How to Remove Paint Protection Film

Congratulations for choosing to apply paint protection film and preserving the beauty of your car’s paint. As with all good things, the life of your film must come to an end. If it’s been more than four years or you’ve noticed some changes in the film’s condition. It might be time for paint protection film removal.

How-to-Remove-Paint-Protection-Film

Find out how to remove paint protection film

If you’ve decided that you can take care of the removal, it makes sense to understand the steps involved in the paint protection film removal process to ensure you don’t damage your car’s paint.

This article offers the steps involved in removing film safely, so you can continue to protect the value of your car.
 

Prior to Paint Protection Removal

  1. Determine the film’s condition – If the overall condition is good with just a few troubled spots, you may be able to polish the rough spots into a near-new condition. If you’d prefer to try to preserve the film, contact a trusted auto specialist. You may be able to help save the cost of full installation if a pro can buff out the rough spots.
  2. If it’s clear that the film is outdated and you want to move ahead with the paint protection film removal process, there will be several tools and products to have on hand:
    • Heat gun or high-powered blow dryer
    • 3M Adhesive Remover
    • Plastic razors or plastic window scraper
    • Microfiber towels – at least three
  3. If there’s an area where the film is bubbling up, resist picking that section and immediately start removing film, instead:
    • Look for the area of the greatest separation between the film and the car
    • If you can’t find any, make sure you look at the edges of the film – in hood seams, in door seams, on the undercarriage of the car – to see if separation is beginning.
  4. If it’s a warm day, let the car sit outside for an hour or so to warm up the surface of the car to make removing the film easier.

The Paint Protection Film Removal Process

After you’ve identified the areas to begin removing the film:

  1. Take your plastic razor blades or plastic, flat tool to lift the film and see how much will come off easily. If you sense resistance from the film, or it comes off in little chunks, you’ll need the heat gun to break down the film and make it easier to remove.
  2. If you apply heat to the car’s surface, make sure the gun is at least eight inches from the car. Hold it to a strip of film for two minutes to make it easier to remove the film.
  3. Use the scraper or plastic razor to push under the heated film to help the paint protection film removal process.  If the top layer comes off, the rest should come off easily when you use the 3M Adhesive Remover.
  4. When you use the 3M Adhesive Remover, follow the package instructions.
  5. Work in small sections of your car and use the same process until the films are removed:
    • Heat the car surface for two minutes
    • Use the plastic implement to push under the film and remove it
    • Use the 3M Adhesive Remover to get the rest of the film
  6. Get rid of the remainder of the adhesive with a microfiber towel and 3M Adhesive Remover.
  7. When the adhesive is removed, get a different microfiber towel and rub the surface of the car.
  8. Pick up the phone and call to make an appointment to get new paint protection film applied.

Next Steps

Whew… as you can see, the paint protection film removal process isn’t for sissies – if something goes wrong, you risk damaging the surface of your vehicle. Don’t ruin your car’s paint – find an auto specialist to help with the rest of the film removal.

Contact Auto SuperShield at 506-367-0101 and ask us to help maximize the beauty, protection and value of your vehicle.

Fixing a Keyed Car

Fixing-a-Keyed-CarThe car shimmers in the parking lot as you walk up, metal reflecting the sun, hubcaps gleaming, the paint smooth and gorgeous. But when you walk around to the driver’s side to get in, you see something new: a deep, nasty scratch. Someone has keyed your car.

A “keyed” scratch – most often made when someone digs a key into the paint and drags it across the surface – is an ugly thing, different from most parking lot scratches. It’s deeper, penetrating the car’s clear coat and color, sometimes reaching all the way down through the primer.

What can you do, outside of paying the cost – it can go as high as $1,500 – to fix the scratches at a body shop?

Different Degrees of Car Scratches

To know what you’ll have to do to repair a scratch, you have to identify its depth and the extent of its damage. There are actually five classifications:

  • Level 1A: A minor clear-coat scratch or scuff. These don’t even penetrate the clear coat; in fact, they can be hard to see.
  • Level 1B: A deeper clear-coat scratch. These can be caused by such things as small road debris, automatic car washes or dirty/textured wash/wax applicators. They have penetrated the clear coat but not all of the paint.
  • Level 2: A clear-coat and paint scratch: The scratch is deeper than the above two, but it’s still the same color as the rest of your car, so it didn’t reach the primer layer.
  • Level 3: A clear-coat, paint and primer scratch: The scratch is a different color than the rest of your car, meaning it’s gone into the primer layer.
  • Level 4: A scratch that reaches the metal: This scratch has penetrated all the layers of paint and protection down to the metal of the car.

Keyed scratches are most often a combination of the above levels, making repair more multi-faceted. For levels 1A through 2, for instance, you won’t need touch-up paint, but for levels 3 and 4, you will.

Tools You’ll Need to Fix a Deep Scratch

There are multiple methods to remove deep scratches, and they don’t all include the same materials or steps. The following is a combination of techniques that covers scratches from 1A to 4. Read through all the steps and be sure you’re confident about your abilities before you attempt this yourself; sanding down a car is not for wimps.

  • Black shoe polish
  • A bucket and water
  • Prep solvent
  • Wet/dry 2,000 grit sandpaper
  • Clean rags
  • Rubbing compound
  • Clean, dry soft cloths to apply compound
  • Touch-up paint
  • Fine paintbrush
  • Touch-up clear coat
  • Polishing compound
  • Wax
  • Rubber sanding block (optional)

How to Fix Key Scratch on Your Car

The first thing you need to do is wash and dry your car, or at least the entire area that contains the scratch. Then follow these steps:

  1. Work on your car in a shady area, not in direct sunlight. The sun will make the compounds dry too quickly.
  2. If areas of the scratch are difficult to see clearly, rub some black shoe polish into it and then wipe off the excess with a rag. The polish will stay in the scratch and you’ll be able to see it in its entirety.
  3. Spray prep solvent over the entire scratch area, and wipe it off with a clean rag. This removes wax and grease, and improves adhesion for paint.
  4. Soak the sandpaper in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes before you use it. Wrap it around the rubber block (or just use it by hand) and gently begin sanding the scratch. Keep a spray bottle close at hand and spray the scratch regularly to keep the area wet. Repeatedly feel the scratch with your fingers; your goal is to sand the clear coat off the paint and to leave a smooth surface area.
  5. When you are finished sanding, use a microfiber rag to clean the area off. The surface should appear dull if you successfully removed the clear coat. Don’t be alarmed that the sanding left tiny scratches of its own; a later step will take care of that.
  6. Using the fine brush, dab touch-up paint into the scratch wherever needed. You can also use a toothpick for this step if that’s easier. Be patient; this takes a while. Don’t paint too thickly; rather, use more coats if you need to, with 12 hours of drying time between coats.
  7. Once you’re finished with the touch-up paint, let it dry for 12 hours and then apply touch-up clear-coat over the paint. Let this dry thoroughly as well.
  8. Using the cheesecloth or soft application pad, apply the rubbing compound to the entire area. You can buff it by hand – and some experts believe this is preferable – or a buffing machine; if you use the latter, set it at 18 rpm. You may need to use the rubbing compound a few times to remove any excess touch-up paint. When you are finished with this step, clean off any residue with a microfiber towel. This step should remove any leftover sanding scratches.
  9. Apply polishing compound: Just as with the rubbing compound, you can do this step by hand or machine. If you use a polishing machine, set it at 1,000 rpm. Wipe any residue with the towel.
  10. Apply wax, by hand or polishing machine set at 1,000 rpm. This step will seal the new paint and clear coat, and your scratch should be barely detectable.

Keeping Your Car’s Paint Job Like New

Whether you’ve had to repair a deep scratch or are simply worried about the possibility, there is more you can do than just parking your car off by itself in the far corner of the parking lot. Consider a Paint Protection Film that will preserve the factory paint for the life of your car. The self-healing film is custom-cut for each vehicle, and protect against chips, fading, bugs, sand, road debris and scratches.

Contact Auto SuperShield at 506-367-0101 and ask which auto protection products will maximize the beauty, protection and value of your vehicle.

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