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Why is my paintwork looking dull?

Is you car looking dull or flat? perhaps your car looks like it has lost its shine leaving you with a hazy, matte appearance. This is called oxidisation, and it can be fixed.

Oxidisation occurs to all paint surfaces – some faster than others. Essentially it is the breaking down of paint molecules, and loss of oil content due to the exposure of air, sun and weather. In Australia, the harsh sunlight can speed up the oxidisation process, fading car paint colour and deteriorating the clear coat protecting your car.

Signs of Car Oxidisation

  • Dull paintwork
  • Colour has become faded
  • Chalky appearance
  • Patches of paint have dissolved (severe car oxidisation)
  • Paint feels rough
  • Clear coat is peeling off (severe car oxidisation)

AutoSmart Tip:

The best solution is always early intervention.
Identify dull paintwork early to cut it back and apply a protective coating to prevent long term damage to your car’s surface

Can dull paintwork be restored

In most cases, your dull car paintwork can be restored to a wonderfully gleaming finish that you can be proud of. Reconditioning dull paintwork can be done at home and will not only give you visually pleasing results it will also help to protect your car against corrosive rust.

Fixing car oxidisation will require a few steps to achieve the best long-lasting results. However if you car has reached severe car oxidisation where your paintwork has peeled to expose the undercoat then you will be best chatting to a panel beater.

How to fix car oxidisation

How to fix dull car paint

How to restore your car’s shine

  1. Wash your car surface

    Using a pure car shampoo, clean the surface thoroughly removing dirt and grime

  2. Remove contaminants

    Using a clay bar remove stubborn dirt and bug residue

  3. Apply a Cutting Compound

    Choose a cutting compound that will suit your car’s age and the surface condition. See table below

  4. Apply a protective polish

    Use a quality car polish such as the AutoSmart Platinum to give you a long lasting shine. This polish will also protect your paint surface for up to 6 months.

What products to use to repair paintwork

Low Oxidisation
Loss of shine
Medium Oxidisation
Loss of Shine, Dull colour
High Oxidisation
Dull surface, Chalky Appearance
AutoSmart Mirror Image, Luxury Wax PolishClay BarClay Bar
AutoSmart Platinum PolishEvo + Adaptive Medium Cutting CompoundAutoSmart Mirror Image
Evo 1 Fine cutting compoundSophisticut
AutoSmart Mirror Image

Preventing paint oxidising

There are a few preventative measures you can take to maintain your car shine. The first and foremost is the regular use of polish to protect your car’s clear coat. Even a new car will require regular polish protectants. As long as you are using the correct products for your car surface you can do this yourself at home.

As the breakdown in clear coat and paintwork is sped up by environmental exposure, it is recommended to keep your car undercover where possible. Many people choose to even store their car under a car cover.