Paint can make a huge difference to your car’s appearance. In normal weather conditions it can wear over time, and in extreme conditions this is accelerated . Spotting paint defects and damages may not be a high priority on your auto maintenance list, but when left unattended they not only look ugly, but they can lead to structural issues with your car.

This guide offers ways to identify the most common paint defects and how to spot them on your car.


Runs look like dried, dripping paint. Uneven texture on your car’s surface is a sign of runs. Caused by incorrect spraying viscosity and technique, they are easier to spot than other paint defects. Check the larger panels on the body of your car for thick and hard paint drips. They are most common in large area, as they require the most paint.


It may be hard to tell if your car is beginning to corrode just by looking at the paint. Before the corrosion and rust becomes serious, the paintwork will tend to blister and bubble. This often happens around the wheel arches roof  and bonnet. Reddish-brown spots are also signs of rusting, and cracked paint that exposes metal is almost always an indicator of  severe corrosion.

Water Spotting

Clear stains or blemishes on the  surface, which you cannot remove by washing, are signs of water spotting. This can be caused by insufficiently cured top coats, thick films or too short a  short drying time on the paintwork (typically found on older cars). Using the wrong paint hardener and thinner can also make the surface more prone to water spotting.

It often forms on car windows and windshields, as they have the most contact with city water and other commercial, water-based cleaning agents. Hard water spots cause uneven surface textures and are not treatable with rinsing or sprinkling alone.


This causes the visible cracks and chipping on the surface. When incompatible paints, thinners and hardeners are mixed together, they react, and wrinkling happens as a result. It resembles crumpled paper, and the paint layer slowly peels off after wrinkling.


When something hard comes into contact or impacts your car’s surface, scratches nearly always happen. Often this type of damage is easily noticeable and can cause the colour to fade, thus exposing bare metal areas of your vehicle. Scratches often leave small, white marks on the surface. If they are shallow, the coating remains smooth. If they are deeper, you will feel rough cuts on the paint.

If you spot any of these defects on your car, you may want to call your local mechanic or car restoration service to fix them for you.  It is not advisable to deal with the scratch yourself short of trying to buff a minor surface scratch out with some wax

It is important to always be wary of these common issues with your cars paintwork as they can often be signs of a bigger problem.If you find any of the above issues with your cars paint it is important that you get it looked at promptly to avoid further damage.

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