• Preventative measures
• How to get a scratch out
• Respraying your car
The first impression people will have of your car is the look of it, and a large part of the aesthetic of a vehicle is its paint. There are a multitude of ways to keeping it in prime condition, but the best course of action is its protection.
This may sound like an obvious solution, but washing your car at least once a month is the best way to keep the paint clean and to protect it. You should use high quality products to wash your car – not washing up liquid – and ensure you dry it afterwards with a microfibre cloth (to make sure you don’t scratch it), as leaving it to dry on its own leaves behind minerals from the water, which can be harmful to the paint. Also, be careful if you’re using a pressure washer, as you need to ensure there’s enough distance between nozzle and car because the high pressure water can damage the paint, as well as penetrate into the bearings and seals in some of the vehicle’s components!
Waxing your vehicle gives the paint a protective seal, which protects it against the dirt, dust, water and debris you get from using your car regularly. If it’s sat outside in the sun instead of under a cover, the sun can cause significant damage, which is why it is recommended that you wax the paint twice a year, once in Spring and just before Winter are the best times.
Do you have access to a garage or car port? If you do, use it! As mentioned previously, constant sun can really damage the paint and make it fade, so you need to protect it as much as possible. If you don’t have the use of either of these options, it’s worth investing in a car cover, especially when you know you won’t be using your car for a while and you park in direct sunlight.
If you spot a scratch in the paint and it’s only small, it’s likely that you’ll be able to get rid of it yourself. There are three layers of paint on your car: clear coat, base coat, primer and beneath these is the metal body panel, so it’s up to you to determine which layer the scratch goes down to and judge if you can fix it yourself or need to take it to a professional.
There are many reliable products on the market that will repair small scratches, and they’re not too expensive either! They’re generally simple to use and work with scratches in the top two coats – clear and base.
If the scratch is deeper or larger, it’s recommended you take it to a bodyshop and get a professional to have a look at it. Depending on the severity, it can cost between £20 to a few hundred. However, if you’re unsure, it’s always worth getting their advice before attempting anything yourself.
If you would like to top up or change the colour of your vehicle, you must take it to a professional to get it resprayed. This is not a simple job and is expensive because it requires great skill from an experienced technician to do it well, but it could be worth it in the long run.
As you’ve discovered, the best way to keep your paint in tip top condition, is to take preventative measures, such as cleaning, waxing and covering your car, but if you’re still unsure of how to do any of these, always do some research and ask a professional for help.