How To Remove Paint Spots from a Car

Buffing the hood

The almost perfect finish of your car can be ruined by paint spots. However, fixing and trying to undo this damage and getting rid of unsightly paint spots incorrectly can harm the car's finish. The best way to prevent paint spots is by covering your car when painting around it. Newspaper will do.  But if the unfortunate does happen, there are few simple and inexpensive ways to remove paint spots from your car that will not permanently ruin the car's finish.

Catch it while it is wet. If you are painting around your car and bits of paint land on your car, wipe the spots immediately with a moist cloth or sponge. Wipe the paint off immediately before it has a chance to dry. Make sure that all the spots have been wiped off

It is not hopeless when the paint spots are dry. Do not despair as there are ways to remove the spots even when paint has dried already. Make sure the car is in a cool and well ventilated area, where there is no direct sunlight shining on it. Then, figure out if the paint spots are on your car are made of water based paint or enamel paint. If you are not sure what type of paint the paint spots are made of, then assume they are water based paint spots. Take a wet cloth or towel and place it over the paint spots. Since water based paints dissolve in water, the wet cloth will soften the paint up making it much easier to remove from your car without doing any damage to the finish. Let the wet cloth sit on the paint spots for a few hours. Check on the cloth periodically to see if it starts to dry out, if the cloth is drying out pour more water onto it. Once the paint has absorbed the water the paint spots will come off of the car with the simple wipe of a dry towel.

There is still hope if the paint is enamel based or oil based paints. If the paint spots did not absorb the water at all then the paint is either enamel based or oil based. Fortunately removing oil based paint requires the same procedure as enamel based paint. This time you will need paint thinner or mineral spirits. Take a cloth and soak it in either the mineral spirits or paint thinner. Now gently rub the soaked cloth over the outer edges of the paint spots working your way toward the center in a circular motion. Try not to rub the paint spot too hard to avoid damaging the car's finish. Once the paint starts coming off wipe away any excess paint or drips with a clean dry cloth. Make sure that there are no traces of thinner as it may ruin your car's finish permanently.

The amount of time needed to completely remove all of the paint spots will vary depending on the number of spots and the actual size of each paint spot. So next time, make sure that your car is completely covered before painting around your car.


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