How to Restore Your Car’s Paint to a Perfect Shine

headlight of black car being washed wish sponge


Everyone wants to keep their car looking as sharp as possible. A car in good shape creates a positive social impression. But without proper attention, the car begins to look duller and duller over time. With proper care, it is never too late to put the shine back on your car.

Types of paint jobs

There are two types:

  1. Single stage paint job – This was used back in the old days. This type of paint was fragile and thin and extremely prone to oxidation. Single stage paint jobs are usually found on very old cars.
  2. Two stage paint job – It involves first applying a base coat and then a clear coat on top of that. It is more durable, long lasting and environmentally friendly compared to the former paint job. However, it does deteriorate if not properly cared for.

Now, assuming that you do not drive a very old car, we will mainly focus on how to restore the car’s paint to a perfect shine for the vehicles having a two stage paint job.

Why does paint go bad?

Everybody expects their cars to remain in reasonable sound condition for years right from the time they purchase one. But what one does not realize is that the rays of the sun wreak havoc on the paint job every moment a car is out in the sun.

Without proper care and maintenance, the paint on a car fades away over time. Under the blazing sun, the car’s paint undergoes adverse chemical reactions. Dirt and pollutants are other major causes for the deterioration of the paint job.

To prevent these problems, consider covering the car especially if it is kept parked for long hours. Regular car washes also seem like a good idea to keep your car clear of all the contaminants that harm it.

What can you do to preserve the paint?

Here is how you begin to return your car to a reasonably shiny state:

Wash the car

Washing the exterior of a car cleans all the debris that it collects while out on the road. It does not just include dirt. A car collects oil, fingerprints and other random particles that somehow attach to the exterior of it. To ensure that the car is as clean as possible, wash it twice before proceeding towards the next step.

Tip: Invest in soap made specifically for washing a vehicle’s exteriors.

Remove the surface contaminants

Simply washing a car doesn’t get rid of all the dirt. The surface contaminants comprise of a wide range of particles like paint overspray, splattered bugs, soot, tar, airborne pollutants etc. Some of the particles may not be visible to the naked eye but they are certainly present due to which you do not get the pristine shine on your car.  The contaminants bond on the surface of the car in a way that it becomes difficult to remove them.

By clay bar detailing you can remove the contaminants that do not harm the paint. Clay detailing works best with some clay lubricant. The contamination that causes oxidation can be easily removed by this process. It is a very safe alternative to liquid paint cleaners. Detailing clay can be used 3 to 4 times a year before applying wax.

Tip: Wrap a plastic bag your hand and run it all over the surface of your car. The plastic bag enhances the sensitivity of the hand that allows you to feel the tiny contaminants which aren’t quite possible to detect otherwise. It also gives you a clear idea of where the contaminants are actually located on the exterior of your vehicle.

Repairing any paint damage

By this point, the paint is free of surface contamination. You can examine again for minor surface damages. If the car has any swirl marks, use a swirl remover car polish. There are many paint restoration car polishes available in the market nowadays.

Tip:  A rotary or dual action polisher produces better results than hand application.


Once the car is polished, the paint is ready to be sealed. Invest in some amazing sealants that give a durable finish. The high end sealants can be applied layer after layer for a deeper and high-gloss shine. Sealing ensures that the paint remains crisp and stays the same way as long as possible.

Tip: Use a microfiber applicator to apply sealants. Put it on as thin as possible and wipe off the car.


Waxing is the icing on the cake. Waxing brings richness in the color depth. Waxing sure is a lengthy process but your paint is sure to look as good as new.

Tip: Your vehicle must be completely dry before applying wax.

To best maintain your car’s shine you just need some light maintenance. Washing your car weekly and quick detailing after regular intervals can surely help you keep your car looking shiny new.