How to Stop Paint From Peeling on Car

Last Updated on June 23, 2022 by Bright Calister

Paint peeling on a car in no time spread all over the body, leaving the car appearance in shambles. Paint peeling on the car needs to be addressed faster because there is almost a non-stop when the paint starts peeling on the car; it can peel off the entire body of the car.

Notice a peel on your car; you should act faster in fixing it, and if your car paint has peeled all over the car body, do not worry; there are ways you can fix paint peeling on the car.

Can Peeling Car Paint be Fixed?

Yes, peeling paint can be fixed, but it depends on the severity and extent of damage done to the car body.

If the paint has started to flake but is not yet peeling off, you can use a quick-fix product to protect the paint from further getting ruined.

If the paint is already peeling off, you will have to remove the damaged layers of paint and apply a new coat of paint after applying primer with a thorough sanding.

Flaking Paint on My car

Flaking is the starting point of paint peeling. Paint flakes before it peels off from your car. Therefore it is the early stage of peeling. Flaking is damaging when paint cracks or flakes off of underlying structures. 

Can Flaking Paint on the Car be Fixed Before it Peels?

Yes, flaking paint on a car can be fixed, and you should address paint flake on your car as early as possible before it grows to peel off from your car. Fix flaking paint by applying a new appropriate coat of paint after removing all the crack or flaked paint from the damaged areas.

How to fix flaking paint on a car 

You should fix flaking paint before it starts peeling, as this will save a stitch in time. The steps below are the ultimate guide to perfectly fixing paint flaking on a car.

  • Remove all the cracked or flaked paint

The first step is to remove all the cracks or flaked paint from the damaged area. You can do this using a scraper or a putty knife. You scrape the damaged area gently, tearing off the flaked paint from the car.

  • Sand the damaged area

After scraping away the flaked paint, the next thing to do is not sand the damaged area of your car. This process aims to ensure a complete smoothen of the surface of the damaged area to be completely ready for painting.

  • Apply primer

Use the proper primer to pre-coat and seal the prepared surface on your car. In doing this, you can’t use a roller, so you use a brush or spray.

  • Apply a fresh coat of paint

After the primer dries up, the next thing is for you to apply paint. You will need to apply two to three coats of paint to your car.

Peeling Paint on Car

Paint peeling on a car is a common problem faced by car owners, and it’s quite annoying after a paint job is done and the paint starts peeling after some time which may be due to negligence, such as scratching your car or other external factors.

Before paint starts peeling on the car, it flakes; that is it, the paint leaps up from the surface, showing that the paint is no longer adhering to the surface and after some time, it starts peeling off, and it only get worse till it peels off the entire paint of the car. 

Why is My Car Paint Peeling?

Car paint consists of three layers: the base, color coat and the protective coat that is the primer, the paint itself and a colorless clear coat.

If any of these layers stop adhering to the surface of your car, your paint is in danger. Once it starts peeling, it only gets worse until its treated

Car paint peeling can be due to various factors, and after a lot of research and experiment, here is the list of causes of paint peeling on a car.

1. Prolong exposure to the sun’s Ultraviolet Rays

A major culprit of paint peeling on a car is the UV-rays. There is no escape path for your car if it is exposed to the sun for an extended period; peeling will soon begin to appear on it. The UV rays affect car painting in two different ways. 

  • The UV-rays lead to changes in color, thereby causing discoloration and fading.
  • The UV –rays dry out the resin used in the paint, causing the paint to shrink and crack, thereby resulting in flaking, and in no time, it starts peeling off. 

The paint is exposed to moisture and oxidation, which always results in car paint peeling off. 

Ways to Protect your car from the UV-rays include 

Although many paint manufacturers are aware of this effect on cars, they’re using acrylic and polyurethane, which can absorb UV rays more than other types of paint.

However, depending on whatever kind of paint is used for your car, here are a few measures to protect your car from Uv-rays from causing discoloration, fading and paint peeling on your car. 

Parking in a covered garage: it is no doubt that a car spends so time being parked than being used, and parking in a covered garage will protect the car from the rays of the sun. 

Covering the car with a Car Cover: In situations where your garage is not covered, you should use a car cover to cover your car whenever it’s being parked, as this will protect your car from direct contact with UV rays.

2. Scratch or Dent

You should always pay attention to scratches or dents as little as they may be on your car because a little scratch will damage your paint in little time.

This is how scratches or dents affect your car paint. When your car is scratched, the clear coat, which is the outer layer or protective layer of car paint, is compromised. There is the first problem. 

It, therefore, opens the door for moisture and contaminants to penetrate down to the second layer and base coat of the car, and little by little, it starts peeling and spreading till it eats all over your car.

So the best thing is to always address the first problem before it leads to numerous things that are likely to get out of hand and will cost you a lot more to restore it to its original position.

A little dent or scratch on your car not treated will lead to delamination. 

3. Pressure Washing

A pressure washer is a popular and a great choice for getting your car super clean. It tends to cover every part of your car, down to the cluster part around the absorber; it is more powerful than a hose.

As great as pressure washing can be, it can be a disaster for your paint. If your car has little scratches or the clear coat has been breached by chipping or scratch.

Holding the spray nozzle and spraying directly to a scratch will allow high-pressure water to get under the layers of paint and cause damage

4. Chemical Cleaners

Strong chemical cleaners also cause paint to peel off from a car. You need to always read the instructions provided by the manufacturer on the chemical cleaner you are using.

Ensure you follow those instructions and strongly dilute the chemical cleaner before its application to your car.

Strong chemical cleaner wax of the clear coat, thereby causing extreme damage to the paint. 

5. Paint Age

Paint doesn’t last forever, but a good paint should be able to pass the test of time before it starts peeling.

A paint job that has been long overdue for waxing or repainting will, in no doubt, starts to peel off.

6. Bad paint job

Appropriate paint is used when painting a car. A bad paint job is a major cause of peeling on a car.

A lot of people and some paint job______ make this mistake by not applying specified automobile paint on the car, and do not be surprised; this may be due to their lack of knowledge on the best type of paint to use on a car.

However, click here to further assist you with the best car paint type. 

How Much Does Repairing a Car’s Peeling Paint Cost?

To fix peeling paint, it’s going to cost you money, which is why it is always advisable to always address flaking as early as you see them before it starts peeling.

Fixing when the problem starts will cost you a little to fix when the problem has eaten up already.

I will give you a total breakdown of how much it will cost to fix peeling paint on a car and how to fix peeling paint on a car.

Peeling on cars must be addressed as soon as possible; however, depending on the damage done, the cost to fix peeling car paint varies.

If you are fixing the paint before it gets peeled off, you will spend about $185, and if you are fixing a car that has been peeled off, you will spend about $426.

 Breakdown down the cost of fixing paint before it gets peeled. 

To fix flaking, that is, paint before it peeled on the car, you will need the following.

  • Scraper or a putty knife — $8
  • Sandpaper — $8
  • Primer — $60
  • Paint —$105

Therefore, $8 + $8 + $45 + $105 = $185

It will cost you $185 to fix the paint before it gets peeled that is flaking, and the ultimate guide to fix flaking on your car has been described above.

However, if you will be engaging automobile paint service to fix it for you, you will definitely spend more as they will charge you for workmanship and other policy charges ranges from $800 to $1000.

Breakdown of the cost of fixing car paint that has peeled off.

To fix a car paint that has peeled off, you will be spending more than the former because the damage done is now extreme, and it will require double of what is used to fix before peeling.

You will need the following to accomplish this.

  • Scraper or a putty knife — $8
  • Sandpaper — $8
  • Cleaning solvent — $29
  • Brush — $6
  • Primer — $60
  • Paint — $105. You will be needing more than 1, and you will be applying more than one coat of paint = $315.

Therefore, $8 + $8 + $29 + $6 + $60 + $315 = $426   

This is the clear and factual cost of fixing paint peeling on your car if you are doing it yourself because if you take your car to a painted office to help you in doing this, they obviously will charge you more than this ranging from $800 to $1000 due to workmanship and some other policy charges of the company.

How to Stop paint from Peeling on Car

How to stop paint from peeling on a car? You have to pay attention to the condition of your car and inspect it regularly. The moment your car starts peeling, the ultimate way to stop it is to repaint the peeled area of the car, which automatically fixes your peeling paint.

In stopping your car paint from peeling, you have to follow the measures below

Scrape off the peeling area of the paint

If your car paint is peeling off, you should scrape off the peeling area completely to stop it from spreading because a peeling paint no longer adheres to the surface.

And if it is ignored, the paint surrounding the peeling area will be affected by the element causing the paint to peel and cause for the spread of it.

Therefore scrape it away with the use of a scraper and putty knife.

After the peeled area is removed from the car’s body, I’m sure you won’t want to leave your car having a part of your car with the bare metal surface, so you have to apply paint on the damaged area.

And in doing this, you have to apply primer before applying paint on it and below is the step-by-step procedure on how to do this.

Wax your car regularly

To stop paint from peeling, apply wax or polymer paint on your car at least twice a year. Waxing your car regularly is an important maintenance culture that stops paint from peeling on your car.

This measure protects your car from dirt, environmental toxins and other debris that will damage your car paint and cause it to peel from the surface.

You don’t have to wait till you notice scratches or dents on your car paint before you wax it.

Cultivate a waxing routine for your car as it will help protect your paint job and help maintain that exquisite appearance of your car.

How to Fix Peeling Car Paint

Fixing peeling and flaking paint are very much similar with a few differences.

To fix peeling paint on your car, follow these simple and detailed guides, which will work you through the journey to save your car from peeling and discoloration.

Materials needed includes

  • Scraper or putty knife
  • Sandpaper 
  • Cleaning solvent 
  • Brush or spray
  • Primer 
  • Paint

Procedures to follow in fixing peeling car paint

1: Scrape Away all the Peeling Paint.

The first thing to do is remove every particle of peeling paint from the car. Make use of a scraper or a putty knife to do this, and apply a little pressure so as not to cause further dents on your car. Scrape gently to where it stops peeling. 

2. Sand the Damaged Area

Using sandpaper after scraping, sand the surface of the damaged area. Since the paint has been completely peeled off the bare body of the car, sand it gently to ensure a smooth surface.

The purpose of sanding is to remove every other little particle of paint that might still hang on to the body and to ensure a smooth surface ready for fixing.

3. Wash and Clean 

The next thing is to wash the surface with water and solvent. So pour your solvent into the water, dip a cloth in it and use it to wash the surface. You can also make use of holes to wash the surface. 

4. Apply Primer

Apply the appropriate primer to the surface. The primer serves as the base coat for your car, which is the coat on which the paint will stick for proper adherence to the surface.

Primer sticks on the surface while paint sticks to the primer. You can use a brush or spray to paint and apply your primer.

However, it is advisable to use a sprayer in applying primer and generally in painting your car. For an easy guide to using a sprayer to apply primer and paint your car, click here.

5. Sand the primer

A primer takes 1 to 3 hours to dry on an automobile, depending on the primer you’re using. After the primer dries up, the next thing is to sand the finish of the primer.

The same way you sanded the car’s surface when the peeling paint was scraped off, you gently do the same here and prepare the surface for the paint to be applied.

6. Apply Paint

The next step is to apply paint. It should take you about 10 

to 15 minutes to apply paint. You can apply paint using a brush, but it is advisable to use a sprayer to paint a car.

Paint gently, and endeavour you wear your protective gears in doing this. After painting, you will have to wait about 4 to 6 hours before the paint dries completely.

Over the clear coat, apply two to three coats of paint to provide a protective coating. Before applying your last coat of paint, there is likely to be some residue on the surface; remove such if there is any and apply the last coat of paint.

7. Apply clear coat

After the paint is dried, apply a clear coat to the painted area. The clear coat is painted with no pigments applied over colored resin; that is, the painting acts as a covering to protect the paint.

A car paint comprises three layers, primer, paint and the clear coat, which is the protective layer of the paint. Apply the clear coat with the same method you use in applying primer and paint.

And wait for about 12 hours for your car to completely dry up. However, 6 to 8 hours after the clear coat is applied, it should dry up, depending on your type.

Still, to ensure its completion, you have to give it the additional time, wait beyond its normal drying time, and boom, your car is back to its original, more appealing appearance. Congrats! 

How to prevent or protect car paint from peeling

You can always protect your car from this damage by taking proper preventive measures, which will cost little or nothing.

But you will spend much more if your car paint starts peeling because you neglected these preventive measures.

Ensure you do the following to prevent or protect your car paint from peeling.

  • Pamper your Car

You have to be good to your car to protect it from having its paint peeled off. How do you pamper your car?

Buy a car cover to protect your vehicle from specks of dirt, rays of the sunlight and water, as these are one of the major causes of peeling paint on a car and keep a close eye on your car so that you will notice a slight problem or damage.

You will take care of them before it becomes a big problem. You must keep keys, rough nylon, and any metal from your paint job to avoid scratches on your car.

  • Park your safely under a cover

You must always do this if you don’t want your car paint to peel off because of frequent and prolonged exposure of the car to the sun, water and in some cases, when there is a wind which blows up dirt to surfaces.

Parking your car under a cover will protect your car from all these ingredients of paint peeling. So instead of parking your car by the roadside, make use of the garage or the carport whenever possible.

And if you have no choice but to park in the open area, try to position your car in the shaded area and stay away from trees because sap and other debris will damage your car paint.

  • Avoid using dishwashing liquid and other abrasives to wash your car

One thing you should not do is to make use of dishwashing liquid to wash your car because it is very bad for your car paint.

One of the fastest ways to cause paint from peeling is to use dishwashing liquid on your car. If you wash your car consecutively three times using it, you will start seeing paint peeling off your car.

  • Quick response to scratches and dents

You should always repair scratches, dents, and rust when they start showing on your car. This is a good way to maintain and protect your car paint from peeling.

Address little problems on your auto body paint as soon as possible before they start spreading. Whenever you notice these, fix them immediately.

  • Get a good paint job

A bad paint job is one reason your car paint is likely to peel off. Using the appropriate paint for your car will save you from the future stress of fixing paint peeling on your car.

When painting your car, you will need specialized automotive paint, of which the common types are metallic, urethane and acrylic enamel with an automobile primer such as rust-oleum.

If peeling affects your car, this is a good way to fix it and give your vehicle a brand-new appearance.

  • Regular washing of your car

Regular washing of your car will not allow specks of dirt and other elements that are likely to harm your auto body a stay on your car as they will be washed off regularly at intervals by your washing routine.

Ensure you wash your car regularly and if you notice a scratch on your car, fix it before using a pressure washer to wash it because you’re likely to cause more damage to the paint if you spray onto the scratched area.

With full adherence to the measures above, you will not experience paint peeling on your car. These measures are the only way to protect your car paint from peeling.


Brush or sprayer, which is the best to use on a car?

You can use a brush or sprayer when painting or fixing peeling paint on your car. However, if you are a beginner or a DIY painter.

I will advise you to go for a sprayer instead of a brush because when using a brush, you might end up leaving brush strokes on your car, which is not appealing.

And you won’t have to worry about this when using a sprayer. Use a sprayer for better coverage because the paint doesn’t come out of the nozzle in tiny streams but comes out once, ensuring good coverage.

Sprayer provides accuracy on your automobile body, and you don’t have to worry about clogging. Although a brush is also a great material to apply paint on your car, if you use a sprayer, you will have a better job than a brush.

What kind of paint to use on a car?

For DIY, the easiest paint to use on your car is acrylic urethane which is very easy to apply. Acrylic urethane is a perfect paint for do-it-yourself painters because it is affordable and dries faster.

This type of paint is very durable as they do not fade easily.

However, when using this type of paint, you must wear protective gear such as sunglasses, a nose mask and gloves because this is very toxic.

Metallic paint is another type of paint that can be used on a car that offers a cool paint appearance on your car.

This type of paint is highly reflective and tends to hide scratches and dents. When there is a scratch or dent on your car with this type of paint, you have to pay close attention to the body of your car before you notice those scratches or dents.

However, metallic paint is an expensive paint, and it does not have many choices of color.

How to paint a car with an airless sprayer?                                                                                

Painting your car is a good way to breathe life into your car and give it that exquisite appearance, and using an airless sprayer for the job, will make it much easier and give it the best appearance you desire.

However, for a comprehensive guide on how to paint a car with an airless sprayer, click here

Can I paint over peeling paint?

You have to scrape away the peeling paint before you paint over the damaged area because if you paint on peeling paint.

The new paint applied will not stick to the surface but the peeling paint, and since the surface of which it sticks is peeling automatically, it peels. Therefore, you shouldn’t paint over peeling paint.

How long will a paint job last?

The paint job on a modern car will last about 10 – 15 years, while vehicles made before the 1960s will last about 4 – 10 years.

The reason why the former will last than the latter is because manufacturers of paint are now aware of the natural causes of paint peeling on a car, and they have been trying their possible best to produce and have been producing paints with materials that can withstand these causes for a long period.

Conclusion – How to Stop Paint From Peeling on Car

Paint peeling after its manifestation on a car will leave your car’s appearance in shambles and give it a new color that is unpleasant.

You have to take preventive measures to stop and avoid your car paint from peeling, and the above information has provided a detailed and easy guide on how to stop paint from peeling on your car.

I’m sure by now; you will have good knowledge of why your car is peeling and how to fix it. Good luck in fixing your car and bringing its appearance back to life.

I will love to have your feedback and the new appearance of your car when you’re done fixing it using this guide.  

Important Reads:

Can You Paint Over Rusted Metal?

Can You Sleep In A Freshly Painted Room?

How Long Does It Take For Paint Smell To Go Away

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