DIY Paint Repair - Clear Coat Questions

I previously posted about a rusty paint chip on my car, asking for advice:

I’ve since obtained a rattle can kit from TouchUpDirect, gracious permission from a buddy to borrow his garage, and a newfound appreciation for how involved bodywork can be (it took 10 hours, mostly due to my inexperience)

The good news is, the rust is out, and there’s new paint on top. As you can see in the photo, my work area quickly exceeded the bounds of the masking I had set up to protect the undamaged paint. This led to a slight lip at the border where paint (and clearcoat) met masking tape.

I’ve heard that wet sanding with 2000 grit sandpaper should work to wear down that tiny raised edge and help blend it in with the factory clear coat. Any advice?

The kit came with a little packet of polishing compound. I haven’t used it yet. Should I hand polish according to the instructions, or should I buy a pad (and more compound) from AutoZone, then bring it to the 'space and ask nicely for help with a polishing tool?


Yea you can sand clear coat with 1500-2500 grit sandpaper. Wet sanding using water. I’m not sure how deep that line is. To keep film thickness the same you need to feather the edge of the primer and the clear coat back into the original paint. Ideally you would’ve masked off a bigger area when finishing the clear coat as to avoid the lip and blend with the rest of the panel

One more thing. A razor blade completely vertical to the surface. I can’t stress the perpendicular importance enough. Can be used to scratch and remove bubbles and other imperfections in clear coat. Not sure if it would work on that line

Thank you! I’ll need to try that when I get a chance…

First off look up blending auto paint so you’re going to rule of thumb go about 2feet each direction to feather it out also never sand color but once you’ve blended that new slightly different color in (this will need to be step one) you’re gonna sand about 3 feet of clear coat with WET 1000 grit just enough to make it hazy! Then finally you’ll paint 2 coats of clear coat about 1/2 to a foot beyond the sanded clear coat! Let dry then cut with compound and buff with Polish! That’s a spark notes version if you need any part expanded in detail let me know!
Never create a tape boundary when blending ever you want the layers to yes be thicker but to slope into one another

Thanks! The tape boundary is because the repair area started out small, but I had trouble controlling the spray so it grew rapidly.

Well you never want a tape boundary because it makes a literal stair step in the paint, always mask of nearby panels but leave about 4 feet unmasked and use heavier and lighter spray to focus in on the small area allowing you to flow the coats onto the other! Every body repair that’s been done on every car on the road, say they repaired your driver door, they painted your door most of the rear door most of the front quarter panel and if you “a” pillars are painted they painted the edge of the roof line! Matching manufacture paint is literally impossible so you always have to blend it in or it’ll look like 2 different colors

YouTube is your friend on this one. I was going to write a bunch of words but there are no shortages of videos on how to do a spot repair of base coat clear repair:

Keep in mind that video has a guy with the air flow control and air paint ratio adjustment and also fan size control that a rattle can project lacks but the rough basics are there to get the concept of blending