Driving a 7 year old car has some perks. No car payment, no worries about getting mud and grime in the back seat and no need for major maintenance (I have been lucky in that I purchased a well-built car that hasn’t had any mechanical issues since I bought it).
The downside to having a 7 year old car: the novelty starts to fade and the car paint just doesn’t sparkle the way it used to.
My car has been a prime example of faded paint for the last two or three years. In fact, every time I washed the car, the paint seemed to shine a little less than the time before. It finally got to the point where not only could you not see your own reflection in the car paint, but you couldn’t make out the shape of a person at all. The car faded from what was once a shiny liquid-red to a strange color of mottled pink and grey. I looked into getting my paint refinished by a couple of professional car detailing shops, and was astounded when I received quotes between $200 and $900 for polishing and buffing my car paint back to its former self. I resigned myself to driving around in the “Pink Wonder” for the rest of its days.
Then, during my last oil change at Jiffy Lube one of the technicians mentioned that he too had a car that once had faded paint like mine. He said that he was able to refinish damaged car paint for less than $12 on his personal vehicle. He told me to head over to my local Fred Meyer to pick up the supplies to restore my car paint. I was skeptical that I could refinish damaged car myself, but decided to give it a shot. My car paint certainly couldn’t look any worse than it has!
As it turns out, that Jiffy Lube technician was right and I am now proud to say that my car is gleaming! Here’s how you too can refinish damaged car paint for less than $12.
Turtle Wax 1-Step Color Back Finish Restorer (6.99)
Turtle Wax Super Hard Shell Liquid Wax ($4.99)
5-8 clean, dry cotton towels or rags (If you don’t have towels or rags available to use at home, you can purchase some at your local auto supply store, or at Staples.com)
Step 1: Starting by washing and drying your car as normal. Ensure the car paint is totally dry and free of debris before beginning.
Step 2: Apply a small amount of Turtle Wax 1-Step Color Back Finish Restorer (about the size of a quarter) to a clean towel or rag. In a small circular motion, lightly rub the rag onto the car paint, leaving a thin coat of liquid on the vehicle. Completely coat one panel of the vehicle at a time, leaving each panel to dry to a dull haze. When your towel no longer leaves liquid on the vehicle, apply more restorer to your towel and continue.
Step 3: Once the Turtle Wax 1-Step Color Back Finish Restorer has dried completely, use a new clean, dry towel to slowly wipe it away from the car paint in a small circular motion. Remove the dried restorer one panel at a time, working in the same direction that you applied the restorer. Rotate the rag frequently as it collects the restorer from the car paint, and switch to a new clean towel when the one you are using is soiled (you may use 1-2 towels during this step depending on the size of your car or truck).
Step 4: When all of the Turtle Wax 1-Step Color Back Finish Restorer has been removed, use a new clean towel to lightly buff the surface of the car paint in a small circular motion. Buff your car or truck one panel at a time, in the same direction you applied and removed the restorer.
Repeat: Once your all of the restorer has been removed from the vehicle, you will notice immediately that the shine and luster has improved in your car paint. To protect your reflection and further improve the gloss of your car paint, repeat steps 2 through 4 using Turtle Wax Super Hard Shell Liquid Wax.
The entire process took me and a friend 2 hours to complete on a Mitsubishi Outlander (a Crossover car/SUV vehicle), and if you are restoring your car paint on your own I would estimate the project may take 3-4 hours depending on your fitness level and size of your car or truck. Although there is a lot of elbow grease involved when you refinish damaged car paint yourself, the price-tag can’t be beat. The project will leave you beaming with the pride of ownership, and will leave your car paint shining once again!
Want to read more by Denise Kawaii on how to save money by doing it yourself? Click the links below!
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