The Sources of Overspray On a Vehicle and What To Do

Paint overspray is usually associated with not properly masking a vehicle before painting. If you are parked near a structure that is being painted with the use of a spray gun, the wind can catch paint particles and deposit them on your vehicle. Particles in the air become overspray when they collect on your ride.

Other Sources of Overspray

Sources of overspray include acrylic, epoxy, and urethane coatings to prevent corrosion. Pollutants from industrial smokestacks, roof and road surfacing materials like asphalt, oil, and tar, along with metallic dust from train rails, metal fabrication, and sandblasting are all classified as overspray.

Acid rain and the fallout from materials used in mixing cement both constitute overspray.

Professional Overspray Removal

Ignored long enough, overspray will pit and ruin a vehicle’s finish. Let us talk about how a professional overspray removal company will clean-up your ride and somethings you should know when dealing with such a company.

Before any removal begins, the technician should inspect the car or truck and put their findings in writing. This helps the tech decide what removal method to use. You should be present for this step as you will need to sign-off on the technician’s assessment before any work begins. Your signature on the damage assessment also serves as permission for repairs to begin.

The first phase of the overspray removal process is an old-fashioned washing. Once the vehicle has been prepped by removing surface dirt, the actual removal begins. The method the technician uses will be dictated by the components of the overspray and the type of finish on the car or truck. In the final phase of the overspray removal process, the vehicle will be polished and treated with a sealant.

When choosing an overspray removal company, be sure to ask about their process for cleaning and repairing molding and trim. Once the paint has been cleaned up the technician will turn their attention to cleaning and restoring trim and molding. Some companies do not offer this service, or mess it up, making the removal process more expensive, in some cases $3,500 more expensive.

Guarding Against Overspray

A coat of wax creates a buffer zone between what is in the air and your car. Depending on who you listen to, the protective lifespan of car wax is 30, 45, or 90 days. Some manufacturers claim their synthetic car wax that will hold-up for a year. This much is known, keeping your car or truck waxed has both cosmetic and practical benefits.

Here is how to tell if your conveyance needs waxing. If water no longer beads on your car, it is time to wax it. Another test is to fold a thick soft cloth to about the size of your hand. Put the cloth on your car and apply pressure while turning the cloth in circles alternating the direction. If this action produces a sound the wax is no longer doing its job.

Some Car Washing Tips

To get the best results, wash your car or truck in the shade. In addition to soap, sponges, buffing clothes etc. make a traffic film remover part of your car washing kit. The film remover will be the first thing you apply to your ride.

The oxidation that dulls headlights can be taken care of with toothpaste and a toothbrush. Mix the paste with water and apply it with the brush. For improved visibility after cleaning your windshield apply a water repellent made specifically for glass.


You can try to remove the overspray yourself. Put a small amount of olive oil on a cloth towel. Start to wipe the overspray area. If the paint is still wet, you should be able to remove it quite easily. If it’s dried, the job is going to be a bit harder. Use a circular, clockwise motion to take off as much of the paint as possible. If it’s partly dry, the olive oil will help loosen it a little. Be thorough and rub every part of the vehicle where you can see signs of paint overspray that need car paint repair.

Next, use paint thinner, but before you use any paint thinner, protect your hands. Make sure to wear rubber gloves. Take a rag and put paint thinner on it. You shouldn’t use too much; it should just be damp, not soaking wet. You need to be very careful when you’re applying paint thinner to the overspray on your car. Be careful not to let any drip or run. Apply thinner to all parts of the overspray.

After this, use a clean terry cloth and wipe off as much of the overspray as you can. Then clean off the finish of your car with clean, dry rags. Hopefully, this will remove a great deal of the overspray, but if it’s had a chance to dry thoroughly, it may not all come off.


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