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How to remove overspray from a car

Updated April 17, 2017

Paint overspray can ruin the appearance of your car, but fortunately it is fairly easy to remove as long as it isn't severe. Whether your car was parked outside of a bodyworks garage, a building that was being painted, or if you got the overspray on your car from making a repair, you can remove the paint overspray yourself.

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  1. Rub the area of the car that has overspray on it with a red clay bar in a circular motion. Red clay bars can be found at most auto parts stores, and work as a great buffer. Use it on the entire car, or just on the area that has the overspray on it. The red clay bar will not damage your car, and is a perfectly safe and recommended product to use.

  2. Pour some rubbing alcohol on an old rag and apply it with some elbow grease to the affected area of the car if the overspray still remains after the red clay bar has been used. The alcohol should work to remove any overspray that is left on your vehicle.

  3. Apply brake fluid to a soft scrub sponge and rub the area that has overspray on it. This is an alternative to the red clay bar, as some people may not have that readily available. The brake fluid will act to remove the overspray from the car.

  4. Wash your vehicle when the overspray has been completely removed. Use a good quality car soap and scrub all areas of the vehicle to remove any remnants of the products used to get rid of the overspray.

  5. Wax your vehicle after it has been washed. This will restore your car's shine, and all signs of overspray will be erased.

  6. Cover your car in the future when you know that buildings around you are being painted or when you take your vehicle to a car repair shop where painting is done. This will eliminate most of the risk for another overspray accident.

  7. Warning

    Never use sharp objects or harsh scrubbing tools to remove overspray from your car; this will cause scratches. Use caution when working with brake fluid or other fluids used to remove overspray from a car.

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Things You'll Need

  • Red clay bar
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Old rags
  • Soft scrub sponge
  • Break fluid
  • Car wax
  • Car wash soap
  • Bucket
  • Hose
  • Car washing mitt

About the Author

Based in Florida, Kathleen Bunn has been working as a professional writer since 2006. She holds and associate's degree in elementary education from Tallahassee Community College, as well as an x-ray technician's license from Keiser College.

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