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  1. #1
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    How To remove Paint Transfer off your car's paint

    How How To remove Paint Transfer off your car's paint


    How To Remove Paint Transfer
    Paint Transfer is a term used to describe when the paint off of some other object is transferred onto you car's finish usually by some kind of accident.

    My friend Rob is a Fitness Instructor at the gym I work out at and someone, somehow sideswiped his 2006 Ford Mustang GT and in so doing took off is side mirror and transferred some white paint onto his car's finish along with instilling some marring and scratches.









    Luckily the damage wasn't worse!



    Here's how you can remove paint transfer by hand using a light paint cleaner. For this example I'll use Pinnacle Paintwork Cleansing Lotion.

    Pinnacle Paintwork Cleansing Lotion non-abrasive, it is designed to safely take off old wax, embedded road grime and pollution that washing will not remove. It prepares the surface for waxing by creating a clean, smooth, highly-reflective surface.

    This is a very mild polish and because it's non-abrasive I'm going to apply and work it with a microfiber applicator pad, in this situation were using the nap of the microfiber as our abrasive along with the lubrication and cleaning ability of Pinnacle Paintwork Cleansing Lotion to gently remove the offending paint.

    If you find Pinnacle Paintwork Cleansing Lotion is not aggressive enough, you can use Pinnacle Advanced Compound. This is a hi tech compound that uses the latest in abrasive technology and while it will finish down like a polish it's a good idea to follow it with a less aggressive polish like the Pinnacle Advanced Finishing Polish.






    Place a small amount of Paintwork Cleansing Lotion onto the face of your applicator pad...



    Next work the polish and applicator against the transferred paint putting a little passion behind the pad but don't push too hard or you could instill fingermarks just from the concentrated pressure from your fingertips...




    After working the product for about a minute, stop and inspect to check your progress.. You can see most of the paint transfer has been removed but not 100% of it. Sometimes you many need to repeat the process a few times to completely remove the paint transfer.






    After you've successfully removed the paint transfer you can apply a protective coat of wax or paint sealant or like I've done here, machine polished the paint and then machine waxed the paint.




    Looks as good as new and now Rob's going to have the mirror replaced.




    Thanks Rob for bringing your car to Autogeek's Show Car Garage!



    Products Used
    Pinnacle Paintwork Cleansing Lotion
    Cobra Indigo Microfiber Polishing Cloth
    Cobra Microfiber Applicator Pads
    Pinnacle Liquid Souveran Car Wax


    Further Resources
    How to use a hand applied abrasive polish or paint cleaner by hand


    Paint Cleaners at Autogeek.net
    Pinnacle Paintwork Cleansing Lotion
    Wolfgang Paintwork Polish Enhancer
    3M Scratch Remover
    Dodo Juice Lime Prime Lite Cleaner Glaze
    Dodo Juice Lime Prime Pre-Wax Cleanser Polish
    Duragloss PreCleaner
    1Z Einszett Paint Polish
    Four Star Ultimate PreWax Cleanser
    Griot's Garage Fine Hand Polish
    Liquid Glass Pre-Cleaner
    Meguiars SCRATCH X 2.0
    Meguiars SwirlX Swirl Remover
    Mothers California Gold Pre-Wax Cleaner
    Mothers California Gold Scratch Remover
    P21S Gloss Enhancing Paintwork Cleanser
    Poorboy's World Professional Polish
    SONAX Premium Class Paint Cleaner
    SONAX Paint Cleaner



    Mike Phillips
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  2. #2
    Senior Member BobbyG's Avatar
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    Re: How To Remove "Paint Transfer"

    Thank for the great illustration Mike!

    BobbyG - 2004 Millennium Yellow Z06 Corvette

  3. #3
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    Re: How To Remove "Paint Transfer"

    Would detailing clay work for that as well?

  4. #4
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: How To Remove "Paint Transfer"

    Quote Originally Posted by mcpp66 View Post
    Would detailing clay work for that as well?
    Well...

    "You never know what you can do until you try"

    That said... not really. When something imparts itself onto your car like paint, it's usually during a moment of extreme rubbing under pressure and the imparted substance tend to almost become one with your car's paint, as in it's stuck on the paint like glue...


    For this reason, clay won't usually work...

    In most cases you need some kind of "chunky" abrasive, that's why I referred to the XMT #4 as it's a traditional rubbing compound that feels like sand in a bottle and it works great for removing paint transfer, the problem is after you finish with the #4 you MUST do some kind of follow up polishing as it will leave it's own scratches behind.

    In a situation like this that should be expected as removing paint transfer is usually a process, not a single step. The idea being removing the offending paint because it's unsightly makes accepting instilling a few light or shallow scratches acceptable knowing afterward you just have to remove the scratches instilled from the removal process.

    I actually had about 5 products on hand to test out and used the least aggressive product that did the job because I was following the philosophy of,

    "Use the least aggressive product to get the job done"


    Pinnacle Paintwork Cleansing Lotion is non-abrasive and that's where the microfiber applicator pad comes into play, the nap "can" be used as a gentle type of abrasive when used with pressure, the key is to balance your pressure so you apply enough to remove the paint transfer without applying so much pressure that you and your fingertips together with the nap instill scratches or marring in the process.

    This is why if anyone reading this is into detailing cars, even if it's your own car, then it's helpful to have a few different products in the garage to draw from for situation like this.

    Products, and by this I mean compounds, polishes, glazes, waxes, sealants, etc. are like tools in your tool chest. I would never attempt to remove the heads off an engine without having enough of the right tools in my tool chest first.


    Paint transfer is pretty common on the front and rear corners of passenger cars as people will accidentally pull to close to a pole in a parking lot, or a fence post, or some kind of structure they're parking next to and a little rubbing under pressure and you have paint transfer on your car's finish.

    I used to not like using overly abrasive products like the #4 Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound but to be truthful it's pretty hand to have in the your tool chest or arsenal of detailing supplies just because once in a while it comes in real handy. The scratches and swirls it leaves behind are easily polished out using a less aggressive product.


    Mike Phillips
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  5. #5
    Senior Member CEE DOG's Avatar
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    Re: How To Remove "Paint Transfer"

    Thank you Mike! I've got a bit of paint transfer on frankenstein I haven't been able to get off. I have machine polished but haven't tried this method.
    :dancebanana:

    Sky's the Limit Car Care

  6. #6
    Junior Member KevinR's Avatar
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    Re: How To Remove "Paint Transfer"

    I once got similar paint transfer when the sheetrock ceiling of my carport fell onto the roof and hood of my VW Jetta. It finally took Meguiar's #2 with a foam pad on a rotary buffer to remove.

    Moral of the story: sheetrock is not a good ceiling material for unheated/uncooled spaces. Go with plywood for the ceiling material.

  7. #7
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: How To Remove "Paint Transfer"

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinR View Post

    It finally took Meguiar's #2 with a foam pad on a rotary buffer to remove.
    A rotary buffer can be used and if the affected area is small it's best to use a spot repair pad.

    Most of the time the paint transfer to your car's paint will be so strong that you risk heating up good paint to an extreme in your effort to remove the offending paint. A safe approach is to remove the offending paint transfer by hand as you can exert a lot of pressure to just 2-3 fingers to reduce your footprint or worked are to focus just on the transfered paint.

    Then once you remove the paint transfer re-polish using a rotary buffer or whichever electric tool of choice you use to remove any scratches or marring you may have inflicted from the hand process.

    I live to do as many tasks as possible by machine but there are some jobs that are done safer by hand.

    Of course use your own discretion...


    Mike Phillips
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  8. #8
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    Re: How To Remove "Paint Transfer"

    Meguiars Macro Diminishing Abrasives, found in product like M84, M85, M04 etc, work well for this situation.

    They will get the paint transfer off but most likely leave severe marring behind.

  9. #9
    Junior Member KevinR's Avatar
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    Re: How To Remove "Paint Transfer"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike.Phillips@Autogeek View Post
    I live to do as many tasks as possible by machine but there are some jobs that are done safer by hand.

    Of course use your own discretion...



    I agree completely. Unfortunately I was getting nowhere with the various polishes I tried by hand. Plus, this was several years ago, before I began learning new tricks via autogeek...

  10. #10
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    Re: How To Remove "Paint Transfer"

    For a tiny job like this would the Griots 3" mini polisher or 4" foam pads for the PC work as well as applying by hand?
    My Versa probably looks better than yours

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