How to Restore Paint on a Car

Like if this Guide is helpful
How to Restore Paint on a Car

Even with modern vehicles, if consumers do not perform regular maintenance on their paintwork, it deteriorates, leading to a need for restoration. Professional paintwork restoration is very expensive and leaves consumers without access to their vehicle for the duration of the restoration. Performing the restoration themselves saves customers a significant sum and means they still have access to the vehicle. Once the restoration process is complete, vehicle owners can then take preventative measures, including regular waxing and polishing, to ensure the restoration process does not require repeating.

How to Restore Paint Oxidation

Paint fades and oxidises with prolonged and repeated exposure to ultraviolet light. To limit or prevent damage, consumers can keep their cars covered when not in use, in a garage or carport, or underneath a fabric covering. Additionally, applying regular coats ofpolish and wax help to prevent oxidation occurring. For cars where paint oxidation is already present, consumers need to perform a restoration process as soon as possible to limit further damage.

Wash the vehicle thoroughly using car shampoo or dish washing liquid. Coat the vehicle in clay bar lubricant, then, using an inexpensive clay bar, glide the bar over the paintwork. This removes embedded surface contaminants and dead paint. Use overlapping sweeps up and down. Use a dry cloth or towel to remove excess lubricant. Polish the exterior of the vehicle with cutting polish, or cutting compound. To speed up the process, use a car polishing machine. After applying the cutting polish, apply a coat of finishing polish. The final step is to add a coat of quality paint sealant, being sure to cover all the paintwork. This restores the paintwork to its original appearance.

How to Fix Paint Chip

Paint chips can occur at any point and there is little consumers can do to avoid them. However, chipped paint is unsightly and also, if the chip is deep enough, exposes small portions of the metal to the elements, encouraging oxidation and corrosion. Before beginning the restoration, consumers must acquire touch up paint that exactly matches the colour of their vehicle. All vehicles have a paint colour code on a sticker somewhere on the body. Shoppers can also find it in their vehicle manual. Getting even a slightly wrong shade produces a patchy, shoddy finish.

Begin by using an alcohol-based cleaner and a soft cloth to clean the chip and the surrounding area, removing all traces of dirt and contaminants to provide an appropriate surface for the paint to adhere to. Shake the touch-up paint thoroughly, unscrew it, and dip a wooden barbecue skewer or toothpick inside. Get a small amount of paint on the toothpick or skewer and place the toothpick in the centre of the chipped area. The paint runs down the stick and fills in the area. Use a hair dryer on a medium setting to dry the paint. Repeat this process until the chip is full of paint, bulging just above the surface. After the final layer is dry, sand the area lightly with fine grain sandpaper until it is smooth. Then polish with a small amount of wax.

How to Fix a Scratch on a Car

If the item that scratches the car is softer than the paintwork, it transfers colour or paint onto the car. These marks appear to be scratches but in actual fact consumers can simply clean these offending marks away with car shampoo and polish. If the object is harder than the paintwork of the vehicle, paint transfers from the vehicle to the object, leaving a scratch that requires more intensive restoration.

Clean the scratch and the surrounding area, removing all dirt, grime, and debris. Take a shoe polish that contrasts to the colour of the vehicle, for example, on a white car, use black shoe polish. Fill the scratch with shoe polish using a soft cloth and wipe away any polish that gets onto the surrounding area. Use wet and dry sandpaper over a wooden block. Take a bowl of cold water and add three drops of dishwashing soap. Dip the sandpaper block into the mixture to improve the cutting action. Sand over the scratch in short strokes. Sand from multiple directions at a 60 degree angle to the scratch. Frequently wash off the sandpaper in the water. When the shoe polish in the scratch disappears, buff the area using a soft cloth and rubbing compound, and polish using car wax.


There are numerous restoration processes for car paint. Each process corrects a different issue and requires a range of different supplies.


Items Required

Paint Oxidation

Car shampoo

Clay bar lubricant

Clay bar

Dry cloth

Cutting polish

Car polishing machine

Finishing polish


Paint Chip

Touch up paint

Alcohol-based cleaner

Soft cloth


Hair dryer


Car wax

Paint Scratch

Shoe polish

Wet dry sandpaper

Dishwashing soap

Wooden block

Rubbing compound

Car wax

Consumers must make sure they have everything they need to complete the restoration before they begin. When planning a restoration, shoppers need certain products, such as touch up paint, that are suited to their specific vehicle for a successful restoration.

How to Buy Car Paint Restoration Products on eBay

Reputable eBay sellers offer a whole host of car paint restoration products at competitive prices, all of which are easy to find with a quick search from any eBay page. You can browse through the many different offerings or narrow your search using specific product brands or models, and further narrow your search criteria using the search filters. Take a look at the offerings from

eBay Deals

where you can find great savings on restoration products. Whether your car is vintage or contemporary, there are a number of simple processes you can perform to restore the paintwork, breathing new life and shine into a tired exterior, as well as filling chips and scratches.

Have something to share, create your own Guide... Write a Guide
Explore more Guides