Can You Paint Over Existing Auto Paint?

When we prepare ourselves to buy a new car, we look for color, design, mileage, and others. The vehicle paint is indeed a vital part of the likeliness to have it in our garage.

Usually, the factory paint on its body is obviously done to withstand odds for years. Yet, we fail to protect the paint unwantedly or by mistakes.

Can You Paint Over Existing Auto Paint?

Dents, scratches, peeling, etc. are common problems with these paints. So, we immediately think of the earliest look of a colorful, brand-new automobile. Then we seek the answer of “can you paint over existing auto paint? The answer is here: Yes, you can easily paint over the old paint of a car. But you need to follow proper guidelines without damaging the surface. For a better solution, strip off or sand the old paint (partially or fully), prime the vehicle, apply new paint.

I am personally a devotee of riding a car. So, I love to keep my (with happiness and pride) the car looks like just brought from the manufacturer. I have studied a lot on painting. That’s why I’m here to share the solution of painting auto over existing paint. For this time being, you will get explanations to these topics:

  • Is there any benefit of repainting the car?
  • How can I remove peeling paint from a car surface?
  • Preparing a vehicle for repaint jobs
  • How can I prime auto surface over existing paint?
  • How to paint an old car over existing paint?

Can You Paint Over Existing Auto Paint?

Painting sounds easy, worry-free work. Again, painting over existing paint is equal fun to paint for the first time. But sometimes we face doubt or confusion whether we can do it on an old-painted car or not. The main reason behind this is we think repainting can damage the old look. Also, we may fear that repainting will not be long-lasting and vibrant.

Repaint the automobile over existing paint

But the answer is, yes! You can paint over existing auto paint. By existing paint, we may assume the factory paint of the car. When you buy the vehicle, it already has the color you loved and the reason you bought it for. Leaving this, we may also consider, you have painted again over factory paint last time. But you need to do it again by any chance. Everything is feasible but you must follow proper instructions.

There can be certain situations when you should paint over an old paint car. You may see some spots are faded, some are completely bare (no paint) due to scratches with other things. Also, weather conditions play a good role in damaging the painted surface. In such situations, painting over existing paint will work best.

Is There Any Benefit of Repainting the Car?

Indeed, the factory paint has extreme endurance and the power to withstand adverse conditions. How much or quality you repaint, the result will not be satisfying as the factory paint. But repainting is enough to increase the lifespan and beauty of car surfaces for the next 5-10 years minimum.

Benefit of Repainting the Car

Painting over existing paint has some obvious benefits. You can restore the new look as it was initially when it came from the manufacturer. Repainting repairs defects like dents, ding, stains, etc. Additionally, repainting provides surface protection from corrosion. For the best rust protection, you need to choose the right paint and the right way of painting.

Assume that you want to buy a new car, or sell an existing one, or start a rent-a-car service. Repainting will hugely increase the resale value of the old car. The shiny car attracts the mind of the passengers. Also, it can give you good cash in return if you sale the repainted car.

How Can I Remove Peeling Paint from a Car Surface?

Remove peeling paint from a car surface

If you see the paint is in peeling condition, you should remove them from the entire area. Peeling paint can cause great problems when you paint over existing auto paint. They can lift from the beneath of the new paint you do. It will invite more issues of paints furthermore. However, removing the peeling paint is not a tough job. You can follow these steps to remove peeling paint:

  • Clean the area of peeling paint with wipes or a wet cleaning rag. Add some auto cleaner to clean mildews, grease off it.
  • Use a plastic paint scraper to chip off peeling paints. Do not scrape off more paint than you need.
  • Wipe the area again and cleaning all the chips, flakes, and paint dust.
  • Use sandpaper to eliminate all the stubborn paint flakes and clean the area again.

Preparing a Vehicle for Repaint Jobs

You may want to repair the old paint or add significant effect over existing paint. For this, you should prepare the car surface well. Prepping the vehicle is always important. You can follow these steps to make your car ready for repainting:

  • Remove the parts as much as you can which you don’t want to paint. I am not talking about the internal hardware of the car. These parts can be mirrors, lights, and some others.
  • Mask the areas where sanding or scuffing can damage like doorknobs, chrome and rubber trim, grilles, etc.
  • Use heavy-grit wet sandpaper of 600-grit to remove the shines from the car surface.
  • Mask the whole area for painting and apply oil or grease cleaner.
  • After cleaning everything, do not touch them till they are painted.

How Can I Prime Auto Surface Over Existing Paint?

When you take the car to an automobile repair center, they will possibly paint over existing paint without removing them. But when you remove existing paint and prime it well, the result will be awesome.

There are various brands of auto primers available at the stores. You may choose a thick, high-build primer to hide the original paint. If you choose glossy paint without sanding the surface well, then it will not be effective. In fact, it makes the old paint and stains visible. It may also make the primers harder to stick on the surface.

First, you have to get the paint out. Then, you can start using a primer to hide the imperfections. Many experts suggest applying couple of layers of primer to get best outcome. It can fill the tiny gaps, scratch marks on the body. Every time you apply primer with a paintbrush, wait for its drying time. Then, recoat the area with primer. After completing all the priming tasks, you can start painting.

How to Paint an Old Car Over Existing Paint?

If you have already prepared your automobile for repainting, only painting is enough as the next and final step. Alternatively, you can follow these steps to paint an old car over existing paint. You may also seek suggestions from professionals.

I suggest you arrange these tools and materials for repairing the wounded spots:

  • Dent repair kit
  • Material for body filtering
  • Spreader
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Hammer
  • Dolly

For scuffing the existing paint on the car, arrange these tools:

  • Proper mask or respirator
  • Working goggles
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Electric sander (orbital)
  • 600 grit sandpaper
  • Shop cloth (lint-free)

For priming, keep these things on your list:

  • Old newspaper
  • Primer for automobile
  • Paint thinner and spray
  • Drop cloth
  • Painter’s tape
  • 1200-grit sand block

After having all the things, you can start painting on the existing paint. Cover yourself well using respirator and safety goggles. Now, do as I suggest you:

  • Repair all the dents with the dent repair kit and make the surface smooth enough for painting.
  • Take the hot glue gun and start filling the dents with glue to bring back their original form.
  • Sand the surface with an electrical sander while attaching sandpaper from low grit to higher.
  • Maintain firm and consistent pressure on the area to keep it smooth and even.
  • Wipe out all the paint dust using a wet lint-free shop cloth.
  • Take a microfiber cloth and use it to thoroughly dry the surface for best results.
  • Put down drop cloth or old newspaper to cover the windows, mirrors, and other areas.
  • Use painter’s tape to keep the newspaper on the right spot.
  • Apply auto primer by spraying it from 15-20cm from the painting spot and waiting 30 minutes to dry it.
  • For a minor touch-up, a thin layer of primer will work well.
  • Sand the base coat for hiding the defects using a 1200-grit sand block in a swirling motion.
  • Take the car paint and mix it well with thinners.
  • Apply the first coat of paint and wait for drying.
  • After drying the first coat, you can do one or more coats till you get a satisfying result.
  • Buff the painted surface by using a rubbing tool.

Now, you have done the painting job over existing auto paint. Aren’t the processes easy to do?


I think you have the answer now. No more questions like “Can I repaint the automobile over existing paint.” You can remove the old paint entirely for full painting. Otherwise, give a painting touch-up to a damaged or faded area.

Repainting saves time and money while increasing the longevity of the car surface. Also, you can paint over existing paint by following some easy steps which I have discussed. I hope you have no more confusion about it.

Let’s have a break!

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