Have you recently had your car painted? Did you purchase a vehicle that looks as though it has an uneven coating? Does your car look as though it’s covered in a thin layer of dust or splotchy raindrops? Even some of the best vehicle paint jobs are prone to overspray. While excess overspray might send your mind into crisis mode, there are plenty of ways to remove it. Of course, you’re probably asking, “Sure, but for how much?” While it varies by method, here are some of the common costs of overspray removal. 

A DIY method

By far the cheapest (and riskiest) option available when it comes to removing overspray, DIY overspray projects range from fairly simple to incredibly involved. It’s important to determine your comfort level with auto bodywork before diving in. While cutting costs is always a plus, you shouldn’t do so if it also means cutting corners. One misstep or slip of the hand and you could end up causing even greater damage to your car. If that disclaimer isn’t enough to deter you, there are a few common DIY overspray hacks that you can test out. 

The first involves a clay bar, a bottle of spray cleaner – or soap and water if you’re being extra frugal – and a good amount of elbow grease. “Clay bars?” you ask. Don’t worry. Most big-box retailers and even some independent shops sell clay bars for auto cleaning. Push comes to shove, go to your nearest hardware or home goods store and ask a sales clerk. Depending on the level of overspray you’re dealing with, you may need to buy in bulk. A few spots here and there? One bar should do the trick. Your whole car covered in a fine mist of excess paint? Get a bundle. Once you have your supplies, wet down the affected area with cleaner and gently buff off the overspray with the clay bar. If you feel friction, it means it’s working. Once the friction dissipates, the job should be done. Clean the spot once more and dry it with a clean rag. 

Other DIY overspray projects involve wet sanding (risky business), razor blades (riskier business), and paint thinner (riskiest and smelliest). Naturally, even for more confident DIYers, these aren’t highly recommended. The margin for error is too high and mistakes can cause significant damage. If the clay bar method isn’t enough for your overspray job, it’s probably time to call in the pros. 

Professional overspray removal

On the more expensive end of things, going to a professional auto body shop or overspray removal service is the costliest of all options – unless you decided to try out the paint thinner method and now need a new coat on your car. However, costliest, in this case, is comparative. Sure, the project will still run up the price due to the time and labor involved but, depending on the scope of your project, most overspray removal runs between $500-$1500. The best way to get a definitive answer? Get a quote! Most overspray removal shops offer free service estimates to help you decide if the removal is worth the investment.

Of course, if the problem isn’t too severe as to be a pressing matter, you could always live with the overspray. Especially with new cars, however, having a damaged exterior defeats some of the purposes of purchasing a vehicle. 

Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer as to the cost of overspray removal. It depends on the severity of the problem, the number of vehicles that need to be serviced, and your willingness to try a DIY hack or two. Before deciding, get a quote from a professional. It’s the smartest way to know where you stand financially.