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How to Fix Bubbling Paint on Your Car

how to fix bubbling paint on car

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The fact that you’ve found this page means you’re likely wondering how to fix the bubbling paint on your car. But frst it’s important to understand what causes it:

What Causes Bubbling in Car Paint?

The most common causes of car paint bubbling are:

  • There is moisture or debris on the painting surface before the paint is applied
  • The surface is too hot when the paint is applied
  • The paint endures too much humidity or rain
  • Moisture gets under the paint because the paint is scratched
  • The paint is so old that it starts deteriorating

Here is a breakdown of how these factors cause bubbling in car paint.

1. Contaminated Painting Surface

If there’s any solid debris or moisture on the surface of the car’s exterior when the paint is applied, it gets painted over. This leaves tiny little pockets of air or moisture beneath the paint. For this reason, your car’s paint should always be applied by a professional.

These pockets expand and contract with changes in the weather. The effect is worse when moisture is trapped under the paint.

2. Hot Painting Surface

Panting a surface that’s too hot causes the paint to warp as it dries. Or, the paint might dry too quickly to adhere properly to the car’s surface. With the passage of time and changes in the weather, the condition worsens, as described above.

To prevent this, don’t paint your car in very hot weather. Nor should you apply paint in direct sunlight.

3. Too Much Moisture

Sometimes moisture gets trapped under the paint because there’s too much moisture in the paint mixture or air lines. Other times, the coat of paint is exposed to lots of moisture when it’s still very fresh. This causes the paint to warp before it’s fully settled on your car’s exterior.

Also, the paint deteriorates faster on cars that are kept outside in humid, rainy, or snowy locations. Eventually, this deterioration will cause the paint to start chipping away.

4. Age/Wear

Even when you park your car indoors and live in a very dry location, your car’s paint won’t last forever. Gradually, the paint gets weaker and weaker until it starts bubbling, peeling, and chipping. This is known as delamination.

5. Solvent Pop Bubbles

Sometimes, the clear coat over the paint can bubble. This is caused by applying the clear coat to hastily.

The hasty application results in very small holes that let moisture in, causing bubbling. These are known as solvent pop bubbles.

How to Fix Bubbling Paint on Your Car

Now, you mightn’t be able to tell the cause of your paint bubbles just by looking. But you can still use the information above to prevent paint bubbling in the future. In any case, here are some solutions based on the type of paint bubbles that you do see on in your car’s paint.

1. Bubbling on Panels and Car Hood

If the bubbling is on the hood or panels of the car you’ll have to completely refinish and repaint the affected panels.

2. Bubbling on Very Old Paint

Obviously, if the paint is so old that it’s going to pieces, it can’t be fixed or painted over. Again, you’ll have to refinish and repaint the car in this case.

3. Bubbles + Rust

Rust happens when moisture is trapped against the car’s surface, below the paint, for a long time. It can’t be painted over or the new paint coat will peel. You’ll have to thoroughly sand the rust away and then add a fresh coat of paint

4. Very Large Paint Bubbles

Very large bubbles in your car’s paint usually indicate that the paint surface wasn’t properly prepared before painting. You may be able to fix it with a patch paint repair kit.

But, since there might be rust or moisture beneath the surface, it’s best to sand down the area and repaint it. Check with a car paint repair professional to find out for sure.

5. Solvent Pop Bubbles

Luckily solvent pop bubbles are not a severe issue. You should be able to gently sand them down and buff them out. Watch some professional videos before attempting this on your own.

DIY vs Professional Car Paint Repair

Generally speaking, car paint repair is something that should be left to the professionals. In the best case scenario, DIY solutions come with a lot of risk and a bit of a learning curve and there’s a chance that your meddling will make the problem worse.

Same goes for tire maintenance, it’s best to leave it to the pros like the tire experts at Treads. Reach out to us today to se how you can get a new set of tires, we’ll come to you and even provide roadside assistance if necessary.

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