For car owners, the clear coat symbolises the level of maintenance and care they put into their vehicles. But of course, these materials will eventually deteriorate, depending on its age and quality of the application. Fortunately, you can learn how to fix clear coat damages by yourself!
Specifically, a clear coat paint contains a specialised resin that can protect the vehicle's paint from oxidation, fading, and fading. Despite its name, a clear coat doesn't have any colour pigmentation. There are only a few variations of clear coat on the market today, especially for new car models. Therefore, it is safe to assume that there are no certain types of clear coat paint that have the upper hand.
In short, you will know the quality of clear coat on how you apply it to your vehicle. It can resist much abuse and deterioration if you carefully cover it in the body of your car. If worst comes to worse, then you can repair the clear coat by yourself. Fortunately, the process is pretty simple. Just follow the procedure that we will give so that you can fix the clear coat without wrecking the base paint.
How to Fix Clear Coat
The first thing you need to do is to park your vehicle in a shaded area. Your garage could work, too. Make sure that the windows of the car have been rolled up.
Next, you need to wash the vehicle with the use of soap, water, and sponge. If the damaged clear coat is at a particular portion, focus the washing there. Ensure that you can remove the dirt, wax, and oil that accumulated there. You will need sets of clean towels to dry off the car.
Take a masking paper and blue tape to cover the area that you want to repair. If the area is a fender panel or door, make sure that you can mask all the seams and holes that they have (e.g. keyholes and trim pieces).
Use a wet sanding paper (around 1200 grit) and wrap it around a rubber-type of the sanding block. Drench the sandpaper in a flowing water and start sanding the part of the clear coat that has damages. The strokes that you should do should be smooth and even. Specifically, you need to apply circular motions here.
Always remember that you should not consume too much of your time on sanding one particular area. Your only goal here is to remove the damaged layer of clear coat.
If possible, you should submerge the sandpaper into a clean water from time to time. That will ease up the friction caused by sanding. Of course, it would be great if you can change the sandpaper with a new one.
Once the colour of the car is building up on the bottom part of the sandpaper, then it is ideal to replace it already. You should stop once the base paint of colour of the car is showing up. It is the reason why you need to be slightly gentle when sanding.
If you deem that you have expelled all of the existing clear coat, you can already change to the standard 1200-grit sandpaper. If you are not sure if you have accomplished the job yet, you need to expose your vehicle to intense illumination. After all, it is notable that clear coat shines brightly under any light source.
Use the sandpaper and apply gentle pressure to the clear coat. You might also need to use lacquer thinner and a clean towel to eliminate all the sanding residues on the surface of your vehicle. If you want to use a canister aerosol, make sure that you shake it properly until such time the paint combines with the agitator ball.
You should start painting at the top of the damaged clear coat. Specifically, the spraying should be in a horizontal motion (from one side to the other). Take note that you should not exceed too much on the prescribed coverage area of spraying. That would just add to the cleaning load. The clear coat spray should be uniformly applied (vertically downward).
When finishing the first coating, let it dry for a while. If necessary, you should follow the prescribed drying time of the clear coat that you are using. After that, you can apply another layer in the same direction we mentioned. Also, we recommend that the layer should be thin.
If you want to sand between each of the coatings, take the 1200-grit sandpaper and let it do the job. Be careful in this process, as you might damage the coat. Just be gentle on the sanding. Keep it as light as possible. You can remove the dust residues with the use of a clean rag.
How Many Coats Are Needed
Specifically, there are no exact or proper number of layers that you should apply. But ideally, three to four layers of clear coat will give your car a lustrous appearance. Once you are satisfied, let the coat dry for a day. After this duration, wipe the layer again using a dry and clean towel.
Next, use a polishing pad and attach it to an electric buffer or pneumatic buffer. Pour your preferred polishing compound to the pad. Press the barrier against the clear coat. Just like the coating process, move the buffer horizontally, beginning from the top then going down. You should not apply the shield for too long in a particular area. It can result in the heating of the clear coat, which could potentially damage it.
After buffering, wipe the area with a towel. You should be happy with the results!
Learning how to fix clear coat damages is an essential and practical for any car owners. That would lessen your expenses as you will not be required to hire professional automotive services anymore. Moreover, it is an additional skill that you can apply to every scheduled maintenance that you have for your vehicle. Since the process is not that complicated, you can easily do this from the get go.
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Thomas is a Pro himself, who has been in the business of home renovation & construction, working with various tools. He used to be the owner of 2 local construction companies with over 18 years experience. His works also include writing inspiring Do IT Yourself Tips & Tricks.