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Everything posted by shane@detailedreflections

  1. A coating generally doesn’t change the shade of the color unless it’s a matte finish. Matte finishes tend to darken a bit and become slightly more glossy. Gloss paint just tends to stay glossy.
  2. If you’re going to layer it, why not just install the full coating and use spray for maintenance? To be done correctly, the prep is the same.
  3. Agreed. Every client gets fresh product. It’s what they are paying us for to start with. And I don’t want to cross contaminate anything. It’s piece of mind that every client got what they should have...first appointment or last appointment. The same applies to towels and pads as well. Fresh, clean for every vehicle.
  4. Food for thought about your practice. You’re blowing drying air through the same hose used to vacuum that traps dirt. You’re pulling fine grains of vacuum debris back out of the hose and sending them at your finish at a high velocity. I’m not a fan of using vac/blowers to dry cars for that reason, even with purpose assigned hoses. Things will slip passed. I’d hate to see someone inflict damage on a finish they created before even enjoying it.
  5. Let’s follow up with a whole bunch more information about what paint correction is, and when it should (and shouldn’t be applied). Paint correction is not a magic bullet. It’s not something that can be done unlimited times. Paint correction works by removing clear coat in order to remove defects in your paint. Most of the UV protection of your paint comes in the first 1/3 of the clearcoat. Knowing that, we don’t want to remove more than that over the LIFETIME of the vehicle. Once you reduce the UV protection you accelerate clearcoat failure requiring a repaint. Paint correction also serves to level the clearcoat on a vehicle increasing the glossy look of the finish. This is why even brand new vehicles benefit from polishing. Modern paint systems are a three part system. They consist of a primer, base coat (color) and clear coat. Older paints may be single stage in nature mixing the clear and paint layers. On top of your paint sits a variety of contamination and defects typically. Contamination on the paint is generally tackled with washing, iron remover and clay. When we talk about defects, there’s spider webs which are microscratches, deep scratches which may or not be able to be taken care of without repainting and other forms of defects as illustrated below. When paint correcting we are only working with the clear coat. So as you can see, the deep scratches can’t be fixed. And some that are just in the clear coat shouldn’t be fixed for fear of striking through or removing too much clear accelerating failure. So you get a car, and you paint correct it. You’ve removed a little clear coat. You use good technique in washing and over time you develop damage (it happens no matter what we do). You polish again. But because you’ve used good technique along the way, you only need a finish polish to take a little clear coat off. Using this methodology you can get a long time with out of your paint and great looks. The other scenario is you perform a paint correction and you take it through the automatic car wash. You damage your finish over time. You then need a full correction to repair the damage which takes off more of the clear coat. When approached this way, you’re going to burn through more clear coat or get less corrections. So the ultimate answer to your question is to correct as infrequently as possible to preserve the clear coat. We use a paint thickness gauge to know what we are doing to a clients paint (or what they’ve done to it already). We are not opposed to using a fine polish a couple times a year. It leaves a satisfactory finish for most clients without significantly shortening the life of the paint. We will sometimes use a compound in isolated spots to handle concentrated damage as opposed to going all in everywhere. Hope this is helpful.
  6. Simoniz glass coat is a coating, just not a good one. Auto dealers are generally the only ones who use it and the installation process is generally watered down because, well...new car and all that. And it’s low cost and super high margin since they just build it into the price of the deal. Simoniz comes off quickly with a polish. So it’s easy to work with. Or it won’t take long to wear off. If someone is considering a coating, skip simoniz and have an actually installer install one. You’ll be far happier with the product. Being that it currently has the coating, I would lean towards the ceramic line of products. The wax, boost, etc. It’s the best fit as the car sits now.
  7. The clinic is coming up in a little over a month. So far only a couple of confirmations of attendance. Theres also been no submissions for the coating/interiors to be done! Just a reminder to RSVP and submit!
  8. Food for thought... Longevity as it applies to detailing products is purely subjective. The variables in environments are numerous and make it really difficult to quantify how long a product will last. Hot environments are hard on waxes. Chemically harsh environments (think those with snow) are also harsh, but in a different way. Try different products and see what works for you. What works for someone else may not be the best for you. And what’s best for you may not be good for someone else. You will also learn a ton about detailing and products through actually trying them and forming your own opinions. Part of what we do as a business is test products and processes to see what ultimately works for us and our clients. We never fail to learn something in the process.
  9. If you’re using Ceramic Boost as a sealant, the Spray Wax isn’t needed quite honestly. They have two different bases and serve the same purpose. While you could use them both, you won’t find much benefit (if any).
  10. Some good questions @RayS! Let’s take them in order. Coated PPF will remove just like standard PPF. If we were doing a PPF replacement that’s been coated, honestly we would polish down the entire panel, remove the film, reinstall and then reapply the coating. Reapplying to the entire panel will ensure it’s a nice, even look. By removing the PPF and taking the whole panel down, you also alleviate the need to exactly line up the film as it was. Different patterns, installation, etc can change alignment. As you saw in the time lapse, I even peeled it once to make it align better to where I wanted. Headlights are hard on PPF. It’s a combination of the heat and light causing a breakdown. Newer films are guaranteed against yellowing, but I don’t think I’d realistically expect that out headlight films honestly. I’m a realist and try not to sell our clients on snake oil claims. There are now some coatings specific to films. Our supplier just released one, but it’s claimed at two years on films (this includes wraps). It’s just a bit more flexible of a coating. We don’t plan to use much of that, we will keep to business as usual for better durability.
  11. So a misconception is that your "shine" is provided by last step products (LSP). That's actually not true. It's more like a small additive at the end. High quality gloss is provided by exceptional paint preparation and polishing. We could show you cars that have zero protection and you'd swear they have an amazing LSP on them. It's all in the preparation leading up to it. Once your paint is polished to perfection (or satisfaction), then you can start to layer up the protection. The reality is you won't see much difference between CSC and wax. Given that it doesn't see much weather (if any), a wax is a much simpler routine to go with that comes with a simpler installation. Ceramic coatings can provide deep gloss in theory, but they're really just locking that gloss up. The effect comes from the process. And CSC isn't a true, full coating. Hope this helps.
  12. I know some people here are interested in some PPF and have asked questions about it so while working on a gorgeous 2015 Chevy Corvette Z06 with a Z07 package (silver with a red interior), I figured I'd make a quick time lapse of installing a piece of film. We still have more film to install on this car, but this was just one piece to kind of show the process for how PPF is laid down after it's been cut. And yes, at one point I completely removed the film and put it back down. I wasn't happy with an edge alignment and that it would let me work all of the water out of the edge to get a good adhesion without it lifting back up immediately creating fingers, or later in life when it would come back to me. Once this car is done, it'll be coated in ceramic. The wheels are already done, the windshield is already done as well and it's all been polished out. Hopefully you enjoy and don't hesitate to ask questions. PPF Fender Time Lapse.mp4
  13. Thanks @mc2hill!!! It’s always reassuring seeing some of my writings being referenced. @alwielgosz, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your current questions are a bit broad and some searching will yield you a good number of answers. Once you get through that reading, I’m happy to provide thoughts on questions or go into more depth!
  14. You ask a loaded question. Choosing a last step product depends on you...what do you want to do and what are your goals? Ceramic coatings are less maintenance but not maintenance free. It will be easier to clean the bike which means more time riding it. You say the paint is “perfect” and doesn’t need polishing. Here is where I would disagree. Even brand new paint benefits from polishing. It’s not so much to repair damage, but to level the clear coat for the best gloss. Our new vehicle prep includes polishing, just not as much as a vehicle that’s been used and damaged. If you’re going to go through the trouble of a coating done properly, don’t skip the steps. I will tell you that despite being smaller, it’s just as challenging to do a motorcycle as a car. That’s speaking from experience. And it’s easier to do if you pull the body work off the bike. To maintain a coating is variable on the coating you use. For Adams, you can top with ceramic boost, ceramic spray coating (not my choice) or ceramic wax. Or simply keep it clean with waterless wash. The choice is yours! It will still need an occasional claybar. Best of luck!
  15. You could, but there's no benefit. Let's clear something up about gloss and finishes. Waxes (and even ceramic coatings) have a small effect on the glossiness of a vehicle. Think of your last step as a protection piece of the puzzle. Your gloss largely comes from the prep you put in. Great polishing will result in great gloss. Make the surface clean and free of defects. Then protect the finish you created with a choice of last step protection products. At that point it's your choice of waxes, sealants or ceramics. Personally I don't see the need for the spray wax and a ceramic based product. Different technologies that don't need to be together for any effect in this case.
  16. I’ll preface this post with this...we are a business and we are an accredited installer for various coatings we install. That being said, we’ve been trained by the manufacturer in application and removal of their products. If we installed a ceramic coating and a drive through car wash removed the coating I would fully anticipate my client coming back to me and having some words that would likely end up in my refunding their money. Fortunately we don’t install products that we haven’t tested for durability so we have a feel of what to expect for our clients. Now regardless of a chemical removing the coating, there’s still polishing to be done. Polishing through the coating and into the paint is part of the prep steps for reinstallation of another last step product (coating or otherwise). A chemical strong enough to remove a coating (which tends to be more resistant than paint thus it’s benefit) is probably pretty harsh on the finish of a vehicle. If that finish gets further damaged we’ve increased our workload. Nothing is incapable of being removed, but there are “best practices” in removal, and no manufacturer I’ve encountered recommends a chemical removal for a ceramic coating.
  17. It definitely looks like the application of too much product. It’s either that or a ton of really bad high spots which you would have noticed before now given how bad they are. I would use a fresh microfiber and maybe some APC and see if that helps to lift it or level it out. If that doesn’t work, strip wash it and see how it looks.
  18. Thanks @falcaineer We haven’t worked with IGL coatings directly, so I can’t speak directly as to compatibility. Ceramic Boost can become very streaky if it’s overapplied. You have a few options in my opinion. One is to do a strip wash like was suggested. A few ounces of APC in a wash bucket with soap will help to remove it. Give your vehicle a decent clay bar treatment might help pull any other contaminants off as well. Some photos of the afflicted areas is a good idea that may give us some more insight as well. If you could post some, we might have further input.
  19. Most wheels are clear coated and polish just like paint. As far as how many steps of polish you need, it depends on the existing damage and the finish you desire. If they’re black, I wouldn’t skip the finishing step but that’s just us and the way we do things. So the work flow for wheels... - Wheel cleaner - Tire & Rubber Cleaner - Clay (maybe? It’s a challenge to clay most surfaces of wheels). - Polish (as many steps as you need/want). - Coating Prep. - Coat (spray or hand apply) - Buff.
  20. I had my career long before my business. Since I enjoy my career, I’m not looking to leave it. It also affords me the ability to run my business as I see fit since I don’t “depend” on it for my sole income. I don’t have to get into pricing wars if I don’t want to. I own the business and have two guys who work for me. One regularly, one when we need it. Since I have my benefits through my career, it’s a cost savings for my business as well. If I were doing it full time, there’s some things I would do differently. But I’d be hedging my bets in hopes of a significant payoff in personal income.
  21. We are an appointment only business model since myself and the guys who work for me have full time jobs. Last winter, we were sitting around cracking beers and cleaning shop with doing a fair amount of interiors. This year, we haven’t slowed down at all. It’s been a steady flow of work. Surprisingly we have done a bunch of ceramic coatings this winter. We’ve also been doing some PPF work. And in the midst of all that, we crush it with the interiors. A big part of winter sustainability is if you have clients or customers. Clients have a consistent relationship and return often versus a customer who comes in once. We have clients who come in like clockwork. Have enough of those and build those relationships and you’ll have work. Stay prepared for the slow times though. They will come, even in the “good” months. Spring and fall are our busiest times.
  22. Thanks @Firebuff17 hopefully we see you at the clinic in May! And for the question, the ceramic spray is an easier installation than a full coating in terms of spray on/wipe off. The results will be varied by the prep as always. The glossiness of a coating isn’t necessarily the coating as much as the polishing and prep leading up to it. I could show you cars with no protection that are polished really well that you might think were coated (until you put water on them). The coatings just enhance that look. This is just my opinion, so take it for what it’s worth. The ceramic spray would be a great alternative to the ceramic boost or ceramic wax that’s easy to apply and durable. It’s not a replacement for a full coating. If you’re going to do all the prep work anyway, why not get the durability of a full coating and top it with the spray coating as a “sacrificial” layer that will all you maximum protection of the look you worked to achieve? Your mileage may vary.
  23. @Raige93 you can RSVP up to the event itself. I wouldn’t ever close it off to anyone. We like to get a feel for how many people so we can plan food and also so our vendors can help with support.
  24. Awesome idea. And happy to see something for forum members. Please don’t include me in the drawing though! Just wanted to recognize what you were doing @Dan@Adams
  25. Go for it. You won’t hurt anything at all. It leaves a great finish on the glass. And I agree with you that if you’ve already fixed it, it’s not worth going back. We would take care of it anyway, but I can see why some businesses wouldn’t. First, it’s not really an install issue. Second, you already fixed it “some how.” By that I mean they don’t know what you did/didn’t do to it. We strive for great customer satisfaction; sometimes too much so. But not all businesses work like that. I still think it’s a water/product issue as opposed to an installation issue.
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