Monday, 5 November 2012

How Do You Remove Spray Paint From Your Car?

Finding your car vandalized with a can of spray paint is one sure way to put a damper on your day. This is specially true if, like any proud car owner, you take pains to maintain its appearance. More so if the car that happens to have been victimized is your weekend toy or project car.

Depending on the toughness of your car's paint (urethane paint is extremely hardy), the amount of paint that has been sprayed on and where, and the time the spray paint has been left on your car's paint, the time you will need to restore your car's finish will take from an hour or so to up to half a day. If you have discovered the vandalism pretty early, the spray paint may still be drying and a wash and soap job may be all you need to solve your problem quickly.

If this is not the case, there are many solvents or materials that can be used.  If the car's finish is a bit sensitive or the spray paint has been left to dry for some time, extra care must be taken to make sure that you don't take off your car's paint too. Various chemicals like WD-40, nail polish remover, acetone, rubbing compound, gasoline or spray-on brake parts cleaner can all be used. For car show type paint jobs or finishes, Meguiar's Clay is oftentimes used to make sure that only the spray paint is taken off. However, use of this specialty product is best left to the hands of experts who are familiar with its use. Fine rubbing compound can also be used but, again, care must be exercised as this is an abrasive compound that can take off the car's paint if used improperly.

Remember that all cars have clear coats to protect the actual paint and the chemicals that were mentioned can remove all but the most stubborn or thickly laid-on spray paint. The basic method is to apply a small amount of the compound of your choice (say, acetone) on a clean rag and use a rubbing motion to try to remove the paint. If it is working, the rag will begin to show signs of the color of the spray paint that was used. If your car's paint color starts rubbing off on the rag, this is a clear indicator that you have gone through your car's top coat and are already taking off the car's paint.

If the spray paint is thick in a certain place, try using a plastic scraper to remove the stubborn paint and then use the chemical solution of your choice to remove the rest of the paint. If the spray paint has gotten to the window or windshield glass, acetone would be one of the best chemicals to use and you will be able to remove the paint from the glass easily.

Take care not to use acetone on moulding or rubber seals that have been spray painted as this will soften the rubber which might destroy it prematurely. Strong soap used with a stiff-bristled plastic brush would be a better choice in this case.

The finishing touch after all that work would be to wash your car, or at least the affected area, using car soap liberally on the area you have worked on. Take the car to a body shop to see if you need to have the affected area sprayed with clear coat to protect the underlying paint. By doing the hard work of removing the paint yourself, you will have saved yourself some considerable expense, instead of having the entire job worked on by the body shop.

For more help & advice on this, call Joe on 0151 4932600 or 07802348096 or visit




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