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Discussion Starter #1
My son has just bought a Red (non metallic) 147 51 plate 47k miles.

The red is just beginning that typical fade with some panels now a slightly different shade and the scalloping on the LH side of the bonnet having oxidation on the surface. It isn't too bad (yet) but clearly the previous owner hasn't taken care of the paintwork.

So without spending lots of money what are the recommendations for getting the paintwork back to condition and then polishing to a good finish.

Hard work is more readily available than money - please bare that in mind when replying and that we are new to any specialist methods.

Finally, we are not looking for concours finish, the car has too many small chips and bumps to make that worthwhile but a reasonable standard and nice gloss.
 

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There is some autoglym products that can be purchased from your local Halfrauds, 'paint renovator' and 'super resin polish' are your best options IMHO, i recommend getting both, but Paint renovator is quite abrasive, used it on my old van a fair bit and worked well, was hard work mind!

Autoglym - car cleaning products, car care products, car valeting, car detailing

The other option is to use a machine polisher, but as you have already stated, this is a more expensive option.

I would seal the paint work with a good wax, should help pro-long it.
 

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Machine polish is a great way to restorate the original red colour. Once you have done a machine polish once you can then maintain the finish with regular waxing and sealants that are available on the market. Tbh, AG is great and I use it but there also some fine products out there on the web that are not well known to the high street but are used by pro valeter's and they sometimes can be as cheap but with better more specific results. Especially with red paint, you can get red wax and polishers which are soley produced for the red pigmanted paint on your car.
 

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I've got a red Phase 1 GTV from 1998. Its red finish is different on the boot panel and roof to the rest of the car. However, with some turtlewax red polish (got a little chipstick with it which fills in scratches with wax - better than leaving it exposed i think) returns it to a point that it has to be pointed out - Amazon. Autoglym products are brilliant, and worth shopping around for, because they are quite expensive, but theres a reason why they are expensive. They are excellent. Super resin polish will have your car back to a mirror finish leaving muck rolling off your car instead of sticking to it. AG Paint Renovator is like liquid wet and dry 2000, take care, follow instructions to the letter.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
frasermac834: I have an "x" plate 2.0 Alfetta GTV. That is also red and the previous owner has polished it through to the undercoat on almost every single sharp bend of the panels!
 

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I might be showing my ignorance here, but surely the paint colour is underneath a clear coat and therefore is not as easy to restore in the ways that have been mentioned
 

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Be very careful of polishes with too much abrasion. AG do the paint renovator but even with that I would go light handed, for the reason above. You can easily take off more paint than you thought and it's a bugger to put back on :lol: Don't use T-cut! That's for newly painted cars than need cutting back before polishing.

If you do go the route of paint renovator make sure you use a good polish - AG Super Resin Polish is great - and then finish off with a protective wax. I use the High Gloss wax AG do.

If you want to try a lower key route go for Turtle Wax colour polish first and see how well it does. Better safe than sorry...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
AnthonyJohn: Flat or plain paint does not have a clear topcoat - not unless it is specially requested or applied - some manufactures are now aapplying clear coats to plain paint but it is still rare. Metallic paint has a clear top coat because the flecks in the paint are metal (aluminium?) flakes. If the air gets at those they oxidise and the finish is destroyed.

If you are old enough you may remember seeing old fords (mid 70s) with early silver metallics in a shocking state as the clear coat peeled off due to reactions with the paint and metal flakes. I remembber seeing those with whole roof and bonnet panels with the top coat peeled off and the paint below really faded and grubby that no amount of polishing or cutting could cure and a respray the only answer.

This is off topic so please back to my original thread - I hate it when threads drift!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
So AG products seem to get the thumbs up.

If I did hire a polisher (dual action seems to be the recommended type) do you use special products with it?

I do have a bucket full of existing products (Turtlewax high gloss liquid polish, Carplan paint restorer, Turttlewax Red Colourmagic and a few other types of liquid polish) that i have used on previous cars.

The reason for the post is that I have never previously had any success bringing a durable finish to a plain red car once the paint has started to fade and oxidise.

They usually look OK for a few weeks, maybe a few months, but then nearly as shabby as before. If I can I want to avoid being back here in 3 months time.

NOTE: I do not use automatic car washes or washing up liquid but always use a bucket or two with a "wash and wax" additive to clean my cars then follow with a wax if needed. No expensive esoteric products just cheap stuff but not abused either.
 

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I wouldn't machine polish it unless you've had experience of doing it before. In the wrong hands.... :eek:

:lol:
 

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I wouldn't machine polish it unless you've had experience of doing it before. In the wrong hands.... :eek:

:lol:
What PG said, I have seen some proper messed up panels where people have machined polished and not done it correctly :eek:

Although there are now products that helps you not burn through the paint or leave buffer trails but if you can practise on an old body panel if you can get one :thumbs:
 

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Anthonyjohn is right the colour coat is underneath a clear laquer so all you are doing is polishing the laquer. The flat or plain paint refered to (cellulose or synthetic). has not been used by modern car makers for years. All modern day cars have clear laquer applied over a matt base coat. This is by no means very rare at all .A laquered car is not a special order as all cars come laquered.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Poly and Anthonyjohn: so even being 10 years old you are sure that this car will have a clear lacquer? If that is the case why is it faded to different colours and why is it oxidising? Also, if it is lacquered, why is it only red cars that seem to do this?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have looked closely at my daughters Peugeot 206 1999 and that has clear laquer over flat Blue - I wondered why T-cut didn't produce any blue on the polishing cloth. I haven't looked closely at the 147 yet but I still doubt it for that car. We'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You are all correct. The red has a clear lacquer topcoat. Does that affect how best to remove the oxidation and fading? Is the fading under the topcoat or is it just the topcoat becoming opaque and a good polish will fix it?
 

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No.. It's the red base coat that fades.

Basically the paint manufacturers had to move away from more stable lead-based paints (pollutes the water supply apparently... though it never did me any ha..ha..ha..ha... ham... harrm...) and start developing water based paints instead.

What you have (late 90's-00's car) is essentially the first generation of these paints. Mostly they're okay but the reds have been more tricky to master (your car being one of many which prove it).

If you polish the beast, you will buff up the clear coat. The faded red underneath will remain blissfully ignorant that you are trying to re-vitalise it. Now... having a shiny clear coat will help.. it improves how light reflects off the red underneath and makes it look more red..

Using a red-coloured polish will also help (since these contain pigmented fillers that boost the redness once it gets into the micro-scratches and swirls... again replicating the effect of a very smooth top coat). This effect lasts a few weeks/month and then as you noted, you need to repeat it.

But these are cosmetic really and cannot solve the main problem - the faded red base coat. Only a re-spray will ever correct the faded panels.


The good news... is that graft and elbow grease can minimise the appearance of the fadery. Borrow a Dual-Action polisher and a polishing pad. Once you have washed and clayed the car (see "clay") then polish it using the machine and a mild polish as per the link above. If you don't have a specialised polish, use Autoglym Super Resin Polish from Halfords. It's very mild and a DA polisher really can't mark the paint with it.. (though someone could probably prove me wrong.. :D)

Anyway if you sanded a piece of wood, you can sand.. :eek: I mean polish paint).

Then when the paint feels smoother than a baby's arris wearing a smoking jacket, use some Turtle Wax Colour Magic red polish on it. That has heaps of red pignmented fillers and it's only a tenner or so.

If you want to preserve it longer, put a pukka wax over the top.. or you can just leave it at that.

You *will* have to do the red Colour Magic bit again in a few weeks.. but the clear coat will be smooth (since you clayed and polished it) and so it's a quick and simple job to keep it redded...


Ralf S.
 

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I used to run a 1996 GTV in Alfa red, and it's paintwork suffered the dreaded fade so that each panel was slightly different in shade to the next. Bumpers and mirrors were especially awful.

I can wholeheartedly recommend T-Cut. Multiple applications and lots of elbow grease will get rid of the wishy washy faded "top" surface and take you back to the shiny colourful red underneath.

Just don't go wild with it as if you do you'll end up stripping back to undercoat!

As Ralf S says above, a good polish with red Colour Magic afterwards will help enormously.

All that scrubbing and polishing'll build up your muscles too, no need for the gym, thus the Alfa pays for itself :)
 
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