How I treated the rust on my Jeep with an application of POR-15 paint

By Robert B.

So what exactly is POR-15 paint and how can it cover up rust and prevent it from coming back? It is a rust preventative paint that works by sealing out moisture, and it actually gets harder over time as it bonds to water and keeps it from getting on the metal. For those of you that read my Custom 4x4 rock rails install article, then you probably noticed how rusty my undercarriage is. Just by glancing at the picture to the left and you can see how the salty winter Ohio roads have taken their toll on my undercarriage.

And this leads to my next question, How can I fix this AND prevent it from happening again? By asking questions and checking out posts at the Jeeps Unlimited Forum I had decided to get some POR-15 and apply it to my Jeep's undercarriage. Overtime, I plan to coat my ENTIRE exterior with POR-15 and then a rubberized coating, such as Herculiner or Line-X, and also apply it to my interior underneath my carpet. But as of right now I've only done part of my exterior and I'll add sections to this write-up as I apply POR-15 rust preventative and treatment paint to more and more parts of my Jeep.

Like any good paint job, the most important part is the preparation of the metal to give the paint a good place to bond to.

  • First, I took a good metal wire brush and knocked off all of the cancerous chunks of rust off. I did this for a long time to make sure I got all of the loose flakes. I also used the wire brush on the surrounding areas that weren't rusted so that the POR-15 paint has a good, rough surface to bond to.

  • When I purchased my POR-15 paint I also purchased their product called " Metal Ready " It is a product that helps to neutralize the rust, "etches" the metal, and chemically prepares the rust and surrounding metal to make a better bond with the POR-15 paint. This stuff is not required, but I'm glad I got it. When you spray this stuff onto the rust it foams and bubbles, loosening some of the rust even further. After letting the metal soak for a good 20 to 30 mintues, I took a hose to it to rinse all of the Metal Ready off. Then I let my undercarriage dry for a couple hours.

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  • The next step is the fun part, the painting! But please follow the directions on the container and I'll summarize them here as well. I had about a dozen pair of gloves and could have used more. Mine were a little loose and kept on wanting to fall off. Get some good, tight gloves. Also wear some googles / glasses and a respirator. The last place I want to get this stuff is on my eyes or in my mouth. The fumes are pretty overwhelming, so the respirator helps out in that way as well.
  • Be careful not to get POR-15 on your skin, it won't come off for a few days, and wash any area you get POR-15 on immediately. I purchased a couple paint rollers at Walmart because whatever you use to paint the POR-15 with will have to be thrown away, so don't use your best set of brushes! It would probably have been easier to spray it on, but I didn't have the equipment at the time.
  • One final note, pour the paint out in your tray then IMMEDIATELY close up the can WITH a piece of plastic inbetween the lid and the can or you won't be able to open the POR-15 can again. This set of small cans of POR-15 would probably be a good idea, because you'll probably just be able to pitch the each can as you go without fear of ruining all of the POR-15 paint.

  • I let my first coat dry for about two hours, until it was "slightly" sticky to the touch. Then I applied a second coat of POR-15, making sure I covered the tiny spots that I may have missed on the first coat.
  • I also coated parts of my gas tank and my front wheel wells with some POR-15. The before and after pictures below speak for themselves.



All in all, I am very happy with how everything turned out. My undercarriage looks a lot better now and I'm not worried about rust anymore! I will probably have to touch up a few spots every once and a while, but I'm really confident that this POR-15 application will last. The POR-15 paint has no signs of chipping away after about two months of having it on and I suspect it will last even longer!

If you guys have any questions about POR-15, how to apply it, etc., please don't hesitate to contact me.