The appearance of a car is undoubtedly the first thing anyone notices. Even before they could get a chance to look at the model or the build. A well-maintained vehicle is worth nothing if it doesn’t look the part with sharp and gleaming paint to speak for it. What’s more, a striking car with glass-like polished exteriors is easy to resell. It creates a socially positive impression of the car owner. Whether for a date night, a job interview, or even grocery shopping.
Most cars lacking proper attention grow dull, requiring an extensive paint job to revive the look. Just follow some simple restoration tips and tricks. Given below to take better care of your ride without spending a fortune. But, before we get into restoring, let us know a little more about car paints and why it grows dull over time.
Car Paint And Why Does It Get Damaged
Back in the day, i.e., before the 1980s, almost every car manufacturer applied what is known as a ‘single stage’ paint. This is to get the paint job done for the models at the time. The paint was not only thin and fragile to external damages like scratches, etc., but also highly prone to oxidation.
Although, later, this single-stage evolved to what is now known as a two-stage painting job. The process involves applying a clear coat on top of the base coat to provide double layer protection. Making the paint durable and environmentally friendly. However, the process does not guarantee perfection after rough use. The color will still deteriorate if not cared for properly.
Since there would hardly be a person using a model that old, the article will focus on the two-stage painted car models.
Let Us Now Acknowledge Some Of The Prime Reasons For Paint Damage
- Bird droppings and bugs are among the most common concerns and are also greatly corrosive to the paint on your car. The longer you take to clean it, the greater is the severity of the damage caused. Which sometimes may even lead to irreversible damage and require professional repair.
- Oxidation of paint due to exposure to UV rays, i.e., leaving your car parked under the blazing sun, is the fastest and surest way to dull the look of paint. Leading to the formation of white blotches over time. Environmental pollutants, too, have a similar effect on your car.
- Some items that can damage paint are salt, snow, tree sap, dirt, and tiny stones, and trash on the roads. Some other deteriorating factors are items you must watch out for before parking your car.
- Brake fluid, petrol, diesel, or any other solvent that may be absorbable by the paint can result in the paint peeling off the car.
Ways To Restore The Shiny Look
Since it is impossible to care for the car 24/7 and protect it from all the damaging factors above and more. Slight dullness, scratches, and bents are inevitable. What’s important is to look for such damages and fix them before they grow intense and irreversible.
Let’s look at the steps to restore the shiny look of your favorite ride before it hits the road again.
Wash The Car
The initial and the most critical step is to wash your car and eliminate all the dirt and debris it has accumulated on the surface, cracks, and openings. This includes getting rid of any bird droppings, insect excretions, bugs, oil, stones, fingerprints, etc. From the exterior of your car through a thorough wash, followed by another hand wash using cloth and soap. Try avoiding a high-pressure water gun for the job, as it can further damage the paint coat.
Get Rid Of Surface Contaminants
Though you may be proud of yourself for giving your car a good wash and clearing its surface thoroughly, is it really the case? Surface contaminants such as soot, airborne pollutants, tar, bird dropping, or a splattered bug left too long on the surface, etc., are among things that are not easily removed from a car’s surface. At least not with simple washing.
Though these contaminants may not be easily visible, given their strong bond on the surface. They will create difficulty in later stages of the process, not to mention the damage they will do. But, how do we remove them if we cannot detect them in the first place?
Well, the trick is simple, use a thin plastic bag like that of the bread covering. Wear it on like a glove and move your hand across the surface of your car. You will now be able to feel tiny bumps and other contaminants on the surface, otherwise invisible, as the sensitivity of your hand increases.
Since you cannot scratch these contaminants out, try using a detailing clay bar. This will not only make the process of removing contaminants easy and quick but safe by not inducing further damage.
Repair The Paint
Once you’re all done with clearing the surface, take a good look at your car. You need to find scratches, bents, or other minor damaged paint areas. There are multiple DIY car paint repair videos one could look up online for a particular case of damage and tricks to get it right.
However, if minor scratches on your car’s clear coat are all that you got. A rubbing compound from a local auto shop will be all that you need to fix. But, if the issue is too advanced for you to fix, seeking a professional detailer for the job is the best choice. Wrong applications and techniques can increase the damage even more.
It’s Time To Make The Car Glossy
The next step is to apply car polish to rid your car of those swirl marks and dull paint areas. Spray cans, polishing tubes, or paint pens from a local auto shop will do the job just fine in making your car look as good as new.
Application Of The Paint Sealant
By the time you get here, your car must have already restored the perfect look you were aiming for. Though, applying a paint sealant to preserve the look in this last step is as important as the previous one.
A sealant will not only help preserve this finished look of your car for longer but will act as a protective layer from future damages. All that while making the process of cleaning and washing it easier and quicker on your weekend mornings.
You can easily find multiple sealants from car wax spray to liquid wax online with an easy application so anyone can easily do it at home.
Taking the car for frequent car wash, placing a car cover when leaving it outdoors, looking out for damages. Understanding when to wax and polish it, etc., are crucial steps. For car owners to follow when aiming for a perfect and gleaming car.
It is not a bad deal to get in touch with a professional detailer if doubtful about anything related to your vehicle’s paint job. They might even guide you better, telling you more about the coating on your car, such as ceramic coating, etc. The best polishes on the market to use, an affordable solution to something you might unknowingly spend a fortune on, and much more.