Classic Car Paint Restoration: Everything You Need to Know

April 2, 2019

It’s an unfortunate truth that car paint and sunlight don’t go well together. UV rays can rapidly doom your lovely paint job through oxidation, especially if you live in a sunny area like Orange County, California.

Before you search the internet for “classic car paint shops near me”, read on to learn more about how paint restoration on classic cars works and how, in some cases, advanced oxidation can indeed be fixed.

Can oxidized paint be fixed?

Even a heavily oxidized or faded paint job can be restored up to a point. Regrettably, this is only true if your beloved oldtimer has been given a clear paint finish. Otherwise, restoring a shine to dull car paint is unlikely once the primer has become exposed and the color has started to weather away.

Combined with a quality polish, detailing clay can be used to clean slight or not-too-heavy oxidation and give the paint job its shine back. In case of heavy oxidation, you’re almost certainly better off safely removing classic car paint from afflicted areas and repainting them. Or giving the car a brand new paint job.

If stripping paint or getting a new paint job isn’t feasible for you, don’t despair. In some cases, even a heavily damaged car paint finish can be restored with a lot of hard work (and a little luck). Read on to learn how.

 How to remove oxidation from car paint?

Are you doing this by hand? If so, you should buy or borrow a reliable dual-action car polisher. Make sure to prepare a clean working environment, as little flecks of old paint or bits of dirt can easily stick to your new paint and ruin its smoothness. Remember to wear protective gear.

The process of removing car paint oxidation is as follows:

  • Thoroughly wash the car to remove all dust and grime.

  • Carefully use a clay bar to take off contamination and dead paint from the car’s surface.

  • Apply a cutting polish to strip the top layer of ruined paint without damaging the finish underneath.

  • Use a fine finishing polish that will reach deep into the paint’s pores.

  • Extensively seal the paint job by applying multiple layers of paint sealant. The more layers you use, the deeper the paint job will look.

Watch out for the plastic parts like mirrors or bumpers. The paint on these parts oxidizes a lot faster than the paint that has been applied to metal does. Avoid applying cutting polish to plastic parts, and very gently apply finishing polish to them.

How to avoid paint oxidation in Orange County, CA

Prevention, prevention, prevention. It doesn’t matter if you’re a casual muscle car owner who couldn’t care less about hot rodding or car shows, or a longtime member of the Classic Car Club of Southern California, keeping your oldtimer out of the sun should be a priority.

Luckily, doing so is easy. Even if you don’t have a garage for your muscle car, and you can’t afford to rent one out, car covers are readily available. A cover will keep your paint job safe from oxidation and have the added benefit of keeping it clean against rain and bird droppings.

 What are the most reputable classic car paint shops near me?

Located near the Huntington Beach Central Park Sports Complex, Chimera Motors’ shop is equipped with high-end classic car restoration tools and supplies, and attended by knowledgeable and experienced technicians.

We are a premier classic car maintenance and restoration company in Orange County that boasts a phenomenal track record. Visit our premises today, or give us a call at 714-907-0609 if you have any additional questions. We look forward to meeting you.

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