drying car with a clothYour car just got repainted and it’s looking good as new! Perhaps the exterior was starting to look worn or you were in an accident and needed to have the panels repainted. Whatever your reason for the new paint job, you want your car to appear fresh and flawless for as long as possible.

After a new traditional or spray booth paint job, consider these tips to keep the surface protected from scratches and fading.

Wash the Car By Hand

In the first two weeks after new paint is applied, avoid washing the car. The paint needs time to cure and water and soap can disrupt this process.

After two weeks have passed, you’ll want to be gentle. Only wash the car by hand, as the brushes at a professional carwash can leave scratches and textured patches.

Use a soft microfiber cloth or sponge and mild car soap to clean the surface to remove any dust, sap and bird droppings. Afterwards, thoroughly rinse and dry off the car with a lint-free towel to remove any residue without leaving marks.

From here, get in the habit of washing your car by hand once a week. After a couple months, you can reduce that to once per month. Your paint will be kept free of dirt and other debris, won’t get scratched and will be protected against rust.

Avoid Dry Wiping the Surface

When wiping down your car, never use a rag to clean the surface after it was recently painted. If you’re worried that a layer of pollen or dust will affect the paint, simply rinse off the surface with water.

This also applies when a stronger, more damaging fluid comes in contact with the surface, including gasoline, oil and antifreeze.

Take Care in Seasonal Weather

In Connecticut we see cold, snow-covered winters and hot, humid summers. When cleaning off a newly painted car in the winter, avoid a scraper that could leave marks and take care with any snow brushes or brooms. It’s better to let the car defrost before you gently brush away accumulation.

By summer, ultraviolet rays can fade your car’s paint job, causing it to look older than it is. If you don’t own a garage, find a shaded area to park your car or place a cover on top to protect against the sun.

Extreme temperatures can damage the paint on your car within the first 30 days of application. As one tip, wait until the weather is mild to have your car painted. Avoid the coldest days of winter and the hottest days of summer.

Avoid Trees

Do not park your repainted car under a tree, as sap and bird droppings can mar the surface and eat through the new coat. If this is not an option where you live, have a cover ready for your vehicle.

Stay Away from Gravel

Any surface with loose rocks, including gravel and recently applied asphalt, should be avoided. Driving over this material can kick up stones, which can chip the paint at the bottom of your vehicle.

Not only does this affect your new paint job but if the metal underneath is exposed, rust may start to form, especially once you start driving in winter weather. Get all chips and scratches touched up as soon as possible and have the area waxed over to protect it from oxidation.

Take Care With Waxing Your Car

While waxing has been considered the default way to maintain your vehicle’s appearance, you’ll want to hold off after your car gets painted.

For one, avoid any wax during the first 90 days, as the paint still needs time to harden. Two months after application, the paint should be firm enough and all solvents and water evaporated. At this point, you’ll want to apply a carnauba-based wax to the surface to protect it against UV rays, moisture and minor scratches. From here, wax the surface every three weeks.
For auto painting and professional waxing, turn to DaSilva’s Auto Body in Naugatuck. Contact us today to make an appointment today.