Why Is My Car’s Paint Cracking?

Spiderweb Scratches on Black Car

The Facts Behind Spider Webbing and Dry Paintwork

If you’ve owned a car for a long time, chances are you’ve noticed some aging, especially in relation to your paint. This happens over time, but it’s important to understand why this happens and how to prevent it. Small cracks, light spider webbing, and hairline fractures make paint unappealing and dull; something no car enthusiast should be proud of. Continue reading for a quick dive into dry paint, what you can do, and what you should’ve done to prevent it…

What is dry paint?

Dry paint is the premature loss of oils from a car’s clear coat, making the surface appear lightly fractured. Commonly referred to as “spider webbing,” these fractures resemble cracks in human skin as a result of dryness – think of dry, rough hands. Dry paint can be cured, but it’s best to prevent it from occurring in the first place to keep your car healthy and looking great.

What causes dry paint?

Paint becomes dry for a number of reasons, but mostly due to environmental factors such as UV rays and temperature change. For example, a car that’s exposed to constant sunlight during the summer is going to dry out fairly quick unless proper prevention steps are taken. Other culprits, such as road salt and freezing temperatures, can also further the drying process and continue to perpetuate the fracturing of your car’s paintwork.

Preventing dry paint.

Proper car care is the first step to having lustrous paintwork throughout your car’s lifespan. A simple wax application at least 4 times a year can work wonders by keeping your car’s clear coat healthy and nourished. Carnauba wax acts as the moisturizer for your car’s dry paint. Tip: carnauba wax replenishes lost oils that are dried out by UV rays, high heat, and other environmental factors.

Fixing dry paint.

Quickly waxing your car will lessen the appearance of spider webbing, but it should not be the only step you take to cure the problem. A light hand polishing procedure will help to smooth out effected regions, significantly increasing the wax’s overall effectiveness when applied. No need to cut the paint with heavy compounds, a smoothing polish will do just fine. Follow that with a wax and your car will look as beautiful as ever.

The bottom line is that nobody likes to see their car’s paint dry out when it’s so easy to prevent. Now that you’ve learned the steps to keep this from happening, jump on the issue before it becomes a problem and pick up a wax, wax your car, and enjoy it’s beautiful paint for a long time to come!