How to Clearcoat Over Vinyl Graphics

by Jenny Carver

Painting or adding graphics to the exterior surface of your car is the fastest and most noticeable way to change the look of the car. Painting a car is expensive and must be done by a professional automotive painter for the paint job to look its best. Vinyl graphics are much less expensive and can be applied by anyone. To keep the vinyl graphics looking good and to keep them protected, they can be sprayed with clearcoat paint. The clearcoat paint keeps the vinyl from peeling and makes the surface easier to keep clean.

Step 1

Scrub the painted surface area around the vinyl graphics with a gray scuff pad. This scuffs the painted surface just enough to allow the clearcoat paint to adhere to the surface. Be careful to keep the gray pad away from the surface of the actual vinyl graphics or the scratches may be visible on the graphics. Use the gray pad in between and around the graphics, scrubbing about five to six inches around the graphics.

Step 2

Wipe the entire area with wax and grease remover and a microfiber towel. This removes any wax residue from old wax or car wash soap and the grease from fingerprints. All of these things can interfere with the clearcoat paint finish. The wax and grease remover evaporates quickly and doesn't need to be washed off.

Step 3

Spray two to three coats of clearcoat paint over the area that has been scuffed, including the vinyl graphics, waiting five minutes between each coat. Hold the can six to eight inches from the surface, and use thin coats so the paint doesn't run. Wait four hours after the last coat is sprayed before handling the area.

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