Have you recently given your vehicle a new paint job or had auto body repairs performed? If so, you are probably wanting to maintain that beautiful shine. Whether your vehicle is new, or only the paint is, you want to keep the appearance in the best condition as possible.

Chances are, you take the time to clean the interior of your vehicle and you maintain the mechanics of it too but do not forget about your vehicle’s exterior.

A fresh paint job always looks amazing, but how do you keep it looking that way? Everyone has a busy schedule, between family, work, vacation, shopping, personal hobbies, and every other trip you make, you are likely to experience some wear.

Luckily, there are ways to keep that new paint looking shiny and vivid. Read on for six tips to help maintain its shine.

1. Do It Yourself

If you want to keep your car shiny and beautiful, stay away from car washes. While this may seem ridiculous, check this out.
Car washes are convenient and quick, but they can also be damaging, especially to your car’s paint. The brushes used during cleaning can be too rough for your vehicle’s paint. The brushes may even contain sand and other harmful abrasives that can scratch your car’s paint and the harsh chemicals used can be harmful too.

Car washes may also use salt water in the cleaning process. Salt is harmful to your vehicle, so you want to avoid that.

Instead, clean the car yourself so you can monitor exactly what cleaning tools and products are used.

Once finished, protect your car’s paint with a good carnauba wax. We highly recommend visiting your local auto parts store and see which products and tools they recommend.

2. Conditioner, Wax, and Clay

Each of the substances can help to maintain your car’s beautiful paint job. Just make sure you are applying them to the right paint and doing it correctly. There are lots of great tutorial videos on YouTube.

Like the say goes, quality wax is your car’s best friend. Car wax is a lot like a clear coat of nail polish or that final sealant on your wooden fence or deck. Not only does it provide protection against the elements, but also from daily wear and tear.

For example, when your fingernails or something brushes against your car, it is putting a strain on the finish. Dropping things on the surface, heavy usage, and even well-intentioned cleaning all contribute to the final condition. With a wax layer in place, you are not directly impacting the underlying paint foundation but only interacting with the wax.

Clay helps you dig deeper as you clean, getting that extra grime off that you cannot reach with regular cleaning.

Waxes, polishes, and clays should not be used on cars coated in acrylic paint. Instead, use a paint conditioner to keep that exterior looking its best. Paint conditioner should be non-abrasive and will help protect the paint.

3. Provide Physical Protection

Vehicles get beat up enough when they are on the road, they do not need it at home too! So, when your vehicle is parked, protect your vehicle. Protect it even if you will only be parking for a short time.

Vehicles are constantly exposed to dirt, rocks, salt, and other substances. Storing your vehicle incorrectly can increase your vehicle’s exposure to all those harmful things that will wear away at your paint job.

Parking beneath trees brings the risk of damage from sap or other tree residues, bird droppings, leaves, insects, branches, and even contact with small animals.

If you park in direct sunlight you risk damage to your car’s paint as well. Instead, keep your vehicle in the shade, preferably under a physical structure, like a carport or garage. Direct sunlight can negatively affect not only your exterior but interior as well.

4. Stay on Top of Scratches

Small dings and scratches are common, but they do not have to be an issue. Just make sure you properly take care of them when they show upon your vehicle.

Fix any scratches as soon as you find them to prevent further damage. Depending on the type and depth of scratches, touch-up paint, a rubbing compound, and sanding may be needed.

While you can work to eliminate scratches your vehicle, you may want to consult a professional for any serious scratches. If you are worried about ruining the paint, it is always best to ask for help. To see if your scratches are severe, run your fingernail across the scratch. If your nail glides across the scratch without catching in it, it is a minor scratch that can be polished out. But if the scratch catches your fingernail, it is a job for an auto body repair shop.

5. Keep Your Vehicle Clean

One of the best ways to keep your paint job looking fantastic is to simply clean your car. It may sound too simple but cleaning really is key. The substances your vehicle is constantly exposed to can eat away at the paint your car, so keep that gunk off as well as you can.

Dirt, salt, bird droppings, insect guts, road tar, and gasoline or other chemicals that may be thrown up onto your vehicle need to be cleaned off regularly.

Keeping your vehicle clean will help maintain a beautiful paint job, and keep you feeling awesome since your car will look awesome.

6. Be Careful How You Clean

As you clean your car, be careful how you do it. Avoid scrubbing or wiping in circular motions. Doing so can leave swirl marks on your car if any particles are stuck in the tool you are cleaning with.

Choosing the right cleaning tools is important, too. Cheap sponges and rags can damage your paint, so stay away from them! Microfiber cloths are a much better option.

Apart from choosing the right cleaning tools, you also need to use the right cleaning substances. Simple vehicle specific soap and water is the best way to wash!

Use cleaning products that are made for cars and the type of paint your car has. Dish soap and other detergents not specifically for cars can be harmful to your car’s paint, due to the chemicals involved.

A good car washing product will both clean and protect your car’s paint.

Long Lasting Paint Job

No paint will last forever, but you can keep that fresh paint job looking great for longer periods of time if you take care of it properly.

Whether you want to keep up your vehicle’s resale value, or you simply want to keep the car looking beautiful for visual appeal alone, focusing on paint protection is a good thing.

Do not just maintain the inner workings of your car! Take care of the exterior too. Please keep these simple tips in mind and you will be well on your way to maintaining a great paint job.

Are you looking to repaint or get some auto body repairs performed on your car? We would love to help. Visit our site to learn more about our services, including custom paint jobs.