Useful Car Tips

How to Take Care of Your Car Paint

November 20, 2019
The condition of your vehicle’s paint can be a fickle matter. Rock chips, bird droppings, and the occasional careless pedestrian with a shopping cart are all potential dangers to your paint—some more permanent than others, of course. If you’ve just gotten a new car, it can be nerve-wracking trying to protect the paint and your new (and expensive) investment. While accidents happen and some factors are just out of our control, there are indeed ways to protect your paint, both passively and proactively. Even older cars can benefit from proper paint protection. Without proper care, existing paint problems can be exacerbated while new ones appear, and these problems have the potential to cost you lots of money to correct. Paint maintenance may seem expensive, or time-consuming, or just plain-old time unnecessary. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. With a little time put into preventative maintenance, you’ll be able to keep your paint in great shape almost indefinitely.


In an ideal world, you’d pick up your new car from the dealership and the paint would already be in perfect condition, either straight from the factory or due to a wash at the dealership. Unfortunately, reality is often quite different from this. The best time to start taking care of your paint is the same day you get your new (or used) vehicle. Begin by giving the paint a thorough wash: use a high quality car wash shampoo, wash mitt, and microfiber drying towels. Use two buckets for this process. After washing, use detailing clay. Take care to avoid plastics, rubber moldings, and headlights. Use minimal pressure and lubricate the paint surface often using water or specialized wax. For a refresher course on how to best use a clay bar, consult our earlier guide here! Next up is polishing, which helps remove defects in the paint. This is sometimes necessary even on brand new cars from the dealership due to incorrect washing. No paint defects? Use a pre-wax product which will help enhance shine. Keep up the maintenance throughout the life of your vehicle. Wash regularly and use a quick detailer, which—as the name suggests—is a quick way to freshen up your paint by removing light contamination such as fresh water spots and dust. Always try to use high quality products that fit your budget and follow the instructions. If you’re ever unsure about how to use a product, use free online resources like this multi-part video training series from AMMO NYC, one of North America’s most respected detailing companies..


For good reason, paint protection film (or PPF) is a technology that’s been steadily increasing in popularity in the automotive world. You may have heard the terms Clear Bra, Clear Mask, and Invisible Shield before—these are all brand names for competing treatments. Paint protection film is self-explanatory: it consists of a thin polyurethane film or polymer applied over a vehicle’s paint, which acts as a protective skin against rock chips and small scratches. It also protects your paint against other potential hazards such as UV exposure. Alternatively, ceramic coating is another treatment quickly gaining in popularity. Ceramic coating is a liquid-polymer similarly applied over a vehicle’s paint, providing a microscopic layer of paint protection. Using nanoparticles measuring just 80 to 100 nanometers across (hence this treatment sometimes being referred to as nano-ceramic or nano coating), a correctly-applied ceramic coating works by seeping into tiny imperfections in the clear coat of paint, creating a flat surface. While PPF will suffice for protection against rock chips and scratches, a ceramic coating will afford a greater level of protection against UV exposure, bird droppings, grime, and other contaminants which can affect the condition of your paint.


Besides regular maintenance and a PPF or ceramic coating, there are a few changes you can make that may seem minor now, but can have a major effect over the long-term condition of your paint. For one, the sun’s UV rays can oxidize and prematurely fade your paint, making your car look old and worn and requiring extra money (and time) for products to fix the damage. Keep your car out of the sun for extended periods of time or better yet, park in your garage if you have one. Careless drivers and pedestrians can ding or scratch your paint. If you’re looking to keep your car in great shape for as long as possible, simply parking away from other cars can make a difference. Your walk might be a little farther but you’ll have a little more peace of mind. Lastly, and most importantly is something we’ve mentioned before: maintenance! Have a regular washing schedule and stick to it, it’s one of the best ways to keep your paint clear and your car looking good for many years to come!
Previous Article Next Article