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How to remove paint transfer after an auto accident

Updated July 19, 2017

From time to time, we all make contact with inanimate objects in our cars. The damage can range from a total loss to a small scuff. The less-drastic impacts result in paint transferring from the object we hit to the body of the car or truck, and in most cases, the damage becomes less severe when we remove the paint transfer.

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  1. Wash the entire car thoroughly. Starting with a clean car will help identify the areas that need attention.

  2. Begin by rubbing a small amount of rubbing compound onto the paint transfer. Keep the compound wet with a spray bottle of water as you rub the compound in, using a front-to-back motion. The compound will remove small amounts of paint, but leave fine scratches. Rubbing in one direction minimises the appearance of these scratches. Remove all of the paint transfer by repeating this step as needed.

  3. Remove the fine scratches left by the rubbing compound with polishing compound. Use the same motion as in the step before, and remember to keep the area wet. The polishing compound is a much finer grade of abrasive. This will reduce the scratches left by the rubbing compound and leave a smoother finish.

  4. Wax the entire car to restore the shine and protect the paint. After polishing with the polishing compound, the wax layer needs to be restored to protect the fresh paint that has been exposed. The wax will also fill any remaining small scratches and give the area its shine back. Apply the wax in a 3-by-3-foot section at a time, and remove it in a front to back motion when it dries.

  5. Tip

    Using a colour-matched wax will help hide any change in colour due to sun fading on the rest of the vehicle. Using a power buffer could cause swirl marks in the paint and extra work to remove the marks.

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Things You'll Need

  • Rubbing compound
  • Polishing compound
  • Wax
  • Water filled spray bottle
  • Clean towels

About the Author

Lee Sallings is a freelance writer from Fort Worth, Texas. Specializing in website content and design for the automobile enthusiast, he also has many years of experience in the auto repair industry. He has written Web content for eHow, and designed the DIY-Auto-Repair.com website. He began his writing career developing and teaching automotive technical training programs.

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