Discovering clear coat overspray on your car windows and windshield can be frustrating, more so if the vehicle has just received a new paint job. Overspray on the glass can mess up the aesthetics of your car.
The good news is you don’t have to frown every time you see your windows covered by clearcoat overspray. Some methods are very effective at getting rid of clear coat overspray from glass.
Dealing with clear coat overspray on glass is far better than when it’s on actual car paint. With glass, there is nothing beneath it.
Unlike paint, you risk removing the finish beneath as you clean off the clear coat overspray. That’s a discussion for another day. For now, let’s focus on how to remove clear coat overspray from glass.
Table of Contents
- 1. Lacquer Thinner
- 2. Clay Bars
- 3. Fine Steel Wool
- Can I Use a Razor Blade to Remove Clear Coat Overspray?
- Does Clear-Coat Overspray on Glass Come Off Easily?
- What Solvents Can I Use to Remove Clear Coat from Glass?
- Can I Use Glass Cleaner to Remove Clear Coat Overspray?
- What about Vinegar?
- Taking It Back to the Body Shop is a Great Idea
- Is It Okay to Use a Pressure Washer to Remove Paint Overspray from Glass?
- Importance of Preventing Clear Coat Overspray on Glass Windows
1. Lacquer Thinner
Even though detailing experts advise against the use of lacquer thinner in removing overspray on paint, it’s perfect for removing overspray on glass.
The reason why detailers don’t recommend lacquer to make contact with paint is that it can damage the paint. On your windshield or windows, the material beneath is glass. And the clear coat paint overspray shouldn’t be there in the first place.
Dabbing some lacquer thinner on a towel and rubbing it on the clear coat overspray should remove it immediately. It is the most effective method yet the riskiest.
As you rub the lacquer thinner on the glass, you should ensure not even a single drop touches the paint. Lacquer thinner can also damage rubber and plastic found on the edges of your car windows and windshield.
Make sure it doesn’t spread to such areas. As long as you are careful, lacquer thinner should get the job done and not hurt your car paint and other surfaces other than the glass.
You should, however, know that paint thinner leaves streaks on the window. You would have to wash the windows afterward.
2. Clay Bars
It bonds with these impurities leaving behind a clean and clear finish. In this case, the clear coat overspray is an impurity, and a clay bar can get rid of it in minutes.
For you to have a much easier time removing the clear coat overspray from the glass, we recommend a mixture of soap, water, and clay bar.
You should notice it coming off quickly after rubbing the clay bar on the clear coat overspray for a minute. Ensure that you remove all the overspray, rinse the glass and dry it.
Besides removing clear coat overspray, you can also use clay bars to remove hard water stains/spots on the glass. Many car owners have successfully used clay bars to remove clear coat overspray. It should, therefore, also work for you.
3. Fine Steel Wool
The other method of effectively removing clear coat overspray from glass is using fine steel wool.
0000 super fine steel wool is abrasive enough to clean off clear coat overspray without scratching the glass.
If you were worried about leaving scratch marks on the glass, please note that this type of steel wool is fine grade. You can get some fine steel wool from Amazon or a nearby detailing shop.
As you use fine steel wool, be very careful not to rub on the paint since that can lead to the removal of a clear coat on the paint’s surface.
Also, similar to using a clay bar, adding some soap and water to the mixture can make your job a tad easier. The steel wool should remove hard water spots as well.
Can I Use a Razor Blade to Remove Clear Coat Overspray?
We didn’t include a razor blade as one of the methods to remove clear coat overspray from glass because of the risk it comes with. A razor is perfect for removing thick and stubborn overspray.
Because of the sharp edges, a razor can cut through the clear coat and separate it from the glass.
But this method should only be used by professional detailers or those who have very firm hands. Should the razor sleep, you may end up scratching the glass or nearby paint.
Considering that not all of us are expert detailers, you should stick to the above-recommended methods. Leave the razor blade to detailers, window film installers, and other experts who are used to using such tools.
It’s better to see clear coat overspray on your windows than razor scratches will stay there permanently.
Nowadays, plastic razor blades can be used instead of the actual ones. A plastic razor blade can remove clear coat overspray safely without scratching the glass. These are available on Amazon and eBay.
Does Clear-Coat Overspray on Glass Come Off Easily?
The thing about paint overspray on glass is that it should come off pretty quickly. The clear coat is intended to be used on glass. Therefore, it won’t adhere as firmly as it would have on a painted surface.
People even use nails to remove clear coat overspray. Wet clear coat overspray comes off much easier because it’s still soft. Once it dries or hardens, you may need the intervention of other tools such as fine steel wool or a clay bar.
What Solvents Can I Use to Remove Clear Coat from Glass?
Today, most car owners prefer to work smarter than hard when dealing with various issues. For instance, if you have got some clear coat overspray on the glass, you may quickly rush and grab your solvent of choice and dab it on the glass.
If it were the car body with some overspray, we would discourage you from doing so. But since glass is the victim here, have at it.
Glass, unlike paint, is much more resistant to the effects of most solvents. We have already seen that you can use paint thinner. But that’s not the only solvent that can remove clear coat overspray.
It’s okay to use acetone, brake cleaner, kerosene, rubbing alcohol, and whichever kind of solvent you consider strong enough to dissolve clear coat overspray.
When using a solvent to remove clear coat overspray, dab some on a towel and rub it gently on the overspray. Do not let the solvent touch the painted surface as it will damage them.
Repeat the above process until the glass is clear and coat-free. Some of these solvents evaporate quickly. So, you may have to work fast.
Can I Use Glass Cleaner to Remove Clear Coat Overspray?
Hardened clear coat overspray can prove to be too stubborn for regular glass cleaners. You may have to use something a little bit stronger.
You can read through the ingredients and check if they contain any strong solvents. If it does, then you can give it a try.
What about Vinegar?
Vinegar has been used for a while because of its cleaning properties. This is more of a DIY hack, and the results may vary depending on the situation at hand.
If you spot some clear coat overspray, you can mix vinegar with water and use it to rub off the overspray. Vinegar will mainly work on wet clear coats. But, if it’s dried up, you may have to use a lot of elbow grease or higher concentrations of vinegar.
Taking It Back to the Body Shop is a Great Idea
If your car was getting painted at the body shop, and it comes back with clear coat overspray on the windshield and windows. Do not hesitate to take it back.
A professional paint job shouldn’t have overspray on any part of the car. And it is the responsibility of the detailers to ensure they correct any mistakes done on their end.
So, if you see some clear coat overspray, return it to the detailing shop. They should fix that for you. Next time, get your vehicle painted elsewhere.
Is It Okay to Use a Pressure Washer to Remove Paint Overspray from Glass?
We wouldn’t advise you to do this because pressure washers can break the glass. The pressure in the water is very effective at removing clear coat overspray, especially if it’s still fresh.
But when you evaluate the risk of breaking the glass, stick to the methods we have provided you. You can use the pressure washer to get rid of other stains in your car.
A pro tip to follow when using a pressure washer on your windows is that never point it directly.
Importance of Preventing Clear Coat Overspray on Glass Windows
Overspray is very common in most paint jobs. But even though it occurs frequently, this isn’t something that should be tolerated. Some things can be done to prevent clear coat overspray from happening.
The first thing you have to do is cover all the windows and windshield when painting your car. That is the number one rule. And it’s not just the windows, but any part of your that you don’t want paint on should be covered.
Doing this ensures no paint gets to the glasses even if you follow the wrong spray pattern or there is a lot of wind. As you paint, clean off any overspray that you may see. It’s easier to clean wet than dry paint.