What can I use to protect the scratched part from getting rusty? I am seeking a temporary solution for a week or two till I have the time to take it to get repaired.

enter image description here

  • Can you clarify whether the affected area is a plastic or a metal surface?
    – holroy
    Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 13:27

7 Answers 7


A small dob of grease over the affected area will keep water off.

It is easily removed come the time of a proper repair and does not run the risk of further damage from overly aggressive tape adhesive.
The grease will stay put during rain.

The grease will collect road dirt as you continue to drive, but this sticks to the surface of the grease and comes away easily when needed.

  • Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but should any particular kind of grease be used? WD-40? White lithium? Dielectric? Multi-purpose?
    – JM0
    Commented Mar 9 at 19:50

The damage pictures appears to be on a bumper which is made of ABS plastic and therefore won't rust.

If it were a metal panel, a temporary fix is a dab of nail varnish.

  • Curious here, how can you determine that? Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 1:44
  • 1
    That picture appears to be the rear of the vehicle, just under the tail light. Look at how the rub strip is moulded into the panel and how the panel bends around the car. Very cheap and easy to produce in impact plastic, very expensive to produce in metal. Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 8:54

Duct tape to the rescue!

If we're talking a week or two, then you are running relative low risk of getting rust. If on the other side you want to be sure, then you need to protect that area from getting wet and have access to air, which are needed for it to rust.

Using a bit of duct tape to cover the scratch should suffice to keep it dry and limit air access. You can even get black duct tape, if you are worried on the esthetic aspect.

Edit: Quick fix or not...

Using tape (or grease as suggested in another answer) are quick fixes, which are easily reverted. Using glue or nail varnish (as suggested in some of the other answwers), is slightly more permanent and not so easy to remove when you want to do the real fix later on.

In essence, the main idea in most of the answers so far, is to cover up the affected area. But be careful that whatever cover you are using, it won't create extra work when you want to do real fix (i.e. having to sand away the previous fix, when an easier wash operation could have sufficed).

  • 7
    I would HIGHLY advise not to use duct tape. You risk pulling up more paint now that it has an edge to pull at.
    – Devin
    Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 13:43
  • @Devin exactly what I thought before asking this question, then almost believed holroy's answer. Thanks for your comment.
    – Flair
    Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 14:19
  • If your paint job has edges which are likely to come off when removing the duct tape, then you have a bigger issue than the few marks shown in the picture.
    – holroy
    Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 14:27
  • I would never have suggested this answer if there was a slight risk of extending the damage
    – holroy
    Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 14:30
  • 2
    @holroy The paint is chipped. You now have an exposed edge of the paint. Duct tape is sticky enough and will have enough pulling force when removing to pull that paint off. Also, you shouldn't use duct tape on car paint anyway. It's a nightmare to remove.
    – Devin
    Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 15:02

I know of a person that put wax on a spot of rust to prevent any more water/oxygen getting to it. He didn't get back to it for a long time, but when he finally did look at it again, the rust hadn't spread. This was, if I recall correctly, in a protected area of the car, so might not apply as readily to external damage. Could be a quick fix for someone, though, so I thought I might mention it.


If your bumper is made of plastic there is no chance of rust. Rust is the metals oxidizing.

If it is metal a few layers of PVA glue will protect the metal and not look as bad as tape or grease.

  • I will expand my answer a little later.
    – Terry
    Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 13:14

I would use a can of spray primer, as it would not need to be removed when you do the repair.


Instead of wax you can find a crayon the same color as the car . It is easy to use!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.