What to do if Your Clear Coat is Peeling


While a healthy amount of sunshine is great for OUR skin, it is not so great for the outer layer of your car. The heat, wind, dirt, and debris definitely take their toll on your ride’s exterior which can result in a peeling top coat. Thankfully, though, there are ways and means to fixing a peeling clear coat from home without forking out the big bucks.


Here are our top tips.


  • Applying wax regularly can work to prevent peeling clear coats; wax acts as an invisible barrier between the clear coat and the harsh, damaging effects of the sun and debris.
  • If your clear coat has become faded and peeling regardless of your preventative efforts, follow these steps to mend it from home.
    1. Gather everything you need: car wash supplies, fine sand paper, isopropyl alcohol, rubbing compound, car polish, wax, a buffer, and an aerosol clear coat.
    2. Step one: Use a degreaser to remove any wax that may be leftover.
    3. Step two: clean the entire panel where you see the damage using a good quality car wash soap.
    4. Step three: Use painters tape to mas off the area needing repair.
    5. Step four: Use a fine grit sand paper to sand down the rough and peeling part of the clear coat until you can no longer feel the difference between the damaged area and the good area.
    6. Step five: Wipe the area clean using a soft microfiber cloth and isopropyl alcohol; this alcohol will help remove anything left behind from the sanding.
    7. Step six: Apply the clear coat by shaking the aerosol can for 30-60 seconds, then spraying the first coat lightly. Apply to the entire area that has been sanded.
    8. Step seven: Once the first coat has dried for at least 5 minutes, apply another coat lightly. Once the second coat has dried for 5 minutes, check to see if a third application is needed.
    9. Step eight: Do not drive your car for at least 24 hours to allow ample time for the clear coat to fully dry before you move on to step nine.
    10. Step nine: Use a fine grit sand paper to sand down the border of the area you repaired in order to blend the new clear coat with the old. Be careful not to sand too much!
    11. Step ten: Use the rubbing compound and polish on a buffer and apply to your vehicle using a slow setting with light pressure.
    12. Step eleven: After a few weeks have passed, apply a wax layer to protect your ride.


If all else fails, there is always Gumtree! Head to gumtree.co.za or your Gumtree app (click for Apple & Android).

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