How to Remove Small Bubbles in an Automotive Paint Job

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Bubbles can occur in automotive paint jobs for a number of reasons, such as a high temperature, inconsistency with the materials and water vapor in the air lines. Learn about finding out the source of bubbles before redoing a paint job with help from an auto restoration specialist in this free video on removing small bubbles in auto paint jobs.

Part of the Video Series: Auto Painting
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Joel Jones from Jonesy's Auto Restoration in Ridgefield, Washington, and today I'm going to talk to you about repairing bubbles in paint. So what cause the bubbles? There's all kind of different, different reasons why bubbles happen. Temperature at which the paint was sprayed; generally if the temperature is too hot, what will happen is you will get a skin will crust over on the outside of the, of the paint and not allow the solvent and the vapors to penetrate through which then causes the bubble to actually like push up through the paint. Inconsistency with the materials can cause bubbling and or blistering with paint which is, which is a major problem. The two contaminants; the chemicals actually force bonding to occur through act like paint dissolving into one another creating a chemical bond and when those are not compatible, they can cause a blister or bubble. Water vapor in your air lines can cause bubbling or blistering because when you're spraying the paint it goes on, there's water droplets that are trapped inside the paint and when the paint heats up and starts to cure, the water doesn't have anywhere to go and so it actually just builds up pressure inside there and forces its way out. So you need to understand what the source of the bubbles are so that you can prevent them from happening beforehand. If you have one or two bubbles, then you can, you can probably repair them in a way that I'm going to show you. If you've got a whole panel that's blistered and bubbles all over the place, then the best thing to do would be to; a. figure out what cause the bubbles in the first place and completely strip the panel down and then make sure that when you paint it again, you are not repeating the same mistake. So if you do have one or two bubbles, like we have in this and it's really difficult to see, here's how you would, you would address it. You're going to, you're going to basically sand the bubble out and remove materials so that you get down to a substance below the bubble. Now if the bubble is really really deep, you're not going to be able to do this. And so what you'll have to do is to actually get a little bit more paint and then fill in that void. But this one which is right here and you can see it; is not, is just in the clear coat and so we're going to be able to sand that out and there's good clear coat underneath of that, that then we'll be able to polish. So what I have here is I have 1500 grit sandpaper with water and you're just going to want to very very lightly sand the bubble out until it's not, not there anymore and you don't want to sand, you don't want to put a lot of pressure, but you want to sand it enough until the bubble is actually gone and you'll know the bubble is gone when it, when all the water dries, it's not shiny anymore. And so after that dries off, you would not be able to see where that bubble was anymore. One thing you need to really consider when you sand like this is that a lot of times if you have a bubble and you sand it you basically just going to knock the top off the bubble and you'll be left with the void which you can take; if it's just in the clear coat, you can just take a little bit of clear coat and drop it in there with a little bit of hardener and it'll actually fill in that void and then you can sand the top of that off and you'd still be able to see where there was some kind of a flaw but it will be so minute that you will probably be happy with it. So after you sand it with the 1500, you're going to need to go back and then polish the panel back to its regular gloss.

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