Home car painting Car Paint Bubbling: Causes and How to Fix

Car Paint Bubbling: Causes and How to Fix

by Peter Morris
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Many car owners experience the issue of bubbling paint or osmotic blistering on their vehicles. It happens when paint bubbles or paint blistering develop on the car paint, giving it an ugly aspect.

Maintaining the visual appeal and structural integrity of your vehicle requires an understanding of what causes these bubbles to Form and how to fix bubbling paint appearing on the car paint.

Car Paint Bubbling

Car Paint Bubbling

The reasons for paint bubbles on your car, such as rust formation and micro bubbling causes, are covered in detail in this extensive manual, along with detailed directions on how to fix bubbling paint or paint blistering on your car.

Section 1: Understanding Car Paint Bubbling

In the first section, we will talk about what car paint bubbling is and what are its potential causes:

What is Car Paint Bubbling?

Paint blistering is sometimes referred to as paint bubbling. A blister is often a fluid-filled pocket that collects between dried paint. This has the potential to grow larger, develop into bubbles or blisters, and then burst open, leaving holes, stains, and damaged paint surfaces behind.

Paint bubbling can occur once after painting or even afterward.

Also Read: Damage Car Paint: 25 Common Causes You Need to Avoid

There are several types of automotive paint bubbles, including the following:

Tiny Bubbles

The only bubbles that are uniformly sized throughout the screen are tiny ones. The presence of moisture during the painting process is what causes these paint bubbles.

Too much humidity and moisture in the air will result in the creation of small bubbles while painting an automobile. Unfortunately, refinishing the panel is the only solution for this type of paint bubbling.

Solvent Pop

Applying a clear coat results in the solvent pop situation. In other words, solvent pop bubbles can happen when a painter uses too much paint too quickly. It appears more like small pinholes on the surface than it does like bubbles in vehicle paint.

Solvent Pop on car paint

Solvent Pop on car paint

Car Paint De-Lamination

As the car becomes older, primarily as a result of exposure to the sun, the paint begins to delaminate. The top will start to lose its power to safeguard and defend the base color when it eventually breaks down.

Small bubbles mark the beginning of this ailment, which progresses to peeling at the conclusion. Only by removing the coating and having it refinished can this problem be resolved.

Causes of Car Paint Bubbling

  1. Moisture and Environmental Factors: Humidity in the air can cause bubbles to form in the clear coat, which can lead to paint blistering.
  2. Contaminated Painting Surface & Hot Painting Surface: Bubbling paint or paint blistering might be caused by dirt, grease, or other impurities. Paint bubbles can also be caused by high temperatures along with the mentioned causes.
  3. Incorrectly Prepared Surfaces: Paint bubbles or paint blistering can be the consequence of improper car paint preparation, such as insufficient sanding or washing.
  4. Chemicals in Paint: The failure of the clear coat might result from the use of improper or inferior materials. 
  5. Age/Wear of Paint: The clear coat may deteriorate with time, causing car paint to bubble and the possibility of rust formation.
  6. Connection with Rust: Paint bubbles are frequently the consequence of a rock chip or other damage and can be caused by the growth of rust bubbles under the car paint.
Causes of Car Paint Bubbling

Causes of Car Paint Bubbling

Section 2: How to Identify Car Paint Bubbling

Here’s how to identify car paint bubbling/blistering:

Visual Signs

It’s important to spot bubbling paint or paint blistering in car paint early to prevent additional damage like rock chip damage. Keep an eye out for tiny bubbles that are forming beneath the clear coat.

These bubbles frequently appear close to rust formation or potential rock chip locations. These visual signals might assist you in identifying the bubbling paint issue before it becomes worse.

Areas Most Likely to Be Affected

The vehicle’s edges frequently develop paint bubbles close to seams or joints. The windscreen or other exposed parts may experience the formation of a rust bubble next to a rock chip.

Car Paint Bubbling on door

Car Paint Bubbling

Early identification and efficient treatment regarding bubbling paint or paint blistering is aided by knowing where these bubbles form.

Section 3: Tools and Materials Needed for Repair

Now that you know what paint bubbles or paint blistering are and have identified the cause, you should fix bubbling paint. The following supplies and tools are necessary to fix bubbling paint:

Tools Required

Specific tools are needed to repair paint bubbles or paint blistering on your car. These consist of:

  • Putty Knife: Used for scraping off rust bubbles and loose paint.
  • Sandpaper: For use in sanding and smoothing the surface following rust bubble removal.
  • Wire Wheel Brush: To properly eliminate rust bubble development.
  • Orbital Buffer: In order to polish the clear coat once you fix bubbling car paint.
Tools Needed for Repair car bubbles

Tools and Materials Needed for Repair car bubbles

Materials Required

The required tools are necessary to guarantee that you correctly fix bubbling paint or paint blistering:

  • Wax & Grease Remover: Used for cleaning the surface in order to get it ready for painting.
  • Body Filler: Used after the removal of the rust bubbles, to fill up any depressions.
  • Automotive Masking Tape: Protecting spots that aren’t being painted.
  • Self-etching Primer, Clear Coat and Paint: For polishing the car after repairing the car paint that was bubbling.
Materials Needed for Repair car bubbles

Materials Needed for Repair car bubbles

Section 4: Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing Paint Bubbles

Here’s a step-by-step guide for fixing paint bubbles or paint blistering on your car:

1- Preparing the Surface

  • Cleaning: Clean the region surrounding the rock chip or rust bubble with wax and grease remover.
  • Sanding: Sand the surface to eliminate the rust bubble form and make it smooth.
  • Masking: Protect areas that are untouched by using automotive masking tape.
Fixing Paint Bubbles

Fixing Paint Bubbles

2- Applying Body Filler and Primer

  • Filling: Apply the Body Filler to the afflicted region after mixing it according to the directions.
  • Sanding: Sand it smooth when the Body Filler has dried.
  • Priming: To get ready for painting, use a self-etching primer.
Fixing Paint Bubbles

Fixing Paint Bubbles

3- Painting and Finishing

  • Painting: Apply the corresponding paint over the area that has been primed.
  • Clear Coating: To seal and protect the car paint, use Clear Coat.
  • Buffing: The Clear Coat should be polished with an Orbital Buffer.
    Also Read: Can You Paint a Car Outside?
Fixing Paint Bubbles

Fixing Paint Bubbles

Section 5: DIY Vs. Professional Car Paint Repair

Here is some information comparing professional repair with the DIY method regarding bubbling paint or paint blistering:

When to Seek Professional Help

While DIY fixes for paint bubbles are available, some situations may necessitate expert assistance, particularly if substantial rust formation or serious damage from a rock chip has occurred.

Cost Considerations

The price to fix bubbling paint or plaint blistering on a car might vary. DIY techniques might save money, but expert repair guarantees excellence. Take into account elements like the degree of rust bubble or rock chip damage and the caliber of materials like body fillers and clear coat.

Also Read: How Much Does It Cost to Paint Correct a Car?

Section 6: Prevention and Maintenance

Here’s how to prevent and manage car paint bubbling if you are looking for bubbling paint solutions and prevention:

1- Proper Car Paint Application

Proper car paint preparation is the first step in preventing paint bubbles or rust bubbles. Rust formation and paint blistering may be avoided by using high-quality products on the clear coat and adhering to the right application procedures.

2- Regular Inspection and Early Repair

Early detection can be achieved by routinely checking your automobile for rust bubbles or symptoms of paint bubbles or paint blistering. Promptly fixing a rock chip can limit additional damage and lower the expense of fixing bubbles in car paint.

3- Environmental Considerations

Prevention can be done by understanding how environmental conditions such as humidity might result in bubbling paint or paint blistering. Maintaining proper storage and upkeep helps reduce exposure to elements that lead to paint blistering and microbubbling.

Also Read: Damage Car Paint: 25 Common Causes You Need to Avoid


Many car owners deal with the issue of car paint bubbling on a regular basis. Maintaining the beauty and integrity of your vehicle requires an understanding of what causes paint bubbles, such as rust or corrosion formation and microbubbling causes, and learning how to fix paint bubbles.

This article has addressed frequently asked issues and common misconceptions while providing thorough insights into the causes, detection, prevention and repair of paint bubbles or paint blistering.

You can maintain your car’s appearance and avoid problems like paint blistering and rust bubbles by giving it the right attention, car paint preparation and maintenance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will bubbles in car paint go away?

No, car paint bubbles or paint blistering won’t disappear on their own. To stop more harm, they must be corrected.

Can bubbled paint be fixed?

Yes, bubbling paint or paint blistering may be fixed if the appropriate equipment and supplies are used.

Does paint bubbles mean rust?

Car paint that undergoes bubbling paint may indicate underlying rust formation, particularly if a rust bubble is present.

Are paint bubbles normal?

Paint bubbles or paint blistering are unusual and suggest a problem that has to be fixed.

How do you flatten paint bubbles?

It is necessary to remove the impacted area and repaint using the correct paint preparation in order to flatten paint bubbles.

What causes bubbles in car paint?

Car paint bubbles can develop for a number of reasons, such as moisture, incorrect paint preparation and rust formation.

How much does it cost to repair a car’s paint bubbles?

Depending on the damage’s severity and whether you pick do-it-yourself or expert repair, the price varies to fix bubbling paint or paint blistering and rust bubbles on your vehicle.

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