How to Remove Peeling Paint on a Car

Written by carole ellis
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If you have peeling paint on your car, you must remove the entire peeling area before you begin to attack the problem. If you fail to do so, you will end up with a much bigger problem because the paint will actually lift up from under the new coat, causing a major blemish and much more severe peeling problem. Fortunately, while it does take a bit of effort to remove peeling paint on a car, the process is not particularly difficult, and you can usually complete a minor repair in just a few days.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Sandpaper
  • Plastic paint scraper
  • Cleaning rags
  • Mild auto detergent
  • Hose

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  1. 1

    Make the area as clean as possible by wiping down the area with a moist cleaning rag that has a few drops of auto cleaning soap on it. This will remove grime and make the problem area easier to delineate.

  2. 2

    Chip off any large peeling pieces of paint. If there is only a small area of peeling paint, skip this Step. However, if there are big flakes of paint chunks coming off, you may be able to remove them effectively with a plastic paint scraper. Be careful not to get carried away and scrape off more paint than you need to, though.

  3. 3

    Wipe down the area again. You will have a lot of paint chips, flakes and dust on your car once you have started this process. Keep the work area clean by wiping it down again with a moist cloth and a few drops of auto soap.

  4. 4

    Sand the entire area. You can use sand paper to remove any stubborn remaining flakes of paint that are too small to scrape off. Sand down the area so that it is not rough. Sand right up to and just over the edges of the original paint so that there is not an obvious indentation where your new paint will be.

  5. 5

    Clean the area one more time. This time, once you have wiped down the area, also dry it off. You do not have a protective coat of paint to keep your car's body safe from rust, so be sure that the entire area is completely dry. Now you are ready to repaint the peeling area with an auto body paint that is compatible with the older paint on your car.

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