How to Make Your Car Shine Again After the Paint Goes Dull

April 2, 2019

Cars come under a lot of physical stress, especially if you drive them every day. One of the first victims of this stress is the paint job. Aside from taking your car to one of the classic car paint shops in Huntington Beach, CA, is there any way to make dull car paint shine again?

You bet there is. Fixing oxidized paint on classic cars isn’t a job for the faint of heart, but this is to be expected: classic car paint restoration isn’t exactly something the average person should be dealing with.

For all the enthusiasts out there, however, we prepared this guide on how to restore that beautiful shine to your beloved oldtimer. Read on to learn more.

How to restore shine on your classic car?

Let’s start with the good news: faded and even heavily oxidized paint can generally be restored (up to a point). The bad news is: this only really applies if your car has a clear paint finish. Without a clear coat, restoration often isn’t feasible once the color has weathered away and the primer is exposed.

 Slight or medium oxidation can be cleaned using detailing clay, and then polished back to its original shine. Sadly, if your vehicle is suffering heavy oxidation (a totally dull, chalky surface) it probably won’t be possible to restore it completely. Still, there’s hope.

How to restore faded red car paint?

If you’re doing this by hand, it’s advisable that you at least use a dual-action car polisher. It goes without saying that you should wear protective equipment and do everything in a prepared environment that won’t contaminate the paint.

Here’s the list of things you can do to try and fix heavy oxidation:

  • Step 1: thoroughly wash the car.

  • Step 2: a clay bar can be used to remove dead paint and bonded contamination.

  • Step 3: polish the car with a cutting polish to remove the topmost layer of damaged paint without ruining the finish.

  • Step 4: apply a super-fine finishing polish that will get deep into the paint’s pores.

  • Step 5: seal the paint. Remember to apply multiple layers for extra safety.

Word of warning: be wary of plastic car parts, such as bumpers or plastic mirrors. Painted plastic oxidizes at a much faster rate than painted metal does. Do not use cutting polish on these parts, and make sure you apply finishing polish gently by hand.

Worried your car paint may go dull? Don’t let it!

For most problems in life, prevention is the mother of all solutions. If you take good care of your cherished oldtimer, you’ll never have to worry about polishing or removing a single layer of car paint until the paint job is many years, or even decades, old.

First and foremost: don’t park your classic car outside. This goes double if you live in a sunny place like Huntington Beach. Strong sunlight causes oxidation. You won’t even notice the damage over a month or two, but make no mistake, the damage is there.

Keeping your car in a garage is a sure way to avoid this. If you don’t have access to a garage, there’s still a solution. Affordable car covers are widely available, if not all that pleasing to the eye, and will protect your car’s paint from the Sun’s oxidizing effects.

 Foremost among reputable classic car paint shops in Huntington Beach, CA

Whether you’re restoring your classic car’s paint for personal use, or because you want to showcase it at a place like a North East Classic Car Museum, Chimera Motors is your top choice for all things related to classic car restoration.

Our shop is located a short walking distance from the Shipley Nature Center. Drop by and meet us, or give us a call at 714-907-0609 today.

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