How To

Restoring Single Stage Paint: Part 5

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by Mike Phillips  More from Author

Sealing the paint.

Sealing the paint with a Carnauba Wax
Next we'll seal the paint. For this I've chosen a modern version of a traditional Carnauba Hard Paste Wax from Dodo Juice.

Dodo Juice is located in the United Kingdom and offers a wide variety of high caliber Carnauba waxes that are conversation pieces in and of themselves. Before purchasing a full jar of any of their different formulas you can start with what's called a Panel Pot, which is small jar of wax with more than enough product to cover a large panel on most cars and give you a really good feel for the wax as far as how it applies, wipes off and most important... looks!

The original paint on this 1973 Lincoln Continental is a very warm, golden, butterscotch color and in the Dodo Juice line of waxes they offer a wax called Banana Armour and right on the label it states it's for WARM COLOURED CARS. In fact it's fairly close in color to the actual color of paint on the car, so it seems like fate has already sealed the deal.

This is what the wax looks like when you first open the jar. All Dodo Juice full size jars of waxes are sealed with plastic indicator tab to show that they have never been opened since leaving the manufacturing plant so you can be assured of their quality.

So far every procedure has been performed by hand and in keeping with this theme I have applied the Banana Armour Carnauba Wax by hand. After covering just the hood with wax you can see I'm still pulling oxidation out of the paint just from the simple act of rubbing a liquefied paste wax over it.

Here's a close-up of the soft, foam applicator pad, the yellowish wax together with the blackish gray that comes out of the paint looks kind of green. I want to point out that this is not the result of this wax having any cleaners or cleaning ability as that is not the case as this is a non-cleaning, non-abrasive finishing wax for paint in excellent condition.

The oxidation coming out of the paint is normal for a single stage metallic finish and it will do this with just about any liquid paint care product applied to it. Because the applicator pad is small, rubbing out a massive hood like this has an accumulative effect as it relates to the build up of residue on the working face of the pad. This is nothing to be concerned about, it's a normal result for this type of paint.

Here's a uniform layer of Banana Armour drying on the paint.

Circles or Straightlines?
To really work the wax into the paint I used an overlapping circular motion, as long as everything that touches the paint is clean and non-abrasive, that is your applicator pad, the paint itself, your working environment, your choice of wax and even you and your hands, then you can rub in circular motions or straight lines as you won't be instilling any scratches either way.

This is a new, clean, white microfiber polishing towel. This style is actually new to and I don't know how long these specific types will remain in inventory but I really like them, they have a very soft and plush short tufted nap on one side and a medium length tufted nap on the other side and they are edged with a soft piping. (If you want some of these towels you better order them quickly, there's no part number you have to call the 1-800-869-3011 number)

After wiping off the dried wax residue you can see some of the black oxidation on the microfiber towel. Again, this is normal for these types of paints and there's nothing that will prevent this kind of transfer of oxidation out of and off of the paint.

And here's the end result.

The paint has been take to its maximum potential for what can be achieved working only by hand without any abrasives.

End results by hand
Here's a close up because I want to show you that the finish isn't perfect, it's just dramatically improved. I have no idea how this paint was taken care of over the last 37 years but like the car, the paint has survived and the goal up to this point was to share with my friends in the collector car hobby how to remove oxidation and restore a show room new finish to antique single stage paint without using anything abrasive.

Be careful not to compare apples to oranges
While the quality of results don't compare to a modern day basecoat/clearcoat finish, if this was compared to the same paint the day this car rolled off the assembly line it would be pretty close in appearance. Chances are many people that will read this article and look at these pictures will have never owned a car with a single stage paint let alone restored an antique but intact single stage paint, and if that describes you then chances are also good your only point of reference for finish quality will be new cars with their new hi tech clear coat paint technology.

That is an unfair comparison as modern clear coat paint technology is capable of creating show car quality paint right off the assembly line. Back in the old day the only way to get a show car finish on a car was to spray on plenty of paint and then have a true craftsman sand and buff the paint to perfection.

Now days even the most inexpensive cars in the market place have paint jobs that far surpass the quality of what was available and possible 20 and 30 years ago.

Here's a few beauty shots...

The paint actually reflects images now...

I hope the above how-to article will help anyone trying to restore and preserve an original antique finish. Remember, metallic single stage paints are the hardest of all paints to restore, if you're just working on a non-metallic single stage paint, you can easily surpass these results just by following the techniques outlined above and pouring a little bit of yourself into the process.

Next up, we're going to try to create a little more shine, gloss and clarity by machine polishing the finish.

Restoring Single Stage Paint: Part 1
The secret to removing oxidation and restoring a show car finish to antique single stage paints.

Restoring Single Stage Paint: Part 2
Choosing the right polish.

Restoring Single Stage Paint: Part 3
Cleaning your paint.

Restoring Single Stage Paint: Part 4
Removing oxidation without abrasives.

Restoring Single Stage Paint: Part 5
Sealing the paint.

Restoring Single Stage Paint: Part 6
The first polishing steps.

Restoring Single Stage Paint: Part 7
The final polishing steps.


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