How to Best Repair Bird Poop Damage

There’s no need to panic if birds assaulted your beautiful paint finish. Take a deep breath and read this!

It was as if the bird knew that my new car cover was on the way – it was his last chance.

Yep, you guessed it.

I parked my car outside for a fun day in the sun. When I came back, the entire hood was slaughtered!

It looked like a B-52 bomber had circled and dropped its load.

What a mess!

You know what really kills me?

My vehicles have never been pooped on when a car cover is on. Not once in 30+ years!

How is it the birds know?

Bird poop will damage car paint.
This is a typical bird attack. It’s not huge, but it can still cause damage. Unfortunately, this mess sat on the car for a few days and created a dimple.

Birds are beautiful to watch. Nevertheless, they can be harmful to a finish.

I don’t need to tell you: It’s messed up (pun intended)!

A bird’s droppings can damage paint because acidity levels can range from a pH of 3.5 to 4.5. The acid begins to burn and etch the paint’s surface.

The bottom line:

The longer the bird droppings remain, the greater the damage.

I’ve had bird bomb incidents (I live by the sea, it’s inevitable!) that have caused damage as deep as 1 to 2 mils!

Just for comparison, notebook paper is approximately 2 mils thick. Your car’s paint is only 4 to 6 mils.

Here’s what you can about it:

Be proactive about removing bird droppings. Otherwise, you’ll get a dimple in your paint’s surface.

A dimple? More like a crater!

We’re talking as large as an inch or more in diameter! Such damage could be permanent.

Or is that really the case?

Let’s talk about repairing this type of damage…

Bird Poop Damage Tips

This diagram shows how the burn from a bird dropping looks on the paint surface.

There’s only 1 way to really repair imperfections caused by bird droppings:

Polish the paint.

You must polish to blend the surrounding paint. This brings it down to the same level as the damaged area.

Sure, this sounds drastic. But, you know what?

It works, and it works well.

This is what you actually need:

A good dual-action car polisher. Get a Porter Cable 7424XP.

Keep in mind, these types of surface repairs make the paint thinner.

Take it from me…

You need to be very careful not to polish all the way through to the clear coat (or color coat if you have a traditional 2-stage paint).

Let me repeat: You should not sand or polish too much.

The goal is simple:

Do no harm. Avoid making a bigger problem than the one the bird left behind!

So, just be careful. Err on the side of a conservative repair.

Here’s an area I lightly wet sanded to level a paint scratch repair. The process is the same. Do a slight wet sand to remove the damage, then re-polish.

Let’s get to specifics.

Is the damaged paint larger than a 1″ diameter?

If so, consider 3000 grit wet and dry sand paper to effectively pre-level the area.

Then, go with Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound. It’s a fine-cut compound that’ll re-glaze the finish.

Actually, if the damage isn’t too large, Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound alone can handle the problem.

OK, now I want to stress something!

In most cases, you won’t be able to make the repair by hand.

Do you have a car polisher? If not, do you have a drill?

I ask because you can use a CCS Spot Pad Kit with a drill to make the repair.
Here are the necessary steps:

  • Wrap sanding paper around a 2″ flat rubber erasure to use as a sanding block. Keep the sanding paper perfectly flat on the paint surface.
  • Wet the area to be sanded and lightly sand for several seconds. Dry and check your work. Stop sanding when the damaged area is nearly leveled (see the image above).
  • Use a foam spot pad for light cutting. Attach to a car polisher, or a drill motor, utilizing Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound to re-glaze the finish.
  • Use a fine finishing polish (Klasse All-In-One) to finish the job if full gloss is not fully restored.

Prevent Bird Poop Damage

It’s simple. Take practical steps to limit this type of damage.

It’s not possible to keep birds from bombing your car. You can, however, use protection.

Guys, get a car cover.

Other than that, you need to remove the offending slime as quickly as possible.

Do not wait. Get it off of your car ASAP!

I’ve found the best way to clean up after a bird is with a good quick detailing spray and a soft towel.

I’m a clean car fanatic. I keep a little detailing kit in my trunk.

It holds a bottle of quick detailing spray, some towels, and my favorite rubber and vinyl dressing.

I spray any bird droppings with a few shots of detailing spray.

Use a towel to wipe it off. The key is to turn the towel as necessary. This keeps a clean wipe on the car.

Frequent Waxing Helps

I’ll let you in on a little secret…

Keeping your car waxed is a great way to protect your paint from bird damage.

The main reason is because it makes cleanup much easier. Of course, you’ll still need to remove the mess as quickly as possible.

Whatever you do, don’t let it sit there for days and days. Otherwise, you will be sorry!

Next in our Paint Repair Clinic series: How-to Remove Water Spots!