How to Remove Silicone Wax From Paint Before Repainting

Updated February 21, 2017

Repainting a car to give it a fresh appearance is an involved, but highly rewarding process. Achieve optimum results from your paint job by preparing the exterior surface properly. Without proper surface preparation, the new coat of paint will not adequately adhere. One important step in this preparation process is removing the silicone wax and any other polishes from the car. Do this with a wax and grease remover, a strong, solvent-based liquid that effectively cuts through wax. Apply the wax and grease remover after giving the car a thorough wash and before applying filler. Apply again after sanding.

Saturate the end of a clean, soft cloth with the wax and grease remover.

Apply the remover generously to the surface. Rub the remover on the car in circular motions.

Wipe away the applied wax and grease remover with a clean, dry cloth before it dries. Work in small sections at a time to prevent the remover from drying on the surface of the car.

Wet the solvent cloth as needed. Keep folding over the solvent cloth and the drying cloth to expose clean areas. Switch to new cloths as needed.

Continue to work your way around the car, covering all areas you will paint.

Rinse the car thoroughly. Flood the car with water from a hose to ensure adequate rinsing.


Work in a cool, shaded area or a cool garage to prevent the wax and grease remover from drying too rapidly. Check the information for the particular type of auto paint you are using. The manufacturer my recommend a specific brand of wax and grease remover. The job will go faster if you have a friend work behind you to dry while you apply the remover.


Wax and grease remover is toxic. Wear latex gloves and a respirator when working with it.

Things You'll Need

  • Wax and grease remover
  • Cloths
  • Latex gloves
  • Respirator
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About the Author

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.