Tips to keep your new paint job looking new




It is best not to wash the vehicle for the first 15 days. This is a guideline and not a hard rule. If your vehicle is dirty enough to annoy you during the first couple of weeks then wash it following the guidelines below.


Caring for your vehicle new paint job is critical for longevity. Be sure not to wax new paint until after at least 60 days because that is how long it takes the paint to fully cure. This will allow the finish to completely dry and cure. Your paint needs “breath” to ensure a complete cure. This is a hard rule, don’t wax it during the first couple of months!


Wash the vehicle in the shade only – Never in the sun.

Do not dry wipe the vehicle. Always use clean cool water with automotive soap. Dry wiping can cause scratching. Use plenty of water first, then wipe with a clean, wet, cotton cloth or sponge to wash off dirt. Be sure to keep the surface wet to prevent scratching.


Always use a quality wax approved for automotive paint. Do not use silicone containing or super polymer containing waxes or polishes. Silicon-based wax penetrates all layers of paint. Today’s finishes do not need such extreme protection. Removal of such waxes is very time consuming and makes touchups difficult.

Before you wax, give your paint a good washing. Use plenty of water first, then wipe with a clean, wet, soft cotton cloth or sponge to wash off dirt. Be sure to keep the surface wet to prevent scratching. Dry with a soft chamois cloth.

It’s important to keep your paint waxed, as this helps to protect the finish from minor scratches. Most waxes incorporate UV inhibitors also, which helps to protect your paint from the sun.


Accidents do happen, and minor scratches can be buffed out of your clear coat. Be sure to enlist the help of a professional for this procedure. When done properly, a scratch will completely disappear, and cannot be seen or felt after buffing. A good rule of thumb, which ironically uses your thumb (nail), is if you can catch the scratch with your finger nail it probably can’t be buffed. In other cases it may be possible to wet sand the paint and then buff. This is not for the weak hearted; this is your paint you’re sanding into! When in doubt get with a professional detailer.


If you’re lucky enough to find the mess while it’s still wet, use a damp cloth and wipe it off immediately. However, if you find it dry and caked on, soak a paper towel with warm water and hold over the mess until it loosens and gets soft. Then taking a damp cloth, wipe it clean. Birds can make a mess of your paint, so clean it up as soon as possible.


Never, under any circumstances should you use a soap designed for cleaning dishes or clothes, or other areas of your house. These soaps can and will damage your paint over time.


  • Touch-up chips and scratches as soon as possible. Unattended chips will begin to rust metal areas.
  • Extreme heat or cold should be avoided.
  • Keep the vehicle parked in the shade whenever possible.
  • Avoid gravel roads and following big trucks. Chipping the finish is easier done in the first 60 days.
  • Do not park under trees which are known to drop sap or near factories with heavy smoke fallout. Sap and industrial fallout can mar or spot a new finish.
  • Keep in mind that trees attract birds. Bird droppings have a high acid content and will damage a new freshly painted surface. Be mindful where you park.
  • Do not spill gasoline, oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid or windshield solvent on the new finish. If you do, rinse it off immediately with water. Try not to wipe the area. If you must wipe, do so gently.
  • Do not scrape ice or snow from the surface. Your snow scraper will act very much like a paint scraper on a freshly painted surface.

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