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How to Make Dull Paint Shine on a Car: Detailed Guide [VIDEO]

  • Car Care Tips
  • Samuel Green
  • 5 minutes

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Does your car’s paint look dull and faded? It’s no secret that the car’s paint tends to lose its glossy shine and brightness over time. But, what if you could bring back your car’s lost sheen? Yes, it’s possible. Use our detailed guide on how to make dull paint shine on a car and gift your vehicle a showroom shine.   

Here’s the bitter truth: cars don’t age gracefully! The vibrant color and shiny finish that your car had while rolling out of the showroom will fade and become dull over the years. There are multiple reasons for the paint to dull: oxidation, scratches, exposure to UV rays, and other factors. Whatever be the reason, it’s your responsibility to bring back your car’s shine. Good-looking cars are not just great to look at, but they are valued high in the resale market. Do you own a car with a dull-looking exterior? Don’t worry – here’s our ultimate guide on how to make dull paint shine on a car. Keep reading to know more.   

What causes the paint to dull in a car? 

Multiple factors cause the paint to fade in a car, as we mentioned earlier. Here are some of the top factors:   

Contamination: Car owners who are too lazy to clean their cars or drive to a car wash near them often fall victim to this. Contaminants like dirt, dust, tree sap, and leaves can ruin your car’s appearance if not cleared off properly. Create a car wash schedule and stick to it to prevent this from happening.   

UV rays: Continuous exposure to sunlight and UV rays can cause paint damage and make them look faded. If your vehicle’s hood and roof look more faded than other parts, it’s because of over-exposure to sunlight.   

Oxidation/Corrosion: The road salt can get stuck to your car’s exterior during the winters. If you don’t wash it immediately, the salt will react with oxygen in the atmosphere and cause corrosion. This will cause the paint to fade or, worse, break down completely. 

Use of harsh chemicals: Some car washes use harsh chemicals to clean your car. These chemicals can ruin your car’s paint and, in some cases, can even damage your clear coat. Therefore, before washing your car, make sure the center uses standard cleaning products and equipment. 

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How to make dull paint shine on a car?   

Use this detailed guide to make your car’s dull paint shine:   

Step 1   

Begin the process by washing your car first. Park your car under the shade before you wash it. Washing it directly under the sun can cause water spots. Now use car wash soap or solution and washing mitts to wash your car.   

Step 2   

Use a clay bar to remove the deeply embedded dirt and dead paint. Read our detailed post on clay bar treatment to know more about the process. Once satisfied with the result, rinse the car and dry it using microfiber towels. Wait for the car to dry completely before starting the next step.   

Step 3  

How to make dull paint shine on a car

Now use a dual action polisher with a buffing pad to polish the car. Apply a quarter-sized rubbing compound onto the pad. Begin the process from the front of the vehicle and work your way to the rear. Place the pad against the paint and switch on the polisher.  

Step 4

Now use the polisher in small circular motions, and don’t stay long in one spot. You will start noticing shine on the surface during the process. Add more compound whenever you need it.   

Step 5

It’s time to switch the buffing pad with a polishing pad. Use the car polish instead of rubbing compound and repeat the process. Once you’re done with these steps, you will notice a glossy look.  

Top tips to prevent your paint from fading  

  • Don’t park your car under the sun for a long time, and it’s best to park it in a garage. If you don’t have access to one, use a car cover to protect it from contaminants.   
  • We cannot stress this enough – wash your car regularly! A regular car wash can help maintain your car’s paintwork and clear coat.   
  • Never use dish soap while washing your car at home. It is loaded with chemicals and is harmful to the paint. Instead, invest in a good car wash solution or soap, and it should cost you just a few dollars.   
  • Wax and polish your car occasionally. If you find it complicated, you can visit an auto detailing center near you.  

Looking for car washes that are worth your money and time? Way.com is where you can find the best car washes near you for an affordable price. For a hassle-free booking and car wash process, start using the Way.com app or website.  


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