If your vehicle has been routinely exposed for years, it stands to reason that your paint finish has experienced oxidation. This breakdown of the compounds in paint makes finishes look dull and lifeless. If not taken care of, it will eventually render the paint worthless and require a brand new coat. This is obviously not ideal since the job comes with a high price tag. There are ways, however, to remove oxidation and at minimum buy you some time before a complete overhaul is necessary. This is done through the process of paint correction, and there are a few steps to this exercise.
Give Your Car A Bath
Even though this task will not remove oxidation, it will aid in its success by clearing the metal for correcting compounds. From top to bottom, use a pressure washer to push away debris and have the surface be as smooth as possible. This will help the paint bond, which is essential in combating oxidation.
“Oxidation removal is a two tiered process, the first being the addition of compounds, and the second being the use of a sealant. The coat waxes place over rubbing and polishing compounds prevent oxidation from spreading if you aren’t able to successfully remove every troublesome area”
Rubbing Compound Vs. Polishing Compounds
Opinions vary on the best ways to eradicate spots caused by exposure, but one aspect that is not up for debate are which compounds should be incorporated. Detailers will tell you that extensively oxidized areas require a rubbing compound, or ‘heavy’ correcting compound. It is basically the industry standard in the paint restoration field. Using an orbital machine, the substance should be spun on the entire car, with special attention to oxidized spots. Areas that do not appear damaged must be buffed over as well to ensure the finish is solidly consistent. If you are only trying to get rid of small amounts of oxidation, a ‘correcting’ polish can be used alone. This should be rubbed the same way as the heavy compound, and uses ingredients that are rust resistant. To get rid of as much oxidation as possible, going through heavy correcting compound, to correcting polish, to a finishing polish is most beneficial.
Seal With A Wax
Oxidation removal is a two tiered process, the first being the addition of compounds, and the second being the use of a sealant. The coat waxes place over rubbing and polishing compounds prevent oxidation from spreading if you aren’t able to successfully remove every troublesome area.
Don’t Forget Your Headlights!
Headlights are defenseless from the sun’s rays as well, and as such, can become just as oxidized as the finish, if not more so. If you do not have access to appropriate cleaners that removes the ‘film’ UV light creates, use a toothpaste that has baking soda as its prominent ingredient. This works by dispersing the oxidized residue, causing the headlight to appear clear and healthy again. Toothpaste, or a beam restoration cleaner, should be rubbed in with an applicator pad, and then cleared with a soft microfiber towel.
In actuality, the best way to remove car paint oxidation is taking advantage of the experienced hand extended to you by professional auto detailers. With access to top shelf compounds and cleaners, and an eye for detail, there is no rival to their solid expertise. Using auto body enthusiasts guarantees the job is done right.