Fit DIY: Repair & Maintenance Threads discussing repairs and maintenance you can do yourself

Paint brought back to life

Old 04-15-2019, 08:36 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: San Diego
Posts: 7
Paint brought back to life

Hi All,
I'm new to the forum and just wanted to give some info on how I was able to bring my paint back to life, after years of abuse by the former owner. Just bought my 2010 Fit Sport and the previous owner must not have EVER waxed, and only infrequently washed it. The car is white and when looking down the side of the car, you could see what looked like "smug" marks----a dark, grayish "fog" all over the paint. Wax would not touch it so I got a clay bar and did the whole car and that helped remove a lot of the dull, gray. After that I waxed the car and it looked "okay". But the top surfaces, where the worst grunge settles, was still bad. So, I bought one of those small, sponge buffing kits. I got about 10 pads with it, all sponges that are 3" in diameter and get attached to my hand drill by Velcro. The Velcro holds the pads on with absolutely no problem! There are various pads that come with the kit (about $10 online) and each is used for different purposes. Some are used for cutting deeply (yes, a sponge can cut your car) others are used for a "light cut" others for buffing with wax. Long story short, I used the buffing sponge on my drill, with car wax. (MeGuiars liquid) I was going to use MeGuiar's polishing wax but played it safe with regular wax and glad I did. Without putting much pressure on the drill, and taking my time to double check my progress, the years of crud lifted off! It took some time but I'm glad I did it because it made all the difference in the world for the overall appearance of the car. In retrospect, I don't know if I would have had to bother with the clay bar and just buffed the finish with the sponge and wax so if anyone is going to try this, doing without the clay bar may save a lot of time. But, the clay bar does take years of "pollution" off the finish too. And the advantage of using the small 3" sponges is that you can get into tighter crevices. Better to use a large buffer on the big surfaces and the small buffer (drill) for cutting in the corners. Anyway, good luck for anyone who wants to try this. Great results but again, be careful because you can literally, burn your paint if not careful.
Old 04-16-2019, 09:15 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: South Pasadena, CA
Posts: 401
Good info. Do you have some before and after pictures?
Old 04-16-2019, 12:07 PM
New Member
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: San Diego
Posts: 7
Sorry, no pics. Wish I would have now. But when I did this yesterday, I only did the hood and front bumper because it looked like, pretty much, the rest of the car turned out good with just the clay bar and following wax. Looked good during the day (and I think part of that was because it is a white car) but last night when parking in a store lot, I looked at the sides of my car, under artificial light and they still looked bad! I mean, really bad. And I also looked at the hood and front bumper that I did buff out and they still looked really good, under that artificial light. So, I'm going to go back and do the whole car with the buffing wheel but I'll buy a larger wheel for the big surfaces and do the "tight spots" with the little 3" buffer I used on the hood and front bumper. This Fit's paint was really neglected, terribly----not pitted but covered with the "gray" dull smudge from air pollution, etc. and from never taking care of it. But, at least with some more work, it will look really good again. Because the paint is so neglected, I think I may try some very light polishing compound (McGuire's has it) to make the process go faster ---- but with care and watching the work closely. Then I'll top that off with a quick buff with the liquid wax. Another thing is that if this car was any other color, you may not realize as drastic cleanup as I did even though that grunge actually may be there. Good luck if you try this but take your time and continually check the finish so you don't burn it. Oh---buff only after washing the car. Must have a very clean surface, otherwise you will leave scratches!
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