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Removing Clear Coat: A Brief Guide In Auto Body Technician

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Every car owner knows that the beauty of their vehicle lies in its exterior, which is the paint. But how does the paint gives such a dazzling and shiny look? 

Of course, it’s the clear coat.

The clear coat performs many functions. It protects the exterior from dust, scratches, and environmental impacts, increasing its durability and appearance.

However, the clear coat also fades away with time, and scratches and damage to the car’s exterior will make their owners remove the clear coat.

An auto body technician performs the job of removing the clear coat from a vehicle. But how do they do that?

If you are a new auto body technician and are looking for a brief guide on removing the clear coat, this one is for you!

So, let’s get into the process without wasting any time.

What do you need?

Before you start, you need to have some tools in hand.

Do you know what tools?

Don’t worry if you don’t. Here are the tools that will come in hand while removing the clear coat.

what do you need for removing clear coat

what do you need for removing clear coat

A clean piece of cloth:

You can use any clean piece of cloth as it will only clean the exterior of the car. Yet, it is better to use a soft microfiber cloth.

Wool pads and foams are also helpful, and you can buy them from the market at cheap rates.



Wax is a fantastic product for increasing the glossy shine on the car’s exterior. So, itis better to find high-quality wax for the best results.



Sandpaper is essential for the buffing process. You will need sandpapers of different grit levels. However, the 400 grit sandpaper is the most useful for removing the clear coat.

Sandpapers are easy to find in the market and come at affordable rates. So, you can buy several types for a better result.


A buffing compound:

A high-quality buffing compound will make the clear coat removal process more manageable. But, you need to buy and handle it with care. Some buffing compounds can damage the paint.


Buffing pads:

A buffing compound and buffing pads go hand in hand.

Unlike a towel, the buffing pads efficiently remove the clear coat.

But, make sure that the buffing pads are made of 100% wool.


An electric polishing device:

Polishing the car’s exterior by hands is a laborious task and takes a lot of time and focus.

A better idea is to use an electric polishing device to make your task easier and fast.


A high-quality finishing polish:

As an auto body technician, you might have finishing polishes with you.

If not, you can buy one from the market.

It is better to buy a high-quality finishing polish as it will determine the shine of the vehicle. It will also protect the car’s exterior for several years.


A spray detailer:

A spray detailer comes in handy when you have removed the clear coat from the car.

It enhances the shine of the car by removing the clear coat. A high-quality wax spray detailer also makes the surface smooth and shiny.


Step-by-step Guide

Now, when you have all these tools with you, let’s begin removing the clear coat.

step step guide

step step guide

Clean your car:

How can you apply any product to a car with so much dust and mud?

So, thoroughly clean your car with water, and dry it with a towel before starting the process.

But remember one thing!

Don’t be too harsh and scratch the car while cleaning. As the paint becomes fragile while removing the clear coat, it may result in a loss.


Make use of the sandpaper:

This process is called wet and dry sanding. 

For the wet sanding process, you need 400 grit sandpaper, which was soaked in water for about an hour.

Now, gently rub the sandpaper on the car’s surface to weaken the clear coat.

When dealing with scratches, make sure that you rub at least an inch away from them. As an auto body technician, you need to be very careful.

To make the surface even smoother, you can use higher grit sandpapers.

Now, you need to dry out the vehicle before moving on to the dry-sanding process.

For this purpose, you might need 600 or 800 grit sandpaper. All auto body technicians understand how crucial it is while going over the scratches. So, making an angle of 45-degree will help ensure a smooth finish.

Once you get an even tone on the exterior, you can rinse and dry it to remove the sand particles.


Buffing with polish and compound:

You can buff the vehicle using an electric polisher. Make sure that the electric polisher has a rotational speed of 1200-1400 rpm.

To spread the polish evenly, it is better to follow circular motions while buffing the sanded region.

When this process is complete, it’s time to use the buffing compound.

As mentioned earlier, a 100% wool buffing compound is essential. Many new auto body technicians do it carelessly, resulting in a disaster.

So, make sure you are careful with it. Please don’t be too harsh or apply pressure as it can burn the paint underneath.


Use a wax and spray detailer:

The last step is to apply wax to the car’s exterior. A spray detailer will do the perfect job!

Although some new auto technicians might not consider it essential, it is of great importance for an elegant and smooth finish.

The wax will make an even tone on the exterior and enhance the shine and glossy look.

Once all the above steps are completed, the car is ready to sparkle on the road and catch everyone’s attention.

cleaning car

cleaning car

Final words

Removing the clear coat from the car is essential to prevent it from greater damages. Small scratches may lead to bigger issues. A better idea is to get the clear coat removed and replace it with a new one.

Our brief guide for auto technicians about removing the clear coat will indeed prove helpful for anyone looking for a quick and detailed guide!



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