How to remove orange peel from car clearcoat

Orange peel is something that almost every car enthusiast has to deal with. In this article I will write how to remove orange peel from the clearcoat. Orange peel is often a result of a DIY car painting. This can happen because of bad clear coat viscosity, wrong air pressure or many other reasons. The good news is – it’s not too hard to fix it if there is a thick layer of clear coat.

Step 1: First wet sanding stage

Depending on the orange peel and the thickness of your clear coat we have to pick the right grit sandpaper. If your orange peel is not too aggressive you can start wet sanding with grit 1500 sand paper. If you know that the clear coat is thick and the orange peel is very visible, you can start by using grit 800.

Step 2: Second wet sanding stage

Depending on the result you’re aiming for – usually this is the last sanding phase for me. If you want your clear coat to be perfectly even, you have to wet sand the clearcoat until you can see it being perfevtly even. The reason why I normally leave some imperfections is to match the original orange peel that is on the other car panels. For this stage I use 1500 or 2000 grit sandpaper. If your car color is dark, you might need to go even higher and do another round using grit 3000 before polishing.

Step 3: First polishing – cutting stage

Again depending on your car colour, this might be the last stage. If you did grit 3000 wet sanding and your car is silver you might be done here. If you have a black or dark colour car you might have to enjoy this proccess for a little bit longer. For this stage I use harder polishing sponge and cutting polishing paste. During this stage you should get your clear coat to look very decent or slightly hazy. For some people this stage might do it. For ones seeking better shine – you will need a another polishing stage.

Step 4: Final polishing – buffing stage

At this point your clear coat should look even and shiny or a little bit hazy. For this stage I use softer polishing sponge and Finishing polishing paste. Don’t put too much pressure on the polishing machine, I normally just support the polishing machine weight and lightly touch the surface.

Step 5: Waxing and sealing our results

At this point you should really see your hard work results. To keep it this way I recommend to wipe the panels of using silicone cleaner and give your car a protective coat. Either poly coat or a few coat of wax. I hope you found this article helpful. You can see the orange peel removal work process in the video I made after painting my car’s doors.