I came to the point where I had to make some decisions regarding my tonneau cover's paint.
On the one hand, my cover's blue and white custom flame paint job held tremendous value in my eyes. Being one of the first big investments in my truck in 2001 back when I was in high school, I had grown attached to the look; I had grown up with this paint job on the truck. I liked the design from day one.
On the other hand, I could no longer deny that my beloved paint job was falling apart, literally. Through four full years of life in a blazing hot public university resident parking lot, the paintjob had taken a beating. The fresh, glossy finish had taken on a flat, dull finish that resembled a chalk board more than paint. The bright, white flames had turned a cloudy yellowish grey. Any care I attempted to give the cover just made it worse and left me with a sinking feeling and a suspicion that surely I had done something wrong to cause this. Beyond washing and a quick mist and wipe down of the cover, I didn't know what to do to make it better.
Some had surmised that the cloudy, oxidized cover was beyond any hope of restoration to its days of former glory, and that I should just have it stripped and repainted. Others said it could be buffed to a better state with a little work. With a glimpse of hope, my brother busted out his rotary on it one Sunday afternoon with whatever product we could find in the garage. After really leaning into it (which we would strongly advise you NOT to do), we did notice there was some shine still left under all the gloom. However, with three quarters of the cover untouched, we aborted the project, concluding that something could be done. Unfortunately, life took over, and the cover project took a backseat until earlier this month.
Still stuck at the height of indecision and daily growing more sensitive to the increasing ridicule (as if my truck doesn't get that enough!), I was motivated to give attention to the restoration option after attending a Meguiar's MediaMeet on March 4th. This event focused on the current direction of the automotive hobby. I felt very motivated and encouraged after being around other enthusiasts and seeing what big differences products like Meguiar's can make for any vehicle. I was convinced that even though moving forward on custom projects may be rough right now, for all of us, due to the "economy", we can all still enjoy the vehicles that we DO have by taking care of them!
A few days later, I got in contact with the guys and gals over at Meguiar's in order to give my tonneau cover one last shot. If Meguiar's said it was a hopeless cause, I would at least know I had given it a fair chance and effort before totally giving up.
And so the story begins...