How to Fix a Run in Clear Coat

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When applying clear coat, you must take care not to place too heavy a layer. If you do so, the result can be a run in the clear coat -- a section of the clear that sags under its own weight, causing a mar in the coat's appearance. One method of fixing a run in your clear coat is by removal of the trouble section and reapplication of the clear coat layer. It can be a tricky process, as you'll have to take care not to remove the paint or finish beneath the clear. The result, however, of a successful fix is a patched area that's indistinguishable from the surrounding surface, with the newly applied coat blending in seamlessly.

Things You'll Need

  • Sandpaper, wet/dry 1000-grit, 1500-grit
  • Bucket
  • Backing block
  • Clean lint-free cloth
  • Acetone
  • Clear coat spray
  • Tack cloth
  • Saturate a 1000-grit wet/dry sandpaper in a bucket of water and then attach the sandpaper to a backing block. Sand the area of the run in clear coat using small circular motions with the sandpaper to remove the clear coat from the surface. Keep the sandpaper wet during the sanding process as you smooth the surface completely, taking care not to remove any of the base coat color paint beneath. Cover the entire area of the run in addition to about a 2-inch area surrounding the run.

  • Flush the surface with water to remove any sanding residue and then pat it dry. Clean the surface using a clean lint free cloth dampened in acetone to smooth the area further. Allow the acetone to evaporate, then wipe with a tack cloth to remove any lingering dust.

  • Spray a new layer of clear coat onto the surface. Use two very light layers of the spray to build up the coat to the same level as the surrounding clear. Allow the first coat to dry before adding the second coat. Then allow that coat to dry as well before continuing.

  • Wet sand the new clear coat surface with 1500 grit sandpaper to smooth the surface out with the surrounding old clear coat. Wipe the surface clean after sanding with the tack cloth.

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