Automotive Paint Prep Part Removal Tips

Hey! Hey! Hey! It’s Tony.  Thank you for checking out this blog.  I’m doing a different format today.  No video, just purely blog.  This is all about Automotive Paint Prep Part Removal Tips.

You may be starting to understand by now that automobile painting consists of a series of stages. When combined these stages produce a quality paint job that looks fantastic, feels smooth and flawless, adheres securely and has lasting durability.

The outcome of any stage is determined by the result of the previous stage. Poor work at any stage will affect the end result.

You must make sure you complete each stage of the painting process to the very best of your ability. If you make a mistake, don’t pass over it, go back and correct it.

Don’t rush any of the stages, always keep the end goal in mind – a professional looking paint job that you will be genuinely proud of for years to come.

What is surface prep?  This involves those jobs that get surfaces ready for paint, which include dismantling parts, removing old paint and rust, applying primer material, finish sanding and cleaning surfaces with wax & grease remover and tack cloths.

Experienced auto painters and automotive enthusiasts can always detect if a vehicle has been repainted.

Therefore, auto painters should perform a thorough and meticulous paint job.  Nobody should have an idea that the vehicle has been near a spray paint gun, unless it’s an obvious and outlandish custom paint job.

Tiny amounts of paint overspray that get onto window moldings, door handles or light assemblies are giveaway signs that a vehicle has been worked on.

A closer inspection of the vehicle surface may also reveal some sanding scratches that would indicate that some degree of bodywork has been performed.

A buyer may suspect that the vehicle has possibly been involved in an accident and the damage repaired. Therfore, the car will no longer be so attractive to buy.

To make sure that no overspray is able to accumulate anywhere on your vehicles accessories and trim, it would be a sensible option to start by detaching or peeling off, anything that gets in the way of painting the basic surface of the car.

This will even include removing some larger pieces such as plastic bumpers that should be painted separately and reinstalled on the repainted body later.

This allows for controlled and thorough body preparation and is the best way to prevent overspray concerns and paint build-up along the edges of trim.

Don’t risk breaking parts when willing assistance is readily available.  You can also get the information you need from a factory repair manual for the make and model of the vehicle you are working on. You should be able to obtain one of these for a late model vehicle from a dealership.

You should also be able to pick one up from an auto part store, if all else fails browse around on the Internet for one.

Before you buy, flip through it and make sure it has the required information that you need. These manuals are very handy to keep for any future problems you may encounter.

It won’t take you long to see the benefits of removing vehicle accessories and parts. This stage is completed much faster than masking, however don’t rush through it.

Have a sensible plan ready for removing and storing each item.  Large boxes work well for this. It is simple to label the boxes for each section of the vehicle. Put screws, bolts and nuts back on the part it came from once you remove it so you’ll know exactly where they are when it’s time to put everything back onto the vehicle.

Once you get trim strips off, it’s best to remove all the clips. Put them and any other fasteners or small parts groups, in zip-lock plastic bags or smaller marked cardboard boxes and store them in the same place as other items from your project.

Now, here’s where we wish to focus more on.  Vehicle Trim and Accessories.

You will find that most of the accessories and parts from a vehicle including door handles and mirrors are secured in place with screws, nuts or bolts.

Some newer model vehicles use adhesives to hold the emblems, badges and trim in place. It is a good idea to examine each item before you try to take it off so you can determine exactly how it is mounted.

You don’t want to have to buy new to replace broken pieces.  If you want to replace them after painting, however, get new ones, with fresh adhesive, from the dealer.

You will find that some door handles can be removed by loosening a heavy duty screw found horizontally across from the handle on the edge of the door.

Other door handles are secured by a couple of screws or nuts; you will need to access these from inside the inner door cavity. To gain access to the handle support you’ll need to take off the interior door panel.

Interior door panels are usually secured either with screws or clips. If you can’t find any screws around the perimeter of the panel then it is likely it is held in place with plastic clips fastened securely into retainer mounts.

You can easily pull them loose. Before you do, make sure you remove the armrests and window and door handles first.

After you have removed the interior door panel, you will see a piece of plastic or similar material between the panel and the door skin. This is the vapor barrier.

It is designed to prevent water from entering the vehicle after it has leaked past window trim moldings.

It is very important that you don’t damage vapor barrier. It’s very easy to simply roll them up to the top of the door and tape them away safe.

For light assemblies, these are generally secured with screws found on the back of the housing assembly. You can remove the rear light units from inside the trunk area or by pulling them out from the outside.

Grilles can be a little trickier to remove. Look for screws around the perimeter of the grille section. Entire grille assemblies are usually made up of a series of parts which can be removed as one unit so long as you remove the correct screws.

Most grilles have parts that are held together with clips that you would have to remove also.

It’s important to leave the headlights in if possible.  This will prevent the current light beam setting from being disturbed.

If you need to remove them, remember not to touch either of the screws that have springs underneath them.  These are the directional adjustment screws that adjust the headlights in all directions.

You shouldn’t have any problems removing the bumpers on older vehicles.  They have support bolts which are easily located.

Newer car bumpers aren’t as easy. Take your time when removing a bumper from a vehicle and get help if you need it due to these parts often being quite heavy.

You definitely don’t want a bumper to fall on you while you are under the vehicle loosening the bolts so take the proper precautions.

If you will be painting the door edges then you are going to have to remove the weather stripping. You’ll need to take a closer look at it first to see how it is secured into place.

Sometimes you will find that it is held in place using adhesive, therefore an adhesive remover will have to be used.

It may appear to be substantial enough to be pulled straight off however, it is better to be safe than sorry and opt for the adhesive remover.

It’s Tony.  I hope you enjoyed this blog.  If you want to learn more about DIY auto body repair, check out LearnAutoBodyAndPaint and download your FREE 85-Page Auto Body And Paint Manual.

If you want to get access to my complete step-by-step videos of my projects, join our LearnAutoBodyAndPaint VIP course.

You get all the perks of a club member such as free updates within the course, get the full support of the LABAP team and other VIPs through exclusive forums and exclusive Facebook VIP group.

Also check out our LearnAutoBodyAndPaint Shop page and see an array of Warwick spray guns and accessories at sale prices.

Our VIPs get lifetime discount on all of the products here so go ahead and check out VIP now!

Talk soon! Bye!


Other Helpful Links:

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How To Paint a Car Yourself – A-Z Car Painting Steps in 12 Minutes

Automotive Paint Cost – Medium or High End Clear Coat?

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