Fifty Shades Redder – How to replenish old & faded paintwork with Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound!

Published: 03 December 2015

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Neglecting your car’s paint over time can result in a poor and often dull finish – something that is even more apparent on colours including yellows and reds. Last year we set ourselves one of the biggest challenges to date: restoring the faded paint of a Mk2 Golf using nothing but off-the-shelf Meguiar’s products. It proved to be such a huge success we’ve set ourselves an even bigger task this year – introducing the ’50 Shades Redder’ Corsa C!

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What makes this Vauxhall even more daunting is just how quickly the paint has deteriorated from factory fresh to a patchy pink mess. Rolled off the production line back in 2004, Andy’s Corsa C is no spring chicken but unlike the Golf from last year this one hasn’t been left exposed to the elements for years. Is it possible to bring paint this faded back to life? Let’s find out…

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Aside from the obvious discoloration, Andy’s Corsa was littered with tree sap and contaminants left behind after an initial jet wash. In circumstances like this, Meguiar’s always recommends using a clay bar before attempting any cutting or compound.

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Clay is an essential step in preparing the paint prior to any swirl or scratch removals, as well as restoration. It’s a quick and easy way or removing tree sap, road tar and industrial fallout. Simply apply Meguiar’s detailer to the surface as a lubricant, run the clay bar with finger pressure only over the surface and watch the contaminants disappear. NOTE: Don’t try and use water as a lubricant, and if you drop a clay bar on the floor put it in the bin.

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Surface prepped, it was time for the real fun to begin. Our secret weapon here is Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound – one of our most-popular swirl removal products currently available. More importantly, Ultimate Compound is loaded with paint cleaners specifically formulated to revive tired and faded paint.

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This was applied using our new MT3OOC Dual Action Polisher and a 5in Soft Foam Polishing Disc, and almost instantly the paint came back to life! Depending on how severe your car’s paint is, it may require two or three passes over certain areas to achieve a glossy, consistent finish.

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Using the bonnet as an example, you can see just how quickly and easily the paint is corrected using the right combination of Meguiar’s products. But we weren’t finished just yet. One thing that soon became apparent was the large amount of scratches and swirls put into the paint through years of bad washing techniques, previously hidden by the faded paintwork.

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To tackle this, we switched to the Meguiar’s DA Microfibre System to quickly and effectively correct the surface of the paint. As the name suggests, this system utilises a microfibre pad rather than foam to give the cut of a rotary with the safety of a Dual Action polisher. This system is for trained professionals and those who are familiar and confident when using a DA setup.

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When paint is faded as bad as this, it’s always worth applying several coats of Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish using the MT3ooC complete with a 5in finishing pad for a quick and efficient coating. A common misconception is that polish only protects the paint, but that simply isn’t the case. Polish feeds the paint with essential oils needed to maintain a shiny and long-lasting finish, but it must always be sealed with a wax.

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The final step on the paint was to then protect the finish the team had spent so long creating. For this we used Ultimate Wax, which is Meguiar’s flagship wax. This was applied and allowed to cure for approximately 20-30 minutes and then removed with a clean microfibre towel for a super-glossy finish.

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Hard to believe the paint looks this good, right? With so much work put into the paint, you can’t say a car is finished without dressing the interior, exterior plastics and tyres! Although faded, the Corsa’s trim remained in good condition and with several applications of Meguiar’s Dash & Trim Restorer were back to glossy black.

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For the interior, the All Purpose Cleaner will attack even the most stubborn grime off a variety of surfaces and finishes, while the tyres were dressed with our award-winning Endurance Tyre Gel. The end result is nothing short of spectacular!

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‘I knew it would be good… but I didn’t realise it would be this good!’ explains Andy, who could barely believe it was still the same car. While not all car’s paintwork is this far faded, Andy’s Corsa is another perfect example of just how much you can revive paint with a little knowledge and the right products.

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When you weigh up the cost of a full re-spray compared to the products used on this restoration, it’s an absolute no-brainer if you find your car’s paint in a similar state. Best of all, every product is specifically designed for consumer use – so get out and give it a go yourself!

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