How to Fix Fisheyes in Car Paint Using Sandpaper?

fix fisheyes in car paint using sandpaper

In the world of automotive aesthetics, the presence of fisheye imperfections on your car’s paint can be a frustrating sight. These tiny blemishes, caused by contaminants in the painting process, can mar the otherwise flawless finish of your vehicle. However, fear not – this blog unveils a DIY solution utilizing the simplicity of sandpaper to rectify fisheye imperfections. Discover a step-by-step guide that empowers car enthusiasts to restore their car’s smooth and professional appearance without the need for costly professional interventions. Let’s delve into the art of perfecting your car’s paint job with a touch of DIY finesse.

Understanding Fisheyes

Causes of Fisheyes in Car Paint (Contaminants, Surface Imperfections, etc.)

Fisheyes in car paint are primarily triggered by the presence of contaminants such as silicone, oil, or wax on the car’s surface during the painting process. These substances create a repellent effect, causing the paint to retract and form distinct fisheye patterns. Additionally, surface imperfections and inadequate cleaning before painting contribute to the occurrence of fisheyes. Understanding these root causes is essential for effective remediation and preventing their recurrence in future paint applications.

Identifying Fisheye Spots on the Painted Surface

Identification of fisheye spots is a critical skill in addressing paint imperfections. Fisheyes manifest as small, circular depressions or blemishes on the painted surface, often disrupting the otherwise smooth finish. Careful visual inspection and tactile examination can help pinpoint these imperfections, guiding the subsequent corrective actions. Accurate identification allows for targeted treatment, ensuring that the remediation process effectively addresses each fisheye spot.

Materials and Tools You Will Need

Sandpaper in different grits (e.g., 1200, 2000, 3000)
Sanding block
Masking tape
Water spray bottle
Microfiber cloth
Scratch filler (optional)

Sanding Process

sanding with 1500 grit sandpaper

Embarking on the fisheye correction journey involves a systematic sanding process that gradually restores the affected areas to seamless perfection. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown to guide you through the sanding procedure:

1. Select the Appropriate Grit:

Commence with the coarsest grit sandpaper, such as 1200, to address the fisheye imperfections. This grit is ideal for tackling more pronounced blemishes.

2. Gentle Sanding to Level Fisheyes:

Gently sand the fisheye spots, ensuring that the abrasive action is sufficient to level the imperfections with the surrounding paint. Exercise caution to avoid sanding too aggressively, as excessive force could potentially damage the underlying layers of paint.

3. Light Touch and Circular Motion:

Employ a light touch throughout the sanding process, utilizing a circular motion to maintain control and even application. This technique ensures that the sandpaper gently removes the unwanted material without causing harm to the underlying paint layers.

4. Frequent Rinsing with Water:

Regularly rinse the sanded area with water to eliminate sanding dust and prevent it from accumulating on the surface. This not only provides a clearer view of your progress but also helps maintain a clean working environment.

5. Gradual Transition to Finer Grits:

As the fisheye spots become level with the surrounding paint, progressively switch to finer grits of sandpaper, such as 2000 and 3000. The finer grits contribute to a smoother finish and assist in eliminating any remaining scratches or marks left by the coarser sandpaper.

Finishing Up

1. Wipe Down the Sanded Area with a Damp Microfiber Cloth:

After completing the sanding process, use a damp microfiber cloth to thoroughly wipe down the sanded area. This step is crucial for removing any residual dust or particles left behind during the sanding, ensuring a clean surface for the next steps.

2. Apply a Coat of Scratch-Resistant Clear Coat:

To safeguard the newly sanded area and provide long-lasting protection, apply a coat of scratch-resistant clear coat. This clear coat not only enhances the overall durability of the paint job but also contributes to a glossy and polished finish.

3. Allow the Clear Coat to Dry Completely:

Patience is key in this final stage. Allow the applied clear coat to dry completely before handling or exposing the car to external elements. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended drying time to ensure the clear coat cures effectively and provides the desired protective layer.

Additional Tips for Preventing Fisheyes in the Future

Thorough Surface Cleaning: Ensure the car surface is impeccably clean before painting, removing any contaminants that might contribute to fisheye formation.
Proper Ventilation: Maintain a well-ventilated workspace to reduce the chances of airborne contaminants settling on the wet paint.
Quality Paint and Materials: Invest in high-quality paint and materials to minimize the risk of fisheye formation during the application process.
Temperature Consideration: Be mindful of the ambient temperature during painting, as extreme conditions can affect paint adhesion.

Common Issues and Solutions During the Sanding Process

Uneven Sanding: If you notice uneven sanding marks, revisit the affected areas with a finer grit sanding disc and ensure a consistent, circular motion.
Over-Sanding: In case of over-sanding, reevaluate the surface and apply additional clear coat to restore the protective layer and shine.
Scratch Removal: If scratches emerge during the sanding process, address them with finer grits of sandpaper and gradually work towards a smoother surface.


In conclusion, tackling fisheye imperfections in your car’s paint is a manageable task with the right approach. This blog has guided you through a comprehensive DIY solution using sandpaper for auto working, allowing you to restore a smooth and professional finish without the need for expensive professional help. By understanding the causes of fisheyes, identifying them on the painted surface, and carefully executing the sanding process, you can achieve impressive results. Remember to follow the additional prevention tips, troubleshoot common issues during sanding, and apply a protective clear coat for a durable and polished final touch. With these insights, you’re empowered to take charge of perfecting your car’s paint job with finesse and confidence.

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