How to fix faded car paint

Written by alex zang
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How to fix faded car paint
(Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A car's paint fades due to a combination of time and ultraviolet rays from the sun. Given enough of each of these factors, even a beautiful, bright red paint job will end up as a dull, faded red. This will happen faster on older cars, as they usually do not have a clear coat that protects the initial paint job. Fortunately, in about one weekend, you can restore most faded paint jobs.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Car soap
  • Sponge
  • Chamois
  • Car polish or polishing compound
  • Terry cloth

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    Basic Polishing Technique

  1. 1

    Wash the dirt off of your vehicle with car wash soap and a sponge. Make sure you clean off everything you can, as this will have a direct impact on how well you can repair the faded paint.

  2. 2

    Dry off your vehicle using a chamois. Do this in the shade to avoid water spots from the sun drying the water too quickly.

  3. 3

    Select either a polish, a polishing compound, or a rubbing compound. A polish is designed to clean up minor details, while a polishing compound removes the first layer of paint, allowing the next, unblemished layer to shine through. A rubbing compound does the same job as a polishing compound, only it is far more abrasive and should only be used a last resort, as it may strip through all paint layers.

  4. 4

    Apply the polish or compound to the vehicle using either a terry cloth or the applicator that comes with the polish. Use straight back-and-forth strokes. Do this in sections, working on a particular area of the vehicle at a time. After polishing that area of the vehicle, remove the polish before starting on another.

  5. 5

    Rinse your vehicle down with warm water to remove any excess polish.

  6. 6

    Dry your vehicle with the chamois. Again, do this in the shade to prevent water spots.

  7. 7

    Apply carnauba wax, and polish it off with a soft cloth. If your car doesn't shine like new, you may need to repaint.

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