So I tried to paint the fender on my "beater" car. No requirements for it to look perfect and I did it mostly for learning. So the end result is not the best because there is no shine for the clear coat. It is very muddy/foggy and has a matte feel to it, I wouldn't even call it orange peel. As I understand my mistake was doing that on a rainy/humid day. So the question here is what would be the best way to fix it?

  1. Should I get straight to 1500-2000 grit, wet-sand it and try to polish that? I got a feeling that that won't do any good because the clear coat itself is gone bad and looks like there is no way to work with that.
  2. Or should I take some 800 grit sandpaper, try to wet-sand the clear coat down, then wet-sand with 1500 and re-apply clear coat, this time in better weather conditions?

foggy matte clear coat


Humidity is the bane of clearcoat! And 99/100 times you're looking at option 2.. there is a slight caveat though - if it's a case of the top layer coat getting a bit milky and it's not too widespread you can sometimes do a bit of a rescue job with a heatgun (the cloudiness is mainly trapped moisture) and then doing some wet-sanding to bring the finish up. I wouldn't hold high hopes here though - that's more for ones where it got a bit humid towards the end as the clearcoat was curing and it sounds as though the whole thing was humid from start to finish.

But given this is a beater and a bit of a learning experience if you've got a heat gun handy then I'd suggest trying that on a small area first, if you see some worthwhile improvement in clouding then you can go for it. Otherwise you're back to old reliable - strip the clearcoat off and try again on a dry day.

  • Thanks, didn't think of the heat gun. Will try that at the weekend. But I am preparing myself for the second option because as u said, there was humidity from start to finish. Should I go with the 800 grit first and then do 1500? or go better go with 1000 grit so I don't sand too deep into paint? Because i am ready to re-apply the clear coat but not ready for replying the paint
    – Chris
    Jul 2 '20 at 17:47
  • @Chris Without knowing how much clearcoat you've applied I'd probably play it safe and start at 1000 grit - you can always sand a bit more if you need to go a bit deeper. If thousand isn't making a dent in it you can always step to the 800. Jul 3 '20 at 8:26

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