Car Paint: Everything You Need to Know

Protecting the integrity of a car’s paint job can sometimes feel like a full-time job. A car’s paint is vulnerable to everything from fading when in direct sunlight to getting scratched by overhanging tree branches or bushes.

More than just looking bad, a damaged paint job can drastically affect a vehicle's resell value. As much as people will claim they are only interested in performance, people inevitably buy with their eyes. Also, doesn’t everyone want to drive around in a shiny, good-looking car? As such, it's essential to look after a car’s paint. To simplify this, we’ve outlined what to do when dealing with specific issues that can damage paint. 

If you have any questions or want to schedule a vehicle respray, please get in touch with our expert team today.


How are paint scratches fixed on a car?

Our professionals follow the below steps when removing paint scratches from a car’s exterior:

1. Assessment:

Visual Inspection: Professionals start by visually inspecting the scratches and assessing the extent of the damage. They determine whether the scratches are superficial or if they have penetrated the clear coat and base coat layers.
Colour Matching: Identifying the car's exact colour is crucial for a seamless repair. Professionals use colour-matching tools to ensure that the touch-up paint closely matches the existing paint on the vehicle.

2. Cleaning and Preparation:

Cleaning the Area: The damaged area is thoroughly cleaned to remove dirt, wax, and other contaminants. This ensures a clean surface for the repair process.

Masking: To protect surrounding areas from overspray, professionals use masking tape and paper to cover unaffected parts of the car carefully.

3. Sanding and Feathering:

Sanding: If the scratch is deep, professionals use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth the edges of the scratch and prepare the surface for repair.

Feathering: The edges of the scratched area are feathered out to create a smooth transition between the repaired area and the surrounding paint.

4. Primer Application (If Needed):

Primer: In cases where the scratch has reached the bare metal, professionals apply a primer to ensure proper adhesion of the touch-up paint.

5. Paint Application:

Base Coat Application: The color-matched base coat is applied to the scratched area. Professionals use techniques such as airbrushing to achieve a uniform and seamless finish.

Layering: Multiple thin layers of paint may be applied, allowing each layer to dry before the next one. This helps build up the paint thickness gradually.

6. Clear Coat Application:

Clear Coat: After the base coat has dried, a clear coat is applied to protect the newly painted area and provide a glossy finish. Like the base coat, precise coat application is done in multiple layers.

7. Curing and Drying:

Drying Time: The vehicle is allowed to dry in a controlled environment. Professional repair shops often have specialised drying systems, such as heated paint booths, to ensure optimal drying conditions.

Curing: Depending on the type of paint used, a curing process may be necessary to achieve the desired hardness and durability.

8. Buffing and Polishing:

Buffing: Once the paint has cured, professionals may use polishing compounds and buffing tools to smooth out the repaired area and blend it with the surrounding paint.

9. Quality Control:

Inspection: The repaired area undergoes a thorough inspection to ensure the scratch has been adequately repaired and the paint matches seamlessly with the rest of the car.

10. Final Touches:

Waxing and Detailing: To enhance the overall appearance, professionals may apply wax and perform detailing to the entire vehicle.


Where Do I find the paint code on a car?

The location of the paint code on a car can vary depending on the make and model. Here are some familiar places where you might find the paint code:

Driver's Side Door Jamb: Open the driver's side door and look for a sticker or plate on the door jamb. The paint code is often listed along with other information about the vehicle.

Glove Compartment or Center Console: Check inside the glove compartment or the centre console. Some manufacturers provide a label with the paint code in these areas.

Trunk Lid or Tailgate: Look on the inside of the trunk lid or the inner edge of the tailgate for a label that includes the paint code.

Under the Hood: In some cases, you may find the paint code on a sticker under the hood, often near the radiator support or fender.

Owner's Manual: The owner's manual may contain information about the paint code. Check the index or the section related to vehicle specifications.

Online Resources: If you need help locating the paint code on the car itself, you can often find it in the vehicle's documentation or the manufacturer's official website. Some automakers provide online tools where you can enter your vehicle's information to find the paint code.

Dealership: If you cannot find the paint code using the methods above, you can also contact the dealership where you purchased the car. They should be able to provide you with the paint code based on your vehicle identification number (VIN).

VIN Plate: The paint code might be listed on the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) plate, which is usually visible through the windshield on the driver's side at the bottom of the windshield.

Remember that the paint code is typically a combination of letters and numbers and may be labelled as "Paint Code," "Color Code," or something similar. If you need help locating the paint code, refer to your vehicle's manual or contact the manufacturer or dealership for assistance.


How to remove bird poop from car without damaging paint?

Act Quickly: The longer bird droppings sit on your car's paint, the more damage they can cause. Try to remove it as soon as possible.

Gather Supplies:

  • Water
  • Mild dish soap
  • Microfiber or soft cloth
  • Gently abrasive cleaner (if needed)
  • Wax or polish (optional)

Rinse with Water: Start by rinsing the affected area with plain water. Use a hose or a bucket of water to loosen and remove as much of the bird droppings as possible.

Soak the Area: If the bird droppings are dried and stubborn, soak the affected area with water and mild dish soap. Let it sit for a few minutes to soften the droppings.

Gentle Wiping: Use a soft microfiber or cotton cloth to gently wipe away the bird droppings. Avoid using rough materials like paper towels or abrasive sponges, as they can scratch the paint.

Repeat if Necessary: If some residue remains, repeat the process until the droppings are entirely removed. Be patient and avoid applying excessive pressure.

Avoid Scrubbing: Refrain from scrubbing too hard, which can scratch the paint. Let the water and soap mixture do the work in breaking down the droppings.

Use a Gently Abrasive Cleaner (If Needed): If the bird droppings are particularly stubborn, you can use a mildly abrasive cleaner specifically designed for automotive use. Apply it with a soft cloth and follow the product's instructions.

Rinse Again: After removing the bird droppings, rinse the area thoroughly with water to remove any remaining soap or cleaner.


How do I remove stickers from a car without damaging the paint?

Heat the Sticker:
Use a hairdryer or heat gun to warm the sticker and adhesive. Hold the tool several inches away from the sticker and move it back and forth to distribute the heat evenly. This helps soften the adhesive and makes the sticker easier to peel off.

Peel Off the Sticker:
Once the sticker is warmed up, use a plastic razor blade or plastic scraper to lift the edge of the sticker gently. Peel it off slowly and at a low angle to minimise the risk of tearing.

Remove Residual Adhesive:
If adhesive residue is left on the paint, apply a small amount of Goo Gone or WD-40 to a soft cloth. Gently rub the residue in a circular motion until it starts to break down.

Wipe Clean:
You can use a clean cloth to remove the loosened adhesive and any remaining residue. If needed, you can use mild, soapy water to clean the area.

Inspect for Residue:
Check for any remaining adhesive. If there are stubborn spots, repeat the application of Goo Gone or WD-40 and gently rub until the residue is gone.

Clean the Area:
After removing the sticker and adhesive, clean the area with mild soap and water to remove all residue. Dry the area with a clean, soft cloth.

Optional: Wax or Polish:
If the sticker has left any dullness on the paint, you can apply a wax or polish to restore the shine. This step is optional but can help blend the treated area with the surrounding paint.

Final Inspection:
Inspect the area for any remaining adhesive or damage. If you notice any issues, address them promptly.


If your vehicle needs car paint repairs, please get in touch with our garage today. We fix all types of vehicles, including cars, jeeps and light commercial vehicles.


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