First impressions are everything. When others see your beautifully restored classic car, the first thing they’ll notice is the paint job. To maintain your classic car’s paint job, follow these simple steps: wash and dry carefully, be sure to wax and polish, and deal with paint imperfections gently.
The worst injustice you could do to your classic car is washing it improperly. You should follow cleaning procedures that are careful and gentle. First, you should always wash your car by hand or turn it over to a professional detailer. A regular car wash would do too much damage, and even a touch-less car wash has damaging chemicals.
Make sure that you have the proper tools, including a paint-safe microfiber or cotton washing mitt, a large bucket, and cleaning products designed for use on cars. Your cleaning products should be pH balanced, and use a non-detergent formula to maintain your wax. Combining with lubrication will prevent scratching, and conditioners will protect shine. When removing stains and marks, do not use any abrasive materials.
Do Not Skip Drying
You should always dry your vehicle after washing to prevent water spots, which are mineral deposits that can be left behind on your car’s paint. To dry, you should use 100% cotton detailing clothes or a sheepskin or leather chamois. Never use polyester or microfiber clothes to dry, as they may damage your paint. You can also search for paint safe drying towels. When drying, hold the cloth loosely in your hands, moving carefully in a circular motion.
Wax & Polish
Waxing is paramount to maintaining your classic car’s showroom shine. You should choose the best wax polish that is suitable for your car’s paint and color. Stubborn marks? Wax that area first, and then come back to it later. The wax should loosen the mark, allowing you to simply rub the area gently for removal. After waxing, you should polish your car. Again, use careful circular motions until your classic car shines like new. Use a lint free, dry cloth for the best results.
Dealing with Imperfections
Of course, washing your classic car will not solve any paint imperfections. The following tips will help you in dealing with common paint imperfections among classic cars.
• UV Fading: For UV fading, or oxidation, use the least abrasive product possible. Begin by washing and drying your car, then condition the paint with a sealer and reseal the glaze. Finally, apply a coat of wax to finish.
• Small Chips: Prepare the area by washing and gently wiping with a polishing compound. Next, wipe with denatured rubbing alcohol, apply primer, and finish with touch-up paint.
• Dents & Dings: Dents and dings can be taken care of with an equal and opposite force such as a bathroom plunger or hammer and dolly.
• Scratches: Minor scratches can be removed by simply buffing or abrading the paint. Major scratches are typically dealt with similarly to paint chips.
• Swirl Marks: Swirl marks can be removed with dual-action polisher foam pads.
• Integrity, Wearing, & Patina: Natural wear may require a professional repainting job.