Repairing Clear Coat Step
In the following, we will list what you need to do in order to perform the clear coat repair. Before we dive in however it is important to remember this is a very delicate procedure. Try not to be too heavy-handed and the goal here is to only remove the top layer. Going too hard especially in the sanding section may not only remove the clear coat but also the paint, and the undercoat. This will ultimately cause several other issues that will just be a pain to deal with.
Prepare Clear Coat Spray
Read the instructions on the label of the product you purchased. Follow them explicitly
If you have an air-powered spray gun in your home garage, use that instead. Fill the tool with your product and get to work.
Using smooth, even motions, cover the area with spray from side to side. Try to keep a steady pace, so you dont under- or over-saturate the surface.
Remember the direction you sprayed the product in. This will be useful when youre
finishing up later.
Removing Parts If Possible
Starting with the fender flares on the Toyota Tacoma first. If possible, remove the affect components such as the fender flares. The parts will be easier to work with and there is no risk getting overspray on the rest of the vehicle. As a rough overview, there are fasteners on the inside each of the fender flares, then there will be clips in behind which need to be disconnected. Most of these clips did break, so theyll need to be replaced.
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What Causes Peeling Clear Coat
You mostly see the clear coat peeling on older cars that have been parked outside for years.
The clear coat is the top-most layer that comprises the paint of your vehicle. Its a type of synthetic polymer substance – usually an acrylic or urethane plastic. These are pretty durable, as its their job to protect the paint and primer layers from just about anything. Clear coats are resistant to UV rays and most chemicals found in the environment.
The reason clear coats peel is because there isnt a proper bond to the underlying color coat. As the clear eventually deteriorates and wears off, the lack of adhesion will cause the clear around the damaged area to peel back, starting a chain reaction that requires immediate repair.
Nothing lasts forever. Prolonged exposure to the sun, and specifically to UV radiation, will eventually deteriorate and break down any type of plastic. It doesnt happen overnight, but give it years and the plastic will begin to fade, discolor, dry out, and become brittle. This is true for all plastic trim inside and out of the vehicle, and the clear coat is no exception.
The matte surface of the spot is the paint layer. There is no clear coat – its completely gone. The white flaky stuff around the spot is the edges of your clear coat. Once the process has started, it wont stop on its own. As more area is exposed to the elements, contamination will get underneath the clear coat and accelerate the peeling until the entire panel is stripped.
Applying Base Coat And Clear Coat
Mix the can accordingly, then apply a light coat to the fender covering up the primer. Considering it is colder outside, Ill have to wait at least 10 minutes for each of those paint coats to setup. As the paint gets thicker, itll be closer to 15 minutes.
Its best to go for the hard edges first and then finish up with the larger more exposed areas, that way you can reduce the amount of overspray on those exposed areas.
Apply the next coat, this time going a little further with the fade, try not to go over the clear coat transition area. This should be a medium to fully wet coat. You can angle the can so overspray is directed away from the clear coat transition area and instead to where the primer was.
And finally, apply the third coat, this should be a wet coat while being careful not to get any runs or drips. If a run or drip occurs, youll need the base coat to dry first, then repair the mistake by sanding and touching up that area.
Wait 30 minutes to 1 hour before applying a clear coat, this can vary between products. For this, I am using a 2k clear coat instead of the 1k that was used on the fender flares to show a slightly different method. 2k clear coat is much easier to work with, it has an activator and once pushed has less than a 24hr work period, its more durable, however, it is more expensive.
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Clear Coat Edge Repair
1) First, clean the area to be repaired of organic contamination. A glass cleaner with alcohol works well for this.
2) Next, clean it of any inorganic materials with a solvent based cleaner like Eastwood PRE paint prep and a clean rag.
3) Next, use a fine grit grey non-woven pad to scuff the paint in the area of the repair and about one inch to either side of it. Then wipe it off again with more PRE paint prep.
4) Mask around the area to be prepared. Since the paint that the masking is going over is suspect, its a good idea to whet the tape by running it over something like your pant leg to remove a lot of the stickiness. Kevin is using a technique called back masking, in which you stick the center of the tape to what will be the edge of your repair area, then fold it back. This gives you a softer line and lets you fine tune exactly what is going to be masked without having to peel and stick several times.
5) Pop the button on the bottom of the 2K spray can and shake well. The aerosol flows and covers well, so there is no need to try to put a thick coat on. Spray your first coat and then leave it to flash.
6) After about five minutes, the 2K should be dry to the touch and not tacky. Do a touch test, and if it passes, its time for the second coat.
7) Spray a second quick light coat, same as the first, and the paint is done.
Blending Repaired Clear into Old Clear Coat
Here is how you blend the repair:
Question and Answer Time
How To Repair Light Scratches In Car Paint Lacquer
Scratches in your cars paintwork not only look bad, but can seriously impact the value. So whether youre enhancing the looks of your pride and joy, repairing a malicious key scratch or touching up the bodywork before selling your daily run-around, Holts has the solution.
Here, we provide a step-by-step DIY guide to repairing scratches in clear coat lacquer.
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Choosing The Right Finish: Matte Gloss Semi
When choosing a clearcoat, make sure you choose the right finish because if you choose the wrong one, the texture of your repair will visibly stand out no matter how much you sand it and buff it! The most common is gloss clearcoat, but there are several other matte clearcoat options often found on motorcycles, trim, Mercedes-Benz cars, and BMW cars.
Clear coat finish options:
Replacing Only The Peeling Clear Coat
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Vehicles Common To Peel Or Flake
Honda and GM are the worst for failed paint jobs. Dont get me wrong, they are not the only ones, but more known than others. Honda was from about 1996 to 2013. It was the Blacks, Dark Blues and Red vehicles that all peeled like a disease. GMs paint failures ran from the early to mid 80s, to the late 90s. GMs failure was the paint coming loose from the primer.
When cars are painted at the factory, they are not shot by some guy with a spray gun. Nor do they go down a conveyor with paint spraying wildly to cover it. The cars do enter a booth via a conveyor but paint is applied with an electrostatic process. Their system uses an electrical current to precisely deposit paint on the metal. The process uses less paint and offers a more uniformed paint coverage.
Where this process possibly failed, was due to the drying time between coats. For GM, they may have inadvertently allowed too much drying time between the primer and the top coat. The paint wouldnt have bonded correctly with the primer/sealer. This would account for why you have seen so many GM vehicles where the paint flaked off. If you recall, many GMs ran around with primer spots from the paint coming off in huge chunks.
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How To Repair Clearcoat Defects
How to Repair Clear Coat Kevin Tetz Shows the Best Way to Fix Paint
Since the 1980s, automotive manufacturers have been painting cars with two-stage base coat/clear coat systems. That may not seem all that long ago to some of us older guys, but these cars are now 30 years old and entering prime project car territory. Because drivetrain technology had hit its stride by then, cars like 5.0 Mustangs are still running and driving just fine. However, many cars from the 80s and 90s have clear coat paint that is just peeling and flaking off in chunks. Some cars, like the Plymouth Neon, seemed to have paint and clear coat failing before they were even off lease.
The bad news is, you cant just sand for adhesion and respray clear coat. Modern urethane paints are thermoset paints. This means that once they dry they wont flow again. The clear coat creates a strong chemical bond with the still slightly wet paint and locks in. You can sand for adhesion and spray a new coat of clear over the base, but it will never lock in, and it will always sit on top of the old clear at the edges. The new clear coat will never be as strong as the original and will fail much quicker.
The only option for a proper, permanent repair is to sand the whole car and respray color and clear.
What Chemicals Damage Car Paint
Powerful solvents like paint thinner are an obvious source of damage to your cars finish, but lets look at some less noticeable sources of damage.
Common chemicals that damage car paint:
- Bird poop
- Acid rain
Bug guts can be quite acidic and quickly eat through paint in a couple of days. If you have a bunch stuck to your hood, its time to go get a car wash.
Tree sap is quite tricky to remove and only gets harder to remove with time so dont ignore it! Use a mild solvent like WD-40 or nail polish remover to get it off, then promptly wash the area to prevent the solvent from doing additional damage. You may need to polish the area afterward because sap can leave a dull patch.
Dust can combine with rain to create a mild acid that slowly eats away at your cars finish. Go to the car wash regularly to reduce this.
When filling up, spilled gasoline can damage your cars finish. Clean it off if you spill and be careful at the pump!
Bird poop is very caustic and can eat through paint in a matter of days. Dont ignore it!
Acid rain is something that you may not even realize is happening until it is too late. Do general preventative maintenance by washing your car and keeping it waxed to reduce the effects of acid rain.
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How To Fix Clear Coat Runs
Ever been wondering how to fix clear coat runs? Great news! Today youre going to learn how!
First off, whether you attempted to fix your own paint or even if your vehicle is pre-painted, sometimes a run just happens. The first main key goal is not to panic especially if you just sprayed your clear coat and you notice the run while it isnt dry. Any clear coat run can be removed and most of the time its fixable without having to respray again. This is a example of what a clear coat run may look like. You can see here there is a ton of orange peel or a non reflective surface.
You can see the clear coat streaks here clearly, this is an example of a messy clear coat run. This is the streaks we are repairing today.
As you can see this is a horrible case of a run, the good news is, this is completely fixable once you are on the last stage of spraying your clear. If a run like this is already present then you have it a little easier because you dont have to wait for the paint to dry.
Sealing The Clear Coat
Once your vehicle has been washed and clayed, you may elect to take additional preventive measures before proceeding to waxing. These steps include polishing or even electing to have a multi-step paint correction performed. A paint correction will remove those unwanted swirls in your vehicles paint. During this treatment you may also choose to have scratch repairs made to your vehicles paint! When choosing either of these options, the final step would then be to seal the vehicles paint with a professional polymer sealant or a ceramic coating. Both of these options are far superior to traditional waxing.
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Do Inspect Your Vehicle
To determine whether you need a new clear coat, walk around your car and check for any peeling. The first sign of peeling indicates that the outside layer needs replaced. Most of the time, the damage is noticeable. The top portion of the vehicle tends to be where most of the paint will peel, especially around the hood.
How To Repair A Car With Peeling Clear Coat
Yet another vehicle with high levels of oxidation and peeling clear coat. Tell-tale signs that a little transparent TLC and elbow grease need to be in order.
If the clear coat appears to require more than just a dash of polishing compound and paint correction, most people will hang up their DIY gloves, and turn toward a collision repair specialist. Repairing or replacing this transparent protective paint layer on ones own typically requires quite a bit of care and some form of familiarity with the subject.
Fortunately, there are a handful of straightforward DIY steps that can be taken prior to throwing-in the proverbial microfiber towel, and phoning the local paint repair job. While there surely are countless other preferred methods and materials used by professionals and DIYers alike, the following five clear coat repair steps are the widely accepted norm for most rattle can clear coat fixes.
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Assess The Finished Work And Repeat The Process On Other Clear Coat Scratches
The scratch should be gone and your cars finish restored.
Fixing clear coat scratches is really easy, check out the full video from ChrisFix:
From now on, you dont have to pay for repairs every time your car is scuffed with clear coat scratches. If youre dealing with scratches that nick deep into the cars paint or primer coat, check out this DIY fix.
Looking for your next quick car fix? Check this out!