How To Fix Burnt Paint On Car? (Explained)

Irrespective of how you get burn marks on your car paint, there is no other way of removing them other than repainting the burnt area.

Unlike scratches or faded paint that you can apply rubbing compound to fix it, burns remove the paint from the surface. Therefore, you have to layer fresh paint.

Fixing burnt paint on a car may seem like a complicated process, but it’s quite simple if you know what you are doing.

To fix a burnt paint mark on your car, you will have to feather the edges, apply some paint prep which should remove oils and impurities.

Then apply some paint, let it dry before sanding it. And finally, apply a clear coat and buff it gently.

how to fix burnt paint on car

Is a Repaint the Only Way You Can Get Burn Marks Off Car Paint?

Unfortunately, there is no other way you can remove burn marks from car paint. Repainting is the only proven solution that will ensure the burnt area looks aesthetically appealing.

However, if you have noticed a burn mark on your car paint, before throwing in the towel, try sanding and see if the paint has been completely burnt.

There are times when the burns may have only eaten through the clear coat. If this is the case, some slight buffing can fix the burn marks on car paint.

But you will have to find out the extent of the burn marks. Please note that burn marks on car paint are a very sensitive issue.

Always assess carefully the state of the burn before attempting any DIY solution on it.

If at all the burn mark has eaten through the paint, sanding it may go through the primer and expose the bare metal.

This is something you should avoid by all means because the minute your car’s metal is exposed to air and water, it can start rusting.

And the rust may spread to other parts of the car resulting in costly repairs. So, here is the thing, approach burn marks on your car paint with caution.

Can Polishing or Buffing a Car Burn the Paint?

Though it doesn’t happen often, buffing or polishing your car can burn the paint. These two are the most common detailing jobs we do on our cars.

Polishing gives your car paint a sleeker finish and buffing covers scratches while fixing damaged paint. However, there are times when either of the two procedures can cause more harm than good.

The burning of the car paint happens when you over-buff a certain area with an orbital or rotary polisher.

Even though most people don’t like the idea of getting their hands dirty and using a lot of effort, polishing your car by hand is very safe.

Unlike machines, hands can only generate enough pressure to apply the polishing compounds into the car paint. Machines on the other hand may apply a lot of pressure which can result in the burning of car paint.

Please note that it is also possible to burn your car paint when you use aggressive cutting pads. Most detailers love such types of cutting pads because they create a more aesthetically appealing finish.

But this may come at the expense of burning your car paint. If you have ever seen a car with burn marks, then you wouldn’t dream of having such on your car paint. If you always polish or buff your car, stick to hand application.

Yes, it may be tiresome, it saves you a lot of time and effort that you will have used in re-spraying burn marks on the car paint.

Also, if you are having the vehicle buffed by a detailer, make sure you find out how aggressive the cutting pads he/she is intending to use are.

Also, ask for the polisher they will be using. This can save you from getting burn marks on your car paint.

How Can a Polisher Burn Car Paint?

Polishing or buffing is the main cause of burn marks in most car paints. Being the main culprit, car owners need to learn how to avoid such from happening.

As well as learn the importance of not getting too comfortable with rotary polishers.

You may be wondering, how does a polisher burn car paint? To understand this process, you must familiarize yourself with how these polishers work.

For the polishers to work, they must remove paint on the car’s surface. It is because of this reason why we are advised not to over polish our cars.

When you over polish a surface, you remove too much paint and this is what causes burn marks. And this doesn’t just involve polishing but all types of paint correction processes.

What Does the Phrase ‘Burning through Paint’ Mean?

If you have been in the detailing world or you have interacted with professionals in this industry, you may have heard of the phrase ‘burning through paint’.

This phrase means when a polishing machine generates so much heat that it literally burns through the paint.

Burn marks on car paint can be very unsightly. Though such occurrences are rare, you should never get too comfortable with a polishing machine.

When you polish a car surface, the objective is to correct paint without penetrating the clear coat. The clear coat is the transparent layer that safeguards the paint from impurities.

If you break the clear coat, the paint is left bare. And if the heat generated from a polisher is too strong for the clear coat, then the paint won’t be a match for the heat.

Some of the Ways Polishers Burn Car Paint

A powerful polisher can easily burn car paint. Most manufacturers of polishers claim that their tools are risk-free, but as a smart consumer, you should never believe everything manufacturers say.

Even though there is some truth to what they say about polishers, there are instances when the polisher can burn through car paint.

Here are some of the ways on how this can happen;

  • When you over polish an area with thin paint, it is easy to burn through the paint.

If your car has thin paint, you should keep off from polishers. Instead, apply the polishing compounds via hand and be very gentle.

Unlike ordinary paint, thin paint is very vulnerable. To identify if the paint on a car is thin, you will have to use a paint depth gauge.

  • Should the polishers create more heat than the clear coat can handle, it burns through the paint.

When it comes to paint correction, there should always be minimal heat as it can often lead to more problems.

As the polisher rubs on the surface of your car, friction is generated and this leads to the production of heat. Excess heat burns the paint leaving behind an ugly mark.

  • If the polishing pad gets contaminated, you will have more than burn marks to worry about.

When polishing your car, you need to keep abrasives away because should they stick to the pad, it can wreak a lot of havoc on your car’s surface.

Polishing a car being the most common way of getting burn marks on the paint, car owners should learn how to polish their cars properly. The first thing that you need to do is work in the right environment.

An enclosed area will keep abrasives from coming into contact with the car paint. Secondly, don’t work on a particular area for too long.

Can the Sun Cause Burns on the Paint?

Have you ever seen car paints that look like they are peeling? Well, this is mostly caused by UV rays. Overexposure to the sun’s UV rays can burn through the car’s clear coat and cause the paint to fade.

The burn marks from over buffing don’t look similar to the ones caused by UV rays. And the good thing about the latter is that through polishing, you can get rid of peel marks on the car paint.

How Does UV Light Damage Paint?

You are already aware of the harmful effects of UV light on all surfaces. It usually starts with your plastic dashboard, before moving to the paint.

The UV rays that come from the sun are known to degrade the car’s clear coat. This doesn’t happen right away so it may take some time for you to realize the extent of the damage done to your paint.

As the clear coat weakens, exposure to debris that causes scratching of car paint forces the clear coat to start peeling.

And that’s when you start seeing patches of faded paint on the car surfaces. These mostly occur on the bonnet or the roof of the car.

While we are still on UV damage, car owners should also be concerned about the plastic parts on their cars. This is because plastic also suffers the same fate when exposed to UV rays.

Can Fireworks Burn Car Paint?

Yes, they can. And it’s not just fireworks, anything else that has some heat on it can burn your car paint, even cigarettes. Be very mindful about where you park your car.

If you can find some private parking near your place of work, that would help keep your car paint safe from burns. Also, ensure that you do the same at home.