How to Remove Old Paint from a Car

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Remove old paint before you paint a car by sanding out the clear coat, so everything has a uniform grit before painting; learn how in this free paint-restoration video.

Part of the Video Series: How to Restore a Car's Paint Job
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Video Transcript

Next step in painting the repair we've done on the Miyata is we need to scuff up the old paint and the old clear. So, Alex is using a super fine Scotch Brite pad and he'll just rub the whole thing down to scuff up the clear a little bit, the old clear coat. So that the new paint and clear will stick to it. He's even going over his old work. Even thought it's already been sanded so it has the same consistency on the whole car. We want the last thing that touches everything to be the same grit so that when the base coat and clear go on there everything has a uniform appearance. You can see where if you sand one thing finer than another that they'd have a different quality of paint and shine to it when you're done. He takes the Scotch Brite and folds it over to get right up to the edge of that dark tape. Because we want everything we spray on this car to stick. If you leave just a little bit of a shiny edge there, the clear won't stick. The paint won't stick and it will start peeling off from the edges of it. If you look at older cars that have had poor quality body work done to them over the years you can see where paint starts to peel around the edges of things. This is also a good chance to make sure everything's really clean. Sometimes a car that hasn't been kept clean enough during its life will have dirt, really old oxidized dirt in the paint. This is the time to get that out.

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