How to Remove Car Paint Oxidation

February 24, 2012

Car paint oxidation removal rarely requires a professional, just some spare time. Learn how to remove oxidation from car paint in 5 steps.

Car Paint Oxidation

Removing car paint oxidation is an easy DIY job that you can do in a couple of hours. Oxidation occurs when the paint is not properly protected, and it can leave your vehicle looking years older than it actually is, with an unsightly white or chalky film. You don't have to change the color of your car to clean up the oxidized areas, and it requires no car paint removal at all. A few supplies from the store, some towels and some elbow grease will have the old paint job looking as good as new in no time at all. You'll need the following tools and materials:

  • Soft towels
  • A cotton cloth or old t-shirt
  • A bucket with soap and water
  • Car polish
  • Rubbing compound
  • Polishing compound, paint protectant or car wax
  • A buffer machine (optional but recommended)

Find a Place to Work
Find a dry and shady place to work. It's best to work in an area that is out of direct sunlight and where the temperature is about 70 to 75 degrees. A large shade tree or a covered car port is an excellent place to remove the oxidized film from your vehicle.

Wash the Vehicle
Wash the vehicle to remove dirt and grime from the surface. Rinse the vehicle thoroughly and allow it to dry completely.

Remove the Chalky Film of Oxidation

Start out with the least abrasive polish or cleaner possible. Choose a high quality polish or cleaner made by a well-known manufacturer such as Klasse, Meguires or Zymol.

For really bad cases of oxidation, you may have to graduate to the use of a more powerful cleaner or even a rubbing compound to clean up oxidized finishes. Regardless of the type of polish, cleaner or compound, apply it in small areas and use a dry soft cloth to wipe away the polish. This requires a lot of elbow grease and you'll have to apply a lot of pressure to rub out the oxidization from your car's surface. It can also take quite a bit of time, depending how much residue from the oxidization is present.

Continue Buffing
After you begin rubbing out the oxidization with the appropriate type of polish or compound, occasionally change to a new towel and continue buffing the vehicle and until no trace of the white chalky film is left over. A buffer machine will make this task much easier, but one is not necessary to complete the job.

Wax the Vehicle
After you've thoroughly rubbed out all of the oxidized film from the vehicle surface, you can go about waxing your vehicle as you normally would. In order to avoid oxidization of your car's paint the future, make sure that you wax the vehicle at least once every couple of months or so.

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