How to Make Dull Paint Shine on Car

Published by Jeff Torres

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How to Make Dull Paint Shine on Car

How to Make Dull Paint Shine on Car

Dull car paint? Scratched surface? This hurts so bad if your vehicle is pretty new.

Over time, the car’s color may get damaged, especially if you are not garaging the car and it is exposed to external factors.

If you are facing this kind of situation, we will give you the best advice and guidance on how to make dull paint shine on car again.

How to Make Dull Paint Shine on Car

What Causes the Paint to Dull?

Your car needs treatments more often than you thought. If you are not that responsible, the paint will dull, and your car will lose its shine.

The top factors that make your paint dull are:

Contamination – environmental compounds

Contamination may come in different shapes. For example, environmental compounds like acidic rain, bird droppings, tree sap, bug residue, and even dirt debris can damage the car’s surface and make a dull appearance, damaging its shine.

Keeping your car contaminated for longer will damage the paint and make it dull. Practice car wash more often if you want your vehicle to appear shiny for longer.

UV rays

Keeping your car outside can also contribute to dulling paint. Long exposure to UV rays and sunlight causes paint damage and makes it look faded. UV rays affect the paint pigmentation and break it down.

This process causes oxidation, and the car becomes visibly dull over time. In extreme cases, the paint may start peeling off and damage the car’s surface.

Corrosion or oxidation

Roads are covered with salt and sand during winters. It prevents slippery roads but damages the car’s surface at the same time. If you do not wash the car often in winters, the salt will get in reaction with oxygen and cause corrosion.

Keeping your car unwashed for longer during winter can contribute to fading paint or entirely paint breaking down.

Harsh chemicals

Washing your car often is also not that “healthy” for the car’s paint and surface. Some car washes use harsh chemicals for cleaning that, in some cases, ruin the paint or damage the clear coat.

Even a tiny scratch can absorb the chemicals and allow them to enter below the clear coat, making it peel and damage the color.

To prevent this situation, ensure that the car wash center that takes care of your car uses standard cleaning products for cars and suitable equipment and tools.

Scratches and other physical damages

Many external factors can scratch your car’s surface, but it is not that visible. Scratch by scratch, the clear top may damage and allow the scratches to affect the car’s paint. This may allow external contaminants to enter underneath the clear top and damage the paint.

If you are not polishing your car, these scratches may let the contaminants oxidate and damage the paint, making it dull and shineless.

How to Make Dull Paint Shine on Car? 

Step 1

Always begin the process by washing your car and removing all the dirt on the surface. It is best to wash the car under shade to prevent water spots. Use soaps and solutions for cars and ensure they are free of chemicals that can damage the car surface additionally.

If you are not that equipped, bring your car to a washing center and allow professionals to do it instead of you. Ensure that the surface is completely dry and wipe it with a soft towel if it is not. Park the car in the shade and let the surface cool down before beginning the process.

Step 2

Get a clay bar and remove the dirt that entered deeper into the surface, and remove the dead paint. The clay bar will remove all stubborn contaminants from the surface and give the paint a glossy finish.

Clay bars are gentle for the surface, non-abrasive, and can not damage a car’s exterior. When you are done with the clay bar treatment, wipe the surface with a microfiber towel. Allow the clay to dry completely before jumping into the next step.

Step 3

This process requires a dual action polisher. Choose a buffing pad to polish the surface. This tool allows you to wax and polish the surface effectively. The polisher’s motion prevents color burning and removal.

Apply the quarter-sized rubbing solution to the pad and begin the process. It is good to start with the front of the car and go to the backside. Keep in mind to choose the right cleaning pad based on the outcome you aim for.

Step 4

Once you are done with the first polish, use the polisher in small circular motions and make it fast. Do not stay in one spot for a long time. This process will allow you to see the result. You can add more solution in the needed spots and polish it until it becomes shiny.

Step 5

The final step requires switching the buffing pad with a polishing pad. Replace the rubbing solution with car polish and repeat the process on the whole car surface. The effect will be quite visible, and your car will start shining like brand new!

Related: How to Remove Adhesive From Car Paint

Extra Tips to Prevent Your Car Paint From Fading

Extra Tips to Prevent Your Car Paint From Fading

Check these tips to keep your car’s shiny appearance for longer:

  • Park your car under shade or in a garage to prevent long UV ray exposure
  • Use car cover if you do not have a shady spot in your yard or garage
  • Wash the car regularly to maintain a clean exterior
  • Do not use dish soap or other detergents from the household
  • Wax and polish the surface occasionally; do not do it often because it may also damage the clear coat and paint
  • Be careful with plastic parts on the surface; the paint there is thinner, and they oxidize faster than on metal surfaces
  • If you are unsure about home polishing, ask a professional to do that instead


Try to prevent your car’s paint from getting dull by detecting the causes that make it get so. This is the better choice that will save you time and calm your nerves. However, there is nothing wrong with giving your car a wash, wax, and buff to get rid of that dull paint and make it shine even more.

We hope that the guide helped you return your car’s shine. You can recommend the process to your friends and family if they need help with how to make dull paint shine on car.

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