How to Remove Primer From Auto Paint

by Jenny Carver

Removing any substance from your car's paint, including primer, is a delicate task. A car's paint can be easily damaged by certain chemicals or cleaners during removal, costing hundreds of dollars in professional paint repairs. Still it is possible to remove primer from auto paint safely and without damage.

Step 1

Wash the car with car soap and a soft sponge. This removes any dirt or particles that can scratch the car's surface when rubbing with a towel. Park the car in the shade and allow it to dry completely.

Step 2

Spray the area that has primer on it with the lubricant that comes in the clay bar kit. Keep the area lubricated while using the clay bar in Step 3.

Step 3

Rub the clay bar back and forth to remove the primer. The clay bar glides across the lubricated surface while picking up all of the primer spots. Use pressure, as applying pressure to the clay bar will not cause any damage to the car's surface.

Step 4

Fold and stretch the clay bar frequently to expose clean areas.

Step 5

Inspect the car closely to ensure that you have rubbed off all of the primer. Spray another coat of lubricant over the entire area and wipe it away with a dry cloth.

Apply car wax to the area with a damp cloth using small circular motions. Allow the wax to dry and then rub it away with a soft cloth.


  • Always park the car in the shade with applying any type of cleaner or product to the surface. Sunshine heats the car's clear coat and can allow it to be damaged easily. Work in small areas of about a foot, finish and then move to another area.


  • Do not use a dirty area of the clay bar against the car's surface. The dirt can cause tiny scratches in the clear coat of the car's paint, eventually leading to rust.

Items you will need

  • Car wash
  • Sponge
  • Water hose
  • Clay bar system including clay bar and lubricant (found at any auto parts store)
  • Soft cotton towels
  • Car wax

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