Vehicle Care

Caring for a New Paint Job

Washing Your Vehicle

Wait Two Weeks Before Washing Your Vehicle

You’ve had your car painted and now it’s time to learn about caring for a new paint job. We suggest waiting two weeks before washing your car. If you have encountered mud, dust or bird droppings within this period, rinse with water and gently dry with a soft micro fiber towel designed for cars. Be especially careful during this time.

After the two week waiting period, you can wash the car. Use only a specially formulated, mild car soap (like Meguiars or Mothers). Never use dish soap on your car as it can dull the new paint finish. Wet the car first and then apply your soapy water gently with a soft, scratch free towel or sponge designed to be used on cars. Do not scrub the car. Rinse with lots of water. If you are in a car wash, use the spot-free rinse. It is important to rinse very thoroughly since it removes all residue the soap may leave behind. Dry the car gently with a soft, scratch free, lint free towel meant for cars. Water left behind can leave permanent water marks on fresh paint.

Be sure to wash your car in this manner every week as a newly painted car should be washed weekly in order to maintain its appearance and protect your new investment. The better you look after your new paint job, the longer it will last.

Two Months Later – OK to Wax

It is important to apply wax to the new paint; however, it’s best to wait two months before waxing your vehicle. This allows enough time for the paint to “cure” completely. (The term “curing” really applies to allowing the solvents and thinners used in the paint to fully evaporate allowing the paint to fully harden). It is recommended that you use the best wax your budget will permit, preferably a carnauba wax. Follow the manufacturers instructions on the can of wax and apply to your car. To protect your paint for years to come, wax your vehicle on a regular basis.

Tips to Help Protect Your Car’s Paint

It is always best to park your car in a garage or covered area if possible. Of course this is not always possible so we have prepared a list of tips as a reminder to help you protect your new paint.

  • Do not leave your vehicle parked under trees that drop sap or berries. As well trees with berries attract birds whose droppings will also ruin your paint finish if not rinsed off quickly
  • Never scrape snow or ice from the surface. The snow scraper will act like a paint scraper on your fresh paint job.
  • If you live in a hot climate or an area with hot summers, try to park your vehicle in the shade whenever possible. Sun can cause fading over time.
  • If you accidentally spill oil, gasoline, antifreeze, windshield solvent or transmission fluid on your car, be sure to rinse it off immediately using water. Try to avoid wiping the area, as it may smear. If you need to wipe it, try to do so as gently as possible.
  • Avoiding gravel roads is always a good idea or driving through shrubbery that can scratch your vehicle. As well, newly laid asphalt can be difficult to remove and if left too long can damage the paint.
  • Touch-up any scratches or chips as soon as it is possible. If left unattended deep chips and scratches can quickly start to rust the metal areas of your vehicle.


Are you ready to show your car some love? Check out Econo Auto Painting Locations for a shop near you. Estimates are always free and all paint jobs carry a prorated guarantee.


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