Written by : Unit--11 Team

Posted on : January 3, 2024

Revamp Your Car’s Exterior: A Beginner’s Guide

As motoring enthusiasts, we treasure every curve, finish, and gleaming detail of our automobiles. It’s more than just a way to get from point A to B; it’s a firm manifestation of our passion. Nevertheless, natural wear and tear over the years can cause this adored exterior to fade, prompting a need for restoration. In this context, we focus on the integral parts of exterior refurbishing namely; headlight restoration, car paint restoration, and trim renovation. By learning how to breathe new life into your car’s exterior, not only can you enhance your ride’s elegance but also significantly improve its road-beating performance.

Headlight Restoration

Turning Back the Clock on Your Car’s Headlights – A Surefire Guide

Are your car’s headlights looking a little worse for wear, so murky they could be borrowed from a jolly good British horror film? Don’t fret, you’re not alone. Time and environmental factors play havoc on our car’s bulbs, causing them to cloud over and reducing their effectiveness considerably. But, before you start imagining a hefty bill for replacement headlights – stop right there! With a little bit of elbow grease, you can restore your headlights to their original state, their glowing ‘showroom’ best.

Let’s get cracking, shall we?

Firstly, clean your headlights using a standard car shampoo. No fancy stuff required here, just ensure every trace of dirt is scrubbed away. While you are at it, cover the immediate area surrounding the headlights with masking tape. This is just to protect the car’s bodywork from the restoration process – we don’t want any unnecessary mishaps!

Next up, it’s sandpaper time. Opt for two grades – start with a 600-grit paper and finish with a smoother 1500-grit. Now, to the uninitiated, sanding your headlights can sound as dreadful as nails down a chalkboard. But trust us – it’s a harmless little scrub that will pay dividends. Remember to dampen the sandpaper and work across the surface in a circular motion. Start off gently, don’t be overzealous!

The sanding process will no doubt leave your headlights looking like they’ve been sneezed on by a spectre. They’ll be cloudy and dull, but don’t lose heart – this is part of the process. Our next step is to turn that frown upside down (or your headlights, in this case).

Next, apply a compound polish — this is where the magic happens. We at Unit–11 personally recommend the Gtechniq M1 All Metal Polish. Work this into the headlight using a soft cloth, firmly and in circular motions, until you start to see the original shine breaking through.

Now, let’s seal the deal. After all that buffing and polishing, it’s unwise to leave your freshly restored headlights unprotected. We harbour a strong affection for the Gtechniq C1 Crystal Lacquer. This unique coating envelops the headlight in a sort of ‘invisible suit of armour’, prolonging the clarity and keeping the headlight spruced up for ages!

Remember, all headlights don’t fade equally. Some may require additional TLC, and tougher restoration cases may need professional help. If this is the case, why not call on the experts at Unit–11 ? With 30 years of car care under our belts, your cherished motor couldn’t be in safer hands. We offer a range of professional services from detailing, paint correction to ceramic coating and paint protection film.

As a master of car detailing and restoration with unrivalled expertise, we adore sharing our trade secrets. However, we understand that not everyone has the time, or maybe the inclination, to tackle their tired headlights. That’s where Unit–11 comes in, ready to take care of your precious motor with the care, sophistication, and yes, affection it deserves.

Headlights restoration guide, step by step.

Photo by jonasmorgner on Unsplash

Car Paint Restoration

Now that we’ve covered the chucklesome world of cloudy headlights, let’s shift gears and delve into the profound realms of car paintwork. You’ve doubled down on the detailing of your headlamps, but what about the canvas that makes your ride truly stand out – the paintwork? If Autobahn, country roads, and urban congestion have taken a toll on your treasured charabanc, fret not! We, at Unit–11, wielding the magic wand of Gtechniq car care products, are all set to guide you through the restoration and protection of your car’s paintwork.

First thing’s first – clean your car. Your car’s paintwork is a delicate mistress that despises dust, dirt, and grime! Here, the ‘two bucket wash method’ comes into play, a classic British ritual as timeless as Earl Grey tea at teatime. One bucket carries your shampoo and water mix, the other, clean water for rinsing your mitt after every pass, thus ensuring you don’t reintroduce dirt onto your car’s surface.

Next up is the detoxification stage. No, this isn’t a wellness trend for vehicles. A clay bar is your instrument of choice here, skimming over the paintwork, drawing out impurities, and leaving your car’s skin smoother than a well-groomed Ascot horse. Remember, lubrication is key! A clay lubricant keeps the clay from sticking and causing any undue blemishes.

Now comes the restoration step. You’ve already honed your sanding skills on the headlights, now it’s time to apply those skills on the paintwork. Yes, ladies and gents – sanding your car. Start with a 2000 grit sandpaper and work on one section at a time, ensuring all scratches are out and the surface is smooth.

After this, it’s time for polish. This isn’t just for making your brogues glimmer for a swanky soiree- a good compound polish, applied with a dual-action polisher (not your dress shoes), can restore vibrancy to your car’s colour. It’s like having a refreshing glass of Pimms on a sunny day – simply invigorating.

To seal all the hard work, we advocate a Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra ceramic coating, known to keep your paint looking showroom fresh, and adds a gloss that outshines anything in its class. It’s like slapping on a coat of armour, capable of resisting all sorts of harmful elements like fallout, bird droppings, and UV rays.

Last to mention, is the hailed Suntek Paint Protection Film (PPF), protection on steroids, capable of self-healing its surface, maintaining that coveted glossy finish whilst offering insane resistance to acid, alkali, and more!

Sounds like a fair bit of work, doesn’t it? Well, isn’t your cherished roadster worth it? If all these steps have left you overwhelmed, why not leave it to professionals? Pay us a visit at Unit–11 where we have over thirty years of experience sprinkled with a charm and wit that only a quintessentially British detailing company could offer. Grant your car the royal treatment it truly deserves, chums. See you soon!

Image of a car with pristine paintwork, shining under the sun

Trim Restoration

Expanding Your Car Restoration Skills to Trim

After you have mastered the art of headlight restoration, why not turn to the trim? Over time, your car’s trim can fade, becoming less vibrant and looking worn. For those picture-perfect cars, this simply won’t do. No worries. Your trusty companions at Unit–11 are here with top-notch tips, garnered from over 30 years in the field.

The plastic trim on your car is not impervious to the wrath of Mother Nature. Sunlight, especially, can be a scallywag, causing the plastic to dull and lose its youthful charm. But, fret not! With a trim restorer, you can return that plastic trim to its former glory.

You’ll find many brands of trim restore out there in the wild. Our weapon of choice in the Unit–11 arsenal is Gtechniq’s C4 Permanent Trim Restorer. It’s cracking good stuff. Post-application, it restores the trim to its original finish and provides a protective barrier against the elements for about two years. Not bad, eh?

You’ll start by ensuring your trim is squeaky clean and dry. Don a pair of nitrile gloves and using a microfibre applicator pad, apply a few drops of the C4 Permanent Trim Restorer to the pad. Then work in the product using circular motions just as you did with your headlights.

Take your time. Delve into the tiny crevices and corners to ensure a uniform application. If any product ends up on the paintwork, swiftly remove it. If it dries, it could cause a bit of a bother later on. If you find any high spots or streaks after your first pass, use a second microfibre cloth to even things out. We’re after perfection here.

Now comes the part where patience is indeed a virtue. Let the product cure for a minimum of 12 hours. If you’ve applied it outdoors, ensure no rain is forecasted for the curing duration.

After the curing time, boom! You’ll find yourself staring at good-as-new trim. It’s a stunner, right? Your car will have reclaimed part of its former glory and will sport a spruced up appearance.

In instances where the trim damage extends beyond surface level like cracks or deep scrapes, it may be well beyond the help of simple DIY. This is where Unit–11 steps in. We’re armed with top-of-the-range Suntek Paint Protection Film, Gtechniq ceramic coatings, and a dedicated team of wizard-like detailers and restorers.

So why not put your motor in the capable hands of our experienced professionals? After all, you’ve done brilliantly well so far. Let the pros finish the job to ensure your vehicle looks its very best. At Unit–11, we’ve seen it all—and fixed it all—when it comes to car restoration. Why settle for DIY, when you can have the masters handle your treasure?

An image of a car trim being restored to its former glory.

Thoroughly refurbishing a car’s exterior necessitates a blend of skill, patience, and enkindling curiosity. From revamping clouded headlights, repainting faded bodywork to repair or replacement of trim sections, each process involves meticulous attention to detail and masterful use of tools and materials. Regardless of whether you’re motivated by the appeal of driving a car that gleams like new, or you’re dedicated to increasing its resale value, understanding these restorative procedures will prove a worthwhile automotive undertaking. So, roll up your sleeves, put on those work gloves, and let’s hear your engine roar as you begin this rewarding journey of car restoration.