Stripping paint advice

white ford fiesta 2007. hi my paint chipped and was starting to bubble on the panel above my back window (about a 30 cm patch ). I sanded it down and re sprayed it but i messed it up on the edging and the colour is slightly more cream that bright white so ive decided to remove the patch and just strip and respray the whole panel which will look a lot neater. My question is: what is the easiest way to remove paint manually . what sandpaper do u suggest etc. also, can i use a sponge and rub with acetone - will this remove paint quicker. thank you in advance118244272_2766894666892767_7947422740945678145_n

I am not a painting professional. Just want to be upfront about that.
I would say do not use acetone. The acetone could get into the sealant around your window and cause problems.
I would start with 100 grit sandpaper with a sanding block then move up to finer grit as the paint comes off. Even by hand, the 100 grit might leave scratches that will show. Just take it slow and careful.

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There are special gel paint strippers available to remove car paint but they can be messy.A corse sandpaper is what I use all the time.

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Why strip it? Why not just prep it to receive the new paint?


Sand it smooth with 400 grit wet-and-dry sandpaper… the black stuff.

Spray primer-sealer over the entire panel you are painting. Paint.

Your paint didn’t match because A) Your paint faded (unlikely with white paint) or B) You bought paint you thought would match in a spray can from the hardware or home center store.

If it is B), don’t use that type of paint. It will not hold up on a car and it will not match (as you found out). Buy car paint from someplace like this…

They also have tips, FAQs and videos to help you.


Yeah, this is likely.

You can get specific color-matched paint at auto parts stores. It’s a little more expensive than the Rustoleum at Home Depot, but it’ll match the factory color. Of course, that won’t help much if the paint on the car has faded, so the other trick is to make the color mismatch look intentional.

That’s my ex-pickup truck. When we bought it, there were giant rust holes in the rocker panels. So we patched those up, and were certainly not going to pay the premium for all that color-matched paint. Instead, we masked off the top half of the body with a straight line and sprayed the slightly darker silver on the bottom. Instant two-tone truck - it was supposed to look like that, honest!


looks like you need some more “two-tone” on the rear-right bumper :slight_smile:

other than that, I love the look of that generation Mitsu!

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Hey, the more rust holes I get in the bumper, the lower the weight of the truck, the higher the payload I can carry. :wink:

Yeah, I loved that little thing. Was ideal until we decided to start pulling a trailer - then we needed to upgrade. The new Tundra is a lot nicer and more capable, but not nearly as cool.

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It depends how the acetone is applied. It should never be poured directly onto the surface for the reasons you gave. It can be poured onto a rag. A dampened rag, not dripping wet, can be used to clean a surface before priming. It will not harm the paint and will fully evaporate quickly.

I would sand it as @Mustangman suggested, clean the particles off with cheese cloth, then clean the surface with a solvent like isopropyl alcohol or acetone. That removes any grease, including fingerprints, that might be on the surface. After letting the solvent evaporate to a dry surface, you can use an auto paint that matches your Ford paint.

You might also put 2” wide tape just outside the previously painted area, with newspaper on the outer edge of the tape. Now you have an Rea to prep and paint that won’t get additional paint on it. I did this on a car back in the 1970s. The guy that blight it said I did such a a good job with the paint repair and cleaning the interior, that he wanted to buy the car. It won’t look professional since it isn’t blended, but it will look decent enough.

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because in the middle of the panel there is a 30cm circle where the old paint was stripped and repainted- as this piece was stripped to the metal and repainted. it looks uneven and messy

Ive attached some pics. The red marked area is the area i recently recently stripped and re painted . But it looks uneven so i want to do that whole panel.

You have a nice, small, well defined panel at the top of the hatch that is easy to paint with an aerosol can with matching paint. Use the paint color code off your car to order the correct color match. This should be an easy job.


You normally do not strip all the paint off down to bare metal unless there is a general adhesion problem with the old paint. Factory primer and paint is a pretty good base. You just sand the gloss with maybe 320 W/D and feather out any spots. Prime any bare spots and repaint.

If you have to strip the paint, use a regular paint stripper, but then you will need to be very careful of the surrounding areas and prime and seal. Normally after all done, you color sand with 2 or 3000 to flatten and remove any blems and polish by machine. Spray paint will not equal the factory finish though for either thickness or durability if that’s what you are doing.

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hi, thanks for the advice. if i dont strip the entire panel to the metal, wont there be a ring showing up where i have already stripped it to the metal (on the 30 cm patch i just repainted) or can this be sanded to blend in with the rest of the panel? see picture attached



this is what the patch currently looks like. Do you suggest sanding down the entire panel to the metal then repainting?

Do not sand to bare metal. Do not. Sand it smooth with 400 grit. If you can feel the bumps, you’ll be able to see then when done. Use a primer sealer in an aerosol can. Paint with automotive paint in an aerosol can.

Not Krylon or Rustoleum. Automotve paint with the proper paint code for your car.

See my earlier post for a link to an internet source for the paint, primer, and instructions.


Thank you :slight_smile:

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There are videos showing how to “feather edge” the paint to smooth that edge and not need strip the entire panel. You can sand by hand but a disk air sander works better.


if sanding by hand, having sanding rubber block helps to avoid creating too much pressure and makes it feather out better

something like this will do:

also, it helps to spray with “filler primer” and sand over to further reduce uneven transition and help adhesion


Is that panel even metal? The top hatch trim pieces like that are often plastic.