How To Protect Car Paint & When To Repair It

Worker buffing shiny car

Given how important vehicle paint is for protecting your vehicle, it can be frustrating if you’ve accidentally scratched or marked the exterior. If a car’s paint is scratched or damaged, it can be vulnerable to further damage, and even rust.

In this article we’ll address the various methods of how to protect car paint, and perhaps more importantly – when to seek repair.

Car Paint Protection

There are various ways you can maintain a vehicle’s paint integrity. Simply being careful when in close proximity to your vehicle is not enough, as other factors such as weather, debris, accidents, and other people all can impact your car’s paint

Wash Your Car

Australia has quite harsh conditions for vehicles, especially in the coastal areas. Sun, salt, and bird poop are all common elements a car must endure, and all of these can impact the integrity of the paint. To ensure your car can withstand these factors, washing it regularly is a good start.

Car being cleaned with suds on it

Car Wax

After washing and drying your vehicle, wax is a great way to help maintain your vehicle’s paint. Along with helping your car stand out with its shiny surface, wax also gives your car paint a helping hand against the harsh Australian climate.

The duration the wax lasts will depend on the product quality, how well it was applied, and how often and where the car is driven. A general guide is to apply a fresh wax layer every three to four months.

Car Sealant

Excellent at protecting paint, this method is perfect for those who care about their vehicle’s exterior, but don’t have the time to frequently wash or wax their car. Sealant will make your car look more glossy, and usually lasts six to twelve months.

This method however can be quite intense, and will require considerable preparation before applying it. It can be best to leave this to the professionals.

Synthetic Coating

A liquid polymer coat, this form of protection is similar to sealant. Excellent at preventing paint fading, synthetic coating provides scratch and chemical resistance. Typically this coating will last for a few years, but can be difficult to apply yourself due to the preparation required.

Car Bra

A Car Bra is a front-end cover that protects the front of your vehicle from scratches, debris, and other elements. Typically made from vinyl, the cover attaches around the bumper and first half of the hood. 

Whilst an interesting concept, this proactive method can actually harm your car if left on for a long time, as the dust, dirt and other harmful materials will accumulate under the cover. Whilst driving, the cover moves, thus dragging these harmful materials across your paint.

car bra vehicle accessory

Car Covers & Parking

Only applicable when stationary, car covers provide excellent protection from the harsh environmental factors Australia poses. If you have a valuable car, a cover is a great idea to ensure external integrity. 

For those who aren’t as serious about their car, a more practical method to paint protection involves parking. Where possible, garages or carports are far better for your car than sitting out in the sun. Trees provide good shade, but be wary of bird poop, as it is extremely taxing on your vehicle’s paint due to the high acidic properties. 

Bird droppings on front of car

Car Paint Repair

Scratches and chips

Scratches and chips can be frustratingly hard to deal with. You’ll need a few things if you’re going to handle it yourself. Further, you need to be careful, as you can easily make it worse if you’re unsure of what you’re doing.

If you’re going to fix it yourself, it’s important to assess the scratch. If the primer is exposed, your process is far simpler than if the metal is exposed.

If the scratch is small, and the primer is still intact, the typical process will be:

  1. Wash and dry your car
  2. Apply the touch-up paint
  3. Apply multiple layers of clear coat
  4. Use very fine grit sandpaper to flatten the repaired area
  5. Apply a polish

If it’s a large scratch, or the scratch has impacted the primer, the process will be far more intensive, and it may be better to get a professional opinion.

rear bumper of car with scratch marks

Melting, Bubbling, Fading and Rusting

Through wear and tear, age, and damage, car paint will start to deteriorate. If your car paint has bubbled, faded, or rusted, you may need to consult a professional paint repairer to assess the best way to proceed. 

Wrapping Up Our Protection and Repair Article

Car paint is a fragile necessity to uphold your vehicle’s integrity. Through following just a few of the protection options laid out in this article, you will be able to ensure your car stays protected and looking good for the foreseeable future.

If your car has been marked or scratched, and you’d prefer to get it fixed by professionals, contact Adams Smash Repairs today.

Adams Smash Repair logo

Share this resource

Adams Smash Repairs worker folding his arms with two damaged cars lifted up

We pride ourselves on our outstanding customer service and quality workmanship, and that is why we are an MTA leading prestige vehicle repairer and the largest smash repairers on the Central Coast.