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How To Repair Damaged Clear Coat

How To Repair Damaged Clear Coat

UV rays, age, and road debris all take their toll on your vehicle, eventually leading to fading or clear coat peeling. This makes your vehicle look uncared for. Paint shops will want to strip it all and repaint it, which takes weeks and costs thousands of dollars.

There is a DIY solution to repair damaged clear coat yourself for a lot less money…


WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

Use a degreaser to remove leftover polish and wax, and thoroughly clean the entire body panel with a good quality carwash detergent to remove any leftover degreaser and foreign contaminants which could mar the clear coat. Mask off the repair area with masking tape, applying about 2cm outside the damaged area. Using an 800 grit sandpaper, sand down the rough clear coat until you can’t feel it any more. Go lighter on the surrounding clear coat as you want to smooth and blend the damaged area, not remove more clear coat.

Wipe clean with a lint-free cloth and rubbing alcohol to remove any contaminants left by sanding.

To spray new clear coat, shake the aerosol can for at least 60 seconds, then apply a light first coat. Overlap the application onto the entire sanded area, not just the damaged area. Let the first coat dry for five minutes, and respray. Wait another five minutes to see if it requires a third coat. If not, gently remove the masking tape at an angle away from the repair. Once the masking tape has been removed you will see that the repair is easily noticeable compared to the surrounding older clear coat.

Depending on the temperature, humidity, and thickness of layers applied, you should allow the clear coat to dry anywhere from an hour to 24 hours before continuing. One fully dried, use 2000 grit sandpaper to wet sand and grind down the border of the repair, blending the new clear coat with the older clear coat. Remember, you are trying to blend, not remove layers.

Finally, clean the area with rubbing alcohol, and polish with a buffer. Use a slow setting and light pressure. Wait a few weeks to cure completely before giving the area a wax.


PREVENTING FUTURE CLEAR COAT DAMAGE

Avoid automated car washes, they are your cars worst enemy. Avoid using generic/abrasive car wash products. Regular waxing can help prevent clear coat damage by placing a thin, invisible barrier between the clear coat the sun’s damaging rays. Apply paint protection film.

A faded or peeling clear coat is too late to save with preventative treatments. Even using the best possible car-wash detergent and wax will result in a cleaner, better-looking exterior, but the damage is still easily visible.