On the rear of my truck it looks like another car hit it because it has red paint on it and my truck is white.

It's not dented but it has red paint on it. What is an easy way of taking it off removing the red paint?

  • 3
    A clear photo of the area would help answerers be more relevant.
    – Criggie
    Mar 6, 2017 at 23:04
  • Rough dimensions of paint smear?
    – MaxW
    Mar 7, 2017 at 0:06

3 Answers 3


You want use a progressive method. Start with regular automotive paste wax. Apply and rub in a circular pattern. If you use a light colored cloth you may see the red transferring to the cloth. If that doesn't work try a polishing compound. It is slightly more abrasive than wax. Use the same application technique. If the results are not satisfactory, try a light rubbing compound. The next step is a heavy-duty rubbing compound. The idea is to use the least abrasive material that is required to remove the red paint while doing the least amount damage to your white paint. If all these fail, a body repair shop may be able to use a powered buffered to remove the marks. The last resort is repainting the panel.


Before trying anything abrasive I would suggest a mild solvent, like rubbing alcohol or citrus cleaner. Moisten a cloth with one of the above, and rub fairly hard on the red paint. If this is working, you will see red paint coming off on your rag. If not, you could try moving to paint thinner or acetone (nail polish remover), but you would want to try these in an inconspicuous area first to see whether any they take off white paint as well, because these are stronger solvents.

This will save you a lot of buffing, as removing the paint with abrasives will leave a dull spot in your own paint, which will have to be buffed smooth.

  • I would certainly try this first, before using an abrasive. Any paint that you get off is just that much less that you need the stronger abrasive for.
    – MaxW
    Mar 7, 2017 at 0:08

It's hard to say without examining the area.

However, you could:

  1. Purchase the finest grade sand paper available. (use it to get out as much of the red paint as possible.)
  2. Next step is purchase Turtle wax or other variations and use a drill/buffing machine with a buffing pad to mactch.

Assuming your paint did not get excessive damage, that should take out 80-100% of the red paint. (There could be other easy alternatives)

  • 1
    Sandpaper strikes me as a bad idea. It would be too abrasive and too hard to control applying pressure to a small spot only. I'm assuming a small smear of paint, not something massive.
    – MaxW
    Mar 7, 2017 at 0:05
  • @MaxW - I've been doing this for a very long time, a 1000 grade sand paper can be used to rub all over your car without damaging it, then use a buffer along with turtle wax to buff the car. When you are done, the car will look like a fresh coat of "Clear coating" was recently applied over it.
    – andre3wap
    Mar 7, 2017 at 13:35

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