How to Use Thinners to Clean a Car Before Painting

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Washing a car is an essential first step before beginning to add another layer of color. If any sort of dirt is left on the vehicle before the painting commences, it can leave behind fuzzies and other debris that can give the car a bizarre texture. Paint thinners are an excellent way to get the surface smooth and clean. However, paint thinners should always be used in a well-ventilated room or outside.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass cleaner
  • Paint thinner
  • 3 Cloth towels
  • Gloves
  • Put on gloves before beginning your work. Your gloves should be sturdy enough that paint thinner will not leak through. Disposable gloves work best, as the residue from paint thinner can leave behind an odor on cloth gloves even after several washings.

  • Spray glass cleaner over the area you wish to paint. You can use any kind of glass cleaner. Take your cloth and scrub the area until it becomes nice and shiny. Glass cleaners help pick up things like residue, fingerprints and bird droppings that may otherwise stick on the car if just paint thinner is used.

  • Spray or blot the paint thinner with another cloth on the area you will paint. Wipe until the entire area is clean and shiny. When working with paint thinner, make sure you are in a well-ventilated area such as a carport, outside or the garage with the door open. The fumes are toxic and can cause a loss of consciousness or death in extreme cases.

  • Wipe the area down with a dry cloth, making sure the surface is free of any paint thinner residue.

  • Begin painting your car.

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