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How to Fix Clear Coat Peeling In 5 Steps

How to Fix Clear Coat Peeling

How to Fix Clear Coat Peeling In 5 Steps

Knowing how to fix clear coat peeling is useful when you first see signs of damage. Essentially, car clear coat is a transparent layer of paint that goes over the primer and basecoat. It helps to protect the underlying paint job and provides a high-gloss finish.

Eco Auto Wash Guide

However, clear coat can peel and fade due to general wear and tear, the sun’s UV rays, or other harsh weather conditions. Fortunately, you can fix peeling clear coat if you have confidence in your DIY skills.

But first, prevention is ultimately the best course of action. For example, you can protect your car’s clear coat by avoiding abrasive brushes at automated car washes. Steer clear of harsh soaps and detergents, too. Instead, opt for greener car wash alternatives and protective wax care. This is where we can help! Find out more about our Eco Car Wash Benefit Guide.

How to Fix Clear Coat Peeling

Our steam cleaning technology cleans your car exterior and helps to protect the clear coat. The clear coat matters because it stops water spots, paint swirls, and sun damage from hitting deeper layers of paint. And it is much easier to remove defects in the clear coat than in the deeper layers of paint. But if your car’s clear coat is already peeling, act now with these 5 steps.


Step 1. Clean Affected Area

Learning how to fix clear coat peeling is straightforward but it is not a 10-minute job. It begins with preparing the area. Eliminating dirt and debris will allow you to see the problem. To clean the affected area of the car, use a mild car wash soap and a wet microfiber sponge. Rub the area gently to remove any dust or dirt, then rinse. Finalize the wash by drying with a microfiber towel.

You can also try our home remedies for oxidized paint if the clear coat is faded. However, if it is a widespread issue and badly peeling, you will need to remove the clear coat and repaint.

Step 2. Remove the Old Clear Coat

To remove the old clear coat, start by taping off the section that you need to fix. You can use blue painter’s tape. This tip stops you from accidentally sanding other parts of the car. Then sand the area with fine-grit sandpaper until the area is smooth and dull. Sand a little past the affected area to create room for blending later. Once that is done, rinse and dry the freshly sanded area.

Step 3. Protect the Rest of the Car and Yourself

This step is very simple. Use some material to cover windows and other parts of your car to prevent the clear coat from getting on them. Additionally, grab a dust mask and a pair of safety goggles. Park your car in an area with ventilation that has a roof. For example, an open garage.

tweet clear coat peeling

Step 4. Apply the New Clear Coat

Shake the can of clear coat spray and start applying it to the car. Hold the can about eight inches away from the car and spray it on evenly while moving at a steady speed. After spraying on the first coat, wait for it to dry. When it’s not sticky, it’s dry. Then, spray on a second coat and wait a couple hours for it to completely dry. Now remove the tape and newspaper protecting the other parts of the car.

Step 5. How to fix clear coat peeling by blending the painted area

After you have finished applying clear coat, wait for at least 2 days before blending the clear coat. You will notice that the area you painted still stands out from the rest. To fix this, just blend the edges by wetting the area.

Afterward, wet sand the area until you notice the difference is faint and dry. Lastly, polish the area of the car with a rubbing compound until it shines. Avoid polishing against the direction you put on the clear coat, or it may cause clear coat peeling again. Wipe the surface, and you are done. Now you know how to fix clear coat peeling!

Final note, maintain your clear coat with ongoing car care. Our mobile car detailing service can help if you are short on time. We also recommend regular wax treatments to help preserve the clear coat and protect your paint from corrosive elements, such as UV rays, tree sap and bird droppings. Ask about our Presidential Detail Package for good-as-new results.


Once you know how to fix clear coat peeling you can restore your car’s appearance. However, if the damage is more severe, it is best to leave this job to the experts. You can set up an appointment with DetailXPerts. Our professional detailers have plenty of experience when it comes to fixing this issue.

Eco Auto Wash Guide

What makes our auto spa special? Download our Eco Car Wash Benefit Guide to find out. It explains DetailXPerts’ competitive edge and why our customers trust us with their car care.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.


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