Restoring Sun Damaged Paint

January 26, 2016

This one has a little bit of a story with it and truthfully, a bit of heart break as this is my personal vehicle.
My beloved Holden VS S Pack Ute.

Let’s go back a couple of weeks, to Christmas eve, I was more than happy to be out detailing one of our regular client’s cars so close to the holidays, although being in Australia, it was quite a hot day.

I finish packing up my detailing equipment and park the customer’s car in their garage. Now, I love detailing cars, but it was Christmas eve, it was hot and I was done for the day. So you can imagine that there was not much more going through my head than ‘home’.

Shine Obsession - Prestige Automotive Detailing

I was also thinking “My car looks good today.” and snapped this.

I started to head home and about 15 minutes later disaster struck…

Shine Obsession - Prestige Automotive Detailing

The disaster!

I was at an intersection, checking each way and as I looked forward, I heard it..


The four wheel drive in front of me had rolled backwards on the slightest of hills and hit right in the front! Before I could process what happened, I caught the last glimpse of the four wheel drive speeding off around the corner. I sadly didn’t see the number plate either.

I came home absolutely fuming mad, after calming down I got straight on the phone and low and behold, the local wreckers had a few white VS Commodores!

Shine Obsession - Prestige Automotive Detailing

ASAP I got my hands on the best white panel in the wrecking yard.

I quickly got myself a new panel, indicator and bumper. Just the kind of expense you’d love to have just days after Christmas!
Thankfully, before becoming a detailer I was a mechanic so I could save the time and labour by doing the repair myself. A big thanks to my father for helping me at the wreckers, there’s no shade there so an extra pair of hands is great!

But with the damage repaired there came a new issue.

Shine Obsession - Prestige Automotive Detailing

The new panel was absolutely filthy!

The new panel was sun damaged, covered in greasy hand prints, dirt and tiny scratches. It had been sitting in the elements for so long that there was no wax, sealant or anything to protect the paint. This is what detailers call naked paint. Meaning that there is no form of protection on the paint, just the top layer of clear coat exposed to the elements.

Shine Obsession - Prestige Automotive Detailing

‘Naked’ Paint vs Protected Paint

Here you can see the new panel after a wash, it’s much cleaner, but notice the insert? That is the driver’s front quarter panel. It has been coated with a polymer based paint sealant (Primo Amigo) and then covered with Meguiars Carnuba wax. Both of these have hydrophobic properties meaning that they repel water and a whole bunch of other nasty stuff, as you can see from the water beads on the surface.

Think of car wax like your clothes, sure you can get by for a while at a time without them, but it’s really nice to have that extra bit of protection, especially in the harsh conditions of Australia. UV Rays are incredibly harmful to our skin and they are very harmful to a cars paint too. This is why red cars seem to age faster, because the UV Rays will fade the paint faster than any other colour.

To rectify this, I gave the panel a multi stage paint correction with a machine polisher. First levelling the paint with cutting compound to knock down the larger scratches, followed by a lighter polish to remove any lighter scratches and any marring that may have been left by the cutting compound and a finishing polish to top it off.
I followed this up by applying Amigo by Prima, a polymer based sealant that preps the car for waxes and of course a double coat of Meguiars Gold Class Carnuba Wax for that deep, wet look shine.

I think she came up much better after restoring the sun damaged paint, you can see the result’s at the end of the video at the top of the post.
Or, you can watch it here on our YouTube channel, don’t forget to subscribe!

Shine Obsession – Prestige Automotive Detailing

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