How to Care for a Freshly Painted Car
Don’t Ruin a New Paint Job!
After any collision, and after most repairs, your vehicle will need some fresh paint. Our paint technicians are awesome at what they do, and they can blend the new into the old in a way that you won’t be able to tell the difference. But without proper care, your vehicle may not look as good as you hoped.
Yes, paints dry fast. But drying time and curing time are two entirely different things. Dry means you can touch it; cured means it’s as hard as it will get. And that’s where many people get into trouble.
How Your Vehicle Paint is Dried
Painting a vehicle is similar, but very different, to painting a house. Unlike painting a house, where the paint is sprayed on and then left to dry, painting a vehicle involves extra steps.
First, there are two distinct layers to the job. There is the paint, and there is the clear coat. The paint colors while the clear coat protects. Both need to be completely cured to have maximum effectiveness.
To speed up the process, Big Sky Collision Center has what is essentially a car oven. Instead of left to dry on its own, the vehicle is put into the oven and heated. The heat, and low humidity, allow dry times to increase rapidly. This means that your vehicle is ready sooner, and there’s less chance of damage later.
How to Care for Your Vehicle After a Paint Job
There are still important aspects of care to pay attention to. Here’s what you should keep in mind.
Cure Time – In the warmer months, paint will cure faster. Allow at least 4 weeks to ensure that everything has completely cured, and no damage will be done while you drive, use, and wash your vehicle.
Wash Time – Until everything is fully cured, you don’t want to wash your vehicle! But how do you keep it clean and show off that new paint job? There’s a couple of ways. First, a damp microfiber cloth will let you wipe away any dirt that may have accumulated. Second, after a few weeks, a light hand wash is possible. Finally, after several months, you can wash as usual; including taking it through an automatic wash.
Cover Time – Until everything is cured, you will want to keep the vehicle out of the elements as much as possible. But how do you use your vehicle without exposure? Driving is one thing, parking is another. If possible, keep the vehicle inside of a garage so that it is protected from wind, hail, birds, trees, rain, and a spare ball flying over from the neighbor’s yard (your kids would never do such a thing). If a garage isn’t possible, avoid parking under trees where bird droppings and sap can land on the new paint: these are slightly corrosive, and weak paint means that more damage than usual can happen.
At a month out, you shouldn’t have much to worry about. At two, you ought to be completely dry and cured. Keep taking care of that vehicle, and the paint will last for years to come.
Big Sky Collision Center Paints Vehicles in Billings, MT
Been in an accident? Had someone key your car? Having issues with rust? Bring your rig to Big Sky Collision Center. Our expert technicians treat every vehicle as though it were their own. The result is that you get superior service, attention to detail, and a safe vehicle to drive home. Call us at 406-259-6328 to schedule a time.