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Getting ready for first paint correction, any helpful pointers?

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Well, my 15mm LT swirl killer should be here this Thurs.  I'm eager to give this a shot and learn how to do it.  I have a couple of questions to ask about the proper process for this and also open to any pointers you all may have.

 

My first question, is doing a strip wash needed prior to paint correction?  I was thinking of washing the vehicle with the car shampoo and foam cannon followed by visco clay using detail spray, then washing again but drying without any detail spray or H2O G&G.  From here I was thinking I should be ready to start correcting the paint, are there any steps I'm missing before starting the paint correction?

 

My plan after the paint correction is to immediately do ceramic coating on the paint.  Would I need to wash the vehicle again after the correction or will the coating prep be all that is needed prior to applying the ceramic coating?

 

I've watched the videos on doing the paint correction and removing swirls, it looks fairly easy but I want to start slow and work my way up on things instead of go for the gusto right off the bat and royally screw up the paint.  With the correction itself, I was planning on taping off an area like in the videos and start with the correcting polish and see how that does.  The hood on the vehicle I will be "learning" on is pretty filled with swirl marks.

 

When it comes to the amount of pressure applied to the swirl killer, what would be a good reference point weight wise to compare to?

 

Thanks for any help and/or pointers that you may be able to provide!  I'll try and get some pics of the hood before and after.  Hoping the camera can pick the swirls up.

 

Tony

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I would do a strip wash, foam cannon and clay to be sure you don’t have any old sealants or waxes on the finish. Clay is not needed all the time but is good if the paint is rough to the touch and you are getting ready to do a paint correction. You can do another strip wash after polishing but that’s up to you. Coating prep works just fine! As for pressure, Adam states in his videos that he used the weight of the machine and his hand and that is all. As you get more comfortable you will find a position/weight that is comfortable for you. I personally use more or less pressure depending on what polish/pad I am using. A little more for really bad swirls and less for finishing polish. But like I mentioned usually the weight of the machine is enough :)

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Seriously, my biggest pointer would be to take your time.  Realize there is a learning curve, don't get frustrated if you don't see magic immediately.  You will take some time to perfect your technique.  

 

You don't have to get everything done all at once.  One of the biggest mistakes I see first time detailers make is to rush through steps to be done when they feel like they are running out of time. then they have to go back dan do things a second time because they rushed.  If you don't finish polishing the whole car in one weekend, thats OK.  just wash the car the following weekend and finish then.  If you are getting good results its very tempting to want to push through so it can be done in one shot . 

 

Enjoy the process. Enjoy the results and welcome to the addiction/club.

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I would skip the detail spraying your gonna polish . Slow arm speed would be something I recommend especially if you don't get the results right away . Go slower to get the work done faster

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Well, my 15mm LT swirl killer should be here this Thurs.  I'm eager to give this a shot and learn how to do it.  I have a couple of questions to ask about the proper process for this and also open to any pointers you all may have.

 

My first question, is doing a strip wash needed prior to paint correction?  I was thinking of washing the vehicle with the car shampoo and foam cannon followed by visco clay using detail spray, then washing again but drying without any detail spray or H2O G&G.  From here I was thinking I should be ready to start correcting the paint, are there any steps I'm missing before starting the paint correction?

 

My plan after the paint correction is to immediately do ceramic coating on the paint.  Would I need to wash the vehicle again after the correction or will the coating prep be all that is needed prior to applying the ceramic coating?

 

I've watched the videos on doing the paint correction and removing swirls, it looks fairly easy but I want to start slow and work my way up on things instead of go for the gusto right off the bat and royally screw up the paint.  With the correction itself, I was planning on taping off an area like in the videos and start with the correcting polish and see how that does.  The hood on the vehicle I will be "learning" on is pretty filled with swirl marks.

 

When it comes to the amount of pressure applied to the swirl killer, what would be a good reference point weight wise to compare to?

 

Thanks for any help and/or pointers that you may be able to provide!  I'll try and get some pics of the hood before and after.  Hoping the camera can pick the swirls up.

 

Tony

First pointer: put a cold (adult, if applicable) beverage in the fridge...and open another. On to the detail!

 

Since you're going to wash anyway, make it a strip wash to remove any old products from the paint. After that, one step I'd add is to VRT all trim and plastic (assuming you aren't coating it) to make removing any clay/polish residue super easy later. That way you aren't worried about bumping the pad against it.

 

Following that up with clay and DS is next, but to take Wyatt's input a step further, you won't be able to tell with your hand if it's really needed...that's where the baggie test comes in. Place a plastic bag over your hand, and lightly rub the paint. If you feel bumps, and you probably will if it's never been done or been a while, clay it. And you don't even have to wash again before you polish...save a step, and go right to polishing.

 

The polisher will only take a few pounds of pressure, and you will get the hang of it, so take your time. To make it easier, make a small line on the back of the pad as a visual reference so you can see the pad rotate slowly. Polish will leave a residue, and while I like to use a 50/50 isopropyl alcohol mix wipe down with blue WW towels, the Coating Prep will remove the residue and anything else left on the paint (it smells awesome, too!).

 

Some other pointers:

 

Watch out for sharp edges and corners on emblems, etc. They'll tear up your pads.

 

For tape, do NOT use the kind with "locking" edges. Instead, simple blue painters tape or green automotive works well.

 

Suggest you watch all the videos on coating...twice...and read the posts on here/ask any more questions before you begin.

 

Finally...open that other frosty beverage, sit back, and admire the shine. :cheers::)

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First pointer: put a cold (adult, if applicable) beverage in the fridge...and open another. On to the detail!

 

Since you're going to wash anyway, make it a strip wash to remove any old products from the paint. After that, one step I'd add is to VRT all trim and plastic (assuming you aren't coating it) to make removing any clay/polish residue super easy later. That way you aren't worried about bumping the pad against it.

 

Following that up with clay and DS is next, but to take Wyatt's input a step further, you won't be able to tell with your hand if it's really needed...that's where the baggie test comes in. Place a plastic bag over your hand, and lightly rub the paint. If you feel bumps, and you probably will if it's never been done or been a while, clay it. And you don't even have to wash again before you polish...save a step, and go right to polishing.

 

The polisher will only take a few pounds of pressure, and you will get the hang of it, so take your time. To make it easier, make a small line on the back of the pad as a visual reference so you can see the pad rotate slowly. Polish will leave a residue, and while I like to use a 50/50 isopropyl alcohol mix wipe down with blue WW towels, the Coating Prep will remove the residue and anything else left on the paint (it smells awesome, too!).

 

Some other pointers:

 

Watch out for sharp edges and corners on emblems, etc. They'll tear up your pads.

 

For tape, do NOT use the kind with "locking" edges. Instead, simple blue painters tape or green automotive works well.

 

Suggest you watch all the videos on coating...twice...and read the posts on here/ask any more questions before you begin.

 

Finally...open that other frosty beverage, sit back, and admire the shine. :cheers::)

 

My husband forgot to tape off when he was hand waxing his truck one time, it was a liquid wax and he spilled it on the all black trim bumper, as well he got it on the black cowl by the windshield wipers & other places. Easiest way I found to remove all his errors...solid white (not butter flavor) Crisco shortening and a soft electric toothbrush, took it right off.  I have heard that creamy peanut butter will work as well.  Used that trick on a WRX that had it's vinyl matte black stripe start turning white and worked out really well to restore it to black.

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Many thanks folks for the replies and tips!  I'm certainly not looking to do a whole car my first day out.  I'd much rather spend the time and find the process that works best.  I plan on taping the hood into 4 quadrants and trying each of the three products, starting with the least aggressive just so I can get a feel for how the polish and swirl killer work.

 

Falcaineer, great tip about putting VRT on the trim to make polish and clay residue removal much easier, I didn't even think about that.

 

Liralen,  That was a great tip you shared about the Crisco shortening and the creamy peanut butter!  I will have to put those in the memory bank juuust in case I ever run into that problem.

 

Again, many thanks for the input and replies folks!

 

Tony

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I’ve used a 1-10 alcohol-water for a wipe down after polishing, as anything higher than that tends to evaporate faster than I can wipe down, even in small areas. Probably because of living in the desert, but as winter draws humidity will drop in most areas, for that reason I’m switching to coating prep, rather than another wash, and having water in all those cracks and crevices again.

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Thought of another newbie tip (and reminder for those of us that have been around the block a couple times) - remember to start and stop the polisher when it's ON the paint. Otherwise, well, let's just say it could double as a pitching machine if you can imagine the polish is the ball...

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Seriously, my biggest pointer would be to take your time.  Realize there is a learning curve, don't get frustrated if you don't see magic immediately.  You will take some time to perfect your technique.  

 

You don't have to get everything done all at once.  One of the biggest mistakes I see first time detailers make is to rush through steps to be done when they feel like they are running out of time. then they have to go back dan do things a second time because they rushed.  If you don't finish polishing the whole car in one weekend, thats OK.  just wash the car the following weekend and finish then.  If you are getting good results its very tempting to want to push through so it can be done in one shot . 

 

Enjoy the process. Enjoy the results and welcome to the addiction/club.

 

This would be my biggest tip to stress too. The first couple times I tried polishing I tried to do it all in one day. It made me exhausted, which made me rush, which made me get crappy results. I didn't really learn anything because I just wanted to move on to the next panel so I could be "finished". I hated the whole process. Do a little bit at a time and stop when you feel like it. If something is frustrating you come back to it later. 

 

Also, this might seem obvious, but make sure you have all the tools/products that you need first. It's frustrating to be in the middle of a project and realize you don't have the right tool for the job. Have enough pads, and all the different kinds you might need.

 

In the past, I had one 6" polisher, some correcting pads, and some waxing pads. It was better than nothing, but I wasn't happy with the fact that I had to compromise in certain areas because the pads were too big, or they weren't aggressive enough to achieve the results I wanted.

 

I recently got both the SK and SK Mini and 2 of every type of pad. I put it off for a while but finally bit the bullet and so far I really think it was worth it. I started a full multi stage correction last weekend and the combo of having all the tools I need plus spending all the time I need is resulting in me actually enjoying polishing and the process. 

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Folks, 

 

Many thanks for all the input and tips, it is greatly appreciated!!!!  I'm definitely not gonna be in a rush to do this!  My goal for the first time out is to work on a hood and  follow the videos by starting small and working up, i.e. correcting polish and then if needed heavy correcting compound.  I want to get a feel for what each product can and can't do.  This will be my main focus for the hood and I'm not setting any time table to complete it.  One benefit with the vehicle I will be working on is that most of the panels are pretty much flat with minimal sharp edges or hard body lines.  Hoping this will really help me get a feel for the swirl killer and at the same time help me get the technique down. 

 

Again, many thanks for all the input folks, really appreciate the help from fellow members of the car detailing support group!! :-)

 

Tony

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Sorry for such a late response and update on things with my first attempt at paint correction.  I was able to finally get started on this and give this a try, words can't even begin to describe how nervous I was to do this.  I've heard sooo many horror stories of burning through paint.  That alone has had me kinda finding excuses to put this off one more day lol.  Well this morning I woke up and put my big kid pants on and set out to try as well as learn this process.  My goal today was not to do a whole car, it was to focus on the hood, try different techniques, and learn the process in general.  I started this morning by doing a strip wash on the entire vehicle, followed that by visco claying the entire vehicle, and then just to be anal I strip washed the car again.  With the help of my sidekick blaster I got the car completely dry and got started.  I pulled up the video yet again on the paint correction process and watched it one more time to build some confidence lol.  I started small with just the correcting compound and the orange foam pad, it didn't really seem to do much.  I stepped up to the heavy correcting compound and blue foam, this didn't do much.  I was getting a little discouraged and then the light bulb went off, this car had a generic ceramic coating applied at the dealership. 

I moved to the microfiber cutting pad and the heavy correcting compound and worked slow constantly checking my work and progress to see what different sweep speeds did for me.  I used speed setting 5 on the 15mm swirl killer initially and bumped up to 6.  After getting into a groove with things I was starting to get it dialed in and things started progressing nicely.  Once I got done with the microfiber cutting pad I moved to the blue foam and gave it another quicker pass.  From there I moved to the orange foam and correcting compound and was REALLY starting to see some great results!!!  Once I was satisfied with how things looked after the orange pad and correcting compound I decided to go for the gusto and use the finishing polish.  The orange correcting compound and orange pad had the paint looking pretty damn good, especially considering how the paint looked before I started.  After the polishing compound and white foam pad, all I can say is HOLY CRAP!!!!  This hood looks amazing and I couldn't be happier with the results!!!  The paint looks sooo smooth and clear and a foot deep, almost like you could stick your hand into it. 

I want to thank everyone who provided tips and input for my first time at paint correcting, I'm VERY happy with the results even though it's just the hood at this point!!!  Here are some before and after pics to show off the results.  The only bad thing with the pics is they really don't give you a true sense of just how fugly the paint was prior.

Again, thank you all for your help, tips, and input!!!

Tony

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Nice work.  Congrats on your first paint correction.  

A suggestion to help the camera focus on defects when you're shooting before photos is to mark the point on the paint you want to really show with a piece of masking tape.  Most cameras can't pick up the damage as a focal point, but it will pick up a tab of blue masking tape on a red car.  Just food for thought and a pointer on trying to photograph damage.

 

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Thanks for the compliments folks, it is greatly appreciated!  Once I got going with things and got into a groove I was really surprised and delighted at how easily the products worked.  Personally I think it was a combo of great products and some damn good tips from you folks!  As was mentioned, taking my time with things really seemed to be the order of the day and the sure fire ticket to success.

Shane, you brought up a great point about giving the camera something to focus on with the tape.  Certainly will employ that useful tip in the future when taking pics before and after.

Again, many thanks folks for all the input on things!

Tony

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Falcaineer,

After I was done getting the finish looking purdy I applied Adam's ceramic coating to the area that I corrected.  Waited about 28 hrs and came back out and applied the ceramic boost and ohhhh nelly does it shine!!

Jabo_pf,

The swirls and scratches were under the ceramic coating that the dealer applied.  The dealership didn't really do any prep to the paint before applying their ceramic coating and it was pretty obvious. :-(  Working through the dealer applied ceramic is what really had me baffled the first time I tried with the heavy correcting compound.  Then I remembered about the ceramic coating they applied.  Once I got through it though, things went like butter.

Chris,

Many thanks for the compliments.  I was pretty damn happy and relieved when I got the hood done!

 

Tony

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