Why Does Autobody Paint Fade?

Auto paint has come a long way.

Over the years, you may notice your car’s paint job has faded. What was once a vibrant color has now dulled to a faded version of its former self. Why does this happen and what can you do to slow down the process?

First off, it’s important to note that paint isn’t meant to stay vibrant forever. Environmental stressors like the sun and weather can all affect your autobody’s paint job, causing it to lose its pigment and shine over time.

Factors That Affect Your Paint Job

There are many things that can cause your paint to fade. Common causes include:

  • Sunlight: Harsh UV rays beating down on your car every day can really do a number on the state of the paint. The sun, over time, will break down the paint so much so that it oxidizes, which results in discoloration and fading.
  • Road salt: If you live in a colder climate and the roads are treated with salt to melt snow or ice, that road salt will eat away at your paint through the seasons.
  • Bird poop and urine: These are both very acidic, which means they’ll harm your paint job if you don’t wash them off right away.
  • Certain kinds of paint: Some paints, like those used on older cars, will fade more quickly than the paint used on newer cars.
  • Improper care: If you don’t properly wash or wax your car, or use abrasive chemicals that can scratch your paint, your car will be more vulnerable to fading and damage.

Faded Car Paint: The Remedies

There are some ways you can restore faded auto paint. In minor cases, you can buff the paint a bit to bring back its luster. But in more severe cases, you’ll have to take it to a professional for restoration. And if you get into a collision, get your car looked at right away by an autobody technician. Leaving dents and scratches for too long will introduce rust, which is just as harmful to your car over time.

1.     Buff the Car

This can help improve the appearance of any faded paint, bringing back some shine in mild cases. Follow this process for the best results:

  • Wash your car with a sponge, warm water and soap.
  • Spray the faded areas with automotive clay lubricant.
  • Rub those areas with an automotive clay bar to get out the dirt and grime.
  • Get out your electric buffer and use a wet orbital buffing pad on the rotary disc.
  • Spread on a buffing compound.
  • Polish the faded areas.
  • Wipe the compound off with a microfiber cloth.

2.     Take it to a Professional

In the case of severe fading, buffing may not make a difference. Take your car to a professional technician like those at Hance’s Uptown Collision. Getting the paint professionally restored will ensure an all-over uniformity and shine you won’t be able to get with a DIY job. Our technicians know car paint inside and out, from restoration to color matching. We can prep, prime and paint your vehicle using the latest in technology and equipment. In fact, our painters bring 35 years of experience to the table!

How to Prevent Fading in the First Place

Prevention is the best way to avoid fading. This will take a daily effort from you but it will be worth it in the end. Here are some tips to prevent fading of your vehicle’s paint:

  • Park in shaded or covered areas that are not in direct sunlight when possible. If you can, park your vehicle in a garage when you need to leave it for long periods of time, such as when at work.
  • Wash your car on a regular basis with a mild soap, warm water and sponge, or take it through the car wash every once in a while.
  • Wax your car every three to six months to rejuvenate its appearance.

By following these tips, you can ensure your car remains shiny, bright and beautiful – just like the day you bought it. And if you got in an accident recently, don’t forget to take it to the pros here at Hance’s who can get your car looking like new in no time.

Contact Hance’s Uptown Collision Center

If your paint job fading? Did you recently get into a car accident, need body work, and a paint restoration? Are you thinking about paintless dent repair? We can help on all counts. Make an appointment when you contact us.


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