How to Restore That Faded Paint

Girl washing car

Mechanically maintaining your historic automobile is one of your life aspirations. However, while you are concentrating on getting her to function smoothly, what is happening to that paint? Knowing how to maintain the gloss and sheen of your paint is also crucial. It is not only time-consuming but also costly to replace. So why not safeguard it?

How to Restore That Faded Paint

Begin with the tried-and-true cotton wash mitt, a 5-gallon pail of water, and an excellent automotive-safe cleanser such as Exterior Soap. I’ve been instructed to begin at the top and work my way down. Thus, you will avoid blowing dirt and debris back onto a clean surface. Trust me, you’ll want to do this in the shade. Spray as much loose dirt off the vehicle as possible. Then, employ the wash mitt, once more beginning at the top and working your way down. Be sure to clean the mitt frequently; otherwise, the trapped particles will cause scratches. Rinse, then dry.


I stated that it was dry. This is a critical step that a lot of folks miss! Ignore it, and you’ll end up with mineral deposits all over your vehicle. Then it must be washed again. Instead of microfiber towels, use clean cotton towels, sheepskin, or synthetic chamois. Contrary to common perception, they can damage the finish of your paint by scratching it. If there are still stubborn stains after washing, the next step is to use a clay bar. Used in conjunction with the lubricating spray, a clay bar effectively removes grime off paint without causing harm.

Alternatives for Oxidation Removal

Now, if your paint is still oxidized and lackluster, you have several options to explore. First, keep in mind that each of these procedures will remove some paint, albeit to differing degrees. Standard polish is the least abrasive product, followed by cleanser and then rubbing compound. Compounds are best utilized by a machine buffer and should be left to professionals, although anyone can apply polish. Use a clay bar and lubricant spray to remove the top layer of powder from old, oxidized paint before polishing it by hand or having a shop do it. The nicest aspect about having a professional do it is that they can fix it if they damage the paint. If you damage the paint, you must pay to have it repaired.


It is now time to wax. Our advice is a reputed paste or liquid wax containing carnauba. Typically, this will last between 6 and 10 weeks. The Lucas Oil Slick Mist Speed Wax is a product that may be used as a regular wax, detail spray, or spray on the vehicle between rinsing and drying for a quick and simple shine job. Just ensure that the vehicle is dusted with our Nebraska Duster before applying the detailer spray. This will remove all surface dirt from the vehicle, rather than grinding it into the paintwork.


And here are a few additional tips

While the car is covered in suds and soap, remove the nozzle from your hose and, beginning at the top, apply a steady stream of water to each panel. This results in a rinsing and sheeting process, which removes the majority of soap and superfluous water.

Never utilize liquid dish soap to clean your vehicle. Yes, you get a lot of suds, and it cleans exceptionally well, but what you are doing is stripping all of the wax from your car… which is excellent if you intend to buff the paint and begin constructing a quality finish from scratch.

Lastly, if you dry your car using terry towels, avoid using fabric softener when you wash them. Softeners are hydrophobic, which means that they reject water. Which is likely not the ideal strategy for a towel that is intended to absorb water.