How to Repair a Rusted Windshield Frame


A rusted windshield frame is dangerous because the integrity of the frame is compromised by the rust leading to corrosion and structural damage. The sooner you deal with a rust problem, the easier the job will be. Rust develops gradually, and, the more severe the rust, the more difficult the problem. The major headache in dealing with a rusted windshield frame is the windshield itself. To thoroughly remove all the rust on a windshield frame, it is necessary to remove the rubber seal and the windshield.

Things You'll Need

  • Pry tool
  • Utility knife
  • Detergent
  • Sponge
  • Sandpaper
  • Oscillating sander
  • Cloth
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Bondo
  • Putty knife
  • Self-etching primer
  • Rust-inhibiting automotive paint
  • Determine if you want to remove the windshield yourself or have it professionally removed. Removing it yourself is more cost-effective, but it is a delicate procedure. Removing the windshield is an essential step in dealing with the rust around the window frame. Remove the windshield wiper arms. Pry the rubber seal loose with a pry tool, and pull it free from the windshield. Cut the urethane seal around the perimeter of the windshield with a utility knife. Push the windshield out of the frame, and store it in a safe place.

  • Clean the windshield frame with detergent and warm water.

  • Scrape the loose rust off the frame with a wire brush. Sand the rusted areas on the frame with an oscillating sander. Use 60 to 80-grit sandpaper for heavily rusted areas and 120 grit for less severe rust spots. Continue sanding, until the bare metal is exposed.

  • Wipe the frame with a clean cloth and denatured alcohol to remove all traces of grease and other contaminants.

  • Repair minor holes and damaged areas with Bondo. Apply the Bondo with a putty knife, and allow it to dry and harden for 45 minutes. Sand the repaired area with 120-grit sandpaper, until it is smooth and even.

  • Apply several light coats of automotive self-etching primer to the frame. Hold the nozzle eight inches above the frame as you spray the primer. Allow drying time in between coats.

  • Apply several light coats of rust-inhibiting automotive paint to the windshield frame. Rust inhibiting paint is available at local auto parts stores.

  • Replace the windshield and rubber gasket on the window frame.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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