How to remove paint from your car?

car paint removal

If you have been using your car for a while, maybe you notice that the paint is flaking off, or you are simply in love with a different color. Removing car paint is not a complex exercise if you have the right tools.

You must remember that your car represents you and that stains or uneven paint will make the car look bad. It’s not a good idea to apply paint to the existing paint; instead, you should start by removing the old paint before applying a new coat. In this article, we’ll examine some simple do-it-yourself techniques for car paint removal.

Before we start, make sure you are wearing your gloves and a dust mask or breathing mask; paint contains chemical compounds that can harm your body.

Car Sanding Technique

For this procedure, you will need a dual-action sander, a dust mask, and a 220 grit grinding disc. Start by attaching the peeled off grinding disc to the double-acting sander. Start removing paint from one part of the car to another in a circular motion.

To ensure a smooth surface, turn the sanding disk to a grit of 400.

Chemical stripper

This car paint removal technique is less laborious but requires that you wear a respirator and gloves when applying the chemical stripper.

The first step is to remove anything on the outside of your car that you do not want to be exposed to the stripper. You can also cover them with an easily removable paper. This includes your glass windows, fenders, rubber linings, and other exterior accessories. The manufacturer’s label often includes instructions on how long the paint should stay on the car before removal.

To apply the stripping agent, pour the contents into a container and apply it with a brush to the vehicle surface where the old paint is located. You will know that it is time to remove the stripper if it can easily be scraped. If not, wait a little longer. Finally, scrape off the stripper with a putty knife. Wash the car and you can smooth the surface with the sander. If necessary, you can reapply the stripper if not all the paint has been removed on the first try.

The chemical stripping technique is time-consuming but works well for large surfaces. Make sure that you buy sufficient quantities of the chemical to be applied before starting the work.

RELATED: Tips for Choosing the Best Auto Body Shop

Car Paint Removal through Blasting

remove paint from car

For this exercise wear overalls, breathing apparatus, and a hood that protects you from the blasting materials. Cover all areas of your car that you do not want to come in contact with blasting particles – this includes chrome, exposed glass, and car bodywork.

To remove car paint with the blasting technique, you can use plastic, baking powder, or sand. Put the ingredients into your compressor or blasting machine. Once you have set the required pressure, you can blast the paint off your car.

Sandblasting requires only a few tools, which is why it is recommended for large surfaces. The size range for sand or plastic should be 40 or 12. Find a compatible blasting nozzle before you start working; note that this depends on the capacity of the compressor.

Getting Rid of Rust

remove rust from car

If you have a car that has not been used for a while and was parked outside the entire time, it may have developed rust. Rust makes it difficult to apply paint to the car. You must first use a 24-grain sander to remove the rust. This should remove the first layer of rust. Use 40- or 180-grain sander to make a smooth surface. Then wash the car and apply the paint.

A dual-action sander does not move in a circular motion like the orbital sander but moves side-to-side. It is ideal for removing rust stains that have not penetrated the metal body of the car. Start with grit 60 to 80 and then use grit 120 to 180 to smooth the surface.

There are also those areas that are hidden from other methods of color removal. These areas may include the side doors, under the bumper, or the trunk surfaces. You must purchase chemical paint from your local auto parts store to remove paint in these hidden areas.

The procedure for removing the paint is quite simple. Apply the paint remover to a specific area and cover it with the painter’s tape. Wait about 20 minutes for chemical reactions. Use a putty knife to dissolve the chemical compound. Finally, use a sponge with some soapy water to clean the surface. You can sand the area before applying a new coat of paint.

RELATED: How to Remove Window Tint

Paint from Another Car

Accidents are inevitable when driving through cities by car. There are some times when someone scratches your car and leaves their car paint on your car. To remove these scratches, you need high-quality car polish.

The polish removes the top layer of paint that belongs to another car, leaving your car paint intact. Use some car wax to smooth the stains and give them some shine. This only works on small scratches. If the dent is large, you must first realign the dented metal before applying paint.

If you want to polish your car, it is recommended to use a good polishing machine. One that we like very much and which is absolutely worth the money is this one from Amazon.


Your car needs an occasional coat of paint. But before you can apply a new coat of paint, you must first remove the old paint. Removing car paint can be done from the comfort of your home, and you don’t necessarily need to call in an expert.

First make sure that you wear a pair of gloves, protective clothing, and a respirator or dust mask. If you are thinking of painting a large area, you can use a power sander to remove old paint. You must remove or cover the areas that should not come into contact with paint, such as the bumper, fenders, and windows. Use a 220 grit grinding wheel for this purpose. Chemical paint removers are another easy way to remove paint from your car at home.

Once you have poured the contents onto a container, begin applying the chemical to the vehicle surface. After about 20 minutes (depending on the manufacturer’s instructions) you can remove the paint with a putty knife. Use a sanding machine to smooth the surface.

Written by:

Magnus is the owner and main author of MechanicBase. He has been working as a mechanic for over 10 years, and the majority of them specialized in advanced diagnostics and troubleshooting. He has also been a motorsport (drifting) driver for over 5 years.