Special thanks to Swampy and everyone who contributed to my original Thread of the same name.
This has been created from all the feedback that derived from the original thread for paint polishing.
To begin with it’s best to know what you are polishing.
If you have ‘flat’ paintwork i.e. White, Red, Blue then you will be polishing the actual paint colour top coat.
If you have metallic finishing then you will be polishing the clear lacquer top coat.
The main reason that we have been applying polish and wax to paint for all these years is protection! It is a bonus that it also looks nice and shiny.
Most will have experienced ‘milking’, which is where the pant becomes cloudy and fades. Red cars are the worst followed by yellow and white. At other times you may have seen the paint crack and peel on some cars. This is where the lacquer has practically baked itself off the paint.
By applying polish to the paint work you are creating a waterproof layer to resist the elements, and you are also creating a highly reflective surface to protect the paint from UV Damage caused by the sun. Polish is sun-cream for paint!
DON’T – polishing your car in direct sunlight! Dusk or dawn are the best times if the weather is hot. Overcast days are the best as the reflections are better when polishing. If you have access to a garage then this is the best place to do the work.
TIP – if you are taken photo’s of your newly waxed ride then choose an overcast day to get the reflections on the paint work, make sure there are some trees, buildings or tall objects around to help the photo.
DON’T – Use all in one products! These can damage the paint. Each leading company has a product for each process, so buy once and buy right!
DON’T – Use the car wash! The bristle swill strip what ever polish you have on the paint and eventually scratch your car.
DO – invest in the right equipment. Investing just £50 in the right products will last you for ages. Make sure you have the basic tools for the job.
DO – Take your time, as an ex professional auto finisher it would take me 3-4 hours to complete a full interior exterior spark up. Spend as much time as you can. When you get it right the first time, all the times that follow will be easier.
I personally have used AUTOGLYM for 15 years odd and they are the best at what they do. Recently I have changed to the American MEGUIARS, which are equally as good.
Other companies such as TURTLE WAX and HOLTS have been around since the start so the choice is yours.
Below is a list of the minimal tools you would need to take good care of your cherished motor.
1. Hose with jet nozzle. This is a must for clearing the dirt and shampoo from your car.
2. 2 x large buckets. One for shampoo, one for rinsing.
4. Leather chamois, investing in a real chamois is a must.
5. Clean cotton rags. I use old terry towel’s and cotton t-shirts. Stockinette for polishing and sometimes polishing pads.
6. Car shampoo – Buy the cheap stuff with orange in it and NO wax. Shampoo with wax makes it harder to polish.
7. Paint cleaner, this come in a cream, wax or liquid polish. It removes traffic film, insects marks and helps remove paint swirls.
8. Polish, All the manufacturers have a mid polish range that has a slight ‘cut’ to it without being to abrasive like T-CUT products.
9. Top Coat wax / polish, used to protect the finish and give your paint that deep shine look.
10. 1 x slave to make the tea/coffee/food/fags……….
Before you start cleaning the paint you need to remove all the dirt and grime you can. If your car is quite bad take it to the jet wash and give it a quick blast over with just water.
Other wise give it a quick go over with the hose, and remove and tough dirt with a soft sponge.
Fill one bucket with warm to hot water, and the other with the same and shampoo. Using to much shampoo will make it harder to rinse off.
Washing order is:
1. One side - Roof, front windscreen, bonnet, boot.
2. Other side – Roof , boot, windscreen, bonnet.
4. Side panels and widows
6. Same on the other side
8. Bumpers and lights
10. Wheels & Tyres
TIP - If you are using alloys cleaners like wonder wheels, apply this before you begin washing
Fill both buckets with warm water and soak the chamois for 5 minutes. DO NOT let any shampoo come in contact with the chamois. This will strip the natural oils from the leather. Some will use water blades to remove excess water first.
Squeeze the water from the chamois and work around the car in the same order as shampooing, wiping the water from the paint and rinsing the chamois in the clean bucket every stage.
Open the doors, boot, rear windows and petrol cap so that you can dry the jambs. If they are dirty wipe them with a wet sponge and dry.
After this go and have a cup of tea/coffee and leave to ‘Bone’ dry. The longer the better.
Take your chosen rag or polishing pad and apply some paint cleaner. Work one panel at a time using adequate pressure in small circular movements.
When you have finish the panel buff off the polish with a clean rag.
Take a clean rag or polishing pad and repeat the process again with your cutting polish panel by panel. This is the stage where you need to be looking at any imperfection in the paint. If you need to repeat polishing again do so until you are happy with the finish. This stage will determine the overall outcome. Buff off with a soft cloth
When you are happy with the finish, this stage will give your paint the protection and deep shine to the paint work.
Repeat as before with clean rags but without so much pressure. It should be like buttering bread! Apply a second coat will greatly improve the overall finish. If you still require even more gloss to your paint, leaving for a few hours or even the next day will give the existing polish time to settle.
AND HEY PRESTO!! ONE WAX'D UP MOTA!
Once you have completed this process, all you will need to do is wash the car regularly and apply some Top Coat each time.
Your paint will let you know when it needs the’ Full Monty again’. When the water stops beading on the paint work and looks like its collecting, then its time to do it all over again.
Bird Pooh! – take a rag soaked in warm to hot water and roll it up and place it on the pooh for 10 minutes then just rinse off.
Insects – remove stubborn marks with neat screen wash and a sort rag. Failing that polish them out.
rollasix has attached the following image:
________________________________________When the shit goes down, you better be ready!