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Basic Automobile Paint Preparation

Basic preparation starts with a clean job. There are two types of contaminates: oil based and water based. Ignoring any of these two basic cleaning steps may cause poor adhesion, and an undesirable finish.

Waterborne Contaminants

The first step in any high quality repair is to wash the vehicle with hot soapy water to remove water soluble contaminants such as dirt, mud, brake dust, bird droppings,  salt, as well as some polishes and waxes.(use a wax free soap like a dish detergent) To completely remove these water soluble contaminants use an all purpose cleaner / degreaser such as Simple Green with hot water. For best results it may be necessary to scrub the repair area using an ultra fine waterproof sandpaper or scotch brite to remove these contaminates.


Oil based Contaminants

After removing waterborne contaminants, the next step would be to use a solvent cleaner. A solvent based prep solvent is used to removed oil borne contaminants like grease, oil, road tar, wax, polishes, and silicones. You start be applying the prep solvent to a lint free clean rag, apply generously to the vehicle using a second rag to wipe it dry. This proccess may be needed a few times before repainting any surface.


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