How to Polish Faded Paint

How to Polish Faded Paint

Car polishing to restore a Faded finish

As the years pass your car’s finish takes its fair share of abuse. The abuse it takes from the sun can cause your paint to fade and become dull. Polishing your clear coat can bring back your shine
and give you that freshly painted look again.

This is an extremely faded finish. This poor Honda has been through a lot by the looks of things. In
other situations where you have a scratchy look or just a slight dullness a good polishing will make
it looks like new paint.

So here is what you need:

1500-2000 grit sandpaper (only if you need to remove scratches)
A polishing system that consists of :
a) Coarse Pad & Compound
b) Finishing Pad & Light Compound
c) Ultrafine Compound (optional)
d) Wax (optional)

If you need to remove scratches you can use your sandpaper to sand them flat. Your clear coat provides a certain amount of thickness that allows you to flatten the scratch out with the entire area. For more information look at our blog called “how polishing a scratch out works”. You would generally want to use your sandpaper wet but you don’t have to, it does cut much better, however.

Next, you will want to remove the haze created by your sandpaper, If you’re not sanding then your can just start polishing with your coarse pad and compound. In the photo above no sanding was done. The compounds we used here was by 3M, their extra cut with a white foam pad. Have a look at our polishing video\’s if you want to see how to polish, you can find them in our member’s video section. After a good going over with the coarse pad you will have a shine but with some light scratches where you polished.

To remove the scratches you will next need to follow it with a lighter compound and pad. We used 3M’s black foam pad with there swirl mark removed. After a good going over you could leave it there but you can still do better if you want. We went ahead with the 3M blue pad and there Ultrafina compound. Once that is completed you can apply wax to protect your finish(somewhat).

That’s all you need to do, the process doesn’t take long, you just need to grab a polishing system. Regardless of what system you chose you should be able to get satisfactory results by following the directions. I’ve heard so many people say they wanted a new paint job just to freshen up the car, they are apparently unfamiliar with what a good polisher can do!


Don’t forget we have over 100 videos on Car Painting including several on Polishing, Check out our video below and our Youtube Channel.