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
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.
Step 3: Buff the Car Surface
The rubbing compound will clear out oxidation and leave a shiny look with time.
Step 4: Apply the 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.
Exclude the windows and any rubber parts. You should apply the sealant on the paint only.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tips to Prevent Your Car Paintwork from Fading
Have a Cleaning Schedule
Clean your car regularly to get rid of the bird poop, tree sap, and debris before reacting with the paint.
That aside, the underbody is also prone to rust. Regularly clean the underbody and repaint it if necessary.
You may Go Wrong by Leaving the Car to Air Dry
After washing the car, hand-dry it before parking. Leaving the body to air dry can expose the paintwork to water minerals.
Regularly Wax Your car
Dust, grime, and salt will never lack on the roads. Especially before and after winter, wax your car to retain the paint.
At least two times of waxing in a year are enough to keep the paintwork excellent.
Park in a Covered Area
Prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays isn’t good for your paintwork. It speeds up the oxidation process, and your car paint gets a beating with time.
Invest in a good car cover to protect your car during prolonged parking hours.
FAQs on Car Paint
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.