Car BuyingCar Maintenance

How to Look After Car Paintwork and Check a Paintjob

Learn how to look after your cars paintwork like a professional and how to inspect any other paintwork too with the right equipment. A car’s paintwork says a lot about how it’s being looked after. It has a huge impact on the resale value of the vehicle, of the car’s overall condition, and on the paint work’s future health. There’s never been a better time to start protecting and taking care of your car’s paintwork, and with the right expertise behind you, it’s easier than ever too.

Whether you’re trying to protect the paintwork on a brand new car, or simply retain your car’s value for as long as possible, preventing any current issues from worsening. Whatever your situation, we have the know-how to help.

These are the best tips in the industry for looking after your car’s paintwork and keeping it in tiptop shape, and it’s essential to use them all on a regular long term basis. See how to check paint thickness.

Wash Weekly

Firstly, you need to wash your car weekly. When we say wash your car, it’s worth noting here that hand washing is always the best bet. If hand washing isn’t possible or practical, then, of course, other means work too. Using a jet washer is a very common and very safe example, but remember, they have a huge amount of force behind them. Always keep a safe distance, or you might actually do damage to your car’s paintwork rather than helping to protect it.

Machine car washes tend to be quite bad for paintwork in the long run. They use cheap cleaning solutions that have potentially damaging pH levels to your paint. They also tend to use dirty cloths, sponges, and rollers, since they’re used on mass. That’s never good news if you want a thorough clean.

In an ideal world, you want to be using a moderate solution of soap and water every week, preventing build up of debris and dirt (especially bird droppings), and making sure everything is squeaky clean.

Wax Routinely, Polish When Needed

Waxing is another highly recommended service to protect and take the best care of a car’s paintwork. Waxing routinely means that your car will be in the best position to battle against any weather conditions, providing ample cover to the paintwork no matter what conditions the car may face.

For lighter use vehicles, quarterly waxing seems to be the best fit, however, for regular motorway users or drivers in harsher climates, even monthly can be a good fit. It all depends on you and your vehicle.

Polishing, however, is quite different. Polishing helps to remove small scratches from the paintwork. It uses slight abrasion on a tiny level to clean the paintwork without damaging it. This can do wonders for any imperfections you might spot but isn’t something that needs to be done very often. Overuse can do more bad than good.

Use the Right Materials

On top of carrying out the right tasks at the right times, it’s also just as important to note that to truly protect your car’s paintwork, you also need to be using the right tools and materials for the job. That’s not quite as easy as it first seems. How to clean interior.

Using the correct distance for jetwashes is something that we have covered for example. As is the use of cheap and contrasting pH level cleaning solutions that can damage your paintwork. Even on top of these, however, there’s more still.

Using poor quality materials like cloths and sponges too, especially if unclean can wreak havoc on your paint condition. It prevents a thorough clean from being carried out and leaves your paintwork covered in previous dirt. Using abrasive materials too, is another hazard, even if accidental, and it’s all the more reason why it’s a good idea to get a proper car washing collection.

Dealing With Damaged Paintwork

If your car’s paintwork should ever be damaged, there a number of different ways you can do about dealing with it. Choosing the best one all comes down to what you need from the repair, and to what extent the damage is that has taken place.

Paint Pens

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to repair your car’s paintwork is with a paint pen. These nifty devices are finetuned to your car’s exact colour by your manufacturer. They then allow you to finely cover any damaged areas, if light, and therefore become practically unnoticeable.

Bodywork Garages

For larger issues, or issues that require an expert touch even if that just involves the use of a paint pen, bodywork specialists may be needed. These locations often have their own garage and can deal with paintwork, dents, and scratches.

Insurance Calls

It’s not unheard of for car’s especially extremely valuable cars, to be written off because of cosmetic damage dealt to the paintwork. For whatever reason, if the paintwork on your car is damaged, it’s also possible to call your insurance company and see what your options are for having the repair carried out by them instead of you, although unless claiming on another driver’s policy through their fault, this may be costly in the long run.

How to Check Paintwork repair Quality

If you do ever have any paintwork done to your vehicle in a bid to help with damage, or you think a car you’re looking to buy or sell has had repairs done, checking the quality is never a bad thing. Generally, the best measure of a car’s paintwork repair is a thickness level of 100-200 microns. Manufacturers tend to use 100-150 microns on their finishes, so anything up to 200 is extremely close to the mark and should be practically indistinguishable to the untrained eye. Measuring paintwork at this level does tend to need specialist equipment like a paint thickness gauge though, so remember that before you decide to try and check.


Ultimately, a car’s paintwork is an asset that certainly needs to be protected, and these tips will give you practically everything that you need to do that. If you’re ever unsure on the paintwork of a vehicle, vehicle inspections are always a great way to be certain. Contact the CarExamer team today and we’ll be happy to discuss your needs.

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