Polishing your Paintwork

How to look after your paintwork

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Blackroc
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Polishing your Paintwork

Post by Blackroc » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:24 pm

So lets re-cap..

If you've followed the cleaning regime so far, you have:

Pre Washed
Snow Foamed
Washed
Rinsed
Dried
De-Tar'd
De-Contaminated
Clayed

Now we start the finishing cycle..polishing your paint to revitalise your cars finish.

Lets make sure you are drying the car properly first. Drying Towels are usually big Microfibre Towels, with thicker fibers on one side, and the idea is to dry your paintwork without putting any pressure on the paint. If your towel has any nylon tags, or sharp edges, its worth either cutting the tags off, or folding the edges in to avoid scratching your paint..

There a few ways of using these towels to dry the car - laying the towel flat, then dragging it over the paint is one way:

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Folding the towel into a square, then 'patting' down the paintwork is another. Once dry, you are ready to crack on with the polish.

Polish comes in liquid form, and is designed with enhancing your paintwork to give it the best look in mind. Most polishes have some form of micro-abrasives (designed to remove fine swirls) Filling capability (fills slightly deeper swirls and or scratches) and the ability (with hard work!) to remove oxidisation on paintwork (where bright paint - like red - has gone pink)

At this stage - its worth mentioning that how you apply your polish can actually affect the finish you are trying to achieve.

I USED to use a microfibre cloth to apply polish and waxes, purely because I didn't know any difference. However, looking back, the polish (Autoglym SRP) would usually 'grab' to the cloth, and I use the same one for the whole car. Oblivious to me at the time, I was actually inflicting more swirls on the car as I was doing this, because the edges and the labels were also getting bashed about over the surface too :cry:

When I started really looking into serious detailing, I discovered foam applicators, and foam tri-core pads, both of which eliminate inflicting swirls, and are far easier to use on cars when applying polishes.

Foam Applicator:

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Tri-Core Applicator:

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They hold the product in the foam, spreading it further and giving you the ability to apply some pressure too, and really get the polish working for you. The reason the pads are dirty in colour, is because good polishes actually pull dirt from the paint as they go.. 8-)

A good polish will turn flat paint (this is due to dirt being present in the paint) into a clean, smooth preparation for a good wax or sealant to sit on.

Below is an example of what I mean - the BMW here is 17 years old, and has had some polishing work done in the past, but due to work, the owner never spends any time cleaning it anymore. The black is flat, and lifeless. When paint is like this, you will still get good results from most polishes, but I went for a deep paint cleaning and rejuvenating specific polish - Auto Finesse Rejuvenate.

Before:

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After: (This has got a final coat of HD wax on too)

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The difference is huge! Despite the HD Wax adding a little gloss, the work was done by Rejuvenate in the first place. (preparation is always key for the best finishes)

Dependent on the look you are going for, more advanced polishes (Auto Finesse Tripple) have arrived on the market - they have added glazes too.

Now glazes are oily based polishes, that are designed to help give a show finish after you have polished your paint, before adding a Wax on top to seal in the finish. They not only give gloss to your paintwork, but they also contain masses of filling properties, and so are ideal for black or dark cars if you have swirls on your car. Unfortunately they offer very little in the way of protection on their own, so a wax needs to be applied to seal in the work you have done. Sealants do not work well with glazes, as the oils in them stop the sealants from bonding to your paint.

This is an example of a polish>glaze>wax combo on a black RS4 off to a show:

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I use Auto Finesse Tripple for most of my work, as its one of the best polishes in the market - purely because its VERY easy on / off, very versatile (can be used on Interior sills and chrome works) and also because the finish it delivers is amazing when topped with a good wax:

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DoDo Juice Supernatural Hybrid wax is used on these pics on this Estoril Blue BMW M135i - it all comes up stunningly! 8-)

To some up - don't scrimp on your polish work, take your time, apply it well, a panel at a time (not too thick or thin!)- let it haze for 5, and make sure you buff it off using clean microfibres.

Finally..... top them with a good wax or sealant, to protect your hard work :D 8-)

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Re: *STICKY* Polishing your Paintwork

Post by RichCranney » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:37 pm

What a bloody fantastic guide! I'll be printing this off!

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Re: Polishing your Paintwork

Post by WannabeaQuandt » Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:59 pm

Great guide and thanks for the AF tripple heads up. Ridiculously easy to use compared to my trusty SRP and the results are spot on!
Too tight to go for SNH at the mo as I've barely made a dent in my HD wax...
Previously - E87 118d M Sport in sapphire black
Current - F20 M140i SE in alpine white

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Re: Polishing your Paintwork

Post by Blackroc » Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:07 pm

WannabeaQuandt wrote:Great guide and thanks for the AF tripple heads up. Ridiculously easy to use compared to my trusty SRP and the results are spot on!
Too tight to go for SNH at the mo as I've barely made a dent in my HD wax...

Glad you are happy with it. Haven't come across a colour it doesn't work with yet!!

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Re: Polishing your Paintwork

Post by Ratcliffe33 » Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:31 pm

My Father has a Porsche GT3 and it has the clear bumper protection vinyl stuff on it, now when you polish it, it gets covered in white streaks that are impossible to get off unless you wash the car again, are there any products out the that would work?
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Re: Polishing your Paintwork

Post by Blackroc » Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:38 pm

Ratcliffe33 wrote:My Father has a Porsche GT3 and it has the clear bumper protection vinyl stuff on it, now when you polish it, it gets covered in white streaks that are impossible to get off unless you wash the car again, are there any products out the that would work?
Hi fella - when you say 'white streaks' - do you mean polish residue? Or is water getting under the film? Have you any pictures?

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Re: Polishing your Paintwork

Post by Ratcliffe33 » Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:43 pm

Blackroc wrote:
Ratcliffe33 wrote:My Father has a Porsche GT3 and it has the clear bumper protection vinyl stuff on it, now when you polish it, it gets covered in white streaks that are impossible to get off unless you wash the car again, are there any products out the that would work?
Hi fella - when you say 'white streaks' - do you mean polish residue? Or is water getting under the film? Have you any pictures?
i think its polish reidue, its on the surface of the vinyl but it just seems impossible to get off !
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Re: Polishing your Paintwork

Post by Blackroc » Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:47 pm

Ratcliffe33 wrote:
Blackroc wrote:
Ratcliffe33 wrote:My Father has a Porsche GT3 and it has the clear bumper protection vinyl stuff on it, now when you polish it, it gets covered in white streaks that are impossible to get off unless you wash the car again, are there any products out the that would work?
Hi fella - when you say 'white streaks' - do you mean polish residue? Or is water getting under the film? Have you any pictures?
i think its polish reidue, its on the surface of the vinyl but it just seems impossible to get off !
Use cotton buds to remove it from the edging, and a Quick Detailer on the polish on the vinyl. Sounds like its drying onto the vinyl. It should remove it easy enough with a quick spritz and a wipe with the microfibre

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Re: Polishing your Paintwork

Post by air_marshall » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:03 pm

Blackroc, awesome guides thanks a lot.

Couple of questions as I plan on prepping my 130i for winter.

Do you do all this polishing by hand? I have access to a DA and have researched into how to use it properly for correction and polishing.

Also, IPA wipedowns - what's your opinion? There is a lot on DW about how they must be done, otherwise your just masking deficiencies. They also say its needed to remove any filling caused by products, but you talk of the great filling qualities of tripple and others. I know everyone has their own opinion but I'm trying to figure this out. Is it dependant on the purpose of the work? I intended to polish with a pad, da and probably megs 205, and 105 where necessary over bonnet chip touch-ups. Then lime prime on a finishing pad (as I have a bottle of it) and then hand apply SNP - 2 coats for winter. Do I need a wipe down? I'm thinking not as I'm not doing major correction and don't need to check I'm clearing it. The SNP over lime prime should still protect well and arguably look better with the fillers...

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Re: Polishing your Paintwork

Post by Blackroc » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:31 pm

air_marshall wrote:Blackroc, awesome guides thanks a lot.

Couple of questions as I plan on prepping my 130i for winter.

Do you do all this polishing by hand? I have access to a DA and have researched into how to use it properly for correction and polishing.

Also, IPA wipedowns - what's your opinion? There is a lot on DW about how they must be done, otherwise your just masking deficiencies. They also say its needed to remove any filling caused by products, but you talk of the great filling qualities of tripple and others. I know everyone has their own opinion but I'm trying to figure this out. Is it dependant on the purpose of the work? I intended to polish with a pad, da and probably megs 205, and 105 where necessary over bonnet chip touch-ups. Then lime prime on a finishing pad (as I have a bottle of it) and then hand apply SNP - 2 coats for winter. Do I need a wipe down? I'm thinking not as I'm not doing major correction and don't need to check I'm clearing it. The SNP over lime prime should still protect well and arguably look better with the fillers...
Hi fella - when using the DA, you either Correct (remove defects) or Enhance (cover / hide defects) - Correcting is obviously far more time consuming than an enhancement, however both have their place in a regular maintenence regime.

If im polishing by hand, then I enhance only. Products like Tripple, SRP, Lime Prime etc..enhance very well and can be used by hand or DA. 105 and 205 by Megs are abrasive based polishes, and as such you will only get the best out of them by using them on a proper machine polisher with the correct pads. If you are correcting paintwork blemishes using the DA, then the idea is to use a very aggresive compound first (105) then follow it up with a lighter abrasive finishing polish (205) to remove hollogrammes / gloss up your paintwork like new. This a one stage (two stage on some harder painted cars like this Audi S6) correction I did last week:


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You wouldnt use Tripple / Lime Prime on top of this, just seal in the hard work with a sealant and or wax. When Im doing correction work, I always use IPA after I'm happy with the finish and level of correction when using any compounds (so 105>205>wipe down) Other products out their include CarPro Eraser and GTechniq Panel Wipe that are specifically used for this purpose. If you dont wipe the area down that you have corrected, yes you could find that some of the correction oils that help lubricate the compounds have masked what you are trying to remove, and also waxes and sealants wont bond correctly to your paintwork after, and will apear 'smeary'.

If you are using DDJ LP to do a simple enhancement for winter, you dont need to use IPA or anything as its fine to apply SNH on top after 8) :)

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Re: Polishing your Paintwork

Post by air_marshall » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:42 pm

Thanks for the comprehensive reply. Looks like I'm on the right lines but need to decide exactly what I want to achieve given my current kit and time available. I get the logic behind a wipe down. Need to have a good look at the paint under a bring torch...

Should have mentioned the car is Sapphire Black.

Your linked shots are a one stage process? What product/pad combo did you use for that?

Regarding the bonnet touch-ups that must be done will #105 and an orange hex-logic be enough to level them down - given that effort I might as well do a full correction on the bonnet - just not sure I have the time to do the rest of the car.

Correct the bonnet and enhance the rest for winter sounds reasonable.

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Re: Polishing your Paintwork

Post by Blackroc » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:19 pm

air_marshall wrote:Thanks for the comprehensive reply. Looks like I'm on the right lines but need to decide exactly what I want to achieve given my current kit and time available. I get the logic behind a wipe down. Need to have a good look at the paint under a bring torch...

Should have mentioned the car is Sapphire Black.

Your linked shots are a one stage process? What product/pad combo did you use for that?

Regarding the bonnet touch-ups that must be done will #105 and an orange hex-logic be enough to level them down - given that effort I might as well do a full correction on the bonnet - just not sure I have the time to do the rest of the car.

Correct the bonnet and enhance the rest for winter sounds reasonable.
No probs :)

As you have noticed, there are a million polish products on the market, and Im very happy and get great results with Megs polishing compounds. This S6 was actually given slightly more than a one stage, purely because I know how difficult the paint is to correct! It was 105'd on an Orange Hex for 3 sets, then Sonax Perfect Finish was used on a green Hex for 2 sets. Some of the deeper RDS was still visible, but even the next day under brilliant sunshine the overall finish stood up to very close inspection.

For a normal One Stage correction - Megs Ultimate Compound is a great alternative. Corrects and leaves a great finish to paintwork very easily - again correct with the orange pad, refine with the green. For less than a few minutes work, the green pad finishes excellently on black :) Sonax Perfect Finish is also a great product for one stage work - and used by lots of pro's. Im yet to get the best out of it yet, but it offers similar cut levels to Megs UC but with better finishing abilities. (Although you will never be dissapointed by Megs UC!!)

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Re: Polishing your Paintwork

Post by barneyrubble » Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:20 pm

I recently (march) did my saphire black with a DA - I used the following:

Megs 105 with an Orange Hexlogic Pad Speed 5
Megs 205 with a green Hexlogic pad speed 4
Megs 205 with a white finishing pad speed 3

2 coats SNH.

Its still looks fantastic, although I'm going to give it another going over with the 205 at the weekend and 2 more coats SNH to get it ready for the winter. Should see me through to feb/march time when its getting a little warmer.

The process above removed all of the swirls and gave me a fantastic finish.

I will say though, that with a DA you're not going to get out everything - you really need a rotary for that. I did a training course in June that showed just how much more a rotary can do - along with what happens when it goes wrong :lol: :lol:

The DA is much much easier and you've really got to go some to get it wrong with a DA
If it's got breasts or wheels - it's going to give you trouble

Black Sapphire Metallic M2 LCI

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Re: Polishing your Paintwork

Post by air_marshall » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:24 am

barneyrubble wrote:I recently (march) did my saphire black with a DA...
Got any pics of it post correction?

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Re: Polishing your Paintwork

Post by Davide82 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:18 am

Just finished correcting my sapphire black coupe with the dodo juice buff daddy DA

Brilliant little machine and available at a great price!
Meg's 105 (orange hex logic)
Meg's 205 (white hex logic)
Topped with dodo juice supernatural hybrid

Blackroc is the go to guy for advice, couldn't of done mine without him!

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Hi! (Tractor is next for the DA ;)! )
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