How to restore the original colour of paint on my car

Updated July 19, 2017

Car paint work can become faded and dull over time if you don't care for it properly, particularly if it is an older car that does not have a clear coat. If a car is not garaged, the sun can damage and oxidise the paint. But even if your car's paint is completely dull, it is possible to restore a good deal of its shine in an afternoon with the proper approach.

Thoroughly wash and dry the car with clean, lint-free towels.

Begin the process with a rubbing compound if the paint is severely oxidised.

Apply the rubbing compound to the car using a fresh polishing pad on the buffer to buff the entire surface of the car. Apply some compound to the pad and the car's surface. Slide the buffer around to spread out the wax and then turn on the buffer and begin polishing.

If you are using a high-speed buffer, do not press too hard or work over one section too much, as you may burn through the paint. Also, avoid buffing edges with the machine. Buff these areas by hand.

Buff one panel at a time to ensure that every area of the car is properly polished. After the car is buffed, go over it by hand with a clean towel to make sure you've polished every area and to make sure there are no spots that need to be gone over more thoroughly.

Put a new buffing pad on the buffer and apply a polishing compound -- also known as machine glaze -- in the same way that the rubbing compound was applied, polishing one panel at a time, until the entire car is polished.

Finish restoring the paint by waxing the entire car with a high-quality wax using the same method that was used for the rubbing compound and the polishing compound.

Use touch-up paint and a small brush to touch up any paint chips that are visible.

To maintain the new finish, regularly clean and wax the car.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubbing compound
  • Polishing compound
  • Wax
  • Buffer
  • Lint-free towels
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About the Author

William Zane has been a freelance writer and photographer for over six years and specializes primarily in automotive-related subject matter among many other topics. He has attended the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, where he studied automotive design, and the University of New Mexico, where he studied journalism.