Text and photos By Steve Temple

When you’re working on a project car, especially one that uses an older donor car, it should come as no surprise that you’ll need to freshen the finish on both the chassis and the fiberglass body. While media blasting is one way to remove scales and old paint, that approach can be a bit messy and abrasive. Alternatively, you can follow the old Dupont ad line about “better living through chemistry.”

Mid America has a line of MWorks chemicals to make your life easier. They range from paint remover to a variety of rust treatments. The latter solutions provide a range of ways to either remove, convert or encapsulate rust, depending on the size and location of the part. So whatever challenges you encounter in renewing the finish, Mid America has got you covered.

RUST REMOVER

To remove rust from smaller parts, simply soak them in a bucket of Rust Remover for a few hours, no grinding or blasting needed. It’s said to penetrate and dissolve rust, yet won’t harm the integrity of the metal. Even though MWorks Rust Remover works like an acid, it can be used on copper, brass, aluminum, plastic, rubber and seals. Nor will it remove paint, chrome and non-oxide surface coatings. Rust Remover is non-toxic, biodegradable, non-flammable and non-fuming.

Once the Rust Remover does its work, it can be followed with Metal Etch. The latter product is designed for bare metal, to inhibit rust and promote paint adhesion. After gently etching the metal, it leaves behind a zinc coating that helps chemically bind paint to the surface.

RUST CONVERTER

Another approach is to use MWorks Rust Converter Instead of removing surface rust, it chemically converts it into an inert black polymer that prevents future rust from forming. 

All you need is a foam brush and clean container to apply the Rust Converter. Once the rust is converted, allow 48 hours for curing at which point the black polymer coating is ready for topcoat and does not require any primer.

RUST ENCAPULATOR

Mworks Chemical Treatment 8

Ideal for the underbody and frame, MWorks’ Rust Encapsulator is a formulated to permanently stop corrosion. This thick paint bonds to bare or rusty metal to form a rock-hard yet flexible, non-porous finish that is claimed to never crack, chip or peel. It works by isolating the metal from oxygen and moisture to keep rust in a suspended state. Since the Encapsulator is impervious to road salt, fuels, fluids and solvents, it’s a quick and effective way to protect metal components in a harsh environment.

PAINT STRIPPER

This fiberglass obviously needs a lot of work, starting with removing the old paint. The Paint Stripper can be either sprayed on or applied with a brush, depending on the size of the area needing treatment. Just seconds after applying the Paint Stripper with a brush, the paint begins to bubble off. There’s no harsh smell or fumes to worry about, you just apply the solution and let it work in a matter of seconds. Once the paint has lifted, use a putty knife to scrape it off. Then wipe off any residue prior to prepping and painting.