Materials Needed For The Job
Having been in the car detailing industry for many years now and in the paint correction field,
many people often ask me if I would ever be interested in sharing some tips on helping others
detail or polish their own cars, so we figured why not. Basic detailing using simple buffing tools
can achieve amazing results when it comes to using simple polishing compounds and car waxes.
Although this is not a system for reoving scratches, it will to some degree remove light swirls and
light scratches from paint work. In turn it will also add loads of colour and depth if you have decent
paintwork that is not damaged. Have a read through and enjoy
Sydney Specialists In Car Detailing Paint Correction
And Paint Protection Services
This appears to be the part where most people seem to get confused. Beeing able to use a car polish is not that difficult.We thought we'd write a page on this subject so
that we would be able to help everyone out there better polish their own cars. It is really not that difficult. The purpose of polishing is to rejuvenate the paint surface back
to it's former glory. Expensive equipment or compounds are also not required to achieve a nice shine and smooth finish. Please
Note !! Kitten is strictly being utilised for example purposes only because we have repaired vehicles damaged by this product from incorrect use and are
absolutely gob smacked at how people can be such tight asses and destroy their paint work instead of buying better quality products. However, professionally
speaking, customer cars are strictly treated with Meguiars, and other American and German brand Car care Products. Also please note, because we can in
no way monitor how you apply this information, you accept responsibility for applying these methods to your vehicle surfaces yourself
First things first.
After washing the car the first thing we need to establish is "do we have a clean enough surface to start car polishing" In most cases it will be a NO! Polishing a car when
there are contaminants on the surface is not going to achieve much as far as having a nice clean and smooth surface. This is where we have to feel for contaminants.
The contaminants have to be removed in order for the polish to come into direct contact with the paint surface.
There are many things the human eye can not see. Contaminants is one of them. This is where we put into use the power of touch and feel. The first thing you need to
do is to take the back of your hand and run it along the surface of your paint. How does it feel?
Is it smooth, or does it feel like sand paper?
In most cases it will feel like sand paper.
The Magnificent Clay Bar
This little tool which has been around for some time now has to be one of the best inventions for paint surfaces. All it does is remove contaminants of many different
natures, therefore leaving your paint surfaces clean and smooth ready for polishing.
It doesn't just remove invisible contaminants,
but also visible contaminants, like bugs, spics,
road tar, over spray, road debris which has
stuck to your paint, bird crap, and many
different types of fall out visible or invisible.
In order to use this dandy little device, all you do is spray some meguiars quick detailer on the paint surface and run the clay bar along the paint. Make sure there is
plenty of lubricant or the clay bar will stick to the paint surface.
After a few strokes, wipe down the remaining
quick detailer with a micro fibre cloth and feel the
surface with the back of your hand. How does it
feel now. It should be smooth and ready for car
If not carry out the process once gain until it
Now we are ready for the next stage of the process. Car Polishing the paint surfaces to a nice smooth shine.I don't know about you, but I personally do not favour hard
labour so I opt to use the good old dual action orbital buffer to carry out all the hard car polishing for me. If you don't have one, your in for some hard elbow work.
We are not writing on hand car polishing as this is not really a favoured method by the majority of people wanting to maintain their cars, and usually in most cases it's not
followed. People prefer to pay some one else to
Otherwise if you don't like hard work you can always purchase a dual action orbital buffer from Bunnings or even cheaper from Big W. Always try to get one with an
adjustable speed setting.
If you do already
have your own orbital buffer
the next thing your going to
need is 3 foam sponges.
Two yellow sponges and a tan
sponge. All 3 Meguiars. You
can find these products at any
auto parts outlet.
Two are for polishing and one
for applying your wax.
The compound we are using is Kitten liquid cut and polish.
This product has been around for Donkeys years and is a
two in one product. In fact, I grew up with it. Please bare in
mind this product is only being used for this example.
The other reason we are also using it, is because it is
uncomplicated and a single pass compound polish.
It is also in-expensive and everyone can afford it.
You will find it extraordinary what can be achieved with an
affordable product like this when done correctly.
For Tough Sealing or waxing however you will have to go to the waxing page of this site when it soon becomes available.A page on decent washing will also soon be
made available, so bookmark this site. For now, let's focus on polishing. Firstly get your orbital and Meguiars yellow polishing sponge. Attach the yellow Velcro end of
your sponge to the oscillating end of your buffer. Make sure it is centered correctly or it will oscillate very unevenly.
Next, get your Kitten liquid cut and polish and squeeze some compound onto your sponge in a thin snail design like so.
Be careful not to pour too much as it
will take too long to buff off and you will
remove unnecessary material off your
Remember, the idea is to
remove dead paint, or paint fade and
very fine hair line swirling leaving your
surfaces clean and very shiny, ready for Sealing or waxing. This process is not designed to remove scratches deeper than surface. If your vehicle already has detailer
inflicted damage or deep swirl marks, it's too late, Leave it to the professionals.
Next, dab your sponge 3-4 times on the panel in an area of around say 40-50 square centimetres like so.
You'll need to look closely
but the snail dabs are on the
bonnet. Once you've done that
make sure your buffer speed
is set between 3-4 thousand
rpm's. Nothing higher.
Start buffing in a slow,
back and forward motion
making sure you over lap each pass. When you can see the compound has near dissipated, stop and wipe off any left over residue with a microfibre cloth and Meguiars
Quick Detailer. Do not press hard while buffing, just mild pressure. If you can hear the buffer really starting to labour, you are pressing too hard. Try and keep away from
edges and moulds. If you like, try masking these up before you start. If you can see the paint surface has restored, continue with the next section.
If not, pass it again
When the first sponge has becomes badly fouled up, remove it and fit the next yellow sponge. The first can be cleaned with luke warm water and car detergent. Do not
wring dry. Just squeeze it, and let dry. When you have completed the entire vehicle with Kitten cutting liquid, go over the entire vehicle again with Kitten liquid polishing
wax. Make sure to fit a clean yellow sponge. This stuff dries fast and contains teflon. Surfaces will be very slippery afterwards if carried out correctly. Make sure to do
small sections at at time. Wipe off and continue. This is not a compound you leave on for half an hour. It acts quickly and if left too long, can be a nightmare to remove,
"which tells me it is hard wearing stuff, and works".
This is an example of another one of our
vehicles we tested this product on,and the
results are impressive. The Surface is now
beautiful and silky smooth.This surface
has now been lightly cleaned and polish waxed.
Paint fade and hair line scratches
all gone,completely swirl free.
Something a cheap
detailer "WON'T" give you.
This just goes to show
what can be achieved, even with an affordable compound like Kitten. "WHY"?........... Because it is done correctly with the right procedures. Imagine, what can be
achieved with Toughseal, Autoglym, Or Meguiars when done correctly. Click on the image to enlarge it. This surface was faded and looked dead.
Now it's been brought back to life. A Toughseal or good quality waxing will do wanders for this finish. I have written this article to help put to rest out there that insecure
feeling of using cheap detailers and coffee car washes who do nothing for you but charge you cheap rates to damage your finish.
This information is "GOLD". Put it to use and give yourself some very impressive results, while avoiding detailer charged costly damage. That includes coffee car washes.
Anything more than this, leave to the professionals.
Maintenance is relatively simple once having carried out all your car polishing. Try and wash at least once a week. If not, wash every fortnight, but wash your car. After
you have washed your car, wipe it down. Grab your quick detailer and microfibre cloth and go over the entire car.
Fold your microfibre cloth, spray your quick detailer on your panel, wipe with one side of your microfibre, then turn over and wipe over with the other side. If you keep this
up with every wash, people will be asking......"YOU"...... how you keep your car looking so good. Follow this advice and you will extend the shine on your car.
When you notice that water has stopped beading, or peeling off your car after every wash you will need to re-wax. Stay tuned to this site for more pages on washing and
waxing coming soon.
Remember that this sort of polishing is only meant to bring back the shine, and remove only extreme top surface flaws. If you have major paint fade or severe deep
swirling this will not help you.
Ok Folks, Listed below is a couple of methods using Kitten cut and polish and Cream wax from Kitten, and for those who favour the enthusiest brands, Meguiars. Before
we go any further, it needs to be noted that the vehicle being used here is an every day vehicle with black paint. This vehicle has more than seen its fair share of abuse
as it is also a 4 WD.
The paint is not perfect, but has more than enough potential to bring back up its shine. It is pitted, chipped scratched and everything else. Anything that is left behind
will require paint correction. This probably won't be possible as the paint thicknesses are too thin.
Therefore, what we are displaying is basic general maintenance using abrasives which remove material. This is recommended for removing top surface flaws which can
range anywhere from spider webbing, to top surface scratches or fallout. Basically the car polishing page all over again, except using different products. It is
recommended that you clay bar first if you have a heavily contaminated surface. First, lets start with Kitten.
For the guy that doesn't want to spend a fortune on polishing compounds, Kitten as mentioned earlier is very much a household name. It is what I started polishing my
first car with when I was just a young lad and purchased my first car. Who can forget their first car with their first polish compound. I certainly still remember it. It was all I
knew before Meguiars, Autoglym and everything else that I know these days. After having researched information about these compounds on bloggs and car club
websites, I have discovered good and bad feedback about these products. In particular the cutting compound. The paste version can leave some rather nasty swirls or
scratches on paint work. Especially clear coats. I had even read that it's advised not to use on clear coats. I however have used it on a clear coat with positive results on
black paint. The key to applying Kitten cut and polish is to "NOT" apply it by hand, but rather by orbital. We have also repaired a number of vehicles damaged by this
products due to incorrect use.
As stated earlier on this page, we used Kitten liquid cut and polish. We are now going to show you a different combination using Kitten polish and cutting pastes. These
products are much denser, however not much more difficult to work with. I do not recommend using these products by hand as what I have discovered is that they yield
far better results when used by a DA Buffer. I will show you examples of this.
This is the product we are going to start with. We are going to show you an example of the results achieved, when you use a cutting paste such as this product by hand,
and why it is that I don't, and never agree with using cutting pastes by hand. They are an abrasive. Depending on the coarseness of the abrasive, nasty swirls or
scratches can be left behind.
Take note that I don't carry out
any rubbing using circular
motions. This is what causes
the spider webbing effect
which can be seen from all
angles. Always polish in
straight back and forward
motions. Whether you are
using polish or waxes.
What also needs to be
understood here also is that a product that displays "cut and polish" is a two in one product. This product however is more designed to have a cutting effect than a
polishing effect. This is why we are going to use two separate Kitten products.
We will use the Cream polish and wax next. Why are there scratches left behind you ask? Because hand pressure is never even over a given area of polishing. In most
cases hand pressure is just far too heavy for an abrasive. Also, the cutting particles in this compound are fairly large compared to other pastes and require a lot of
speed to break down to a dull shine, therefore leaving visible scratches behind . An orbital on the other hand displaces weight evenly over a given area with far less
pressure, and due to its oscillating action and speed portrays no swirl marks or scratches left behind from cutting compounds. Speed is what is required to break
down the abrasive particles very quickly, therefore dissipating all scratches.
Depending on the coarseness of the compound of course, it can lack in gloss. This is why we then need to move to a product which is more of a polish. This will remove
the dullness and further polish the area to a nice shine. As you can see from the example above, scratches are clearly evident over the rubbed area. That is clear proof
that abrasives and hand applications just don't mix. This is not just with Kitten products, but almost every compound that is designed for cutting.
Ok folks, now this is the best part. This is where you benefit from the best results that can be had using an orbital, and by the end of the day you get to keep your
shoulder. Nobody said that polishing your car had to be hard work. Just follow the same procedure as stated earlier on this page except using the orbital instead.
Being a paste of course
you will need a small flat
object to place some paste
on the polishing pad. You will
quickly find that once you
have seen the results for
yourself of what can be
achieved using an orbital,
most of you will do away
with hand procedure
applications for ever. You
only have to try this your self
to know what I'm talking
about. I have heard far too
many people say that doing
car polishing by hand yields
the same results that you get
using an orbital (or for the real
heroes), better than a rotary.
"Come on" To all those out
there who believe that. "WAKE UP" It is impossible for the human hand to beat a machine that has revolutions and speed. That's just common sense. Believe me you'll
be glad you did. Obviously as you can see the paint surface is somewhat a little dull, lacking clarity and could be better with a little more shine.
This however is normal for using a cutting paste with an orbital. As you can see, all the scratches are gone. This is only because an orbital spinning at 3000 opm's
breaks down cutting particles much faster and then polishes to the best possible shine that the compound allows. This is what the human hand can not achieve. That's
why there are always scratches left behind with hand applied cutting compounds. No speed, no results. Next we will apply the cream and polishing wax to eliminate a
good percentage of the dullness and restore this finish to a nice as possible shine that can be achieved.
I would suppose there are many car lovers out there that would never guess what sort of results could be achieved by using such an affordable product as Kitten for
their own use. For everyday cars that are
used on a regular basis, this
is more than an acceptable
product for providing a decent
enough shine with some
protection. You have to remember
that before you use this product
it is better to go over your surfaces
with the cutting paste if
you have lots of light swirling
or light scratches, then apply
the cream polish wax. Just simply
remove the red Meguiars
cutting pad and refit the
Meguiars yellow polishing pad.
Go over the entire vehicle with the
exact same method as the
cutting paste. Remember to
do sections at a time and wipe
off to check on your progress. If you
want, re-apply the cream wax polish
and let it set for about half an hour
so it can work as a wax. That's it !!
Now we come to the Nitty Gritty polishes. Polishes for the Die hard fan who demands nothing but the top products. Whether it is for the toy car in the garage, or the show
car, or even the everyday get around, Meguiars is a world recognised product that spands decades. Meguiars is surprisingly an easy enough product to use. It's just
that many people or fanatics don't know where to start. We are not going to bother with hand applications as we have shown examples of this earlier.
Especially with Meguiars having such a massive line of car care products. As for basic polishing you will need one of two mild cleaning compounds. Meguiars Paint
cleaner or, Meguiars swirl free polish which happens to be that little bit
more abrassive than paint cleaner. After that, Meguiars
Wet look. You will have to establish whether or not the
paint cleaner is going to do the job of removing all
light swirls and scratches. If not, you will have to use the
swirl free polish.
Once you have removed all the swirl damage with either the
swirl remover or the paint cleaner, you will then move onto the
wet look. Using an orbital of course, I would recommend attaching
a Meguiars red cutting pad and going over the entire vehicle with
one of the two cleaning compounds until you are satisfied that you have removed ample enough damage. Remember that if you have a lot of contaminants you must
clay bar the entire vehicle. Again, this is for general maintenance and upkeep. This is not serious paint correction. This method is designed to remove top surface flaws
If you find that the meguiars paint cleaner just is not cutting the mustard with removing enough damage, move straight onto the swirl remover.
When you are happy with the
results that you have achieved
move straight on to the wet look
polish using a Meguiars yellow
polishing pad. Apply the same
method. Remember to wipe down
with Meguiars quick detailer after
completion. The results are
not bad at all. Again a lot of the
top surface damage has been
removed leaving a nice smooth
and shiny surface. If you wanted,
you could once again go over
the vehicle with the wet look
leaving a slight haze so as to allow
it to work as a sealer, or you move
straight on to Tech wax. Simply
follow our car waxing page as to
the correct waxing procedures.
The paint surfaces on this vehicle
would have looked better again
if the surfaces were not so badly
pitted and also contained far less orange peal. Also, what we have done is add some other possible
Meguiars combinations that will also assist you in obtaining the shine you have been looking for. We have listed
two types of additional of combinations for mild and slightly more serious damage. If you use one of these combo's given the level of damage you have, you should see
some dramatic improvements if you are prepared
to put some effort into some serious polishing of your paint. The first one pictured here is basically for mild swirls of newer paints and mild dulling. Be sure to clay bar
first if you have contaminants on your surfaces. We can not stress this enough.
Do not attempt to use any of these with a rotary polisher unless you plan on entering this industry and need to practice. Use all of these products with a DA Polisher and
two separate Meguiars polishing pads and one finishing pad for your wax for each individual pass over the vehicle. This is one combination we use, and find colours just
explode. Do not take short cuts, by leaving one of the compounds out of the equation. You need to do it right the first time. Be sure to go over the vehicle with Meguiars
quick detailer to remove any left over residue. The end result should be mind blowing.
The second additional combo is for paint that is far more weathered with heavier swirling or webbing and
mild acid rain stains. Again, remember to clay bar the car first before car polishing if contaminants are present.
The first one is basically a mild cutting abrasive. After this, you will need to use a swirl remover for depth of colour, and lastly, carnauba wax to seal in the shine. If it was
my choice, I would also use the deep crystal polish after the swirl remover, then followed with the finishing touch of Meguiars Carnauba wax. Please remember, taking
shortcuts does not achieve the best possible results. These are combinations that work, and work very well when used accordingly they way they should be used. It is
also optional if you would like to use deep crystal polish after the swirl remover. For an additional kick in the pants shine, I highly recommend the additional pass with
Crystal polish, and then waxing.
These are methods which are designed to help you better maintain your own vehicle with a simple enough knowledge of common polishing and waxing maintenance. If
you have any questions please don't hesitate to email us.
A love and passion for cars
Meguiars Clay bar,Mild
Kitten Liquid Cut
And Polish And
Kitten Teflon Polish
Kitten Car Polishing
Kitten Cutting Paste
Rubbing Kitten cut
and polish by hand
Cut and polished
area by hand.
Scratches left behind after
using cutting paste by hand.
Kitten Cutting Paste
Cutting paste on red
Mequiars pad. This is a
buffing using Kitten cut
Wipping off residue
Evidence is clear, that there are no visible scratches left
behind from using an orbital with a cutting paste.
Not Recommended. Using
Kitten Cream Polish wax by
Recommended. Applying Kitten
cream polish wax with orbital
Result yielded by hand. As you can see scratches are still visible
which have been left behind from the Kitten cutting compound which
was applied by hand. This is where you need speed to make the
polish work for you. Hence why an orbital. Depending on the hardness
of the paint, if you find scratches do not come off with the polish, you
will have to re-do the area again by orbital and a Meguiars red pad
using Kitten cutting compound again. After that, the polish should
remove what is left and bring the paint up to a glossy shine.
Result yielded by using an orbital. The shine is far
more impressive, and gloss is stronger. This is an
impressive result for a 10 dollar polish which will last
you a very long time.
Kitten Cream Polishing Wax
Meguiars swirl free
Buffing with orbital
using Swirl free polish
on Meguiars Red pad.
Meguiars Wet Look
Meguiars wet look
Buffing with Meguiars
Given results after having used the methods listed above. Light scratches and
swirl marks have now been removed. Best of all the wet look is also a sealant.
Take note !! The product listed below is a cutting compound. Every time you use it, you will
remove a percentage of paint or clear from your surfaces. The chance of eventually penetrating
your clearcoat or going through your paint can be high after repeated use. Please be sure to
mask your edges. I would not recommend using this product if you don't know the thickness or
history of your paint. You will use this product at your own risk.
Car Detailing | Paint Correction | New Car Paint Protection
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