Paint is the pride of most car owners. People who own elite show cars know how far a quality paint job extends the value of their vehicle. Some of the professional paint jobs can achieve a higher luster than factory paint. However, paint is fragile. It is not hard for a rock, UV radiation, acid rain, or other elements to destroy a perfectly good finish. In order to keep your paint shining like new, we have come up with 10 paint hacks to ensure a lifetime of satisfaction.
The name WD-40 is an abbreviation for “Water Displacement formula #40.” Lucky for us, this secret formula is no longer a secret maintained in the hands of a few handy mechanics. Not only can you use WD-40 to displace water on spark plug wires and ignition coils, but you can also use it as a convenient bumper sticker removal tool. Simply spray on the solvent and let it do its magic. Use a plastic spatula to gently lift the bumper sticker and glue backing away. Always be sure to follow up with a gentle wash of soap and water to remove any solvent residue that can damage the paint if you let it soak in too long.
#2: Dryer Sheets
It can be a little disgusting to step out of your vehicle after a long trip on the roads and see a large bug collection built up on the grille and bumper. Take your bottle of water and dampen a dryer sheet to quickly remove these gunky bugs without any damage to your paint. The dryer sheet is so gentle that you will not even have to wash off any residue left behind. We can’t say the same about a bug and tar remover. And because dryer sheets smell nice and attract dust, you can also use them to dust your interior when they aren’t being used to debug your car.
#3: Nail polish
Women love shopping for nail polish and going to the salon for a manicure or pedicure. Yet, nail polish has additional properties. It works in a pinch to heal any minor scratches or blemishes in your car paint. You can use a clear nail polish gloss to simply cover any scratch (and reduce the chances of oxidation) or a color-matched polish as touch-up paint. Red nail polish is particularly useful for mechanics when they need to make marks on timing belts or other dark engine parts during repairs.
It turns out that vodka is not just good for warming your mouth on a cold winter’s day. Vodka also makes a great cleaning solution. Next time you decide to wash your car, why not pour in some vodka to achieve a cleaner clean? When you clean your paint using two different types of solvents, soap and alcohol, you can lift away grease and dirt in one shot without having to take a double take. And when you are done washing your car, you can have a few shots with some orange juice and think about why they call it a screwdriver as you stare at your screwdriver set.
#5: Foam Brush
It turns out that foam brushes have more benefits than mopping floors. You can use a foam brush to gently scrub the surface of your vehicle clean. Although it is preferable to use a lubricious car soap and water to whisk most of the dirt particles away without any pressure or contact, a foam brush can help work out some tough spots without marrying your showroom finish.
#6: Clay Bar
Although the modern clay bars sold in stores aren’t made of clay anymore, claying is a method of deep cleaning your paint job. The clay essentially acts as a superglue to pull out the contaminants from the micropores in your paint. You will see the clay darken as you gently glide it over each section of your vehicle. Clay bars require a lubricant to keep the surface of the paint moist while you gently glide it back and forth and turn it over to keep it fresh. It is an easy way to make your paint look vivid and sparkling again.
There are times when you may develop scuffs on your paint. Dark marks and other residues can be hard to remove with a regular car washing. Luckily, toothpaste is cheap and readily available to gently scrub those stubborn stains away. You can even use your old toothbrush if it is really caked on there and set in. You should change your toothbrush every few months, anyhow, and will benefit from a replacement.
As ridiculous as it may sound, your toilet plunger is a secret body shop tool. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars to pop out some soft dents in your door panels or body, you can simply pump them out with a toilet plunger. The trick is to apply a solution of hot soapy water to get a good seal on the metal. Then, you pump the plunger and just keep going until that dent goes back into its natural form.
For harder dents, you may want to use an implement to get behind the panels. This may involve removing some panels but is usually a pretty straightforward job. If these tricks don’t work, you can always call a Panel Beater Brisbane.
#9: Parallel Buffing
Although many people use a circular motion to buff the excess Carnauba wax off their vehicles, straight lines are preferable. Even if an orbital polisher has the speed to buff out a high luster, finishing the job with parallel lines will remove even subtle striations and refract the light better.
#10: Spray Paint Small Defects
Nowadays, you can find custom-formulated spray paint in a can that matches your exact car paint color code. They even sell a high-quality sandable primer and high-gloss clear coat. Sometimes, you can even order the canned spray paint directly from the dealer. However, the key difference between spray paint and professional paint is that the spray paint lacks a hardener and is, therefore, less durable.