Leveraging on our car care expertise, one of the major purposes of your car’s paintwork is to retain the freshness and new appearance/gloss whilst protecting your car from harm caused by environmental elements. This layer in particular, is called your clear coat, car clear coat is a protective layer of transparent paint that is applied over the color coat of a car’s exterior finish. It is designed to protect the underlying paint from damage caused by UV rays, harsh weather conditions, and debris. Clear coat also gives the car a glossy and smooth finish, enhancing its appearance and providing a durable and long-lasting protective barrier.
Over time your car will get damaged and impact the look and feel of your vehicle just as your common everyday wear and tear takes place from driving, parking outdoors, pollution and what not. At times like this, our investigations demonstrate that you would require some degree of car paint repair and there are quite a few techniques that fall under this category.
The process for car paint repair will depend on the severity of the damage, specifically how deep and how long it has been damaged for. Unlike your car headliner which can be easily replaced with a new one, your paintwork is significantly harder to address since you just can’t simply fit a ‘new’ paint like that. It needs to be treated properly, corrected and recoated.
Implementing our prior understanding, it is best to assess your car’s current condition in order to determine the best practice for addressing these blemishes on the paintwork. Are we dealing with swirl marks, peeling clear coat, fading/dullness, oxidation, stone chips and so on? All of which will require a different means of action. Furthermore, the last thing you need, is paying a huge sum to rectify the issue only to discover that the problem is still there – a waste of time and money. Nevertheless, allow us to share our insight into this matter so that you can tackle your car’s paintwork with the appropriate service.
As stated earlier, the damage will decide the car paint repair process. When the paint starts to peel, often this is the protective clear coat, you can fix it with a car respray. A respray service will include removing leftover clear coat that is remaining on the car and applying a new layer of clear coat across the paintwork. In some heavy scenarios, it may be necessary to reapply a new coating of paint on top before protecting it with a layer of clear coat (which of course, becomes more costly).
You can easily identify this when you begin to see signs of flakiness and peeling across the paintwork. This is often a severe case whereby a car detail will not be able to fix through a machine polish. A machine polish or buff, is to refine the clear coat and minimize blemishes, although in this case, if the clear coat is flaking and peeling, there is not a surface for the machine polish to operate with, it would most likely shave off all the remaining protective clear coat. You would need to seek a respray service from a Panel Beater or Auto Spray Painter. This process typically is the most expensive form of treatment and is best to avoid this by dealing with paint issues during its early onset; don’t leave paint damage or blemishes unattended for long.
Cars affected by overspray, should consider overspray removal at its earliest to reduce the likelihood of the contaminant penetrating deeper into the clear coat causing further potential, permanent damage.
When would you use a respray service for car paint repair?
A) Peeling, cracked or flaky clear coat – generally caused by sun damage over time (note: darker coloured cars are more prone to sun damage as they attract more heat).
B) Deep scratches – keyed marks, side swipes,
B) Paint is missing due to collision/abrasion/scratches or stone chips
Car Detailing – Machine Polishing/Buffing
A car detailer may use a machine polish to restore the new look and freshness of your vehicle’s paintwork. But it will not fix peeling and deep scratches as noted above. The machine polish will include the use of a Machine Polisher combined with the use of the appropriate foam pad that has been primed with the ideal compound/polishing liquid. It is worth noting that there are many different combinations that can be used to tackle each car depending on severity.
A machine polish will reduce the visibility of blemishes by sanding them down, but the damage will be there, given that the scratches are deep. Hence, you can consider respraying to address more extensive paint damage. Respraying can be ideal for all those imperfections that impact the look significantly, but do note that this is the most expensive option. A machine polish is a very cost-effective solution to deal with blemishes that are on the clear coat, anything that has penetrated beyond the clear coat, will most likely fall in the category of respraying. The machine polish is a fantastic way to minimize blemishes and ultimately refine the finish of your car’s paintwork to restore that glossy finish, again.
When would you use a machine polish/exterior car detailing service?
A) Dull faded paint caused by oxidation – common colours affected include red and white cars
B) Swirl marks on the car’s paint
C) Paint transfer – sometimes if the damage is very minimal during a car side swipe, you can machine polish the paint that has transferred from the other car to yours.
D) To restore gloss and shine
E) To assist with some deep contamination stains – tree sap, bird droppings, water marks etc
After Repair, Is It Best to Protect It?
As indicated by our test, without a doubt, a 100% yes!
If you have ever encountered peeling paintwork or had the need to respray the car, it is such a nightmare experience to go through. The cost to repair, the time lost and inconvenience caused in having to be without your car for quite some time, then finally having to wait months for the clear coat to completely cure. If you could avoid all this pain, why would you not protect your car’s paintwork?
In applying a paint protection, you will protect the paint to boost its longevity and maintain the new look after repair. You can have a quality paint protection product to protect the paint, but not all paint protection are the same. Paint protection is a very broad term and some of the common forms will include:
A) car wax or car sealant
B) nanotechnology paint protection – ceramic and graphene coatings (the latter being better)
C) paint protection film
It will act as a protective layer and repel grime and dirt, making the cleaning and maintenance process that much easier. You can install a paint protection film known as PPF to protect the car paint from harder damage, although it does not reflect the same level of gloss and shine to nanotechnology paint protection. Wax and sealants do provide some protection, but no way near the level of ceramic and graphene coatings and paint protection film. PPF will set you back the most as it is able to withstand heavier abrasion compared to ceramic and graphene coatings. Accessing our history of previous installations, ceramic and graphene coatings are generally the best valued and most popular option as it is able to deliver excellent protection with immense levels of gloss and colour depth. It is the best of both worlds, achieving that extreme colour depth/gloss with the boosted hardness and resistance.
Applying protection is a mandatory process that should be considered for all cars, especially those that are parked outdoors or driven frequently
TIP: Many avoid drying their car since they believe that the vehicle will dry up without additional attention. However, moisture presence will cause water spots and make your vehicle susceptible to water damage as the water evaporates, dirt and minerals begin to crystallise onto your car. You can avoid these conditions by drying up your car right after washing or any contact with moisture with a clean microfibre towel. This is where paint protection comes into play, it helps to reduce the cohesion of water marks to your paintwork with this protective and hydrophobic barrier.
So, a Brief Recap of Types of Paint Damage and Which Ones Can Be Fixed with a Machine Polish vs a Car Respray
All the above methods can protect your car’s paint from harmful elements. However, you can choose the right product and way based on your car and living conditions. The car’s paint is vulnerable to many things, including acid, ultraviolet fading, bird lime, bird poop, and rain etching. All these will cause dull spots and uneven marks on your vehicle. You can prevent all those possibilities with an additional layer and extra effort.
Your car paint can witness different types of damage as noted above and cause the following signs of damage on your car, including sun damage, swirls, paint oxidation, bird dropping, paint fading, paint peeling, deep scratches, and water spots. You can address most minor issues with a machine polishing car paint repair process by a skilled car detailer. However, peeling and deep scratches might require respraying. You can avoid most of these damages by adding a layer of protection to the paint and obviously regularly washing/cleaning your car – consistency is key. A simple addition can protect your car paint from external elements and avoid all the hassles associated with polishing and respraying.
Schmicko Mobile Car Wash & Detailing is Sydney’s favourite local on-demand booking platform for car wash and detailing services. Our technicians arrive fully equipped and ready to wow you with an amazing car detail. Feel free to ask our Detailers for car care advice. Servicing all of Sydney, we operate 7 days a week ensuring that we can fit your car cleaning schedule and needs. We have the perfect packages just for you, from your basic car wash to your full pre-sale car detail, which includes waxing, buffing, polishing, ceramic coating, paint protection, shampooing, minimising car scratches, overspray removal and so on. .
Car Care Advice For The Everyday Driver & Enthusiast
As a seasoned author on our team, Chester also known as ‘Gadget’, for his love for all things mechanical, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table, particularly when it comes to automotive topics.