Logo carsalmanac.com

How to properly remove paint smudges on a car instruction and technology

Table of contents:

How to properly remove paint smudges on a car instruction and technology
How to properly remove paint smudges on a car instruction and technology

Painting a car is a complex and responsible process that requires not only specialized equipment, but also certain skills. It is important to be able to properly apply enamel on the body. Otherwise, there will be shagreen and streaks, the presence of which is unacceptable. But what if it did happen? How to remove paint smudges after painting a car, we will consider in our today's article.

Where can this happen?

Enamel smudges can form on any painted area. Moreover, it can be both influxes and individual drops. But most often this happens in the lower part, on the edges of the parts. If the enamel is over-thinned with hardener, the liquid will collect at the bottom under the action of gravity, thus forming streaks.

paint smudges
paint smudges

It is worth noting that these defects may not appear immediately after applying the enamel - drops may form in an hour or even later. By the way, when buying a used carit is worth paying attention to waviness and the presence of sagging on the edges of body elements. This suggests that the car was not painted according to technology.

What is required to fix leaks

To clean a paint smudge on a car, you will need to prepare the following:

  • sandpaper of different grits (from P600 to P2500);
  • soapy water;
  • rubber bar;
  • blade;
  • car wiper;
  • universal putty;
  • polishing machine and the polish itself.

It is important to remember that if paint smudges were detected immediately after applying the enamel, they should not be removed immediately. Be sure to wait until the paint is completely dry. Otherwise, the smudge will come off along with the deep layer. You also need to be prepared for the fact that after removing smudges, various bubbles or other defects can be found in their place.

Getting Started

So, how to remove paint smudges after painting?

  • If this is a large defect, then you can use a razor blade. With it, you will cut off part of the drop. You can also use a utility knife blade.
  • Next, you should use coarse sanding paper P600. She needs to wrap a rubber bar and moisten it in soapy water.
  • After that, gently overwrite the rest.
  • When the edges of the smudge begin to rub over, you can switch to a finer-grained skin. So, it is worth using sandpaper P1000, and then P1500 and P2500 - with their help we will grind the existing shagreenand smooth the transition.

After that, you only need to polish this area. And it's better to do it with a grinder and a felt wheel.

how to remove smudges
how to remove smudges

Alternative way

Earlier we mentioned such material as universal putty. They can be used even if smudges are not completely dry. What is the meaning of work? The task is extremely clear - we need to putty the existing smudges with a thin layer. Next, wait 15 minutes and rub the protrusions with sandpaper.

It is important to start with coarse grain and then move to fine grain. The procedure is similar to the above case. It is worth noting that the universal putty dries quickly. After half an hour, it will become denser than the paint itself. Therefore, timing is important.

Remove small smudges

They are much easier to remove. If the defect appeared a few minutes ago, you can simply lift or turn the part - the enamel will evenly spread over the surface itself. But if the defect is not completely eliminated in this way, but only partially, you can add another layer of enamel.

And how to remove paint smudges if the surface has hardened? If a small drop of paint has already dried up, you can use sandpaper. It is better to start with P1500 material and finish with fine-grained P2500.

emery work
emery work

Primer coat

If the car is painted thoroughly, a primer is always used for better paint adhesion. There are times when smudges form on it. Dye,which will lie on such a surface, follows the contours, and as a result, sagging is obtained. Therefore, the defect must be eliminated before applying the enamel. How to do it?

Because the material is rougher than enamel, smudges can be removed with P240 and P400 coarse sanding paper. Then the remaining dust should be washed off with a degreaser, after which the surface will be completely ready for applying the next, base coat of enamel.

how to apply enamel
how to apply enamel


Troubles also happen at the finishing stage - when varnishing. How is it fixed?

This defect is best removed with sandpaper, after waiting until the material dries. Similar to the previous cases, for large smudges, you can use a sharp blade. The surface is then polished. And if the defect was not repaired smoothly, you can apply another layer of varnish.

By the way, in most cases, smudges on the varnish are formed due to different temperatures of the liquid and the room. It is also recommended to use varnishes and thinners from the same manufacturer.

Why are smudges formed, and how to prevent it?

In order not to wonder how to remove paint smudges on a car, you need to find out the very principle of the formation of these defects.

Enamel is a liquid of a certain viscosity. Unlike water, which flows off the body on its own (for example, when washing), the paint is thicker and, even with a small spray, is able to stick to the body. In its original form, this enamel is not applied, but dilutedpreviously with solvent. It makes the paint more fluid, so it dries faster. But you need to know its correct consistency, as well as the method of application. It is important to spray the enamel in a thin layer. If there is a thick layer on the surface, paint smudges may occur.

after car painting
after car painting

What you need to know the master who paints the element:

  1. The consistency of the paint should be optimal.
  2. Apply in a thin layer, from a relatively long distance.
  3. The next layer is applied only after the previous one has dried. Otherwise, paint smudges may occur.
  4. The thickness of each new layer should be higher than the previous one.

Thus, when working with paintwork materials, it is important to exclude overflows. It is because of the large accumulation of paint in one place that unnecessary smudges will form.

grinder work
grinder work

Helpful advice

Some enamels already come with a solvent and have different viscosities when ready. In order to avoid smudges of paint, it is recommended to apply it to an unnecessary, pre-primed element before the process. So you can understand how the enamel will behave with one or another method of application.


So, we found out why smudges appear, and how they can be eliminated. As you can see, this work is quite easy to do with your own hands. To do this, you only need a set of sandpaper of different grain sizes, a bar and a blade. Other materials can be used(for example, universal putty) - the result will be the same.

Popular topic