How to Fix Faded Car Paint: An Easy-to-Follow Guide

Whether you use a vehicle for personal or commercial purposes, faded car paint has become a common problem these days. There is no definite factor that causes this issue, which means several reasons could be behind this. Cheap painting materials, single-layer paint, or excessive exposure to UV rays — anything can be responsible for wearing out the car paint. Make your life easier by learning how to fix faded car paint.

Types of Paint Restoration Process

Depending on the total area of faded paint, there are two types of paint repair process.

Small Section Paint Repair

In this approach, you have to repair only the faded section of the car. This method is the most appropriate for problems like car paint fading on roof.

Complete Paint Restoration

This method involves performing a complete paint restoration, even if the entire surface does not have faded car paintwork.

how to fix faded paint on car
A complete restoration is more expensive. (Source: KelvinJM / Wikimedia Commons)

How to Fix Faded Car Paint: An Easy-to-Follow Guide

These are the necessary steps for fixing paint fading on car.

Step 1: Gather Supplies

The first thing to do before proceeding with this task is to procure all these supplies:

  • Electric Machine Buffer
  • Car Buffing Ingredients
  • Car Washing Materials
  • Pads for Polishing and Microfiber Pads for Buffing
  • A Bucket of Water
  • Paint Protection Materials (Choose carnauba wax for painting small sections and ceramic coating for the entire car)

Step 2: Wash the Car

After gathering all the required materials in sufficient quantity, the next step is to wash the whole car. It is better to apply the two-bucket method (one bucket is filled with the cleaning solution and the other with clean water) for washing the car.

Step 3: Remove Debris with a Clay Bar

Before fixing the faded paint, you need to make sure that there is no debris on the paintwork. Hence, use a high-quality clay bar to remove as much dirt and external contamination as possible from the washed car.

Step 4: Perform the Buffing Process

The general procedure for how to fix faded car paint is as follows:

  • Soak the buffing pad completely with water
  • Put buffing compound on that pad
  • While using the pad, apply buffing compound to the area of car surface that has faded paint
  • Polish the faded area properly
  • Repeat this buffing process at least three times
  • Use clean water to wash the area and then check the applied paint
  • Once you are satisfied with it, go for the last round of buffing

Step 5: Apply a Protective Coating

Having a protective coating, such as car wax, paint sealant, or ceramic coating, over the new painting is necessary to ensure its longevity. There is no point in fixing the faded area with a new layer of paint unless it has a coating. These three are the most common type of protective coatings in the market:

Car Wax

Car wax is the material that puts a thin protective layer on the paint but you’ll need to apply it monthly.

Paint Sealant

Apply this material in the same way as the car wax. This coating offers protection for up to six months, which is better than wax.

Ceramic Coating

For a long-lasting car painting, a ceramic coating is the best option. Consider getting a DIY Nano-ceramic coating over the car paint to get protection for a minimum of 2 years. However, this option is only suitable for coating the whole car, not for a small area.


How to Prevent Immature Fading of Car Paint

Since prevention is better than cure, you must take precautions to stop the paint from fading. Here are some of the common ways to prevent car paint from fading.

Avoid Open Parking

The rule of thumb is to never park the vehicle out in the sun. Doing it once in a while is fine, but do not make it a regular incident. Use a car cover when you have to park the car in sunlight.

Use a Cover

The car paint starts to oxidize if left unprotected. So, cover the car even when parked under the shade. Since oxidative deterioration is not easily visible, people do not usually notice it in the first one or two months even though it exists there. With polishing and waxing the car regularly, protection from sun fade and oxidation damage is possible.

Apply a Protective Coating

After the car painting, it takes approximately two years to become visibly dull and rough without protection. So, it is imperative to apply a protective coating over the car paint to stop it from fading.

Do Regular Cleaning

Paint oxidation of vehicles is not the end of the car paint. Use a clay bar to regularly clean the paint to remove any kind of light oxidation.


This is how to fix faded car paint with some DIY steps. Those with the experience of doing similar tasks can also try these steps. If painting the whole car seems cumbersome, do not hesitate to take professional help.