Saving a bad paint job


New member
Hi, all--

Newbie with a newbie-ish question. I have a project C4 Vette in my driveway, the PO sprayed it flat black, rattle-canned on some GS accent stripes (in the wrong spot, natch), and then laid down some vinyl tape pinstripes over the hood, roof, and rear deck lid. Then he painted over all of the emblems in the same Krylon red as the spraybomb striping.

On top of that, the paint job itself is not great--lots of runs on the vertical surfaces, one big chip down to the primer next to the headlight. Coverage is pretty good, though, and there's certainly a lot of paint on the car, as it's not only flat, it's also orange-peeled.

My goal on this is to remove the tape stripes with a wheel eraser, then sand off the accent stripes as well. Once those are done, will it be possible to block sand the runs out, then save the existing paint by polishing it up from matte to satin? I'm concerned about evenness and longevity of the finish.

I have limited skill, limited tools, and, of course, a limited budget. Is this bad paint job salvageable, or am I wasting my time?



New member
If it was done by rattle can, there probably isn't enough material to sand without sanding through.

Thanks for the reply--may the Schwartz be with you.

I'm reasonably sure that the basecoat was gunned on, it seems thick enough to take at least a moderate sanding. Certainly the runs are thick enough! It's the stripes that look like Krylon--no primer, and thin enough that I can see through them to the underlying black in spots. That said, if I screw it up I'm no worse off than I was before, since my backup plan is to attempt to lay down a two-stage. I have a gun and compressor, but I'm fairly new with it and I'd prefer for both technical and budgetary reasons to avoid a full respray. What I'm really trying to figure out is if it's technically possible to save the basecoat by increasing the sheen a level or two with a buffer and some cutting compounds, once I've sanded off the runs and stripes up through around 2000 grit. Not all the way to glossy, but shinier than the current full-flat. My worry is that it will come out horribly uneven, since what I'm essentially proposing is to create a giant swirl mark that covers the whole car, and the more I work at it, the worse it will get. I have some experience rattle-canning small projects and getting decent finishes out of it, but haven't tackled anything this size yet.