How to Repair Sun Damaged Car Paint in 7 Simple Steps

It is likely for most people to have noticed fainted car paints over the years. The once radiating car paint slowly becomes faded and thereby starts to lose its original glow. Have you ever wondered why this happens? Well, simply NOT because it’s old! It is because of the effect of sunlight on car paint that slowly dulls the surface paint and makes it look faded.

Most people here would think about what can be done if the color fades due to sun rays as the car is obviously supposed to be driven under the sun only! Yes, you are right! And you cannot certainly do anything to save it from being driven under the sun! So, what you can do is, take precautionary measures to prevent the fading for a longer period.

how to repair sun damaged car paint
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You can also use the several faded paint restoration products available in the market these days that help in restoring your car’s original paint glow easily. And if you have come to this page, it is evident that you are looking for some paint restoration solutions. Well, worry not! We are here to help you get through this in the most convenient way!

In this article, you will find out how to repair sun damaged car paint in 7 simple steps. But before that, let’s acquire some knowledge on why car paint fades in the first place!

Read on to know more…

How Does the Sun Damage Car Paint?

Most car owners can remain confused as to how does sun damage car paint? The simple answer to this question is that the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun that also harms our skin cells are responsible for damaging the car paint. When the car is exposed to direct sunlight (which is most often the case when you are driving the car), it is also exposed to the UV light coming straight from the sun.

The UV rays might not be visible in open eyes, but these are very powerful rays that have the potential to give a strong jolt to the molecular bonding of the car paint surface. As the molecular bonds repeatedly break with each passing day, they no longer can interact with the incoming light in the same way as earlier, which results in it being faded and duller. So, now you know how sun affects car paint?

Now moving to a very important question that most car owners wonder about; how long does it take for sun to damage car paint?

There might not be a direct answer to this question as it mostly depends on the time period you are taking your car out under direct sunlight or the kind of paint used in your vehicle. But one thing that you must know is that there are some colors that fade faster than usual.

For instance, the red color of the car paint tends to fade faster due to faster molecular breakdown because of its wavelength having the lowest visible energy. Likewise, the colors with the highest visible energy, like Violet or blue, take more time to lose the actual glow.

Can Sun Damage on a Car Be Repaired?

Now that you know what causes sun damage on the car paint, you must be wondering, can sun damage on a car be repaired, right? Well, definitely yes! The sun damage on the car paint can be repaired using multiple techniques. Not only that, but you can also prevent the damage by some preventive measures (that we shall discuss later).

For now, let us know whether you can repair sun damaged car paint by yourself at home or professional help is required! Well, this basically depends on the extent of the damage that the car paint has! For instance, if the damage is not too much and only some parts of the car paint have faded, there are ways that you can use to repair them at home itself.

But if you notice that the damage is extensive, restoring faded paint on the car may require professional intervention. There are numerous ways through which such damages can be fixed in both DIY and professional methods. Amongst those, we shall discuss a few superior ones in the upcoming sections of the article. So keep reading to know more!

How Much Does It Cost to Fix Sun Damage on a Car?

Needless to say, the sun damage car paint repair cost is determined by its severity and extent, and one cannot exactly tell how much the charges would be without having a look at the damage. But you must know that it can amount to anything between $10 and $9000. The car surface has multiple layers; metal, primer, paint, and clear coat!

The metal has 2-3 coats of primer, next there are 3-4 layers of paint, and then there are 2-3 layers of clear coat to protect the car surface from damages of all kinds. Though the cost of restoring faded paint on cars depends on the extent of the damage, we shall discuss the average expense on different kinds of damage repair, both in DIY and car shop categories.

So, stop wondering How much does it cost to repair sun damaged car paint and have a look below…

Types of DamagesRepair Cost (DIY)Repair Cost (Auto Body Shop)
Scuff Marks$5 to $20 $50 to $100
Paint Scratches $50 to $120 $400 to $1000
Deep Scratches and Dents$75 to $150$800 to $1500
Clear Coat Scratches$20 to $70$150 to $300
Tree Saplings and Bird Droppings$50 to $95$800 to $1500
Sun Damage$200 to $500$3000 to $9000

Scuff marks:
DIY cost- $10
Body shop cost- $50-$70

Paint scratches:
DIY cost- $50-$65
Body shop cost- $400-$1000

Deep dents and scratches:
DIY cost- $75-$90
Body shop cost- $800-$1500

Clear coat scratches:
DIY cost- $20-$30
Body shop cost- $150-$300

Tree saplings and bird droppings damages:
DIY cost- $50-$65
Body shop cost- $800-$1500

Sun damage:
DIY cost- $200-$500 (not recommended)
Body shop cost- $3000-$9000

How to Repair Sun Damaged Car Paint in 7 Simple Steps

Now that you have navigated through the entire details mentioned above, you must know that this section of the article is the most crucial part nonetheless! In this section, we will discuss how to fix sun damaged car paint easily at your home without taking it to the car shop. Let’s dig deep into it…

Inspect the Sun Damaged Car Paint

If you are confused about how to repair sun damaged car paint at home, start with the most nominal process- an inspection of the damage. Most of you might be thinking, what’s so important about this step, right? It is normal to think this as most of us tend to ignore this step, believing it to be less important. But in general, this is one of the most significant steps to start with the DIY car paint damaging process.

It is essential because if you do not know where exactly the damage is or how severe the damage is, you will probably end up using the wrong damage repairing method. And, of course, you will not like to spend hundreds of bucks on the repair without getting the desired results, right? So, the first and foremost thing to do when starting with the damage repair is to inspect the damage carefully.

Look for signs like fading, clear coat coming out, peeling off or flaking paint, etc., to understand whether it is actually the damage caused by sunlight. Sometimes, people confuse between normal wear and tear of the car body and the sun fading. And thus, even if you try to repair the damage, you may not get proper results due to non-identification of the damage.

Gather the Supplies to Fix Sun Damage on Car

If you have made up your mind to fix the sun damage at home by yourself, the faded paint restoration products play a vital role in the process. These are the products that will ensure your car paint damage is repaired well, even if not under expert supervision. As washing and drying the car surface before starting the process is an important step, gathering desired supplies is also considered an equally important step to carry out the damage repair procedure.

Here is a list of all the things that you will require for restoring faded paint on a car when trying the DIY method. Take a look;

  • Car Wash Kit with Bucket
  • Microfiber Towels
  • Clay Bar
  • Polishing Compound
  • Microfiber Buffing and Polishing Pads
  • An Electric Buffer
  • Paint Protectant (Carnauba wax, Paint Sealant, or Ceramic Coating)

Some of these are car damage repair products that are available in the market. These are required to use in certain instances depending upon the severity of the paint damage. But before the application of these products, another vital step is to wash the car and dry it eventually. We will discuss more on this in the next step.

Wash the Car Properly

You might not consider car washing as the best way to fix faded car paint, but it is actually one of the crucial steps to follow when you are repairing the paint damage at home without any expert supervision.

When you do not wash the car properly or when there is dust or bird-dropping stains still prevalent on the surface, the damage repair products might not work effectively in fixing the faded car paint. It will be even better if you can use clay bars or soapy water to wash the car surface in a better manner and get rid of any kind of contaminants or dust particles on it.

Remember, you must also dry the car surface by not placing the car under the sun but using microfiber towels to avoid getting water stained further. An added advantage of washing the car at home is that it utilizes less water and is also a cost-effective solution compared to auto shops that charge too much for doing the same work that you can do with the hose pipe at home!

Remove Tough Contamination with a Clay Bar

When you intend to repair car paint damage, you must get rid of all the contaminants and dirt on the car surface that is already prevalent on it. And as the previous section suggests, washing the car surface is the most sought-after solution to carry out the same. But there are some things that add to the quality of washing as well. And a clay bar is definitely one such product that ensures the car washing procedure is executed well.

The clay bars are generally soap-like products used to rinse off any contaminants present on the car surface. No matter how hard the stain is, a clay bar is compatible enough to remove it in just one wash. There might be ample clay bar options available on the market today but picking the right amongst them is the thing of the wise.

And as per our findings, the Mothers California Gold Clay Bar System and Chemical Guys Clay Bar Kit are the best clay bars available in the market right now. These are affordable and effective clay bars that would not let any contaminant or stain stay on your car surface after the first wash itself!

Apply the Rubbing Compound with a Wet Buffing Pad

You might still be thinking about how to restore faded car paint as none of those, as mentioned above, formulas seem to be enough for the same! Well, worry not, this step will surely make an impact on your car’s fainted paint. After you are finished washing your car and using the clay bar properly, the next step is to use a rubbing compound with a wet buffing pad.

The rubbing compound is essential to bring back the lost glow of the car paint. Some of these rubbing compounds are able to remove 1200 grit or finer sanding marks. Not only that, but these are also able to remove tough stains caused by acid rain, severe accidents, sun damages, etc.

And if you are looking for some good suggestions on the rubbing compound. In that case, you can go for the Meguiar’s M10532 Mirror Glaze Ultra-Cut Compound and 3D One Rubbing Compound and Finishing Polish because of their impeccable effectiveness in restoring a fainted car paint.

All you need to do is soak the buffing pad in clean water, apply the rubbing compound and start buffing it on the fainted portion of the car. For best results, repeat the buffing process 3 times. After you are done buffing, clean the surface with fresh water to get rid of any extra compound on it.

Apply Carnauba wax, Paint Sealant, or Ceramic Coating

If you are still wondering how to get rid of sunspots on car, then take this final step towards fixing it at home! And definitely, this is the most significant step to follow while repairing the car paint damage caused by the sun. After you are done with rubbing the damaged portions with a clay bar and using the buffing compound over them, it is time to bring back the lost glow on your car surface by using the carnauba wax, paint sealant, and ceramic coating.

These are very important to repair the damage and restore the original glow of the car paint. The best products on the market definitely have to be the P21S 12700W Carnauba Wax, and JetSeal Sealant and Paint Protectant, and SHINE ARMOR Fortify Quick Coat Ceramic Coating. These are not only affordable products, but they also have a proven record of effective results in restoring the glow of the car paint back to its original form.

The car wax provides a layer of protection in the damaged area that can run for long, provided you take it for regular servicing. Next is the paint sealant that also provides a protective layer that too can last up to 6 months. The ceramic coating is for those who want to keep the car protected for over two years as it runs for a longer period.

Park Your Car in the Shade as Much as Possible

After completing the previous step, you are almost done with the DIY car sun damage repair process. Now, as you have completed all the restore and repair procedures, it’s time to call for the prevention of further damages. Even if you have repaired the damage, if you do not follow the basic things related to damage prevention, it can lead to even more damages in the future.

So, what you need to do is follow the prevention methods, and one such important method is parking the car in a shaded place. It is not possible to keep the vehicle protected from direct sunlight when you are driving unless the weather is cloudy. But it is possible when you are not driving! So, it is advised that you park the car in a shaded area to prevent damages caused by direct sunlight.

This is not only instructed for cars that have been repaired of the damages but also for cars in general if you want to prevent the paint damages in the first place! And with this, the big question of how to repair sun damaged car paint in 7 simple steps comes to an end. Hopefully, it will help you fix your car paint damage easily.

How to Fix Sun Damaged Paint on Car [FAQs]:

We have learned a lot about fixing sun damage on car paint, sun damage car paint repair cost, and causes of the damage, etc., in the article till now. But even though we have discussed a lot, there are still some unanswered questions that need to be answered to improve the knowledge on the same. Like you must know which color fades the fastest or does car insurance cover sun damage, etc. So, the following FAQs section is formed to clear such doubts. Read on…

What Car Color Fades the Fastest in Sunlight?

In our childhood, we all have read about the 7 colors of rainbow depicted as VIBGYOR that stands for the color names as per the increasing wavelengths. Do you remember? This plain science works for what car color fades the fastest in sunlight. The first color with the lowest visible energy and highest wavelength is R or Red from the VIBGYOR list, which means it has the maximum chance to fade the fastest. Similarly, V that stands for Violet, would take a longer time to get faded as compared to Red because of its highest visible energy. Thus, it can be understood that the most susceptible colors to get faded under direct sunlight are Yellow, Orange and Red.

Does Car Insurance Cover Sun Damage?

Most car owners have this common question- Does insurance cover weather damage to cars? Well, in most cases, it’s a NO! The insurance companies generally cover the damaged paint expenses only when it is caused due to accidents or collisions. But that too comes under some comprehensive packages that you have to claim separately from the insurance provider. When the car paint fading is the result of sun damage, it is more likely that your car insurance provider will not bear the expenses of its repair. However, if there is a single event that leads to damages, like extreme drastic weather conditions, you still stand a chance to claim insurance benefits for it.

Does the Sun Ruin Car Interior?

As much as we know until now, car paint damage is caused when it comes under direct sunlight as the UV rays are harmful. So, the mere concept of damage arises only when the car is under direct sunlight. Then, does the sun damage car interior? It is clear that if the car interior comes under direct contact with the sunlight, it might also get damaged due to the harmful UV rays. Thus, it is advised that whenever you are out in the sun, try to cover the interiors by keeping the windows closed and blocking sunlight by every means possible. You must also try to park the car in the shade whenever possible to protect the interiors from potential damages.

How to Repair Sun Damaged Car Paint at Home – Author’s View

As we have approached the end of the article, it is clear that you have learned how to repair sun damaged car paint by now! You have also learned a lot about the other related aspects of car paint fading out in the long run. While you cannot really do anything to prevent the car paint from getting faded, hopefully, the given few methods can help you either control the fading extent or easily restore its original color.

We have mentioned the 7 effective and best steps to follow in fixing sun faded paint on cars in this guide, but it is also understandable that implementing them all is not always the cup of tea for most of us! The maximum we can do is to try to implement the most crucial few steps at once if sticking to all of them doesn’t feel suitable for us!

And to cut it short for you all, I have shortlisted three such essential steps from the given methods that I found to be helpful in taking control of my damaged car paint. Here they are,

Wash the Car Properly
Apply the Rubbing Compound with a Wet Buffing Pad
Apply Carnauba wax, Paint Sealant, or Ceramic Coating

The car paint sun damage is normally visible. But once you have detected the damaged area properly, applying these sun-damaged paint restoration methods and sun-faded paint restoration products would prove to be really helpful in repairing the faded car paint easily. So, what are you waiting for? Restore your car’s original glow now!

About Amy Cuban

I am an automotive enthusiast who loves to be around cars. I enjoy working on cars in my spare time and love anything related to automobiles. I like using different types of car accessories, car gadgets, and innovative car care products.

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