A dull, scratched or weathered paint does not look good! These tips will help you get a shiny new look for your car.

Choosing the paint

Before you can start polishing the car, the question arises which polishes are suitable.

When buying a polish, first make sure that it can apply to all materials used on the exterior surface. Some car polishes, where this is not the case, leave unsightly stains on rubber or plastic parts.

For example, as a beginner, it may be difficult to judge whether your car paint is a synthetic resin paint or a water-based paint. It is therefore safer to polish with a care product suitable for both types. You will find the relevant information on the instructions for the product.

The second important criterion is the condition of the paint: the duller it is, the more you choose the proportion of abrasive in the polish. Manufacturers like to classify their products according to these criteria: “new”, “slightly weathered”, “medium or heavily weathered”. In a heavily weathered paint, the color is not visible, and an oxidized chalky layer buries it.

Polishing means removing

The paint on a car is only a few micrometers thick. If you are dealing with a new paint, the main thing is to form a glossy sealant. Here you use polish without abrasive additives. You do not remove any material. If you rub vigorously with a polish containing abrasives, the paint layer will quickly become thinner.

You must work carefully, especially on protruding areas and edges. Check the result of your efforts from time to time to stop when you cannot improve the gloss further. This is especially true if you are a beginner using polishing machines. If you want to remove a scratch, knowing the depth of the scratch is important. To prevent yourself from sanding the primer in case of a deep scratch, first repair the damage with a colored paint pen or spray.

The right method for car polishing

On hot days, use the morning or evening hours for polishing. Stand on a small stepladder so you can reach the roof surface easily. Use household gloves to avoid skin contact with the polish if you have sensitive skin. Polishing is best done with a soft cloth.

  • Clean your car thoroughly, the paintwork must be clean. Dirt is not suitable as a polishing agent.
  • Check the application recommendation on the container. Read whether you need to use the product in sun or shade and whether the paintwork needs to be dry.
  • Apply small amounts of the polish to a clean cloth and distribute the polish according to the instructions for use. Work section by section without double treatment. Use circular movements and suitable pressure to achieve the best effect. Polishing machines help with larger areas.
  • Polish the roof and then work your way down bit by bit. Work as evenly as possible to avoid streaks.
  • When the polish is dry, remove the coating with a soft cloth. A light pressure creates the high gloss. Do not leave any residues of the polish on the lacquer. Rinsing is unnecessary.
  • Polishes from good manufacturers promise a long-term protection of up to half a year. It is important to treat the polish especially before winter, so you isolate the harmful road salt residues. Water rolls off well-tended paint.
  • The range of polishing agents is almost impossible to overlook. When selecting, pay attention to the information on long-term effect and easy application. The most expensive agent is not always the best.
  • Car polish is not intended for rims. There are special variants available for this purpose.

Old-timers are better left to the professionals

For the best result, it is better to have your vehicle polished by a professional. This is always advisable if the vehicle has a special status, such as a vintage car. An experienced professional can assess whether there is anything left to be salvaged from the car paint. The last option that remains is (expensive) repainting.

In addition, if you are not confident in the application yourself or do not want to invest the time, you can contact the workshop or a reconditioning shop of your choice.

Note areas of application

Besides simple hand polishing, there are in fact polish products that are intended for special use with polishing machines. We cannot generalize regarding which polish is better. It is important to pay attention to the manufacturer’s instructions. The machine is quick but may not be easy to work with.

Consider the choice of color

While most car polishes are suitable for all paint colors, there are also separate polishes on the shelves that are marked with color numbers. In addition, there are separate paint finishes suitable for black, red or other colored paintwork. This allows visually striking grooves or scratches to be concealed even better. But here too, you must take care when polishing. We should leave out the decorative trim or chrome strips to avoid discoloration. If the polish is still liquid, we can quickly eliminate small accidents. However, if the liquid has dried up, it can be difficult.

This is important when polishing

No matter which car polish you ultimately choose, even the most expensive polish will not work if you do not apply it consistently. Therefore, consider the following when polishing:

  • We must clean the car of coarse dirt. We can do this either in a car wash or by hand.
  • After drying the vehicle exterior, shake the car polish in the bottle so that all ingredients mix well with each other to form a homogeneous liquid.
  • In most cases, we apply the polish to the paintwork with a slightly damp sponge in circular movements. For this purpose, we must observe the special instructions on the packaging.
  • When polishing, however, not only the circular movements but also a slight pressure is important to allow the product to penetrate the lacquer.
  • Depending on the problem areas, one or two layers of polish are necessary.
  • The polish should always be applied evenly and without gaps. Afterwards the layer can dry up to start its work.

Do not forget about post polish care.

If the car owner does not take initiative to care for the paintwork, even polishing will not help. Therefore, wash the car at regular intervals, and apply proper natural or synthetic sealants on the paintwork. This sounds decent in theory, but in practice it is rather awkward for some car owners, especially since there are so many products and technical terms that require more knowledge.

Car shampoo

A car shampoo ensures a good surface cleaning, removing dust, pollen, flowers and insect dirt.

Car wax / sealant

We apply wax to the paintwork after polishing and it closes the paint pores so that an even smooth, surface is created. Through this procedure, we achieve a beautiful shine.

Sanding pastes

If there are some scratches, and scrapes, we can use paint sanding pastes. With these pastes, matt and also weathered lacquer surfaces can be pre-polished.

Cleaning dough

This product can also enhance weathered car parts. It is good for removing stuck dirt.

Storing your car polish

Like many other care products, car polishes can dry up over time, become rancid and thus unusable. Therefore, a logical storage is essential to make polishes or combination products last longer. We can use a polish for about 2 years. Here again we should observe the manufacturer’s directions.

Tip: The polish is best stored in a dark, dry place, free from moisture, extreme cold, and heat. If we follow these instructions, the car polish will last several years.

Polishing aids

To apply the car polish with no problems, we can purchase special fabrics, sponges, or polishing wool. Polishing machines also make the task much easier. There are many types of accessories. While some users swear by fabric and sponge, others are enthusiastic about microfiber cloths. Here, we should use our own experiences and preferences to achieve the best effects.

Making a weathered car paint attractive again by polishing can be an exhausting job. In most cases, however, you will be rewarded for your efforts with a shiny exterior at low cost.