Can You Get Rid of Oxidation From Your Paint Job on Your Vehicle?

by Jenny Carver

    After years of being exposed to the sun, rain and other natural elements, oxidation forms on your car’s paint job. Oxidation makes the paint look dull and chalky. Washing and waxing the paint won’t remove or improve the oxidation at all. You will need to take further steps to get rid of the oxidation on your paint job and bring back the shine and gloss. You can do this on your own within a few hours.

    Items you will need

    • Car soap
    • Sponge
    • Clay bar
    • Clay bar lubricant
    • Buffer
    • Rubbing compound
    Step 1

    Wash your vehicle with car soap and a soft sponge to remove any surface contaminants like dirt, mud and dust. Make sure the car is in the shade so the surface stays cool. The sun heats up the painted surface and can cause more damage while you work on it.

    Step 2

    Spray clay bar lubricant on a small area of the car’s surface. Rub the clay bar across the lubricated area, moving back and forth -- not up and down or around in circles. Repeat this until you've rubbed all of the paint with the clay bar. Keep the surface lubricated when using the clay bar. The clay bar picks up contaminants that you can’t see, but could scratch the surface if you don't keep it lubricated.

    Step 3

    Apply a quarter-size amount of rubbing compound on the car’s paint. Turn on the buffer and work the compound into the paint. Move the buffer side to side on the car, not up and down. The rubbing compound removes the layer of oxidation and brings the shine back to the paint right before your eyes. Repeat this step until you've treated the entire car.

    Step 4

    Wash the car once again and dry it with a chamois. Apply a coat of wax, according to the wax's instructions, to help the results last longer.


    • Don’t use a high-speed buffer in one area longer than a few seconds or it could burn through the paint.
    • Don’t buff a car that hasn’t been washed or the dirt particles could cut into the paint and eventually cause rust and corrosion.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/ Images