Many truck owners have chosen to leave their vehicle’s old paint or rusty surface just as they found it setting in a back lot or farm field. Then the mechanicals are restored to new condition for safety and dependability. They now are called a “RAT-ROD”.
Enter now a great way to protect the aged metal surface and keep that old look. At a recent swap meet we met Dave Allder in Nebraska. He introduced us to a process that keeps the old appearance with an added dull shine. The appearance of his 1929 Ford Model AA big truck really draws attention and trophies at local special interest car shows. Of course, this is done at a fraction of the cost of patching, preparation, and painting the metal surface. Here are some steps that will make the rusty exterior metal surface a real eye catcher.
- Supplies: A can of Johnson Paste Wax (found in a flat yellow can in most medium size hardware stores. It has been popular in this type can in households since the 1940’s). A hot hair dryer and grease free wiping rags.
- Clean metal surface of all dust and dirt. Let dry.
- For best results, go over the dry panel first by buffing the rust with a “fine” grade brush on an electric drill.
- Heat one panel at a time with a heavy duty hair dryer or commercial heat gun. If a panel is heated with the sun on a summer 100 degree day, you can forget the electric heat gun!
- Important: While panel is hot, apply Johnson Wax evenly with a dry cloth.
- Allow to dry before removing the haze with a dry rag!
- Now you have a great protected panel with a satin sheen. It will make people wonder, “How did this happen”? It looks so nice!
- For better results, experiment with some rusty metal to learn the technique before you really get serious with the real project.
These photos show why Dave’s truck gets so much attention at local shows. Also attached is a headlight bucket from a 1941-46 Chevy truck. The close-up shows 50% hot waxed and the remainder as it was found in a lot behind a barn. Not a great picture due to a poor camera but it does show the small panel before and after.
You can contact Dave Allder @ email@example.com
Before – As Dave found it.
After – The total waxing is completed
Left side: As most find older untreated bare metal
Right side: After the hot wax process