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How to Fix Dull Paint on Car

How to Fix Dull Paint on Car

How to fix dull paint on car depends on the causes of dullness, which can be oxidation, scratches, or contamination. You will often encounter environmental compounds that can alter the original look of your car.

Some compounds you can expect include acidic rain, bug residue, road salt, debris, bird droppings, and tree sap.

Many of them are washable with chemical cleaners, but others can cling to the surface or embed the paint, becoming tough to wash out.

Paintwork dullness can be disheartening, but you can revamp the glamour on your car to a nicety by employing top tips.

You don’t necessarily require a new paint coat. Read on to learn how to fix dull paint on your vehicle.

How to Fix Dull Paint on Car

1. Wash the car

Cleaning your car is the first step to restoring the paintwork. That said, it is unwise to wash with laundry detergent or bathing liquid. They may contain bleaching chemicals that can increase dullness.

Car shampoo is the go-to cleaning substance to fix hazy paintwork. It works well to remove micro dirt, which may embed on a car’s finish. Also, it lubricates and conditions the paintwork, preventing peel-off.

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Related Read: How to remove rubber marks from paint

2. Buff the paintwork

It can be tough to revamp a car’s scratched paintwork and achieve a stellar shine by washing alone.

Buffing is the best way to restore a car’s fading surface, but you should observe caution not to cause more damage.

Use an abrasive compound, like a clay bar product to remove micro embedded dirt and dead paint from the car’s surface.

You will also need a quality, electric or battery-powered buffer, buffing compounds, and buffing pads to fix the damaged parts.

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It is important to note that buffing opens microscopic pores on a car’s paintwork. Be careful not to cut through the bodyline areas and edges. Ensure you follow the recommended buffing RPM speed.

But again, buffing alone won’t restore the car’s shine if the paint is too damaged or faded. This calls you to repair and repaint corroded panels first.

Read: Neutralizing rust on cars

3. Sand the car

Sometimes, the painting may form a fine powder due to weathering. This is called chalking and occurs in different degrees.

Long-term exposure to sunlight, overspreading the paint, or using low-quality paints are some causes of chalky paintwork.

You can sandblast the car’s surface and wash with a pressure washing machine to remove chalking residue. Use mild automotive detergent and scrub the surface with a stiff brush.

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Ultra-fine or micro-fine sandpaper with 1,000 grit to 3,000 grit is another alternative to sand out light scratches. Afterward, clean the surface and allow it to dry.

Check the amount of chalk left. Leverage a penetrative coat of water-based acrylic finish paint to bond the chalked surface if little or moderate. Still, you can apply an alkyd-based masonry primer and finish with a high-quality topcoat if necessary.

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4. Wax the paintwork

Wax is an excellent substance you can use to enhance a car’s beauty. It adds a protective layer against dirt, water, and other contaminants on the paintwork.

There are varieties of waxes you can apply. They can be in liquid, spray, paste, or wipe-off form, but the important bit is you follow the direction for applying to the letter.

Ensure you wax your car every three to four months to boost the longevity of the paintwork. Don’t overdo it since it can build up on the surface and make your car gruesome.

Read: Car submerged in water insurance

5. Apply polish

Applying car polish is an effective way to achieve spot-on paintwork on dull paint. It helps smooth out the scratched surfaces and removes minor blemishes.

A high-speed polishing machine is the best and most aggressive to restore glossy paint. You can use it with a wool pad, form pad, and micro-fine rubbing compound to break down through smaller, deeply entrenched dirt particles.

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You can again harness dual-action polishers on less aggressive or rooted dirt. They are ideal since they produce a consistent finish with fewer swirl marks.

6. Apply ceramic coat

It is possible to remove a wee bit of the car’s clear coat while buffing or sanding. As a result, you expose the surface to contaminants, which may cause more fading.

That aside, if you want to keep your car glowing for long, consider applying a ceramic coating.

Achieving this will provide a robust layer of protection on the paintwork against heat. It will also enhance the paint’s luster and reduce your time to wash the car.

How to Shine Dull Car Paint

How to shine dull car paint is a simple do-it-yourself task that can save you a considerable amount of money. A car with dull paint can be boring to drive. You just stop in a traffic jam, and everyone stares at you like an outlaw.

When you bought your brand new car, it rolled off the dealer with a sparkling exterior. Today, it seems dull, after years of road tripping.

Good paint preserves a car’s value. A good-looking car is easier to sell because it evokes positive social impressions.

A shiny car exterior will earn you reputation from friends or job interviews. Luckily, this writing will loop you in on how to restore faded car paint.

It’s just a simple DIY task that will cost you a few hours. Within no time, you’ll be back on the road.

Is the holiday approaching? Ahem! You’ll participate in that race track with your shinning machine.

Different Kind of Paints

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Painting a car

Let’s digress a little and learn a bit of history. Earlier cars were painted what is known as single-stage painting. It’s a thin, fragile coating that is usually subject to oxidation.

Even with minor scratches, it can look worse. However, most people with older cars may have upgraded and repainted them the modern way.

That aside, today, cars are painted with two-stage painting. It consists of the first coating and the thin outer layer.

The paint is more durable and oxidation resistant. But on scratches, just like the single-stage, you’ll experience an ugly look.

In either, cars need special care because several factors may take a toll on their paintwork. We’ll look at them later.

How to Shine Dull Car Paint

Here is how to bring faded paint back to life;

Step 1: Clean the Car

Park your car in an open area and clean dust and debris. The Exterior surface may also have fingerprints, oils, and contaminants.

Use a car wash shampoo to make the water foamy.  Use a rag or microfiber cloth to scrub around the car. Afterward, rinse and ensure the surface is clean.

Step 2: Allow the Surface to Cool

Park your car in the shade with ample air circulation to dry. Keep the surface off the extreme sun heat because it may turn so dry to work on.

Read: How to warm up your car without turning it on

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Shining car paint

Step 3: Buff the Car Surface

Apply the 3 D one rubbing compound on the car surface and buff with dual-action buffer to restore the paint shining look.Shortcode

The rubbing compound will clear out oxidation and leave a shiny look with time.

Step 4: Apply the Sealant

To make your shiny paint last for over a year, seal it with Wolfgang Concours sealant.

Spray the sealant on the paint while rubbing using a microfiber towel. Move all over the vehicle until you’re satisfied with the look.Shortcode

Exclude the windows and any rubber parts. You should apply the sealant on the paint only.

Read: How to make subs sound better in trunk

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Painting car

Causes of Dull Paint

If you’re planning to buy a new car, I’ll inform you of the risk factors that await you. And if you’re already a car owner, take a look at what transpired to its ugly look.

  • Contamination

 Our environment has various contaminants like bird poop, tree sap, acid rain, dust, grime, and debris.

Most of these contaminants are acidic. Luckily, they can be cleaned with ease if earlier noticed.

But if they’re firmly stuck on the paint, you’ll need special cleaners. Unfortunately, prolonged exposure to these contaminants can alter the whole surface.

  • Oxidation

It’s a chemical reaction that fades car paint. It occurs as a result of exposure to heat and oxygen. It’s a form of corrosion that robs the paint its oil content leaving a chalky residue.

Oxidation usually occurs on the top parts of the car like the roof, the hood, and the trunk lid. 

Luckily, modern cars are resistant, but an extended exposure period will eventually bring about oxidation.

  • Scratches

Sharp objects rub against the car overcoat and leave scratches. Kids may memorize holiday dates on your car surface, or their bikes handlebars come into contact with it.

However, these scratches may be very few to fade the paint. The leading cause is wind or rain that blows with sand grains. Sand grains leave countless microscopic scratches that eventually fade the car paint.

Read: How to make door speakers sound better

What is glazing a car’s surface?

Grazing a car’s surface is intended to remove swirl marks left after buffing or using rubbing compounds. It will help if you use a machine with a non-abrasive graze and a swirl remover to clear the glossy surface.

Is polishing a car possible by hand?

It is possible, but you will be slow on the job. It will be best to use a dual-action polisher or a high-speed polishing machine.

Does waxing restore a clear coat?

Waxing isn’t a restorative measure. It only helps to protect the paintwork from contaminants and enhance a car’s glamour.

Will polish alone fix faded paint?

Whether it is possible depends on the paint’s color and the fade or oxidation extent. If the paintwork deteriorates significantly, polish alone won’t fix the problem.

Can you wax a car’s paint with no clear coat?

On average, it is possible, but the wax won’t spread well on the surface. If the clear coat is trashed, it is advisable to get it redone by an expert.

Is paint sealant the same as wax?

Paint sealants are synthetic polymer-based solutions with higher resistance to UV rays and heat. Waxes are natural ingredients and produce a finer glow on a car’s paintwork.

Can You Polish Clear Coat Without Sanding?

You can just polish without sanding but unfortunately, if the car was severely stained you may not have a uniform look. It’s recommendable to sand all scuff marks before polishing to give it a shiny uniform texture and look.

How Do You Manually Buff a Car?

Apply enough polisher or rubbing compound on the car body. Place the buffer on the product and rub it against the car body surface. Buff in small circular motions to effectively cover the whole car paint.

Should I Buff or Polish My Car?

Start by polishing the car after washing. If it doesn’t bring back the shine, you can buff.

Does Buffing Car Remove Scratches?

Buffing car paintwork with rubbing or polishing compounds removes blemishes and scratches. How to shine dull car paint is easy. Remember to apply sealant after buffing to make it durable. 

Protecting the paintwork surface is crucial after learning how to fix dull paint on a car. Ensure you park the vehicle in a garage or under a shade to keep away UV rays.

If possible, shield it with a car cover to avoid oxidation. Overall, be sure to follow the recommended guidelines on all the compounds you use to fix dull paint.

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