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  1. #1
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    Clear Coat Mishap - Respray or Fixable?

    Clear Coat Mishap - Respray or Fixable?



    I am an amateur hobbyist detailer. Always enjoyed washing and waxing my vehicles, but recently have gotten more interested in better products and I am just now getting comfortable with my DA.

    With that said, I think this is way out of my league, so I wanted to get some opinions on it.

    I have a 2017 F150 that I bought used in the end of 2018. I've been wanting to rip off the "FX4" stickers on the bedsides, but hadn't gotten around to it until a few weeks ago. I pulled the passenger side off and it ripped off in a hundred different pieces. It was a pain, but I eventually got it off and removed the adhesive.

    When I moved onto the driver's side, I had a hard time catching the edge of the decal. Eventually, I did and it pulled off as one complete piece. This one left a black outline around the whole decal and I thought it could have been build up from all of the sealant and waxes that I've applied, so I started cleaning vigorously.

    It was then that I realized this raised edge was actually clear coat.

    The previous owner must have had some paint work done, and whoever did it actually applied the clear coat over the decal. Before you judge what I did next, understand I did this in a state of panic, not knowing that I had purchased a truck that had paintwork done to it and being frustrated at the thought of having to have paint work done all because I wanted to remove a decal.

    At this point I still thought this black line around the perimeter of this clear coat edge was some sort of dirt build up and it only highlighted the clear coat defect more so I got to work washing the panel. It took some serious scrubbing to get the black line to disappear.

    After drying I realized I'd removed the black line, but really what I had done was chipped away more of the (newer) clear coat. So now, it's less visible, but the line is more jagged than it was previously.

    So now the big question is: Is this fixable?

    I was thinking a qualified professional may be able to wetsand and polish the line to the point where it wouldn't be obvious. I am comfortable polishing, but wetsanding isn't something I have any experience with.

    Lastly, any pro detailers in Orange County, California think this is something they would want to tackle? I realize this is out of the scope of most detailers' usual services.

    Clear Coat Mishap - Respray or Fixable?-7d7d2b39-1e88-47d6-b72d-3e975a531023-jpeg

    Clear Coat Mishap - Respray or Fixable?-ca937923-6d1f-43a6-a35c-f259428fa7bb-jpeg

    Clear Coat Mishap - Respray or Fixable?-462ee7e3-b6f7-43e8-9f12-8c3c5e7275ff-jpeg




  2. #2
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    Re: Clear Coat Mishap - Respray or Fixable?

    Clear Coat Mishap - Respray or Fixable?-a0d9ffef-5642-4fbc-abf8-e5c392ed8f90-jpg

  3. #3
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Clear Coat Mishap - Respray or Fixable?

    Quote Originally Posted by mcr1911 View Post

    So now the big question is: Is this fixable?

    I was thinking a qualified professional may be able to wetsand and polish the line to the point where it wouldn't be obvious.

    A true professional could probably "improve" the area, but not fix or completely remove the damaged area.

    If it were me? I would machine sand with 3M Trizact #5000 and then compound, polish and seal the paint.


    Quote Originally Posted by mcr1911 View Post

    I am comfortable polishing, but wetsanding isn't something I have any experience with.
    You might just compound real good, then polish and seal and call it good. Sorry to hear about how the previous owner dealt with the paint.



    Quote Originally Posted by mcr1911 View Post

    Lastly, any pro detailers in Orange County, California think this is something they would want to tackle?

    I realize this is out of the scope of most detailers' usual services.
    We have a number of qualified professional detailers that hang out on this forum that are super nice and probably at least willing to take a look at it and give you their input.


    I'd start a dedicated thread with a title like this,


    Anyone in Orange County, California willing to give a guy a hand?




    Then explain you're willing to drive to them on their schedule and let them take a look at it.



    Mike Phillips
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  4. #4
    Senior Member The Guz's Avatar
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    Clear Coat Mishap - Respray or Fixable?

    Quote Originally Posted by mcr1911 View Post
    Clear Coat Mishap - Respray or Fixable?



    I am an amateur hobbyist detailer. Always enjoyed washing and waxing my vehicles, but recently have gotten more interested in better products and I am just now getting comfortable with my DA.

    With that said, I think this is way out of my league, so I wanted to get some opinions on it.

    I have a 2017 F150 that I bought used in the end of 2018. I've been wanting to rip off the "FX4" stickers on the bedsides, but hadn't gotten around to it until a few weeks ago. I pulled the passenger side off and it ripped off in a hundred different pieces. It was a pain, but I eventually got it off and removed the adhesive.

    When I moved onto the driver's side, I had a hard time catching the edge of the decal. Eventually, I did and it pulled off as one complete piece. This one left a black outline around the whole decal and I thought it could have been build up from all of the sealant and waxes that I've applied, so I started cleaning vigorously.

    It was then that I realized this raised edge was actually clear coat.

    The previous owner must have had some paint work done, and whoever did it actually applied the clear coat over the decal. Before you judge what I did next, understand I did this in a state of panic, not knowing that I had purchased a truck that had paintwork done to it and being frustrated at the thought of having to have paint work done all because I wanted to remove a decal.

    At this point I still thought this black line around the perimeter of this clear coat edge was some sort of dirt build up and it only highlighted the clear coat defect more so I got to work washing the panel. It took some serious scrubbing to get the black line to disappear.

    After drying I realized I'd removed the black line, but really what I had done was chipped away more of the (newer) clear coat. So now, it's less visible, but the line is more jagged than it was previously.

    So now the big question is: Is this fixable?

    I was thinking a qualified professional may be able to wetsand and polish the line to the point where it wouldn't be obvious. I am comfortable polishing, but wetsanding isn't something I have any experience with.

    Lastly, any pro detailers in Orange County, California think this is something they would want to tackle? I realize this is out of the scope of most detailers' usual services.
    Do you know if the truck has ever been compounded/polished at some point in its life? The reason I ask is because on my Camaro I installed a vinyl piece cut to fit into the hood scoop area. I noticed a change in there being a slight raised edge between the area that is covered by vinyl to the exposed paint when I replaced the vinyl piece due to staining. I have owned it for over 10 years and has not seen any paint work. I attribute it to me polishing it over the years with the vinyl on it. I circled the area I am speaking about.

    It is possible that this is the same thing or as you mentioned if it had seen some paint work.


  5. #5
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    Re: Clear Coat Mishap - Respray or Fixable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    You might just compound real good, then polish and seal and call it good.
    Mike, thank you for the detailed and informative reply. I'm all for giving it a shot myself and compounding with an abrasive and pad that maybe I wouldn't always feel comfortable using. I've been using 3D One, but it may be time for me to pick up something with a little heavier cut. Do you think an orange pad is sufficient or would it be necessary for me to purchase a yellow pad? I'm a little concerned about splintering away more clear, but in reality, if this goes wrong, it won't really make the problem "worse" just enlarge the area slightly.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Guz View Post
    Do you know if the truck has ever been compounded/polished at some point in its life? The reason I ask is because on my Camaro I installed a vinyl piece cut to fit into the hood scoop area. I noticed a change in there being a slight raised edge between the area that is covered by vinyl to the exposed paint when I replaced the vinyl piece due to staining. I have owned it for over 10 years and has not seen any paint work. I attribute it to me polishing it over the years with the vinyl on it. I circled the area I am speaking about.

    It is possible that this is the same thing or as you mentioned if it had seen some paint work.

    Not sure about prior to my ownership, but it seems like if that were the case it would have been the same on both sides. The "low" spot of clear is where the decal used to be. Seems like with the scenario you described, clear would be thicker under the decal rather than around the decal. 99% sure there was paint work. When I bought it, there was a ding in the rear bumper on that side where it looked like the previous owner had backed into something while parking. It looked like the damage was contained in the bumper panel only, and I replaced it myself and it looked good as new, so I figured it had been pretty minor. That's too much of a coincidence for me to have any doubts.

  6. #6
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Clear Coat Mishap - Respray or Fixable?

    Quote Originally Posted by mcr1911 View Post

    Mike, thank you for the detailed and informative reply. I'm all for giving it a shot myself and compounding with an abrasive and pad that maybe I wouldn't always feel comfortable using. I've been using 3D One, but it may be time for me to pick up something with a little heavier cut.

    Do you think an orange pad is sufficient or would it be necessary for me to purchase a yellow pad? I'm a little concerned about splintering away more clear, but in reality, if this goes wrong, it won't really make the problem "worse" just enlarge the area slightly.

    When it comes to foam pads, you would still be very safe getting a more aggressive pad.


    If you really want some abrading power, get a microfiber pad and follow this with foam to clean-up any micro-marring left by the fibers.

    Outside of re-painting - I think you're really only going to be able to improve it, not remove it.


    Mike Phillips
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  7. #7
    Senior Member The Guz's Avatar
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    Re: Clear Coat Mishap - Respray or Fixable?

    I am going to agree with Mike. If you are ever in the South Bay area feel free to reach out. I can look at it and give you my thoughts on it.

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  9. #8
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    Re: Clear Coat Mishap - Respray or Fixable?

    Thank you both!

    Guz, I may take you up on that next time I'm out that way.

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