How to Remove a Paint Transfer

By Brian Jump

How to Remove a Paint Transfer

Cracks me up sometimes how many
detailers dont know this. I see MANY cars at the auction, dealers, and even pro detailers who dont remove paint transfers or old decals etc. Maybe lazy, maybe lack of desire, or quite possibly lack or knowledge.

Paint transfers are simply paint that has been applied over the vehicles paint. It usually happens when another car brushes by the car in question, or a wall, fence, or other object with paint on it. Sometimes the transfers only pass along the paint, other times the transfer object removes the cars paint and then puts the new color right on top of it. In those situations, new paint is the only cure-this remedy is for paint on paint.

So, you have some paint on top of your vehicles painted surface. This remedy will work best if the car you are working on had the factory paint finish..if not, test this in a door jamb or other inconspicuous place 1st.

1) Clean the transfer area with laquer thinner. Not paint thinner, laquer thinner. You can get this from any hardware or paint supply store. Wear rubber gloves and dont breathe the product.

2) Take a terry cloth or old t-shirt and wipe the product directly on the transfer. If you see the transfer coming off, continue. If not, either A) Add more pressure, and if that doesnt work,

3) Take a wool pad on a buffing wheel, and under lite pressure and medium speed, use compound and see if that works. The only other option is to color sand it off it the other methods fail, or use acetone, but if the thinner doesnt do the trick with a little elbow grease, chances are the transfer has been ground in deeply into the paint with alot of pressure, and you need to be careful as to not remove the original finish. When all else fails, paint it!...but I hope the thinner works for you are well as it works for us!

Happy Pushing!

Brian Jump