Sat. Oct 24th, 2020

What Will Take Overspray Off of a Car?

Perhaps you bought a used car that had a less—than—flattering paint job. Maybe you thought some flame decals would look hip but the paint splattered all over the place. Whatever the reason, sometimes you have to remove the overspray from your car. The only question is: How? Luckily, there are several ways to get overspray removed from your car and have you back on the road, driving in style. 

What is overspray? 

To put it simply, overspray is when you’ve over-sprayed. Especially in detail work that depends on paint sprayers, there tend to be flecks of paint that attach themselves to unintended locations. It happens most commonly in graffiti, commercial paint projects, and—you guessed it—auto detailing. These flecks and splotches may look stylish for an artist’s mural but on a car, they tend to look messy. 

This is because finer overspray particles often look like dust. Imagine shelling out hundreds of dollars on a paint job for your ride for it to turn out looking like your car has been sitting in storage for years. If you’re unlucky enough that the overspray particles are larger, it may even look as though there are raindrops dotting the exterior of your vehicle. Now that you know how to identify overspray, you’re probably wondering what you need to do to get it off your car. This is going to vary based on the type of overspray, the amount, and the scope of the job. 

Overspray Removal Techniques

The first way to remove overspray is with a clay bar. If clay bars sound unfamiliar to you, don’t fret. Plenty of stores, including many of the big-box retailers, sell clay bars individually and in bulk. Plus, they aren’t all that expensive, either. Using a spray bottle filled with an auto body cleaner or even a simple soap and water mix, you’ll want to wet up the overspray. Then, take your clay bar and gently buff off the excess paint. You’ll feel a bit of friction and once that stops, the overspray should be gone. Then, use your cleaning solution again to get rid of any excess residue or particles. 

Another overspray removal method involves scraping the excess paint off with a razor blade. While this is certainly a feasible technique, one slip of the hand and you’re looking at a pretty scratched-up ride. There are several other DIY overspray removal hacks that you could attempt, but beyond the clay bar method, they are increasingly cumbersome and require too many steps. Your best bet is to find an overspray removal professional in most cases to avoid any lasting damage to your paint job or your car. 

Finding Overspray Removal Assistance

As with any professional service, you need to do a bit of research beforehand. Keep reputation and reliability in mind. While it may be tempting to go with the quickest, cheapest fix, it’s important to realize that prices are low for a reason. Sure, low prices could indicate a new auto body shop looking to snag some customers. On the other hand, low prices might be a way of saying “you’re going to get what you pay for” or that the shop isn’t as reliable. 

In the auto industry, reputation matters a great deal. If you’re having trouble deciding, a failsafe is to get a recommendation from a friend or relative. Online reviews are helpful, too, but they don’t always paint a clear picture of the service you’ll receive. 

Overspray is a hassle and can certainly dull your car. Thankfully, removal isn’t nearly as difficult or as costly as you might think. Do some research, call a couple of shops for quotes, and if all else fails, attempt a DIY method. With any luck, your car will soon be looking as though you just drove it off the lot at a dealership. 

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