How to Make Metallic Car Paint Last Longer

Lead Image
  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 6-20
What You'll Need
Car shampoo
Wash mitt
Paint cleaner
Detailing spray

Metallic car paint can certainly make a car stand out. However, it is actually very expensive, so if you have already spent the money to make your car look special, you should keep the paint job looking its best for a long time. It takes regular work to protect the paint, but it pays off in the long run as you’ll end up spending less on a great looking car.

Step 1 - Wash

The first step to maintaining your metallic car paint is to wash your vehicle. Use warm water and a good quality car shampoo (don’t use dish detergent or soap). Take care to wash all of the car. This means opening the doors and washing the jambs and the trunk surround as well as the wheel arches.

When you’ve done this, you’ll need to change the water several times and rinse off thoroughly before leaving the car to dry completely before you move on.

Step 2 - Use Paint Cleaner

Use a good quality paint cleaner. Put it on all the painted surfaces with the applicator pad. The paint cleaner will remove more of the dirt and also the contaminants that might be on the surface of the paint. It will also treat the clear coat that protects the paint. Let it dry then use a clean terry towel to take off the paint cleaner.

Step 3 - Try Clay

Most people don’t think about it but you can use clay to remove contaminants from the metallic car paint of your car. Take a good-sized piece of clay and press it down onto the paintwork. You’ll need to keep folding it or you risk the contaminants you’ve just removed scratching the paintwork. When you’ve finished with the clay, you should dispose of it then wipe the car clean with detailing spray.

Step 4 - Polish

When the car has dried, apply polish to all the bodywork. Use an applicator pad to put it on, making sure you apply it evenly and quite thickly. The polish is intended to bring out the deep shine of the metallic car paint on your vehicle. Note that there’s a difference between polish and wax.

Allow the polish to dry on the car before wiping it off with a clean towel. Be careful not to leave any small areas of polish. Rub hard and inspect each area after you’ve finished it to make sure the shine is even all the over the vehicle.

Step 5 - Wax

The polish will have worked on the clear coat. With that complete, you need to protect the clear coat. Use wax for this. Don’t buy cheap wax; a good product will last and protect the metallic car paint longer. Apply it with a cloth, getting a thick, even coat all over the vehicle. Give it time to dry, then rub it off, being careful not to leave any traces of dried wax.

Step 6 - Do Regular Maintenance

Repeating this procedure twice a year will keep your metallic paint looking good. Wash your car regularly and in winter, be sure to wash salt off the car body.