Commercial Painting Questions: What do you do about overspray?
By Painters USA Team
— Last updated January 29, 2023
A large percentage of commercial and industrial painting is done by spraying, which produces a clean, even finish and can be finished in a shorter time than other techniques. One of the common hazards to spray painting techniques, however, is overspray—the accidental spread of airborne paint beyond the intended target. This can cause damage to vehicles, floors, furniture, walls and many other surfaces. Of course, the best way to deal with overspray is to prevent it, but there are also ways to remove it when it occurs.
How to prevent overspray when painting
Use plastic and tape it in place to protect walls, floors, fixtures and other nearby features. Create a backdrop behind items like railings and fences that have many holes or gaps. For cars and other vehicles, use car covers with an elastic bottom to protect the finish.
For commercial painting contractors who are properly equipped, electrostatic painting is a great solution for overspray. The paint and the metal surface are electrically charged with opposite charges, so that the paint is attracted to the metal, and very little will spray past the intended target.
How to remove overspray from vehicles
If a car or van has accidentally received overspray from a painting project, which can happen in some conditions despite careful protection, it can be removed in a couple ways. If the paint is latex or acrylic, it can be removed by rubbing the surface with a special clay bar and water. This technique is frequently used by car dealers to get vehicles in shape for selling. It will remove paint specs and other flaws to leave the surface shiny and fresh. If an oil-based paint has left overspray on a vehicle, the spots can be removed with lacquer thinner or acetone. This must be done carefully to avoid destroying the finish on the car. If these steps do not work, the car will need to be buffed and refinished to remove the paint.
Painters USA is a quality commercial painting contractor. We always emphasize careful preparation and setup for each job to prevent overspray and similar problems. We can also help with cleanup and remediation if a painting project has left unwanted paint or overspray on a vehicle or surface at your facility. Call us if you have any questions or would like an evaluation for your specific situation.
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