How to Fix Clear Coat Damage in 12 Steps

Have you ever looked at your car and thought, “Wow, my car looks drab!” Have you ever debated whether to take it to the car shop to have it repainted?

You may be looking at a damaged clear coat already. There are a few factors why the clear coat is already damaged. Age, a poor paint job, exposure to the elements, and improper cleaning habits are some of the few factors.

There was one time that one of my customers came in with his three-year-old Chevy. It looks very clean and well-maintained. However, I noticed that some areas of the exterior looked like it had been peeled off. The customer said that he had it repainted a few months ago, only to have it come out bad after a few months .Upon closer inspection, it was a bad case of clear coating gone wrong.


Don’t fret, you can still bring back the new look of your car. In this case, it’s still possible to fix the clear coat and have it come out good as new. Although, keep in mind that this is a temporary solution and not long-term.

The best way is still to have the whole car repainted and make sure that the clear coat is reapplied correctly. However, with the proper application and maintenance, repairing the clear coat damage could last years.

Read on to find out some simple tips on how to fix clear coat damage in your car.

​What You Need

Make sure you have these materials complete and ready before you get started:

  • Detailing clay - to remove embedded pollutants before applying clear coat
  • 2000 grit sand paper
  • Cardboard or any large paper - this will be used to cover areas that aren’t damaged
  • Painter’s tape or masking tape - lessen the sticky part by rubbing it on a cloth before sticking on your car
  • Pre paint prep such as Dupli-Color PS100 Prep Grease and Wax Remover Prep Spray
  • High-quality clear coat such as Dupli-Color BCL0125 Clear Perfect Match Automotive Top Coat
  • Rubbing compound such as Turtle Wax T-415 Premium Grade Rubbing Compound
  • Variable speed buffer or buffing pad
  • Clean rags
  • Safety goggles
  • Dust mask

What to Do

Simply follow these steps on how to fix clear coat damage so you don’t have to bring it to the car shop.

Step-by-Step Procedure


Clean the area that needs to be repaired.

clean car

Rub the area with detailing clay to remove embedded contaminants.


Next, use the sandpaper to lightly rub the area that needs repair.

sandpaper car

Wipe off the sanded area with pre paint prep to remove the dirt and residue.


Create a border around the area that is in need of repair. Use pieces of cardboard or paper to create a frame or painter’s tape. This step protects the other areas that doesn’t need to be repainted. You may exceed an inch from the area to allow it to blend with the untouched paint.


Put on your safety goggles and dust mask to prevent inhaling the toxic fumes of the aerosol spray.

toxic safe

Shake the clear coat spray to allow the aerosol to evenly distribute.

car paint

After spraying on the first coat, leave it out to dry for about five minutes. Test if the clear coat is dry by lightly touching it. If it doesn’t feel sticky then it is completely dry.


Lightly spray on the second coat and let it dry.


Slowly remove the protective borders when the paint is dry.


You will notice that the newly painted area stands out from the rest. You need to blend in the edges by lightly sanding off the edges of the newly painted area.


Apply the rubbing compound to the sanded off area. Use a buffer or manually buff it to make it shiny. This step helps blend the newly-painted area to the old one.

sanded car

Why You Need to Use Clear Coat for Your Car

You may be thinking whether you should go for a repaint or a retouch of clear coat. Here are some benefits of using clear coat on your car:

  • Clear coat is more resistant to oxidation so it protects the color paint longer.
  • Clear coat adds gloss and gives your car a shiny and more glamorous look.
  • ​Clear coat protects the OEM paint from the harsh UV rays of the sun which causes the paint to fade and look dull.
  • Your car’s paint is protected from harsh elements such as acid rain, bird poop, oil and fuel.
  • It makes repair and maintenance easier; you don’t have to repaint the whole car when there are scratches.
  • Clear coat can also be used for chrome parts to prevent rust and corrosion.

Taking care of your car is the best way to keep it looking brand new. Adding another layer of clear coat should not be the only solution to making it look shiny and luxurious.You can find best clear coat for cars here

Make sure that you still follow proper cleaning methods when washing your car. Not washing your car properly leaves the pollutants embedded on the top coat which affects the overall quality of the car’s exterior.

Also, make sure that you park your car in a covered area to protect it from the harsh UV rays of the sun as well as other pollutants such as acid rain, dirt, smog, and bird droppings.

It’s not just the top coat that needs protection but other car parts such as the leather seats, dashboard, and car tint. These car parts should not be exposed to too much heat so they won’t deteriorate.


Hopefully, you have learned a thing or two about improving your car’s clear coat by repairing clear coat damage. You don’t need to spend extra on repairs so long as you follow the tips above. You’ll be thankful that you know how to repair your own car.

Why don’t you share this knowledge with other car enthusiasts? We’d also appreciate any feedback, suggestions, or tips you may have for us. Send us a note or leave your comments below.

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