This may seem like an oxymoron, but you should consider caring for your patina vehicles finish. If you do not care for it, it is likely that that surface rust could turn into holes and weaken the sheet metal over time. I am not advocating washing and waxing it every week (that defeats the purpose of having something that you have to worry about to much) but just a couple simple easy ways to care for your patina is what I am advocating.
There are also some that like the way the truck looks currently and will want to continue to let it age and rust over time. The good news is you can do that, or you can do a few things that may help on your end to extend the current look of the patina car or truck you have. One of the biggest ways to help is keeping the vehicle inside and out of the elements. It is crazy what damage the sun, wind, rain, snow, etc. can do to a paint finish. You can alleviate all that by just keeping something in the garage. Patina is after all rust, rust is typically not a good think when talking about a vehicle, so if you can minimize the actual rust process while maintaining the worn-out look. You will have a car or truck that will last many years and not be a safety hazard while driving down the road.
We typically do a couple things to preserve our trucks current patina finish. Keep in mind this is helping to protect the finish and it also enhances it. We usually like to wash the truck down with a mixture of CLR and water with a scotchbrite pad. With this method we find it takes away some of the heavy surface rust and oxidation on the paint and brings back some of the color from the paint. Next step is to apply Penetrol, Boiled Lindseed oil or a new product called Patina Sauce from Sweetpatina.com. This does two things, gives the whole truck a coat of protectant and gives it a slight shine that really makes the paint color, the primer color, and the rust color pop. It generally lasts about a month or so depending on the conditions the truck lives in. This is the most popular method of preserving your patina and currently the most widely used because of the east and cost. There are also a couple detailing products on the market that claim to be patina protectants. We have purchased a couple and will test them out on an old truck and report our findings in our next blog post.
The last method of caring for your patina finish is to clear coat it…… yes you heard me clear coat it. The same clear coat you would apply to a new cars painted finish, yes automotive clear coat. This method is a bit controversial amongst enthusiasts. Reasoning being is clear coat is typically what gives cars their shine. Most purists believe rust should not shine and it looks really fake to see a rusty truck or car all shinny and new. To me it does kill it as it looks artificial to roll up on a truck or car that is 60 years old with shinny patina. At the end of the day it is your car, and you can do whatever you wish. We have experimented with clearcoat and now on occasion if we want to protect the car and give it a bit of pop (and don’t want to apply Penetrol or Lindseed oil every month) we have devised a matte clearcoat that we use. With the matte clear we are protecting the paint and the truck will have a more permanent slight sheen to it. That is the beauty of patina and customization, the sky’s the limit on what you can do.