Polishing: The Answer to Dull Paint
Your car looks cloudy, fuzzy or hazy. Your paint looks old, tired and neglected. There's little shine or gloss. And waxing doesn't seem to help.
Here are three major causes...
- Oxidation: UV rays breaking down the molecules and damaging your paint. This can be caused by the lack of waxes or sealants which protect your finish. Washing with the wrong soaps can strip the wax off and leave your car unprotected. And without wax, oxidation takes over, spreads and can concentrate in certain spots.
- Scratches and swirls: These are the most common culprits preventing your car from having that mirror-like finish. Scratches diffuse light and is a type of marring that is usually caused by improper washing and/or drying techniques. Your car looks great at 10 mph, but not as appealing parked in direct sunlight.
If you talk to some detailers, they'll say that running your fingertip lightly on a dirty panel can cause micro-scratches, especially if the panel has a soft clear coat. And once a scratch is started, it gives ferrous metals and other pollutants more oppotunities to latch on. The edges of these embedded metal fragments become jagged over time, dig deeper into the paint and may appear as stubborn rust spots.
- Holograms: The lines, circular marks and buffer trails left by improper machine polishing. Instead of taking the proper time and steps to polish a car, some shops may perform a rush job which can cause a hologram effect on your clear coat. Also some shops may not graduate down enough from an aggressive cutting compound to a finer finishing polish, or lacking residue control, or rotary polishing at high speed... which can all leave unwanted ghost effects on your gorgeous paint.
So how can you restore your paint's gloss and luster?
By taking the steps to polish your car correctly.
Polishing improves your car's appearance by shaving down just enough of your clear coat to reduce or eliminate surface scratches, oxidation and/or holograms. It makes your car shiny and reveals her true beauty. It breathes new life into your paint by reversing years of abuse and neglect. It's the equalizer that makes your car more attractive and appealing. It will add shine to your car and can raise your car's resale value.
Polishing your car is ideal if you are...
- Selling your car;
- Tired of seeing paint transfer from contact with another object;
- Annoyed by the light scratches that seem to appear out of nowhere;
- Preparing for an upcoming car show;
- Perplexed by the busy swirl marks that direct light exposes;
- Vexed by parking lot paint scuffs;
- Troubled by a leaping dog's paw-nail marks;
- Bothered by the dull, lackluster finish;
- Dismayed by how nature and time has aged your car; or...
- An avid car buff wanting the best for your ride.
Clear coats do have a half life. Every five years your clear coat loses roughly 50% of its ability to block UV rays. To avoid expensive paint problems in the future, try to polish away as little clear as possible. Polish just enough to improve on the light blemishes. This will help preserve your clear coat's integrity.
How to address the bigger blemishes...