How to Make Your Car's Dull Paint Shine

by Jenny Carver

Dull paint can make your car look rundown even if the car is only a few years old, and sometimes even the best wash and wax job can't make dull paint shine again. The cause of the dull paint, oxidation, has to be removed before the gloss of the paint can shine again. A body or detail shop can do this for you, but it's easy enough to do in your own driveway in just a few hours.

Wash your car with car soap and rinse it with cool water to remove all surface dirt. Dry your car with a chamois cloth or let it air dry. Park the car in the shade to let the painted surface cool before moving on to the next steps.

Put a buffing pad on a dual-action buffer and pour a quarter-sized amount of liquid rubbing compound on the pad. Start at the front of the car and work to the rear. Place the pad against the paint and turn on the buffer.

Work the buffer in small circular motions so it doesn't sit in one area for longer than a few seconds. The compound will disappear into the paint and create an immediate shine on the surface. Add more compound as needed.

Switch the buffing pad for a clean polishing pad. Use the car polish on the painted surface of your car just like you used the liquid rubbing compound. The polish finishes the surface and smoothes it out for the glossiest finish possible.

Warning

  • close Don't let the buffer sit in one area for more than a few seconds or it could burn through the paint.

Items you will need

About the Author

Since 1997 Jenny Carver has served as editor and freelance writer for many offline and online publications including lovetoknow.com, autotropolis.com, "Hoof Beat News," "Import Tuner" and others. Carver owns a custom automotive shop where she has been doing paint and body work, custom interior work and engine building for over 11 years.