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Restoring Oxidized Paint

The following is an email I got from Eduardo and wanted to pass along in case any of you have paint oxidation spots on your Volvos:

“I’ve got a suggestion about restoring oxidized paint. I don’t even know if it’s a fix which is original on my part, but I tried it without any outside input, recently used it on my Volvo, and again confirmed it works.

I’ve had several vehicles which have had oxidized patches happen to parts of the paintwork. About a couple of months ago I bought a low-mileage 2000 Volvo S70 with stick shift, in the San Francisco bay area. The paint is “silver”, which I like very much, but the passenger compartment’s top-surface was oxidized in several large patches. That didn’t bother me much, as that kind of thing is cheap to fix in Guatemala City, where I live, but before risking the car’s original paintwork to the mercies of a body shop, I tried applying Armor All (the original formula) on the deteriorated patches. It worked. So far, I’ve (well, not really me, but a permanent employee of mine) had the protectant vigorously applied several times on the whitish patches, followed by a wax buffing each time. The whitish oxidized patches have almost totally disappeared. I think that if the protectant + waxing is done a few more times, they’ll either completely disappear, or become invisible to all but to a person who is knowingly looking for the defects.

Of course, when the Armor All is applied it leaves an oily residue on the painted surface, but the oxidation disappears, at least for some hours. If you let the protectant permeate into the paintwork overnight, before wax buffing the surface, each time you do the procedure will diminish the whitishness of the oxidation. I’ve done this procedure on several vehicles I’ve owned (the sun is fierce in a tropical country, although mild compared to the incredible heat of summer in, say, Texas; but Guatemala City’s altitude – about 4,500 feet – means that the ultraviolet radiation component of sunlight is much stronger. Anyway, I’ve never really understood why they call more northern latitudes the ‘temperate’ zones of the world. Nowhere else I’ve been compares to the fertility of nature or the mildness of the climate of the tropical highlands of Latin America – not that I’m unprejudiced, of course).

Anyway, before repainting your Volvo’s oxidized hood, roof or trunk, give my recipe a try. It goes without saying that the sooner you catch the problem, the easier it will be to fix it, so don’t dither.”


Many thanks to Eduardo for sending this tip in.


I’m not sure this will hold up. Oxidization is microscopic pits in the paint, and it will look better if those pits are smoothed out by anything, wax, oil, teflon, etc. As soon as that covering wears off, you are back to square 1. My red 1997 850 also has oxidized paint, mostly on the hood. Years ago I polished it with a buffer and polishing compound, then waxed it. It looked great for about a year, but it is starting to look oxidized again.

I’m very curious how this is going to hold up.

I know this sounds crazy- but bear with me.
Years ago, I used to work with a pipe maker (tobacco pipes). When he was finished making one, he would take grease from his nose and rub on it and it would shine the finish, then he would wax it. I know it sounds gross but it worked!

I have a small spot on my S70 (I think someone spilled coke on the hood in it’s previous life) and when I walk by it and see the slight oxidation, I rub my nose and then rub it with my fingers- the oxidation is gone for a day or so. I have tried waxing it too afterwards but this lasts about a week before the oxidation is visible again.

I feel that the Armor All will be similar (have learned not to use it on the dash as it attracts dust and gets grimy) but am interested to see how long the oxidation stays away after it is applied and wax used over it.

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