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Restoring Dull and Faded Paintwork

By Danny Argent ~ 2005

If you neglect to apply a protective coat of wax to your car, you will soon find that ultraviolet (UV) radiation and acid rain will start to eat away at the binders with constitute a very important ingredient in your paintwork. The binders hold it all together and once the surface starts coming apart it will look dull. If you catch it early enough, you can remove oxidized paintwork with hand applied polish. But there comes a point when you really ought to think about having your car buffed.

Dull paintwork isn't such a problem on cars which have clear-over-base paintwork as clear-coat is quite strong. But if your car has just the base colour, the particles which make up the paint are coarse and come apart quicker and it shows far more. This problem is compounded on certain colours of car which are prone to fading. With no wax on your car you are dependant on the clear-coat to provide UV protection. But if you have no clear-coat your red car is going to become a dull pink in a fairly short space of time.

Faded and dull paintwork

This photo shows a car which has not been washed in some time, let alone waxed. But underneath this dull and dirty paintwork, there is a shiny red car screaming to be let out.

Buffing with compounds

This is a picture of Ryan dry buffing the same Volkswagen Golf. There are an infinite number of methods using different machines, mop heads and polishes/compounds. Ryan prefers to buff cars with a dry mop, Gary prefers to wet mop, no method is really better than another and it is really down to personal preference which technique you use for this kind of work.

As you can see, the dull and faded paint has been buffed away and the un-waxed natural paintwork underneath already has enough shine for you to be able to see your face in it.

waxed and ready to go

Yes it is the same car, and there were no camera tricks! After buffing, a good quality long life wax was applied to protect it from the environment and prevent this kind of problem happening again.

The end result was a very collectable VW Golf GTi in pristine condition which was worth considerably more when it left the building than when it arrived.

Buffing Scratches


This page was last updated on Sat, 28 September, 2013
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