Owning a car comes with an array of responsibilities. Chief among them is maintenance, not just of the engine but also its exteriors. It’s essential to look after your car’s paint and give it long-lasting protection (getting your car to shine is just the cherry on top).
Car paint restoration is crucial for maintaining the appearance of a high gloss paint car. It is a process that fixes scratches, paint haze, and water spots that mar a car’s appearance. Addressing these signs of wear and tear early is necessary. Not only will it make your car shine, but it will also spare you the steep cost of complete repainting.
So how do you ensure that your car maintains its perfect shine? Here are the steps for DIY car paint restoration, along with some tips on how you can achieve the best results.
Car Paint Restoration You Can Do At Home
1. Wash your car thoroughly.
The first step to achieving a high-gloss finish is to wash off the dust and debris on your car. But it’s not enough to get the chassis wet and let the high water pressure rinse off the loose dirt. You also need to remove the grime, insect guts, and stubborn fingerprints that stick on the surface. There are many car wash shampoos and soaps that you can use – and as an extra tip, you can also use diluted dishwashing liquid as an alternative. We also recommend washing your car twice to ensure that all surface debris is gone.
2. Use detailing clay to remove surface contaminants.
Car enthusiasts who are also hands-on in detailing state that a car wash – or a double wash – may not be enough to remove surface contaminants like soot, tar, and debris. And because they aren’t easily visible, most people assume they’re not there and that their vehicles are pristine. A car wash would suffice on an ordinary day, but since you’ll be applying polish later, you need to remove all surface contaminants on your car.
It’s crucial to decontaminate your car’s exterior before applying a coat of wax, polish, or paint. You can use detailing clay (also called clay bar) to remove the hard-to-see contaminants.
Detailing clay is popular among car enthusiasts and professional detailers precisely for this reason. It should also come with a lubricant: if the clay bar you buy doesn’t come as a kit, ask the sales representative to point you to the clay lubricants. A tip: choose lubricant from the same brand if possible. Also, use the fine grade bar if you are a novice. The other variety, medium grade, is more “aggressive” and can leave micro-scratches on the paint if used by an inexperienced hand.
3. Check for scratches and fix them with compound.
It’s easier to look for scratches after cleaning your car. So after washing and removing contaminants, look for any damage to the paint, like discoloration, fading, spots, etc.
Surface-level scratches only affect the top clear coat, so you should be able to fix them with a compound. You can choose from several varieties, like wax and paste that you can rub directly on scratches and liquid polish that you’ll need to apply with a buffing tool.
Store-bought compounds have different strength levels, which are helpful because they address a wide range of issues. For example, a polishing compound can cover up light scratches and is fantastic for enhancing the color and shine of a high gloss paint car. On the other hand, the rubber compound is more abrasive and can smooth out deeper scratches. Another variety, rubbing paste compound, is also excellent for erasing deep scratches. But more importantly, paste compounds can restore the clarity and shine of oxidized fiberglass and finishes, which typically looks covered in a hazy, whitish film.
By using compound, you’re not just erasing scratches but also correcting minor paint imperfections. Paint correction needs to be done before polishing and sealing.
4. Apply quality car paint polish.
Many products in the market can restore your high gloss paint car, but you might not get the most out of it if you don’t have the right tools. So unless you’re also willing to spend for them, it’s better to find a product you can apply with the materials you have on hand. Remember, however, that polishing a car using a dual-action polisher or random orbital buffer will produce a better shine than doing it by hand.
For best results, rub or buff the polish in a circular motion and maintain your direction until the liquid polish disappears. You can’t let the polish dry on the surface of your car (it will create a noticeable blemish instead of making your vehicle shine), so polish small sections at a time.
5. Finish off with a ceramic coating.
Lastly, you finish the process off by applying a ceramic coating on your polished car. Ceramic coatings preserve the shine you achieved through polishing and buffing. They also provide better protection against the elements compared to paint sealants. This is because paint sealants take effect for months to a year, while ceramic sealants can last for two to three years. So if you drive your car to work every day or frequently go on long trips, ceramic coating is the more cost-effective choice.
The Benefits of a Well-Maintained High Gloss Paint Car
A car is one of the significant purchases many people make in their lifetime. Preserving the exterior of your car can be done with excellent-quality high-gloss paint.
Apart from giving personal satisfaction, caring for your car through paint restoration brings many benefits:
- Preserves your car’s resale value - Car value decreases the moment you drive out of the dealership, but you can keep your vehicle’s valuation high by ensuring that it looks as good as it did in the showroom. If you plan to sell your car or have that option anytime, look after the paint and detailing.
- Prevents expensive detailing work - Maintenance is vital in car paint restoration. If you stay on top of your car paint detailing, you’re less likely to have to spend hundreds of dollars to repaint your car. Repainting becomes necessary when the clear coating has dried and peeled off.
- Prevents low visibility while driving - When you’re cleaning and polishing the body and hood of your car, you shouldn’t leave our your windshield. It becomes second nature to wash and clean the windshield, windows, and side mirrors. Additionally, many car enthusiasts say that using certain brands of paint sealants helps rainfall flow more smoothly over the windshield, reducing the splatters that sometimes make it hard to see through a rainstorm.
Whatever your motivation, it’s worth the time and effort to learn and master car paint restoration. And to ensure that you can reap the fruits of your labor for as long as possible, we strongly recommend using ceramic coating as a final step of your DIY paint restoration and auto detailing.
You won’t have to look far for quality ceramic coating. You can check out Nano Bond, a “zero-compromise” ceramic coating with high-grade Silicon Dioxide (SiO2). Nano Bond forms a thin, glass-like protective that repels water and protects the entire surface of your car against the elements. Browse our Shop for more information about Nano Bond.