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Bubbles in paint...



I have these bubbles starting to form on my new car :(

The car had been under a cover in the driveway for about 4 years, and when we pulled the cover off in the morning, it was in perfect condidtion. Then, that afternoon, we noticed some bubbles in the paint had popped up near the back window. Now, about a week later, they have popped up all over :(
They are really small, but you can see them when you look close.
(Or at night, and a light is shining on the car)

There wasn't anything put on the car after the cover was removed, just the sunlight. So we don't know what it could be from.

Does anyone know if I can have these taken care of (buffed out, polished,...), or what to do to prevent them from getting worse (until I can afford to have it repainted, if needed)

They seem to only be popping up in the black paint, around the car. (Not on the silver, or on the hood)

Thank you for your help. (sorry for the long message...)

when was the last time you had put wax on it..

before putting the cover on it..

with sitting for 4 yrs.. the wax coating could have ... somehow disappeared. I am not an expert, but they say to atleast re-wax your car once a year.. so if it was sitting for 4 years, and you took the cover off and let the UV rays from the florida hot weather.. it could have caused it.. to not have a protection against it.

I would say contact a local painter or detailer.. and ask them how to fix this if possible.

:cry Your not going to like my answer but here goes.

The paint bubbles are usually caused by one of two things and I'll explain both.
1 - Moisture trapped under a cover - As the temperature fluctuates the water can heat up under the cover and evaporate (for lack of a better term) under the paint. Once the car is uncovered the trapped vapor will heat up under the sun and start bubbling up as the air escapes, usually around lowpoints and body seams but this can occur anywhere. If your paint guy is really good it can be repaired, if he isn't absolutely certain he can fix it don't let him touch it because you can end up with a polka dot Vette. You said it was stored in the driveway so it probably is moisture. All covers claim to prevent this damage but even the best cover should be removed every couple months on a clear day just to air out the paint and seals. If you get a lot of rain or humidity, you should do it even more often. And like BradC said a good wax after a paint scrub can't hurt.
2 - Oil/grease in the fiberglass - This is a problem unique to fiberglass cars. If your car was ever stripped and repainted or ever had any body work done, grease or oil may be trapped in the glass. This doesn't mean anyone spilled it but rather something as simple as a greasy fingerprint could have ben left on the car prior to painting. If the grease isn't removed immediately it will seep into the glass and the only solution is to cut out that section of glass and replace because there is no way to get the oil out. Even if you strip the glass and scrub it clean the oil is still there below the surface and will always seep. I've actually seen these oil bubbles in the pattern of a handprint around the back of a hood.

The only way to know which it is is to cut a bubble out. I've never done this myself and would let a pro do it. If the bubble is only a couple of layers of paint, it's probably moisture vapor damage. If you see fiberglass it could be oil, you then have to test the surface. If it feels oily your through, if it doesn't, spray a mist on it and let sit for a minute to see if the oil bubbles out then feel it again. Oil damage can NOT be fixed without replacing fiberglass.:mad

Since your bubbles are all over, you probably do have moisture damage. Even though either one really bites, I'd take moisture over oil any day. My car is garaged and even a cotton felt cover that breathes isn't foolproof.

Hope this helps and best of luck to you.

What Eric says makes a lot of sense. I had a neighbor years ago that stored a fairly decent '65 Mustang convertable in his back yard in Indiana for 2 years. He used one of those heavy waterproof covers. I warned him that it would not breath and he would need to take it off on dry days to dry the car out. Well, when he took it off 2 years later (I should say when it sun rotted off) the car was ruined. Top was rotted, interior was mildewed, rubber seals were falling off, and the paint was bubbled, surface rusted on upper areas and covered with a black mildew/mold looking stuff. He would have been far better off to have parked it uncovered and hosed the leaves off every couple months.

The bubbles are a sure indication that the paint is lifting. Over time you can be sure that more will show up. I tend to agree with the moisture theory as oil would be just in an area where it got touched by it, like the hand print discussed by Eric.

You could sand out all the bubbles, spend big bucks on a whole or partial refinish, take it home looking great and the next time it sits out in the 110 + degrees sun, bubbles pop up in other places where you just painted over. Don't take a chance. There is no way that Iwould try to paint over the panels that are experiencing this problem. Complete stripping to the bare glass is the only fix.

I agree totally with both posts...

best thing to do.. is get it repainted for safety's sake and to take complete care of the problem at hand.

I forgot all about that part... after reading what I posted.. lol I was at work what can I say... half here, half there... (I hope)
Thank you

Thanks guys for your help.
I guess all of that makes sense.

Luckly, they are not very big yet (kind of hard to notice at first, looks like a small mist of rain went over the car), but they seem to be all around. This should give me some time to save for a complete job, before they get too bad. Also - I've heard that pace car pin stripes are very expensive (because they are obsolete...) is this true?

Everyone here has been a great help to all of my questions. I'm still new at a lot of this stuff, and you all make everything much easier. Thanks.


I am sooo glad that I read up on this, I keep my 80 covered and did not realize that this moisture build up could happen!

Thanks all for the info.:Twist

Hey t78,
I had my silver anniversary painted last year with out the 78 S.A. stripe kit. I was not happy with the shops' overall job, but was highly pleased with the way the stripes turned out. The points were so sharp you could split hairs! It looked much better than factory. A good shop should be able to reproduce the Pace car's look without too much trouble.
Silver aka:Heidi
Thanks 78SilvAnniv

Your car does look great in the signature Pic at the bottom of your posts. The Pace Car, and Silver Anniversary have always been my favorite vettes by far !
I hope the bubble problem doesn't get worse. I do agree that it could be moisture because it is all over the car and not in just one place. I was told about a simular situation where the car had bubbles after being covered for an extended period of time. He needed a complete repaint, I hope you don't have the same fate.

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