View Full Version : How to clean up paint?

09-22-2012, 01:27 AM
http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/4/6/9/4/2012-09-21_20-20-11_929_thumb.jpg (http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=22056)
Click for ibgger picture, much bigger.
Thats what I've got. I've never done any paint or body work. Tips on how to clean this up on a budget?

09-22-2012, 01:29 AM
Depends on the condition of the paint you're trying to correct.

Details and clear photographs would be helpful.

09-22-2012, 01:32 AM
It's stock paint from 89 I'd say. Has this white looking stuff flaking off, I assume it's a clearcoat?

09-22-2012, 02:10 AM
Probably flaking clear coat -- assume this is Mudhoney?

If it if flaking compound, you can make the paint look better but it won't be durable. The clear coat is nice for reflectivity, but its primary job is to protect the colour layer below it. Remove the clear coat and you can level the colour coat to produce a smooth paint job that looks good. It would require more attention, however, with regular cleaning and application of sealants or waxes (sacrificial layers in lieu of the clear coat).

The bigger picture is suggestive, but isn't sharp enough to make definitive statements. My personal approach would be to first try a compound. If you end up sanding or repainting, you'd need a compound anyway so it won't cost you anything but time to try a less aggressive method of correction first. By hand or with a random orbital, I'd use Meguiar's Ultimate Compound -- easily available at the retail level and quite aggressive but can produce a scratch-free finish. Combine with a foam pad for a lighter application or a wool pad for more cutting power. If that doesn't work, you'd be looking at stepping up to wetsanding; 1000 grit would probably be as rough as you'd want to go before repainting becomes unavoidable. The UC can remove sanding marks, and something like the Ultimate Polish would get rid of any blemishes or haze the UC leaves behind.

09-22-2012, 02:48 AM
Polishing compound to remove oxidized layer, then apply new clearcoat.

09-22-2012, 03:53 AM
It is hard to tell from that huge pic, but I would say that you might have to strip-repaint that for it to ever look decent.

3M makes the perfect-it rubbing compound that I sell a lot of to proffessionals. That might mean it's good stuff, or just every old detailer is stuck in their ways.

I would agree that you might try hitting it with some before you do anything else though, worst comes to worst you waste a little compund and get some practice before it counts.

I guess what I'm saying is, I doubt you are going to ruin it much more at this point (of course it's possible, but it's not like your going to ruin good paint you know?).

09-22-2012, 06:59 AM
Clear coat rot, Galcobar has it covered pretty well. Stipping JUST the clear and leaving much of the basecoat is difficult and time consuming and in the end getting a decent re-clear over it is next to impossible for anyone but a pro. Id look for a replacement hood in the factory color that isnt rotten. And failing that, vinyl wrap it with carbon fiber look alike.

09-22-2012, 07:08 AM
How low-budget are we talking here? Or more specifically, how concerned are you with what it looks like when you're done? :)

Here's what I did on the roof on my ST, which looked pretty similar to the picture you posted. I went to Autozone and picked up a couple cans of Duplicolor touch-up paint in as close a color as I could find, and a can of rattlecan clear. I then wetsanded the roof with 1200 grit. Compound would've been a better option, because the paint was so thin it ended up going through to the primer in places, but I was feeling cheap and sandpaper's what I had on hand. Then I masked everything off and sprayed it.

Total cost was about $15. In the rain, you can barely tell it's been repainted. When the car is dry it's more obvious, but not too bad. Maybe a 20-foot job, mainly because of the difference in reflectivity. Another can of clear and a wetsand/buff would probably help, but my car's a beater so I don't care too much.

Not saying this is the way you should do it, but it sure beats the dandruffy flaking clear coat look.

09-22-2012, 05:57 PM
Thanks guys. I'm not overly concerned with it, I'm not going to get it repainted so anything is worth a shot to clean it up some. I'll give a try with compound and see what happens, keep you guys updated.

09-22-2012, 06:07 PM
Let it go until it looks as awesome as the coupe.

09-22-2012, 10:37 PM
if its the hood, i cant really tell srry, just sand it all back reprime, get some duplicolor paint in that color, n repaint it, i would then take it to a body shop full clear coating but rattle clear works to :)

09-22-2012, 10:38 PM
It's like that on the hood and roof. Picture is the roof.

09-23-2012, 04:06 AM
just sand back the clearcoat n respary the roof n reclear it, just be sure to blend the lines where the roof meets the a-piller, with a 1000 grit sandpaper n u sould be fine.

09-24-2012, 07:13 PM
Get some Plastidip (https://www.dipyourcar.com/product.php?productid=23&cat=23&page=1) and call it good until you get up the cash for a legit respray.

There is no recovery from clearcoat failure other than a respray. I'm still trying to convince Stacy to let me do this on Abby....

09-24-2012, 07:49 PM
Cound I not just sand off the clear and buff the paint, put a nice layer of wax over it? Like what Glacobar said.

09-24-2012, 08:55 PM
The problem is, unless you have a paint gauge, you have no real idea of how far you are into the depth of the paint. After you're through the clear, it's not hard to get down to the primer or worse, the metal.

09-24-2012, 09:04 PM
Could I not just lightly sand the splotchy areas till the nasty stuff is gone and leave the other areas alone, or would you be able to tell? Im not going for perfection.

09-25-2012, 01:04 AM
Whether someone would be able to tell depends on your skill, the paint, and a fair amount of luck.

Some paints don't really change appearance when they lack a clear coat. Some change dramatically. The condition of the colour coat is a key question.

Here's the thing -- start with the least aggressive method first. If it doesn't work, then you can move up in aggression. The prior effort isn't wasted because you'll have done some of the work for the next step. Stop when the results are acceptable. If compounding doesn't produce an acceptable finish, try sanding off the clear. If that doesn't produce an acceptable finish, you'll have to sand the paint, and so on.

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the clear coat I was able to apply to my wheels with a Dupli-Color spray can. It's an enamel rather than the lacquer typically used on body panels, but after several coats, wetsanding with 1500 grit sandpaper, and then using the Ultimate Compound with a foam applicator the results are smooth as glass. Any flaws seem to be in the colour coat below.