on vinegar as your final solution.

Will painting over rust stop it?

No, simply painting over rust doesn’t get rid of it. You need to remove all rust using either a wire brush or a special drill before painting over the metal. Paint serves as a protective layer on top of the metal area but doesn’t kill the rust and get rid of it. 

Sometimes experts saw situations where rust expanded after painting over it because the customer didn’t eliminate all rust on the impacted area. 

Does rust come back?

Yes, even after painting your truck bed, there is no guarantee that rust won’t come back. Some mechanics usually treat the metal component after blasting it or removing the rust to prevent rust from forming after painting the impacted area. 

Therefore, if you would like the best results and prevent rust from forming again, you might need to consult your professional mechanic and ask about tools or chemicals you can apply to the metal to prevent rust from coming back.


Learning how to fix a rusted truck is a very good skill to prevent rust from reaching the metal frames of your beloved truck. The process is not too complicated, but it might get a little challenging if your truck bed has many body holes due to rust or corrosion.

To remove the rust, you need to use a wire brush and take out any rust on the surface, sand out the area to clear any remaining rust, use body fillers in case you’re dealing with some body holes, apply a primer at least two times, repaint the truck bed at least three times while sanding the area in between, and finally, apply a clear coat for a final sleek look.

Depending on your vehicle’s status and the severity of the rust, it might not be worth spending time and effort fixing your truck’s bed’s rust. Instead, you’re advised to sell your car to Cash Cars Buyer.

Cash Cars Buyer is one of the top-rated car removal companies in the nation that guarantees to pay you the top dollars and will provide you with free towing despite your living location around the United States. 

Our process is very straightforward and doesn't take more than a couple of days to get your vehicle removed safely and for the most money. 

All it takes you is to:

  • Describe your vehicle’s type, and condition
  • Receive our instant free quote
  • Accept the quote
  • Get your car removed and receive your cash payment on the spot!

To learn more about our process and our teen, you can reach out to us by giving us a call at 866-924-4608 or visit our home page click on the free instant online offer.

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