How to fix the peeling clearcoat paint on my honda
December 6, 2015 5:33 PM   Subscribe

I just bought my first used car, a 2001 honda accord, it's a great car except the clear coat paint is coming off and makes it look very ugly. Can I fix this, or make it look better myself somehow? The person I bought it from said it would be $500 from a store and I don't wanna spend that much. Thanks
posted by denimchair to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Buy seven different kinds of sandpaper, masking tape and rolls of plastic, as well as various cloths to pick up fine dust with, a respirator and the appropriate filter pads, and of course clear coat paint. Make sure you have access to a garage on a day when the weather is between 55°F and 70°F and where nobody cares if you get spray paint on the surroundings. Spend a couple of days watching instructional YouTube videos then sanding, cleaning, painting, then do it all over again, determine that you need an expensive sander/buffer if you want to do any semblance of a decent job, go buy it (and all the necessary accessories for it), spend another couple of days trying to get it just right, then finally concede and take it to the local body & paint shop, give them $500 and get your car back the next day looking great.
posted by halogen at 5:59 PM on December 6, 2015 [20 favorites]

Can I fix this, or make it look better myself somehow?

No. See above.
posted by Brockles at 6:31 PM on December 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Another thing to consider would be plastidip. Search for the "dip my car" YouTube channel.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 6:37 PM on December 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

I used to have an '02 Accord with this problem. (And I used to see it on other Accords of that generation, always in the same spots, so I guess it's a common issue.) It was cosmetic, so I never got it taken care of. Eventually I just sort of stopped being able to see it, and then it stopped bothering me.

A 14-year-old car is going to have some blemishes, and it's probably not worth worrying about them too much. If it's economical, comfortable, and reliable then you've done well. Just move on with your life and spend your mental resources elsewhere.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 6:40 PM on December 6, 2015 [5 favorites]

Maybe try waxing it? It probably won't look great, but may look better than peeling clearcoat.

If it were my car I probably wouldn't do anything, unless I saw rust.
posted by gregr at 6:47 PM on December 6, 2015

MAACO they used to have a $100 paint job, now I think it is $200.
posted by Oyéah at 6:55 PM on December 6, 2015

Yeah, blistering and peeling clearcoat is common in Hondas of that vintage -- the bonnet/hood on mine is looking a bit sad -- and it's the downside of having Hondas of that generation last 15-20 years without much serious going wrong with them. Either spend the money to have it done professionally in the knowledge that plenty of 2001 [other makes] would be in the shop for engine/transmission work, or put up with it.
posted by holgate at 6:55 PM on December 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you don't mind spending your own time you can get a decent result for a less than $100 with a roller. I've painted several trucks with tremclad where the metal was good but the paint was trash over a weekend (IE: not nearly as long as the linked technique) and while they'd never be mistaken for factory paint they looked a lot better than peeling clear coat.
posted by Mitheral at 6:59 PM on December 6, 2015

We had a 2007 accord with this problem and had to have the whole thing repainted.
posted by Mimzy at 7:29 PM on December 6, 2015

You could just go get a couple of rollers and some tape and roll the thing. It will be...unique. :)
posted by ian1977 at 7:50 AM on December 7, 2015

It's totally doable to repaint or clear coat your car if you have a decent compressor and spray gun, protective gear, and a workspace you can create a paint shop out of. It is, however, very fiddly and will either take 5 or 10 times as long as you estimated or will be done incorrectly and start bubbling/peeling/whatever inside of a year. You must be absolutely meticulous in sanding and cleaning the surface after sanding. You must also be incredibly meticulous with taping off everything you don't want to paint.

Done reasonably well, you will be helping keep your car from becoming a rust bucket for a few more years. Paying someone else to do it will leave you with a more durable and longer lasting paint job, but if the car isn't going to be around more than the 4 or 5 years your work will last, you may as well do it yourself if it's cheaper.
posted by wierdo at 11:43 AM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

I had similar on a 2006 Accord and, after some googling and watching youtube videos, decided I was never going to be able to fix it properly and opted to have it done professionally. Turns out that, as holgate and Anticipation said, this is a known thing and there are even "recalls" on some of cars for this issue, meaning that in some cases they will pay for the repair. Call Honda with your VIN number and ask. They were very polite when I called but alas my VIN wasn't covered. They said I could keep my receipt and call back to check periodically, and if they ever did issue a recall for it they would reimburse me (part of) my cost. I have no idea if this is true or not though.
posted by 2 cats in the yard at 5:41 PM on December 7, 2015

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