How to Remove Overspray From a Car

by Richard Rowe
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Overspray -- it happens to the best. It doesn't matter how well you tape or mask a car while painting, there's always a chance that a few nefarious pigment particles will sneak past your front-line masking and land somewhere you'd rather they didn't. When it happens, there are methods for addressing these rogue agents without stripping the whole thing down and starting over.

Clay Bar

The new generation of clay detailing bars are your primary tool in this endeavor. Start by washing the vehicle down completely to remove any stray dust and wax that might clog the bar, and dry it completely. From this point forward, you need only rub the oversprayed panel or glass with the clay bar, keeping it well lubricated with clay bar lubricant. You want a regular, sticky clay bar, typically colored white or blue. The more rubbery bars used for finer finishing won't stick hard enough or deep enough into the material pores to remove the overspray.

On mirrors, use a liquid silicone wax instead of the standard clay bar lubricant; the clay bar will be ruined -- so do this last -- but it's safer on the mirror glass. You can use a bit of denatured alcohol or a specialized plastic cleaner containing alcohol to remove or loosen overspray that the clay bar alone won't take off.

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