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Volvo 850 Red Paint Restoration

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

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atucker1
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atucker1

Volvo 850 Red Paint Restoration

Post by atucker1 » Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:09 pm

As any of you with a red P80 know, the single stage paint oxidizes very quickly and turns a pretty sad shade of pink. There are a lot of tutorials out there about how to restore the paint on these cars, so this is what worked for me. I based my technique off of this superb article https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2014/11/2 ... age-paint/, which is in itself based off of this extensive guide https://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/ho ... aints.html.

In the end, I probably dumped 30-40 hours of time into this project, but right now that was exactly what I needed to fill my time :D

First, some before and after pictures (some of the after shots are before I applied the trim restorer):
volvo-3 ed.jpg
after-2 ed.jpg
volvo-6.jpg
after-11.jpg
volvo-7.jpg
after-10.jpg
volvo-13.jpg
after-17.jpg
volvo-9.jpg
after-15.jpg
As you can see, before the paint is totally oxidized, tons of water spots, just plain ugly. After, the paint has regained its darker red tones, the reflections are crisper, and the water spots are mostly gone. One of the most impressive shots to me is the C-pillar, which before had horrible water spotting and after has none. The paint looks a lot better in real life than it does in the pictures, too, I couldn't quite get the settings dialed in on my camera and was running out of daylight. Anyway, the transformation was incredible overall, and a few neighbors stopped to ask me if it was actually the same car.

Now for what I did. The tutorials linked above all follow the same basic progression of washing the car to remove dirt, using a clay bar to remove more embedded contaminants (brake dust, etc...), polishing to remove oxidation (optional), soaking with Meguiar's #7 Show Car Glaze (this is where the magic happens), then applying paste wax to seal the paint. For each step, just follow the instructions that come with the product. Step 4 deviates from the instructions a bit since you leave the product on the paint for 12-24 hours, but otherwise it's basically the same as what it says to do on the box.

1. Washed with a wash mitt and generic auto soap.

2. Cleaned with Meguiar's Clay Bar Kit. I had read somewhere online that a clay bar removes oxidation, so I was disappointed when the paint looked the same after this step. It will feel smoother, but don't worry if it doesn't look any different. The magic happens a bit later but this step is important to prepare the paint.

3. In the Hemmings tutorial, they recommend skipping the polishing step if you are unsure of the paint's overall condition. I did an experiment, polishing the hood with Turtle Wax Cleaner Compound before soaking with #7 in step 4, and on the roof just skipping the polish and going straight to step 4. In the end, I couldn't tell a difference in the results after step 4, and polishing is a ton of work, so for the rest of the car I just skipped the polishing. For me it wasn't worth all the extra work since I couldn't see any difference.

4. Applied a generous layer of Meguiar's #7 Show Car Glaze. This basically has a bunch of oils that soak back into the paint and return the color. I left it on for about 18 hours and then buffed off with a microfiber cloth. You'll be amazed at the results, it completely erases oxidation and water spotting. Seriously, this stuff is a miracle. I soaked the mirrors two times with very heavy coats because they were so horribly oxidized. They look a bit better but I think their plastic just doesn't age well.

5. Waxed with Turtle Wax Paste Wax. (I know Turtle Wax gets a lot of crap, but it's what I had laying around and it looks fine).

6. (Optional) I used Turtle Wax Trim Restorer on the bumpers, side trim pieces, and door handles.

I can't reiterate how much of a difference this all made to the car's overall appearance. It did take a lot of time, but you absolutely don't need to settle for a faded pink car! Happy to answer any questions about the process if anyone else is trying to take advantage of this downtime to get their paint sorted :D
Attachments
after-45.jpg
Last edited by atucker1 on Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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matthew1

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matthew1
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matthew1

Re: Volvo 850 Red Paint Restoration

Post by matthew1 » Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:46 pm

Scheduled for inclusion in the Volvo Repair Database.

This is awesome.
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1997 850 T5, MSD ignition coil, Hallman manual boost controller, injectors, R bumper, OMP strut brace [gone]
2004 V70 R [gone]

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JimBee
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JimBee

Re: Volvo 850 Red Paint Restoration

Post by JimBee » Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:59 pm

The result is stunning. But are you actually treating the clear coat or the paint itself?

Oops, I see the answer to my question—wasn't aware that some colors weren't produced without a clearcoat.

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MoVolvos
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MoVolvos

Re: Volvo 850 Red Paint Restoration

Post by MoVolvos » Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:31 pm

.
My red 83 VW GTI use to have the same paint issues. Now I know it's the characteristics of the single stage paint. My hands, polishing and wiping cloths were all red afterwards.
.
Same car with Gold BBS wheels.
https://bringatrailer.com/wp-content/up ... ront_1.jpg
.
A friend's Dad who was the GM of a Chevy dealership introduced us to P&S Hi Tone Glaze. This cut and polish in one step and was just wipe on and wipe off. Gave an exceptional brilliant shine like no other but was not long lasting. Used by the dealerships and car show circuit.
.
https://psdetailproducts.com/i-16749301 ... glaze.html
.
Later I was introduced to Klasse when it first came out. Like P&S light work/buffing but a longer lasting shine.
.
https://klasseusa.com/
.
You can wax over either to further preserve and prolong the shine. Both made quick work of the oxidation.
.
Blessings,

BKM

1998 S70 T5 - Donated
2003 S80 T6
2003 GS300
2003 Odyssey
2008 C30 T5
2019 Atlas SE 4 Motion

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atucker1
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Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 4:34 pm
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atucker1

Re: Volvo 850 Red Paint Restoration

Post by atucker1 » Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:54 pm

MoVolvos wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:31 pm
.
My red 83 VW GTI use to have the same paint issues. Now I know it's the characteristics of the single stage paint. My hands, polishing and wiping cloths were all red afterwards.
.
Same car with Gold BBS wheels.
https://bringatrailer.com/wp-content/up ... ront_1.jpg
.
A friend's Dad who was the GM of a Chevy dealership introduced us to P&S Hi Tone Glaze. This cut and polish in one step and was just wipe on and wipe off. Gave an exceptional brilliant shine like no other but was not long lasting. Used by the dealerships and car show circuit.
.
https://psdetailproducts.com/i-16749301 ... glaze.html
.
Later I was introduced to Klasse when it first came out. Like P&S light work/buffing but a longer lasting shine.
.
https://klasseusa.com/
.
You can wax over either to further preserve and prolong the shine. Both made quick work of the oxidation.
.
Interesting to hear about those other similar products, I have heard mostly of the Meguiar's but obviously there would be other brands as well. I will make sure to report on how well this holds up, I'm planning to keep up regular washing and waxing but the pollen here in Washington state can be brutal. We shall see...

Matty Moo
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Matty Moo

Re: Volvo 850 Red Paint Restoration

Post by Matty Moo » Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:50 pm

I bought a 93 f-350 last winter that had never seen wax or a car wash, same single stage paint and oxidized. I didn't clay, I only used meguiars ultimate compound, applied with a DA and waxed it. I did it in the beginning of March and only had one warm day to do it . Should have clayed it, but didn't.
Attachments
20200301_180418.jpg
Image
http://www.midwest-abs.com
Simplycleanpowerwash.com

1996 850 Platinum Wagon. ARD Green Tune, OBX.-Gone
1998 s70 ARD tune, EST exhaust, SE/R interior.
1999 s70 Plain Jane.
2000 s70 GLT
2014 Ram
2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

User avatar
MoVolvos
Posts: 2385
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MoVolvos

Re: Volvo 850 Red Paint Restoration

Post by MoVolvos » Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:16 pm

Matty Moo wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:50 pm
I bought a 93 f-350 last winter that had never seen wax or a car wash, same single stage paint and oxidized. I didn't clay, I only used meguiars ultimate compound, applied with a DA and waxed it. I did it in the beginning of March and only had one warm day to do it . Should have clayed it, but didn't.
.
The bed looks new also besides the truck. Paint is showroom condition. The interesting thing is single stage shines nicely but late model cars look better with a clear coat as it give depth. Perhaps we have been train over the years so can't mix and match what we are use to in terms of single stage and clear coated paint.
.
Blessings,

BKM

1998 S70 T5 - Donated
2003 S80 T6
2003 GS300
2003 Odyssey
2008 C30 T5
2019 Atlas SE 4 Motion

User avatar
MoVolvos
Posts: 2385
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:47 pm
Year and Model: 03S80T6~08C30T5
Location: NC
Has thanked: 29 times
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United States of America
MoVolvos

Re: Volvo 850 Red Paint Restoration

Post by MoVolvos » Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:41 pm

atucker1 wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:54 pm
MoVolvos wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:31 pm
.
My red 83 VW GTI use to have the same paint issues. Now I know it's the characteristics of the single stage paint. My hands, polishing and wiping cloths were all red afterwards.
.
Same car with Gold BBS wheels.
https://bringatrailer.com/wp-content/up ... ront_1.jpg
.
A friend's Dad who was the GM of a Chevy dealership introduced us to P&S Hi Tone Glaze. This cut and polish in one step and was just wipe on and wipe off. Gave an exceptional brilliant shine like no other but was not long lasting. Used by the dealerships and car show circuit.
.
https://psdetailproducts.com/i-16749301 ... glaze.html
.
Later I was introduced to Klasse when it first came out. Like P&S light work/buffing but a longer lasting shine.
.
https://klasseusa.com/
.
You can wax over either to further preserve and prolong the shine. Both made quick work of the oxidation.
.
Interesting to hear about those other similar products, I have heard mostly of the Meguiar's but obviously there would be other brands as well. I will make sure to report on how well this holds up, I'm planning to keep up regular washing and waxing but the pollen here in Washington state can be brutal. We shall see...
.
Just found a full tin of Hi-Tone which my brother gave me 4 years ago. He probably had it for over 10 years and barely used it. Will see how it works along with the wheel cleaner on the 08 C30 and a 2010 P71 Interceptor this weekend
.
Detailing.jpg
.
Blessings,

BKM

1998 S70 T5 - Donated
2003 S80 T6
2003 GS300
2003 Odyssey
2008 C30 T5
2019 Atlas SE 4 Motion

Matty Moo
Posts: 1783
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:38 pm
Year and Model: 850, 1996
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
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Matty Moo

Re: Volvo 850 Red Paint Restoration

Post by Matty Moo » Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:12 pm

MoVolvos wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:16 pm
Matty Moo wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:50 pm
I bought a 93 f-350 last winter that had never seen wax or a car wash, same single stage paint and oxidized. I didn't clay, I only used meguiars ultimate compound, applied with a DA and waxed it. I did it in the beginning of March and only had one warm day to do it . Should have clayed it, but didn't.
.
The bed looks new also besides the truck. Paint is showroom condition. The interesting thing is single stage shines nicely but late model cars look better with a clear coat as it give depth. Perhaps we have been train over the years so can't mix and match what we are use to in terms of single stage and clear coated paint.
.
The flatbed had no wood on it, no lights and was all rust. The trucks frame was rusty also. I wire wheeled it, sprayed rust converter, painted it then wired it up and installed all new led. Lights. . Putting on new wood was the worst part. I paid 2k for it, it has a 351w, 3 speed auto and 109k on it. With all of my pressure washing equipment bolted on and 200 gallons of water I get 8mpg. But, it's better than pulling a trailer and less likely to get stolen.
Image
http://www.midwest-abs.com
Simplycleanpowerwash.com

1996 850 Platinum Wagon. ARD Green Tune, OBX.-Gone
1998 s70 ARD tune, EST exhaust, SE/R interior.
1999 s70 Plain Jane.
2000 s70 GLT
2014 Ram
2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

User avatar
MoVolvos
Posts: 2385
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:47 pm
Year and Model: 03S80T6~08C30T5
Location: NC
Has thanked: 29 times
Been thanked: 69 times
United States of America
MoVolvos

Re: Volvo 850 Red Paint Restoration

Post by MoVolvos » Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:34 pm

Matty Moo wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:12 pm
MoVolvos wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:16 pm
Matty Moo wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:50 pm
I bought a 93 f-350 last winter that had never seen wax or a car wash, same single stage paint and oxidized. I didn't clay, I only used meguiars ultimate compound, applied with a DA and waxed it. I did it in the beginning of March and only had one warm day to do it . Should have clayed it, but didn't.
.
The bed looks new also besides the truck. Paint is showroom condition. The interesting thing is single stage shines nicely but late model cars look better with a clear coat as it give depth. Perhaps we have been train over the years so can't mix and match what we are use to in terms of single stage and clear coated paint.
.
The flatbed had no wood on it, no lights and was all rust. The trucks frame was rusty also. I wire wheeled it, sprayed rust converter, painted it then wired it up and installed all new led. Lights. . Putting on new wood was the worst part. I paid 2k for it, it has a 351w, 3 speed auto and 109k on it. With all of my pressure washing equipment bolted on and 200 gallons of water I get 8mpg. But, it's better than pulling a trailer and less likely to get stolen.
A great job making that look new and it'll definitely promote your business. I use to have a 78 Cougar XR7 with the 351 Windsor. CAT delete, dual exhaust with glasspacked turbo mufflers. Exceptional metallic exhaust notes. Not too loud and sounded like it had Cams. Got probably around 13 mpg max but who counted those days.
.
Blessings,

BKM

1998 S70 T5 - Donated
2003 S80 T6
2003 GS300
2003 Odyssey
2008 C30 T5
2019 Atlas SE 4 Motion

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