This is an easy tip for removing spray paint from your car, using household items, and it won’t damage your car’s original paint job!
This is one of those posts that I never planned on having to write but a few weeks ago someone decided to spray paint the side of my car for me.
Unfortunately it wasn’t quite the look I was going for so I reached out to my friends on Facebook to see if they had any tips for removing spray paint.
I got lots of ideas, including: a Magic Eraser, and solvents like paint thinner, brake cleaner, acetone nail polish remover, and more.
I happened to have a Magic Eraser so that was the first thing I tried. Fortunately it did start to take the spray paint off but unfortunately it also started to scratch off the clear coat on my car. YIKES! So I quickly nixed the Magic Eraser spray paint removal tip.
The next thing I thought I’d try was nail polish remover. I remembered that when our countertop fabricator installed the marble in our kitchen, he used pure acetone to get off any unwanted spots. I figured if it worked on a high maintenance stone like marble, than it was worth trying on my car.
Here’s what you need:
I didn’t have pure acetone but I did have some acetone nail polish remover, that had a high percentage of acetone in it. I also grabbed my Norwex window cloth because it is a very fine fiber microfiber towel, and I knew it wouldn’t scratch the paint, like a normal rag might do.
I placed the window cloth over a few of my fingers and poured a little nail polish remover on it. Then I lightly rubbed my fingers, in a circular motion over the damaged area on my car. Scrubbing too hard could potential ruin your car’s paint job, so make sure to use very light pressure when applying the acetone.
To my amazement the spray paint started coming off, and it wasn’t damaging the car’s original paint!
It was a tedious process but I wanted to be careful and not push too hard and damage my clear coat (again).
I found that if I kept the window cloth wet with the acetone then the spray paint came off really easily. If I let it dry up a little than it wasn’t as effective. So make sure to pour enough acetone on your microfiber cloth, to keep it wet at all times.
You can see how the spray paint basically transferred to my window cloth. Some spots came off easier than others but it took me about 10 minutes, rubbing in a circular motion, to get the entire damaged area clean.
I was really impressed with how easily the nail polish remover took the spray paint off but even after I was finished I still had the scratched spot from the Magic Eraser.
I called a local body shop and asked them if I could bring it down for them to look at, to see if they had anything that would recover my clear coat. Lucky for me they did! The guy at the body shop brought out some sort of rubbing compound that restored the damaged area in no time!
To finish up the process, after you have removed all the spray paint from the car, use warm water and a clean towel, to wipe the area clean, and remove any residual acetone from the paint. Then wipe the area clean with a dry cloth.
If you don’t have access to a local body shop, head down to your local auto parts store and ask them if there is a wax, or other lubricant, you can apply, to help restore your car’s clear coat.
A really important the thing I learned (the hard way) about removing spray paint off your car, is to try out any product you use, in an inconspicuous area first! After you know it works, then start working on the damaged area. I recommend trying acetone first, or if you don’t have it then use acetone nail polish remover, because it took the paint right off my car.
I’m super thankful for my Facebook friends, and their helpful suggestions because I thought I was going to have to take my car to a body shop and spend hundreds of dollars to have the spray paint taken off!
As a side note, I DO NOT recommend using any type of sandpaper, or a pressure washer to remove spray paint from your car. Both can easily damage your car’s paint if you are not a professional.
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