How to maintain your car body paint

Regardless of the model of the car, a well-done car body paint will definitely strike confidence and pride in the hearts of any car owner. That's why it comes as such dismay when your car is subject to the elements and harsh weather conditions.

Still, there's a way to preserve your car paint from unfavorable conditions. And, that's by knowing beforehand what causes damage to the car body paint and how to avoid it.

What causes the car body paint to fade?

fading car body paint

The car paint is basically like other parts that make up the vehicle. That means it's subject to wear over time and becoming ruined due to lack of proper maintenance. But there are specific reasons why your car body paint can start fading:

Lack of proper care

Like we've already mentioned, failure to take care of various parts of your car body paint included can cause it to wear out or in this case, fade. Caring for your car paint is one of the car maintenance checks that was discussed in this article.

Another thing is using harsh cleaning agents to clean your vehicle. This can also cause the car paint to rust or fade. Car owners who take out time to clean and care for their car body paint enjoy the benefits of a nice-looking vehicle for a long time.


Sunlight is the biggest agent responsible for the fading of your car body paint. When you leave your car out during the day, the harsh UV rays of the sun can cause the car paint to fade.

The sun's UV rays do this by breaking the pigment of the paint and causing it to oxidize. Over time, you will begin to notice your car paint fading and becoming increasingly duller by the day. The car paint might even start to peel off after a while. That's why it's preferable to always park somewhere where there is a shade to protect your car paint.


The road plays a factor more specifically in areas where salt is used to thaw snow off the road. Salt and car body paint do not mix. And if salt from the road were to ever accumulate on your car body, it can cause the car paint to fade or rust as time goes on. And because of this, car owners who live in colder climes must take time out to wash the body of their car after each drive.

Bird droppings

Bird droppings contain concentrations of urea which are very acidic. And although it can't really hurt you (except for the smell and embarrassment), it can damage your car body paint. Especially when you leave the bird droppings on your car. Instead, as soon as you notice the bird droppings on your vehicle, you should use a wet towel and some washing soap to gently clean it off your vehicle.

Type of paint used

Not many people know this but the type of paint used in your car body paint job might also be a causative factor in fading. Some paints are more susceptible to fading than others.

A great example is a paint that offers you a two-in-one deal, that is, the actual color and the clear paint mixed. These types of paints tend to fade. Compared to having the color painted and clear coat used as a finish which can last longer and even give your vehicle some UV protection.

Is it good to wash the car body with detergent?

Do not wash the car body with detergent

Oftentimes when it's time to wash your vehicle, you grab whatever cleaning agent you can find and most times this happens to be detergent. But that doesn't mean that it's advisable to use detergent to wash your vehicle. In fact, it's not advisable to use detergent to wash your vehicle.

Detergents can contain harsh chemicals or degreasers which can strip the car of its protective topcoat. This in turn can cause the car body paint to fade over time. A much preferable option is to get a wash specifically designed for washing automobiles. These car cleaners will rid your car of dirt without wearing the paint coat of the car.

Are car washes good for car paint?

Car washes over the years have proven themselves to be time-saving and cost-effective options for cleaning your cars. With some change, you can get your car cleaned in less time than it would have taken you to get it cleaned yourself. However, the car wash can be damaging to the car paint.

While some car washes are exceptionally worse than others (ie abrasive), regularly using car washes can cause damaging effects to your car body paint.

This is because of the pressure being used to wash the car as well as the harsh chemicals used in many car washes. Using car washes occasionally to wash off dirt might not be so bad, but the problem lies with prolonged use. That being said, hand wash done gently and with the right products remains a much better option than car washes.

Step by step guide to repainting a car

 Repainting a vehicle

Fading or rusting car paint can severely diminish your vehicle's appearance. If this is becoming the state of your vehicle, it's probably time to consider getting your car repainted. Whether you plan on doing it yourself or taking it to the nearest auto body shop, you should know what goes into repainting a car. Here's a step by step guide to repainting a car:

Prepare your tools

Before anything else, the tools and supplies must be readied in advance. The tools needed for repainting are sandpaper, safety goggles, safety mask, buffer, marking paper, masking tape, spray gun, primer, topcoat, clear coat lacquer, etc. Once your tools have been readied you can begin the next step.

Do it under great conditions

Depending on your workspace (indoors or outdoors) the work environment has to be perfect. Especially if it's being done outside, then it has to be done on a clear day to avoid rain ruining all that hard work. Your work area should also be clean and free of dust and debris to avoid blemishes from ruining the car paint job.

Prime/prep the vehicle

This is the point when you actually get down to business. A very important step in car repainting is sanding down your car's body.  Some people will opt to sand it down to the metal, however, this isn't necessary.

As long as the entire body has been evenly filed down and with minimal traces of the old paint job, then it will suffice. An important tip is to sand your car body in circular motions to get an even surface and every nook and cranny. After sanding, clean off dust and wipe your vehicle with thinners.

It's advisable to wait a bit and allow the vehicle to dry off completely before proceeding with painting. You should also apply your primer preferably mixed with the thinner. You can apply the primer in a similar way you'll apply the paint; with a spray bottle, and multiple times. It's at this stage you'll want to mask or cover up the parts of your vehicle you don't want to get any paint on.

The actual painting process

Before you can commence the painting process, be sure to put on your protective gear (ie goggles and gloves).Practice your spraying techniques on a piece of scrap metal to ensure you get your desired results. Now you can paint. Apply the topcoat with the spray gun. Note that it will take about ten minutes for the paint to cure your vehicle. You can choose to apply 3-4 coats for the best results.

Finishing touches

Now it's time to add the lacquer or the finishing touches. Apply it in a similar way you did the paint. Repeat the process once more for the best results. At this stage, you can remove the masking paper from the car as you wait about ten minutes for the lacquer to dry.

When the lacquer has been dried, you can inspect the car to make sure you did a good job. If you notice any blemish, you can simply fix it by sanding down the area, dusting it off, and respraying. The final step will be to buff your car with a buffer. And you're done.

Is painting a car worth it?

 Painting a vehicle

A great paint job[/caption]Painting a car is definitely a worthwhile experience. It can elevate the look of your car and make it look fresh out of the dealership. Plus it adds value to your vehicle was you ever consider selling it in the nearest future.

But if you can't afford it and aesthetic isn't really your thing, then there's no problem in skipping the process either.


With all that's been said about car paint and repainting, you're probably eager to book an appointment with your local auto body shop. But note that no matter how well the car was painted, it's still likely to fade out on time if not cared for properlyYou can easily follow the instructions on maintaining your vehicle from here.

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