Easy Fixes for a Car Paint Job

September 15, 2015

A car's paint job is subject to a daily battering and over time, the paint will become dull, covered in fine scratches and its colour may even fade. Washing alone isn't enough to restore it to good condition.

Easy Fixes for a Car Paint Job

Shine the body with polish

Car polish contains fine abrasives that remove a thin layer of the lacquer topcoat, evening out the reflectiveness of the surface and making it look shiny. There are many polishing products on the market, each with its own instructions for use.

  • Whichever product you choose, clean and dry your car before polishing. Work the polish onto the body with a microfibre cloth.
  • Work on an area of about one square metre (three square feet) at a time, rubbing in the polish with a mix of circular and straight strokes. The polish will become more transparent as it is worked. Before the polish has completely dried, buff the polished areas to a shine with a chamois.

Protect the body with wax

Wax protects your car from the elements and gives it a high gloss. You should always wax after polishing a car, but you can top up the wax protection at any time. As with polish, there are hundreds of products available, from traditional waxes to advanced polymers. Liquid spray-on waxes are much easier to apply than harder waxes.

Whichever wax you use, apply it in shady conditions, not direct sunlight. Closely follow the manufacturer's instructions — some waxes need to be applied to the paint, some via a supplied applicator.

Touch up deeper scratches

Scratches and chips that penetrate beneath the car's lacquer topcoat can't be polished out. If you run a fingernail over the scratch and it sticks, you'll need to buy a touch-up kit from your auto store and follow the instructions.

For an exact match, find out the code number of your paint — it's usually printed on the driver's door jamb or under the hood. Some auto stores will match a paint colour — take a portable part of the car (the gas cap, for example) with you.

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