Common Car Paint Problems: Their Causes and How to Repair and Prevent Them from Happening – Part 2

Written by Prestigious Autobody on . Posted in Uncategorized

Prestigious Auto Body Paint

In the first part of this common car paint problem series, you were made aware of five of the many hitches your car paint could possibly meet during its painting process or over the time of its usage. In this article, we will bring to your attention more glitches that you can fix yourself and can prevent from occurring, since you are already made aware of them.

Here are the four other possible problems you could face when it comes to your Car Paint in Santa Barbara:

Chemical Etching or Staining

Also known as acid rain, spotting or discoloration, this kind of problem is characterized by irregularly shaped etching, discoloration or pitting that appears on your car’s paint film.

When damaging natural contaminants like tree sap, acid raid, road tar and bird droppings, among others, stick to the surface of your car for a long period of time, a chemical change happens and will cause staining or chemical etching.

You can mend this kind of blemish by washing your car with hot water and soap, rinsing it and then drying it thoroughly. You can also do some solvent cleaning using the proper surface cleaner. You can also wash your car using a solution of baking soda and water before rinsing it well. The appropriate mixture for this solution is one tablespoon of baking soda dissolved in every quart of water.

If washing will not suffice, you can compound the blemished surface and polish it after so its gloss will be restored. If polishing does not work, you can wet sand the problem area with 1500-2000 grit sandpaper before doing the compounding and polishing process. Should refinishing be needed, you must sand the blemished area with the right sandpaper and wash it with the baking soda solution before you finally refinish. In severe chemical etching cases, you must remove the finish right up to the bare metal of your car’s surface.

Always remove harmful contaminants that can be dissolved by water through regular washing with the use of clear water and detergent. You should also wax or polish your car occasionally. As much as possible, do not park near factories that may releases chemical byproducts into the air. You should also refrain from parking under electrical wires where your car may be subjected to bird droppings or under trees where it may get contaminated with tree sap.

During your car’s refinishing process, it is also best if you will make use of an acrylic urethane basecoat and clearcoat system so your car will be given maximum protection from chemical or natural elements.

It is imperative for you to take note as well that when you are buffing or sanding a basecoat and clearcoat finish, you should see to it that the clearcoat film’s thickness should be at least 2 mils as this helps sustain proper protection against the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Should mending a blemished area result in the removal of more than .5 mils of clearcoat, refinishing is definitely advised.


Also termed as alligatoring, checking, crow’s feet, spitting or crazing, this problem usually appears as lines or cracks in your car’s topcoat. Appearing like the cracks on dried mud, these marks usually come in different widths and lengths.

There are a number of things that could result in the cracking of your car paint. These include excessive thickness of your undercoat or topcoat’s film, force-drying of undercoats with the air coming your spray gun or inadequate flash time after every coat.

The non-thorough agitation or stirring of the paint ingredients or the improper mixture or excessive usage of hardener are also two other possible reasons. Then, there is also the use of standardized hardeners or reducers or the breaking down of your car’s finish due to the continued exposure of your vehicle to direct sunlight, extreme changes of temperature or moisture.

There is nothing else you can do to fix this kind of blemish, but to get rid of all the cracked paint film and then refinish.

Even during the painting process, you can already prevent cracking from happening and it can be started by the proper application of all paint materials according to all the directions on their labels. Before starting with the refinishing procedure, remove all the cracked or crazed finishes completely.

Only use the recommended paint additives and mix these thoroughly with all the other ingredients. Each component must be added according to the recommended sequence and proper ratio for mixing. All materials should be agitated or stirred meticulously as well before using to make sure that all the ingredients are mixed into the solution.

Never use air from your spray gun to force dry undercoating. Be sure to use only the recommender reducer or thinner and hardener and measure them accurately before application. If you want maximum durability and gloss for your car, you should always use a two-component undercoat and topcoat system for it.


Also known as stone pecks, nicks, bruises or chips, this kind of car paint problem is represented by damage to the paint film, which leaves a notch, void or nick in the job’s finish.

Loss or lack of the paint film’s adhesion to the substrate is what usually brings about this kind of blemish to your car. This is usually due to an impact from such hard objects as stones.

Damaged areas should be sanded and feather-edged to get rid of the chips, before it must be refinished.

Areas of your car that are likely to get chipped should be applied with a flex agent in its undercoat or topcoat system and this should be of the top grade two-component quality for maximum protection.

Dust Contamination

These blemishes, which are commonly known as dirt in the car paint’s finish, are actually foreign particles that have been set in in the paint film.

There are several reasons behind the dust contamination problem of any car painting job. These include a dirty and dusty environment used for the spraying process, insufficient cleaning of the surface that needs to be painted or improper work or filthy work clothes that may have lint, fibers or dust.

Unfiltered air going inside the spraying booth or poor air filtration, the use of a substandard masking paper or particles coming from depreciating air supply lines are also other probable causes for the problem. If you used an unclean spray gun or you removed your car from the spraying booth even before the paint finish is free from dust, then it is also possible that dust contamination could happen.

You can mend dust-contaminated areas of your car paint by sanding it with 1200 grit sandpaper. You can also use one with a finer grit, if you wish. After the blemished areas have been sanded, you can start compounding and then polishing to regain the gloss of your car. Just like with the air entrapment problem, you can actually do the sanding, smoothing and refinishing procedure if you have found dirt in your car’s paint finish.

Keeping your work area and spray equipment clean and free of any foreign particles is the first thing you can do against dust contamination. You should completely blow off around the doors, windows, jambs, moldings, wheel openings, trunk, engine compartment and hood. All the surfaces that need to be painted as well as the masking paper should also be wiped off with the use of a tack rag. Masking materials should all be of high quality or else you might find your paint job contaminated with wicks from newspapers, which tend to break off and blow right into your wet paint.

Appropriate air filters should also be installed in your work area and not the furnace-type filters that are usually used in residences. You should make sure that any leakage in your spray booth due to gaskets, doors, filters or seams that have been poorly fitted are repaired. Faulty air lines must be replaced or repaired as well. You should also make sure to wear a paint suit that is free from lint during the painting process. Unless your car finish is free from dust, you should keep you vehicle in a clean environment.

You should take note of the fact that fine dust particles that may fall on your car’s still tacky surface may be set into the finish, thus creating a mark that may appear the same to solvent pop. This blemish usually happens on vehicles that were removed from the spray booth while it is still tacky and left to dry completely in a different location. You can get rid of this kind of contamination by sanding and then polishing the affected area. However, if the problem is really solvent pop, the finish will have small craters or pinholes right after it has been sanded.

Prestigious Auto body is a full service Car Repair and Auto Body Shop, serving the Santa Barbara Area that takes pride in our quality work. Call us today for Auto Repair Estimates in Santa Barbara

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