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Michael Stoops
Jul 28th, 2010, 07:43 PM
The Challenge of Delicate Paint (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44344)

There has been plenty of talk on this, and other, detailing forums about how best to deal with difficult to correct or "hard" paint. But not much is discussed when the paint is so delicate that almost no matter how you touch it, it comes out looking somehow worse than before you started working on it.

We've seen MOL members suddenly horrified to find that a product they've read about, and seen fantastic before/after images touting the virtues of, simply can't give the same sort of result on their car. Our Customer Care Center receives calls about how a given product seemingly damaged the paint on a customer's car. Often times this is actually due to a very aggressive applicator being used and not the product at all, but sometimes it is down to the product. In either case, a test spot would have helped prevent the problem.

That does NOT mean the product is no good. It simply means that it isn't the best product match for that paint. We've seen plenty of comments from new users about how a wax or pure polish didn't remove their swirl marks, and more experienced users know that those products are simply not designed to correct that issue - they are just not aggressive enough. So no harm, no foul. But no progress either. Fine, just step up to a more aggressive product. But in this article we're talking about the exact opposite situation: those rare times when a product almost makes the paint look worse, even if it does remove the original defects.

Fortunately, this situation is quite rare indeed, but when it does happen - and put yourself in the place of the car owner who experiences this - it's extremely annoying and frustrating. How are you supposed to deal with that? What product do you choose? How do you use it? A test spot can help determine that.

Forum member Epileptic (known to his parents as Jay) has a 2008 Honda Civic sedan with extremely sensitive paint. We've seen him at Thursday Night Open Garage sessions, struggling to get a clear high gloss shine out on this car. Most processes he's tried end up hazing the paint and making it look dull. So, we invited him down to Meguiar's Garage so that we could experiment a bit and see what's what. Here's what we came up with.

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/1635/delicate_paint_0006.JPG

We lined up a collection of products, from mild cleaner waxes to powerful paint cleaners, and did a variety of test spots on the hood. Each product was used with a fresh foam applicator pad, by hand. We applied each product twice, using each as directed.

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/1635/delicate_paint_0011.JPG

As we suspected (knowing ahead of time that this paint is extremely delicate), Ultimate Compound did a good job of removing the defects in the paint but it left the finish looking very hazed. Stepping down to SwirlX we found a high level of defect removal, and with a lot less hazing. But still, the haze was there. Cleaner waxes such as our traditional Cleaner Wax, D151 Paint Reconditioning Cream, ColorX and M06 Professional Cleaner Wax only moderately reduced the swirl marks (which were quite heavy), in varying degrees depending on the strength of each. But at least they did not haze the finish. Of course, each of these had the added benefit of leaving wax protection at the same time, making them decent one step products. Overall, however, none were quite up to the task of fully removing defects. They were good and made a definite improvement, but we wanted more. You'll want more, too.

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/1635/delicate_paint_0013.JPG

As mentioned, Ultimate Compound left the paint looking hazy. Here's a close up of the UC treated section alongside the small area that remained untreated while under the masking tape. The reduction in swirls is better than what this looks like - the level of haze just makes the whole thing look, well, far from desirable.

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/1635/delicate_paint_0014.JPG

But here's another potential issue when working by hand on very delicate paint like on this Honda. It's very easy to develop pressure points under your fingertips, which translates into overly aggressive product application. We've even seen times where the user's finger marks could be seen in the paint following such an application. And using a terry cloth applicator on delicate paint just makes the situation even worse! Now, obviously the way Jay is putting pressure on this pad is not very good technique. But new users make mistakes like this. Still, even correct technique can create finger pressure points on very delicate paint.

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/1635/delicate_paint_0042.JPG

So how do you counter that problem? You need an applicator, and the foam applicator is really the safest bet. But if your finger pressure can translate into paint damage........ ugh! Well, we tried out a little adaptation of hand application and put to use a W8204 polishing pad with a S3HP hand pad. This gave us much more uniform pressure across the pad (and onto the paint) along with a more ergonomic applicator. In short, the pressure points were gone.

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/1635/delicate_paint_0043.JPG

Win - win? Well, it's an improvement in as much as the haze is both reduced and much more uniform in appearance. But there is still haze, even when using something as mild as SwirlX. This paint is that delicate! What's really important to keep in mind, however, is that the haze is actually quite minor and very uniform - meaning it is quite easy to correct with a very mild product.

Those of you with a lot of experience correcting paint understand the concept of trading a severe defect (heavy swirls, maybe even sanding marks) for a less severe, more predictable defect (light holograms, a bit of D/A haze, etc). You also know that your new, more predictable defect is very easy to remove with a less aggressive follow up product. And the exact same concept applies here. To remove the haze from any of the more aggressive products, we simply followed up with a quality cleaner wax - ColorX. M06 Professional Cleaner Wax and M66 Quick Detailer also work very well for this step.

Just how effective was ColorX at removing the haze? The image below shows the result. We took the Ultimate Compound test spot, as seen in the lower left, and split it in two, applying ColorX to half of it. And the difference is striking. But what's also great about this is that the application of ColorX was not a heavy elbow grease operation. Sure, we used a bit of pressure, but not like trying to remove heavy defects on "hard" paint. It was actually quite easy. And the results speak for themselves. You can clearly see the cross pattern created by the masking tape as we marked off the hood for the various products - and the level of swirls protected by the tape. But you can also see how badly hazed the UC treated area is, and this is what is so understandably upsetting to those who have experienced this. But look at the section right next to it; that was achieved with just a quick follow up of ColorX!

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/1635/delicate_paint_0039.JPG

This is the same area, closer up, taken from around the side of the car. So the lower portion is after treating with UC only, the upper section showing the follow up with ColorX. And if something as simple as ColorX can remove the heavy haze of an aggressive product like Ultimate Compound, the lighter haze of SwirlX is no match for it. And SwirlX did a great job of removing the swirls in the first place, as you'll see in a moment.

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/1635/delicate_paint_0038.JPG


Here's a close up shot of the difference between an area treated only with SwirlX, and the same area followed up with ColorX. It turns out that this particular paint was workable enough (or "soft" enough, as some would call it) that SwirlX was actually all the punch needed to remove the defects. Yes, it left a bit of haze, but less than UC, so the haze was a breeze to remove. Keep in mind the concept of using the least aggressive process to get the job done! Doing a test spot will tell you if you're being aggressive enough or not. When dealing with very delicate paint, you really want to go easy so as to avoid causing any more marring than necessary. With really delicate paint even a minor change in product or process can have a huge impact on the outcome.

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/1635/delicate_paint_0036.JPG

OK, so what have learned from all of this?

Well, first of all............ wait for it.........DO A TEST SPOT!!! That is how you find out if you have really delicate (or really "hard", or really cooperative) paint in the first place. If you take anything away from this, let that be it. We can not stress this enough, especially for people who are new to paint correction. There is nothing worse than thinking a product/process is right for your paint just because you've seen so many great write ups using that product, only to discover it's not - after you've done the entire car! Paint systems differ, and the approach needed to work on them will differ accordingly. Usually the differences are fairly minor, but in some cases, like with extremely delicate paint, a very unique approach must be used to achieve the desired result.

Secondly, you don't need to work terribly hard to correct defects in really delicate paint. If anything, a lighter touch is less invasive to the paint, creating less hazing and other problems. You may need a couple of easy passes with SwirlX, but that's actually less work than a really "hard" paint that needs two highly labor intensive applications of Ultimate Compound!

Third, pay close attention to the type of defects you're initially trying to remove and compare them to what the paint looks like after your initial paint cleaning step. If the original problems are gone (water spots, fine scratches and swirls) but the paint looks really hazy and/or you can visually see your finger marks in the paint, odds are your paint is extremely delicate and you're being more aggressive with it than necessary.

Fourth, if you really want to use something like NXT Tech Wax 2.0 or Gold Class Carnauba plus, you can certainly do so as a last step. But you will need to use the refining ability of a good cleaner wax first in order to remove the haze of the paint cleaner. Otherwise, these non cleaning waxes won't have the ability to remove the haze. They may hide it a bit, but probably not enough to satisfy you, even if you're only a bit picky about the appearance of your finish. In fact, it's the people who fail to do a test spot :nervous1 and just go straight to wax that end up annoyed and frustrated at the end of it all.

Keep in mind that all of the above relates to hand application of products designed to remove defects. Using a tool like the G110v2 or other D/A changes the picture significantly. Still, you may well find that a very mild product is all that's needed to correct typical swirls, water spots, etc on these paints. The extra power of the tool coupled with the movement of the pad usually means that SwirlX one time takes care of the problem and even leaves less haze. Sometimes. It depends on the paint. We've even seen situations where ColorX alone (or M66 or D151) was sufficient all by itself when D/A applied. But do a test spot first to make sure.

In fact, when everything was said and done, even though we still had that patchwork of test spots on the hood, we gave the whole car a once over with ColorX on a G110v2 with a W8207 Soft Buff 2.0 polishing pad. This is what we got:

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/1635/delicate_paint_0051.JPG

OK, so we've beaten the idea of a test spot into your heads (so we aren't using bold text for it any more), but hopefully we've also gotten you thinking about just how different various paint systems can be. And if you think this concept is only useful for those who are new to paint correction, think again. Look back to this thread (http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38161) we made last year - we spent a lot of time testing and eliminating products and processes before finally settling on one that worked. Imagine if we had just said "OK, this doesn't look too bad" and just jumped in with M105 on the D/A. We would have spent hours working on the car, been left with a mess, and forced to do the whole thing all over again! Any time you approach a make and model of car you've never worked on before, be prepared to adapt your process and product selection. Pay attention to how the paint is responding to your inputs. Stop and evaluate your progress - don't just jump in blindly and have at it. You never know how that paint is going to react until you do a ..............


Scottwax2

Tuck91
Jul 28th, 2010, 08:22 PM
Great writeup Mike.

Definitly will be helpful to those with this issue now and in the future.

AdvanceDetail
Jul 28th, 2010, 08:34 PM
Great info, i had to work on a Subaru Legacy a while back, it was one of the softest paints i worked on, i had a hard time working with it because after getting excelent correction i would make scratches with my microfibers. it was a nightmare!

then on the other side of the scale i have been hit with audi paint (really hard to correct on some cars) where 105 and megs cutting pad (g-220) wasn't making a dent in the swirls

Bill Davidson
Jul 28th, 2010, 09:30 PM
Do you guys think Meguiar's should sell a inexpensive test kit?

Likely no matter how much you preach, most consumers are not going to spend $60 on 6 bottles of product, to figure out which $10 product they should be using.

The write-up is fantastic, the logic is fantastic, but how do we get people doing this?

Woodie6250
Jul 28th, 2010, 10:26 PM
Great thread Michael. Similar to Nelson's (Advance Detail) experience I was helping a recent Meguiars convert with his Subaru Impreza and the black paint on it was so "soft" that giving it a dirty look would cause hazing.

Going through this process of trying different products on a small test spot allowed us to settle on the best products for the job and he was able to go away and buy the products that would work for his circumstances.

He is also now fully aware of the process of that trading bad defects for lighter defects in a reducing process is acceptable, and that with patience a pleasing finish can be achieved.

Bill - you raise a valid point, and there's no magic solution. I try as far as possible to meet up with new guys who post on our local forum to see if I can apply the "Each one, teach one" principle that Mike Phillips often referred to. Not a complete solution, but every little helps I guess.

gto_don
Jul 29th, 2010, 07:16 AM
Do you guys think Meguiar's should sell a inexpensive test kit?


I think Meguiars should sell Michael Stoops and the others in a test kit. Open it up and let them do the "TEST SPOT" figuring. Then box them back up and put them on the shelf until the next vehicle! :D

Great wrtie up Michael. VERY informative and descriptive write up.

Michael Stoops
Jul 29th, 2010, 07:44 AM
Likely no matter how much you preach, most consumers are not going to spend $60 on 6 bottles of product, to figure out which $10 product they should be using.


Very true, but far too many people automatically reach for the most aggressive product they can find thinking it's going to make the job go faster. Unfortunately, sometimes the opposite is true. But the people who really get into trouble are those who not only grab that aggressive product and use it in an aggressive manner, but do so without ever stopping to gauge their progress. They wait until everything is done, then pull the car out into the sunlight and they are horrified at the result.

We certainly don't expect everyone to go out and buy a whole collection of products, but we would love for them to stop and think first about what they really want to accomplish, and how they really should go about getting there.

bmrfan
Jul 29th, 2010, 08:42 AM
Mike - Great write-up! Definitely provides guidance on working with soft paint but I hope it also shows people to NOT reach for the "20lb" sledgehammer when a 1lb rubber mallet will suffice.

I like Bill Davidson's suggestion on a "test" kit but ultimately we need people to "buy-in" to performing test spots.

Also got me thinking about using the Hand pad holder (S3HP) when applying polishes such as M07.

Bill Davidson
Jul 29th, 2010, 08:51 AM
I like Don's idea. :chuckle1 does Meguiar's employ any elves.

I agree Michael education is key. Test spots are essential, sometimes less is more.

Murr1525
Jul 29th, 2010, 08:56 AM
Unfortunately, Mike Stoops is the opposite of an elf.

Going to have top look into one of those holders to try, though would be even better if it worked with the regular Hi-Tec applicators.

Michael Stoops
Jul 29th, 2010, 09:54 AM
Then box them back up and put them on the shelf until the next vehicle! :D


But we like to think "outside the box" :nervous1 - otherwise how would we figure out what product to use on uncooperative paint?

gto_don
Jul 29th, 2010, 10:01 AM
Dang....I hate those kind of come backs! :D

gto_don
Jul 29th, 2010, 10:27 AM
Michael,
Serious question on doing test spots. Do you typically do test spots by hand or by (say) DA if that's the method you're going to use? Or do you do a TS always by hand to get a better idea of what product to use? If by hand is the case, do you then follow that method (by hand) with a DA and pad/product test? In "most" show and tell I have seen, it seems by hand method is what is used to perform the ts.

I guess what I am looking for is what method to best use for a test spot. I rarely do any job by hand and wonder if doing a DA ts is best if that's the method that will be used to do the vehicle. I have always done my ts's by DA/PAD/Product.

Hope that's not too confusing.

Michael Stoops
Jul 29th, 2010, 11:32 AM
Don, you should do your test spot with the tools you'll be using otherwise you aren't giving the paint or process a fair shake. The whole idea of a test spot is to dial in a product/process that will give repeatable results over the entire vehicle.

We once worked on a Ferrari 512BBi with original single stage paint dating back to the early/mid 1980s and it was just stupid delicate. Even M07 by hand left it looking hazy - go figure. We did so many test areas that we were running out of room on the hood!! If memory serves, the time spent trying to figure out a process took almost as long as buffing out the whole car!

It should be stressed, though, that super delicate paint isn't all that terribly common. Personally, this Honda and a couple of other Honda Fits that I've worked on, plus the Cobra linked to in the article and that Ferrari were the only cars I've worked on that were this delicate. Having worked on them though, I now have a good starting point reference when presented with something might be very delicate. Instead of starting my test spot with UC (which, honestly, in most cases is going to correct the vast majority of issues on the vast majority of paints) I'll drop down to M205 or M80. Maybe even start off with a finishing pad just to see how the paint responds.

Joe Fernandez of Superior Shine has the tag line "I am the paint whisperer." under his avatar here on MOL. That's really not too far off - the paint will tell you what it needs, you just have to listen. Your test spot is that initial interview with the paint to find out what it wants and needs. Corny as that sounds, it's true.

The good news is that most of the time you can get the job done with just a few likely combinations of products/processes. It's the head scratchers that cause frustration and take so much time to dial in.

gto_don
Jul 29th, 2010, 11:50 AM
Thanks Michael. I appreciate the return.

I do just that. If a DA is to be used, that's what I use for the test spot...if a rotary is to be used (RARE), that's what I dial in on. This latest post had just got me to thinking (in conjunction with others I've seen) that maybe I was missig out on something by doing a ts by hand/applicator.

Cleared up my question very well. Thanks again.

fingermouse1831
Aug 5th, 2010, 05:06 AM
ill try and keep it brief, i have checed forums without success...
so here goes, i have a vw bora need to keep it clean and want a stunning finish.
i need to buy new meguairs products
i have clay and quick detailer, but am waiting on 7 show car polish, 26 or 16 wax, scratch x to remove swirls plast x for dull headlights. this will all be done by hand as i have no machinebuffer. question is, i dont seem to know best way to start? should i use deatailer and clay before scratch x or after and then show car no.7 then 26 and then 16? some assistance in the best order to use these products would help. i need to clean car remove the scratches and then polish up to a deep glossy shine. help greatly recieved the order and what to use.

akimel
Aug 5th, 2010, 06:55 AM
Fingermouse, please do not post the same message in multiple threads. Thanks.

Keefe
Sep 5th, 2010, 10:39 PM
I just detailed a black 2008 Honda CRV. I used the Flex DA, LC black finishing pad with 205. The paint is really soft. 4 peas of 205 is more than enough for 2X2ft. After the initial spread (1-2 passes) with pressure, I had to use a pad brush to remove 205 then 3-4 passes. Along the way, brushing the pad and lifting the DA as it moves across the paint. This brought about a super shine (5-6 passes). The sheer weight of the Flex seems too much for the paint. That's delicate paint.

PS: All done is setting 1 on DA. Beat that.

Michael Stoops
Sep 7th, 2010, 08:30 AM
I just detailed a black 2008 Honda CRV. I used the Flex DA, LC black finishing pad with 205. The paint is really soft. 4 peas of 205 is more than enough for 2X2ft. After the initial spread (1-2 passes) with pressure, I had to use a pad brush to remove 205 then 3-4 passes. Along the way, brushing the pad and lifting the DA as it moves across the paint. This brought about a super shine (5-6 passes). The sheer weight of the Flex seems too much for the paint. That's delicate paint.

PS: All done is setting 1 on DA. Beat that.

Nicely done! So many people would have reached for M105 and a polishing pad and used a lot of speed to remove swirls and cobwebs from that car, and then come back here and complained that M105 wasn't working because the finish would be all hazed up.

JG_Detailing
Sep 14th, 2010, 03:26 AM
Does Meguiars sell the S3HP hand pad. That thing looks awsome. Would like to have that in my detailing collection.

Michael Stoops
Sep 14th, 2010, 07:28 AM
The S3HP is currently available online through both Amazon.com and ADS. Just search either site using S3HP (add Meguiar's to the front of that at Amazon) and it will come up.

WXman
Oct 9th, 2010, 04:14 PM
Great article! Just completed my 2007 Honda Accord using Swirl-X and Color-X with the G-110 then topped it off with M16! Great results!
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/500/IMAG0120.jpg
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/500/IMAG0121.jpg
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/500/IMAG0122.jpg
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/500/IMAG0123.jpg
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/500/IMAG0124.jpg
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/500/IMAG0125.jpg
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/500/IMAG0126.jpg
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/500/IMAG0127.jpg
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/500/IMAG0128.jpg

HealthyCivic
Oct 17th, 2010, 10:07 PM
Mike, I have a question. My Civic is also a 2008 but it's a coupe. I haven't experienced any of these issues even when using UC. Why is this? Did they use a different type of clearcoat on mine than on this one!?

Michael Stoops
Oct 22nd, 2010, 01:21 PM
Mike, I have a question. My Civic is also a 2008 but it's a coupe. I haven't experienced any of these issues even when using UC. Why is this? Did they use a different type of clearcoat on mine than on this one!?

It's very possible, yes. Do you know if the coupe and sedan are built in the same factory? If not then the probability of the paint being different is very high. If they are built in the same factory then this just illustrates how paint systems can change even within a single model year. And it's why we don't like making sweeping generalizations about how hard or soft any paint is just based on make and model.

FRS
Oct 26th, 2010, 03:08 PM
Very true, but far too many people automatically reach for the most aggressive product they can find thinking it's going to make the job go faster. Unfortunately, sometimes the opposite is true. But the people who really get into trouble are those who not only grab that aggressive product and use it in an aggressive manner, but do so without ever stopping to gauge their progress. They wait until everything is done, then pull the car out into the sunlight and they are horrified at the result.

We certainly don't expect everyone to go out and buy a whole collection of products, but we would love for them to stop and think first about what they really want to accomplish, and how they really should go about getting there.


I find SwirlX ineffective in a way and too mild.

Ok, I know it depends on type of paint, condition of the same, level of correction required, but still believe that buying UC and working with it doesn't pose any danger to the paint at all. As a matter of fact I consider buying SwirlX a waste of money and found SwirlX to be a milder form of UC.

Thank you for the great post, but there is a lot of marketing in there, aiming to sale as more different products as possible by advising to start from mild product and gradually upgrade to the more aggressive ones.

I've extensively tested all the products in this line, only to conclude that swirlX is insufficient for many applications. UC does the same job with less effort and better result.

There is nothing in my opinion that UC can not do comparing to swirlX and the like .. As a matter of fact I find UC completely sufficient for paint cleaning/correcting applications.

Cheers
:wavey

Michael Stoops
Oct 26th, 2010, 03:24 PM
I find SwirlX ineffective in a way and too mild.

Ok, I know it depends on type of paint, condition of the same, level of correction required, but still believe that buying UC and working with it doesn't pose any danger to the paint at all. As a matter of fact I consider buying SwirlX a waste of money and found SwirlX to be a milder form of UC.

Thank you for the great post, but there is a lot of marketing in there, aiming to sale as more different products as possible by advising to start from mild product and gradually upgrade to the more aggressive ones.

I've extensively tested all the products in this line, only to conclude that swirlX is insufficient for many applications. UC does the same job with less effort and better result.

There is nothing in my opinion that UC can not do comparing to swirlX and the like .. As a matter of fact I find UC completely sufficient for paint cleaning/correcting applications.

Cheers
:wavey

We appreciate your comments but think you've completely missed the point of this particular article. While we have always been proponents of the concept of "using the least aggressive method to get the job done" we also regularly state that we are NOT, in fact, telling everyone to purchase both SwirlX and UC and start with SwirlX. Ask anyone who's taken our Saturday Class and they'll tell you that we state that flat out. UC is, as you said, completely sufficient for paint cleaning/correcting applications the vast majority of the time.

But the whole point of this article is for those vehicles with paint so delicate that UC is overkill, overly aggressive, and creates a lot of hazing that is extremely frustrating to the user. These cases are not terribly common in the overall scheme of things, but if you're a new user and you jump in with an aggressive product on this sort of paint, the result is not what you expected going in.

In fact, the car we used in this demo was chosen specifically because we saw the owner experience this exact situation during one of our Thursday Night Open Garage sessions. He used UC by hand and the paint was horribly hazed. Was there a bit of technique adjustment needed on his part? Perhaps, but as a fairly new user he was going by everything he had read online. But, quite frankly, his paint looked horrible after using UC. That night we went over the bad hazing using SwirlX on a D/A at a low speed and it completely cleaned up the finish. And so we wanted to do a write up on how to deal with very soft paint.

Yes, it's very true that if you have hard paint, SwirlX is going to be pretty ineffectual with regard to defect removal, no doubt about it. But this article is not about hard paint, or even "average" paint. It's about very soft and delicate paint. And that poses a whole new set of challenges, especially for people new to this hobby. We've seen too many people use overly aggressive products just because that's the natural tendency - grab the heavy duty stuff because it will make the job go faster (or so they think). When they badly haze the finish they don't "read it" as such and just think "this doesn't look as clear and shiny as I expected, so I guess I need something more aggressive". And that's just plain wrong in those cases.

Look at the number of test spots we did on this car and all the problems caused by the more aggressive products. For this delicate paint, the choice was very clear, and it was not an aggressive product.

Markus Kleis
Oct 26th, 2010, 04:08 PM
I find SwirlX ineffective in a way and too mild.

Ok, I know it depends on type of paint, condition of the same, level of correction required, but still believe that buying UC and working with it doesn't pose any danger to the paint at all. As a matter of fact I consider buying SwirlX a waste of money and found SwirlX to be a milder form of UC.

Thank you for the great post, but there is a lot of marketing in there, aiming to sale as more different products as possible by advising to start from mild product and gradually upgrade to the more aggressive ones.

I've extensively tested all the products in this line, only to conclude that swirlX is insufficient for many applications. UC does the same job with less effort and better result.

There is nothing in my opinion that UC can not do comparing to swirlX and the like .. As a matter of fact I find UC completely sufficient for paint cleaning/correcting applications.

Cheers
:wavey

To add to what Michael stated, I have even worked on paint (several times, in fact) that was so soft I could leave swirls on clean paint by relatively gently dragging my clean, soft, bare finger tip.

:eek:

In some cases the only product gentle enough to do correction had to be a cleaner wax, as even SwirlX was too aggressive! :scratchhead1

This is why Meguiar's regularly preaches the USE OF A TEST SPOT, always!

aerogt01
Oct 26th, 2010, 05:09 PM
How did the M06 compare to ColorX? I would suspect it to be very close, however the M06 is much more attractive to me as it can be purchased in bulk.

My father-in-law's Civic is downright abused and receives deep marring from his preferred wash method. (I have tried again and again to educate him. . .) I had to compound the entire car with M105 which left bad hazing. Followed with D151 (both by hand) the finish looked good, so I continued that for the entire car. However, I did not properly examine the test spot in the proper light, and saw the car a month later to have severe holograms. I have never encountered such a soft finish in my life. :wall2

That was the second time I tried to correct that car, once again with unsatisfactory results. I will give ColorX or M06 a try the next chance I get.

Markus Kleis
Oct 26th, 2010, 05:32 PM
How did the M06 compare to ColorX? I would suspect it to be very close, however the M06 is much more attractive to me as it can be purchased in bulk.

My father-in-law's Civic is downright abused and receives deep marring from his preferred wash method. (I have tried again and again to educate him. . .) I had to compound the entire car with M105 which left bad hazing. Followed with D151 (both by hand) the finish looked good, so I continued that for the entire car. However, I did not properly examine the test spot in the proper light, and saw the car a month later to have severe holograms. I have never encountered such a soft finish in my life. :wall2

That was the second time I tried to correct that car, once again with unsatisfactory results. I will give ColorX or M06 a try the next chance I get.

How did you apply the M105?

I have a feeling you created the holograms with the M105 and the D151 (especially applied via hand) did not remove them.

Holograms can be pretty darn difficult to remove even with a proper polish and a machine, let alone with an AIO by hand.

aerogt01
Oct 26th, 2010, 07:33 PM
Both were by hand using moderate pressure and a cotton applicator as I forgot to bring the PC. I'm not too worried about what I did wrong, as I now know the above combination does not work with this paint. It's hard to describe how sensitive that paint is, along with the challenge of removing the marring and finishing well. The main thing is I learned to better examine a test spot before doing the entire car.

FRS
Oct 26th, 2010, 10:53 PM
We appreciate your comments but think you've completely missed the point of this particular article. While we have always been proponents of the concept of "using the least aggressive method to get the job done" we also regularly state that we are NOT, in fact, telling everyone to purchase both SwirlX and UC and start with SwirlX. Ask anyone who's taken our Saturday Class and they'll tell you that we state that flat out. UC is, as you said, completely sufficient for paint cleaning/correcting applications the vast majority of the time.

But the whole point of this article is for those vehicles with paint so delicate that UC is overkill, overly aggressive, and creates a lot of hazing that is extremely frustrating to the user. These cases are not terribly common in the overall scheme of things, but if you're a new user and you jump in with an aggressive product on this sort of paint, the result is not what you expected going in.

In fact, the car we used in this demo was chosen specifically because we saw the owner experience this exact situation during one of our Thursday Night Open Garage sessions. He used UC by hand and the paint was horribly hazed. Was there a bit of technique adjustment needed on his part? Perhaps, but as a fairly new user he was going by everything he had read online. But, quite frankly, his paint looked horrible after using UC. That night we went over the bad hazing using SwirlX on a D/A at a low speed and it completely cleaned up the finish. And so we wanted to do a write up on how to deal with very soft paint.

Yes, it's very true that if you have hard paint, SwirlX is going to be pretty ineffectual with regard to defect removal, no doubt about it. But this article is not about hard paint, or even "average" paint. It's about very soft and delicate paint. And that poses a whole new set of challenges, especially for people new to this hobby. We've seen too many people use overly aggressive products just because that's the natural tendency - grab the heavy duty stuff because it will make the job go faster (or so they think). When they badly haze the finish they don't "read it" as such and just think "this doesn't look as clear and shiny as I expected, so I guess I need something more aggressive". And that's just plain wrong in those cases.

Look at the number of test spots we did on this car and all the problems caused by the more aggressive products. For this delicate paint, the choice was very clear, and it was not an aggressive product.


Maybe all the cars I've dealt with had tough and not delicate paint.

In one of my early Q's on this forum regarding my Mercedes Benz paint which is known to have thick and tough paint, I was advised to start with SwirlX and then proceed with other products until solution is found (?!!?)

Obviously I could not test products if I don't buy them first and that's what my point in the above post was. (Of course, SwirlX did nothing to the Merc paint).

I'm not sure if I'll ever come across a car with delicate paint, but will surely post here if that occurs.

Michael Stoops
Oct 27th, 2010, 06:51 AM
Two of the softest and most delicate paints that I, personally, have ever worked on were a black Ferrari 512 BBi from the mid '80s with original single stage paint and the 1999 Mercedes SL500 AMG we had in the garage during last Saturday's class.

The Ferrari could be hazed by a hand application of M07 Show Car Glaze - we spent almost 3 hours just searching for a combination that would give any sort of positive result. It was very soft and incredibly delicate.

The AMG had factory clear coat, also black, and while it needed something fairly stout to remove the defects, it still hazed quite badly with almost any liquid on the W8207 polishing pad. It wasn't terribly "soft" so much as it was "delicate". SwirlX alone wasn't strong enough to remove all the defects, hence our reluctance to call it "soft" but it still hazed easily, so the term "delicate" seems to apply. Come to think of it, the same situation sort of applies for a 2007 SL 55 AMG we worked on just a few weeks ago.

Different still from those two cases is something like the '97 Ferrari 550 Maranello we worked on a couple of months back. The paint was "soft" in the sense that M205/W8207/G110v2 at speed 4 was all that was needed to remove even nasty swirls and scratches, but the paint never hazed. In fact, after just that one step it was absolutely gorgeous!

The Cobra replicas from Superformance are sort of like this too, except they're easy to haze with an aggressive liquid. In fact, the paint on those cars is prone to D/A haze almost no matter what you use on them, but they love M205 via rotary at fairly high speed. Strange paint on those, but they're beautiful cars.

Bottom line - the more cars you work on the more you appreciate the need for a test spot. You just never know what you're going to be presented with.

FRS
Oct 27th, 2010, 03:51 PM
Would you know were the 2 Mercs repainted or the paint on them was still original?!? The reason why I'm asking-I had so many Mercs in the past and all of them had very 'hard' paint and not soft at all.
My cirrent Merc was detailed firstly with SwirlX without any result or ability to affect swirls .. even after 3 passes. The UC then did an awesome job.

Michael Stoops
Oct 27th, 2010, 07:32 PM
Neither car had been repainted but they were built several years apart. On the '99 SwirlX did some correction but not as much as UC, which we expect since it isn't as strong, but it still hazes the paint. On the newer car we used some "experimental" stuff.:nervous1 but the paint was still easy to haze.

But paints can vary dramatically even within a single manufacturers line. BMW paint is all over the map - we've worked on some that practically required a rotary to do almost anything and others that were very easy to correct. Forum member "smack" show me his 3 Series in Las Vegas last month and he corrected it beautifully with SwirlX on a D/A. I'll admit to being a bit surprised by that but I saw the car in person so I couldn't really with the man!

InfiniteDetail
Oct 27th, 2010, 07:42 PM
The AMG had factory clear coat, also black, and while it needed something fairly stout to remove the defects, it still hazed quite badly with almost any liquid on the W8207 polishing pad. It wasn't terribly "soft" so much as it was "delicate". SwirlX alone wasn't strong enough to remove all the defects, hence our reluctance to call it "soft" but it still hazed easily, so the term "delicate" seems to apply. Come to think of it, the same situation sort of applies for a 2007 SL 55 AMG we worked on just a few weeks ago.


Michael, in our experience this is by far the most challenging to work with. We just worked on a '66 GTO (black) single stage repaint. After damp sanding we removed the sanding scratches with 2 applications of M105 via Rotary and wool Solo maroon pad.

Normally we would follow this with PC/LC green pad/M205, but this combo wasn't aggressive enough to remove the rotary micro marring. We had to follow the rotary/solo maroon/M105 with the flex/LC orange/M95 and then follow that with PC/Green/Cleaner wax!

It took a good 6 hours of banging our heads to figure this process out. It was very frustrating!

Applying and removing glaze hazed the finish. M205 on a finishing pad hazed the paint. Cleaner wax was about the only thing that would finish up acceptably well.

A few days after we polished it, the owner lightly brushed some dust on the hood with a WW towel (no QD applied) and seriously marred the paint. It was that delicate!

This was the most challenging paint we have ever worked on. I am thankful we had this forum as a resource - I would have never thought of cleaner wax on my own, but I had read this and the Cleaner Wax popped into my head..and Presto!

Can't say enough how important it is to finish out a test spot to the finished product - then finish out that panel to a finished product - before proceeding to the rest of the car.

-Jeff

kenshin_fan1
Mar 6th, 2011, 11:49 PM
Hi there i also have a honda- the accord euro and looking at all these posts and the internet it seems that honda paints are soft in general. I just bought a Meguiars G220V2 and cant wait to try it out but am concerned that even on a setting 1 with black pad and deep crystal polish swirling may occur. I know, do a test section first! Thats what i will be attempting this weekend.

Just out of curiosity has anybody with soft paint used mothers wax attack palm polisher? at 800rpm this DA might just remove those swirls without hazing the paint

akimel
Mar 7th, 2011, 05:37 AM
I have two Hondas. Though the paint is soft, which means that I my paint seems to swirl easily from normal washing and quick detailing, it also means that it can be fairly easy to correct.

Deep Crystal Polish will not remove swirls. It is a non-abrasive "pure" polish that only adds a little temporary wetness to the shine. A black pad is also the wrong choice for paint correction (though the correct choice for the application of DCP).

If you want to remove swirls, you will need to use an abrasive polish and a yellow polishing pad (speed 5). Meguiar's has several choices, but the best choice is to order the 12 oz sampler size of M250 Ultra Finishing Polish from Auto Detailing Solutions (http://www.autodetailingsolutions.net/m205014.html).

Watch some good videos on how to polish one's car. Here's one by Mike Phillip's:

<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="640" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/zUHRnHsSXZU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

And always remember to do a TEST SPOT before polishing the entire car. You want to ensure that you can make one small area to look good than

Don't waste your money on the palm polisher. This is only for wax application, not paint correction.

232613fmf
Jun 29th, 2011, 08:08 AM
That information was rite on! I just joined the forum yesterday after calling the very helpful Car Crazy people , have had a hazing problem after using u c on a white 05 highlander . Its my girlfriends car and one of my practice cars Im finding white paint is forgiving but also challenging at the same time . looking forward to this forum is the future .

littleblackcar
Oct 31st, 2011, 06:34 PM
Don, you should do your test spot with the tools you'll be using otherwise you aren't giving the paint or process a fair shake. The whole idea of a test spot is to dial in a product/process that will give repeatable results over the entire vehicle.

We once worked on a Ferrari 512BBi with original single stage paint dating back to the early/mid 1980s and it was just stupid delicate. Even M07 by hand left it looking hazy - go figure. We did so many test areas that we were running out of room on the hood!! If memory serves, the time spent trying to figure out a process took almost as long as buffing out the whole car!

It should be stressed, though, that super delicate paint isn't all that terribly common. Personally, this Honda and a couple of other Honda Fits that I've worked on, plus the Cobra linked to in the article and that Ferrari were the only cars I've worked on that were this delicate. Having worked on them though, I now have a good starting point reference when presented with something might be very delicate. Instead of starting my test spot with UC (which, honestly, in most cases is going to correct the vast majority of issues on the vast majority of paints) I'll drop down to M205 or M80. Maybe even start off with a finishing pad just to see how the paint responds.

Joe Fernandez of Superior Shine has the tag line "I am the paint whisperer." under his avatar here on MOL. That's really not too far off - the paint will tell you what it needs, you just have to listen. Your test spot is that initial interview with the paint to find out what it wants and needs. Corny as that sounds, it's true.

The good news is that most of the time you can get the job done with just a few likely combinations of products/processes. It's the head scratchers that cause frustration and take so much time to dial in.

Hi Michael,
Have you dialed in some products that work well on the Honda Fit? I have black Fit, and I can tell the paint is very delicate. Do you have suggestions? Thanks!

Michael Stoops
Oct 31st, 2011, 07:28 PM
Hi Michael,
Have you dialed in some products that work well on the Honda Fit? I have black Fit, and I can tell the paint is very delicate. Do you have suggestions? Thanks!

we have worked on a few of these and they all had delicate paint, as do the 2011 Toyota Priuses (just what is the plural of Prius?) we've worked on. Sometimes you need a bit of cut to remove defects but that cutting product leaves the paint hazy. Ultimate Compound cuts better than M205, for example, but leavea more haze, too. Still, that haze is almost always cleaned up with ColorX on a finishing pad. You can then top with another wax or sealant if you choose. It should be said that a light touch of M205 with a finishing pad at slow speed on a DA should leave a veey nicedinish suitable for LSP. Depending, of course, on how the pait reaponds and how good your technique is.

Bet99ty00
Nov 3rd, 2011, 08:24 PM
Great info, i had to work on a Subaru Legacy a while back, it was one of the softest paints i worked on, i had a hard time working with it because after getting excelent correction i would make scratches with my microfibers. it was a nightmare!

then on the other side of the scale i have been hit with audi paint (really hard to correct on some cars) where 105 and megs cutting pad (g-220) wasn't making a dent in the swirls
http://www.mboxmusic.info/jh2.jpg
http://www.mboxmusic.info/2.jpg

Rafael Rakyan
Dec 27th, 2011, 06:24 PM
Can I use D151 for delicate paint with rotary? (Pad : Meguiar's Polishing W8...)

Michael Stoops
Jan 4th, 2012, 01:35 PM
Can I use D151 for delicate paint with rotary? (Pad : Meguiar's Polishing W8...)
Yes, you certainly can. But if the paint is really delicate you may struggle to finish hologram free with a polishing pad on a rotary. D151 may do a very good job of concealing rotary swirls due to the wax protection it leaves behind. That does NOT mean it's just a filler product, don't get us wrong. It does an outstanding job of actual defect removal, but what's left behind can conceal to a degree. And that could hide buffer swirls on very delicate paint.

zbestwun2001
Jan 11th, 2012, 02:26 PM
According to my body shop I have delicate paint. It is a single stage, not real expensive paint job. I had it done end of last May and it still really does look good. Even, the body shop ( who are friends) said that shop did a good job. It is also not very thick, in fact it's thin.
Using UQD, and NXT 2.0 and UQW. These three products have kept the paint very healthy and when I run my hand across it it is very glass like. A few little bumps but that's the paint job.

I am VERY leery to use just about anything else on it. I really don't have swirls, I might have a couple MF scratches but the car is Metallic Beige and they don't show.

BUT, is there anything that Maguiar's makes that will make it look even better safely?

I wax by hand using a hand held applicator.

I have a tendency sometimes to "if it's not broke, fix it till it is", if you know what I mean. I don't want to do that here, it looks to good. If I went to sold it I could get top dollar for it as it also only has 111K mi. on it. It's very clean inside and out.

Do you think I should just stay on this same routine, it seems to be working great?

Thanks

Murr1525
Jan 11th, 2012, 02:35 PM
It would be good to try out the Cleaner/Wax, or ColorX as a step before the wax.

If leery, you would just do a panel or small area at first, and inspect it. Then move on.

zbestwun2001
Jan 11th, 2012, 03:26 PM
It would be good to try out the Cleaner/Wax, or ColorX as a step before the wax.

If leery, you would just do a panel or small area at first, and inspect it. Then move on.

Being that I know I am dealing with a thin coat of paint, does this remove any of the paint?
Thanks Mat

Murr1525
Jan 11th, 2012, 03:47 PM
No, they are both quite mild used by hand. You can work them in a lot of course, but you can also apply them by just wiping around like a regular wax, just to get a little dirt cleaning.

zbestwun2001
Jan 11th, 2012, 03:54 PM
Thanks

Rafael Rakyan
Jan 11th, 2012, 07:18 PM
To prevent any scratches/swirls on delicate paint, better if I use D151 by hand or rotary? Thanks :chuckle1

davey g-force
Jan 11th, 2012, 07:35 PM
To prevent any scratches/swirls on delicate paint, better if I use D151 by hand or rotary? Thanks :chuckle1

As stated by Michael above, it may be difficult to finish hologram-free with D151 via rotary on delicate paint. So if that's what you want to prevent, do it by hand.

Either that, or be prepared to do a second step with a less agressive product on the rotary.

pugfun
Feb 14th, 2012, 03:00 PM
Now i am really confuse... i have a Peugeot 407 black colour and she is nearly 7 years old... next week i am going to detailing her and it will be her first detailing.. i bought lots of meg product (ultimate compound, swirlx, scratchx, plastx, endurance tire gel, wash mitt, microfiber towels, hand peds, shampoo, clay, ultimate quik detailer, trim clenaner, engine cleaner, wax cleaner, hand peds, etc. etc. etc. i live in turkey and meg products are much more expensive when you compare the usa..
anyway.. my care has lots of swirls haze and scratchs (not deep base not see) before reading that page i have a game plan but now its all change,, first of all i have no chance to try all product because it is very expensine and the most important thing it is really hard to find it.. if you want to undertand what i am talking about just visit meguiars.com.tr you will see limited product, for ex. there is no ultimate polish... So here was my game plan;

1-)Wash car (NXT gen car wash + microfiber mitt)
2-)Clay car ( Clay bar + quik detailer)
3-)Wash car (NXT gen car wash + microfiber mitt)
4-)Ultimate compound by rotary polisher(i wiil use 3M cutting pad 150mm green, because i couldnt find meg so i bought 3M pad)
5-)swirlX by rotary polisher ( 3M polishing pad 150mm yellow )
6-)NXT gen Tech Wax 2.0 (by hand or 3M finishing ped 150mm blue)

if i didnt read this page i will start my process next week but now i am really confused.. please give me an idea about what should i do ?
i know there is no Peugeot cars in usa but any one know how is her paint ?
could you please check my detailing step and let me know what is my mistake or correct..

Murr1525
Feb 14th, 2012, 03:10 PM
1) Wash
2) Clay
3. No need to re-wash
4) I would not want a cutting pad. I would want to try a test spot with the SwirlX with polishing pad first. Then I would try UC with polishing pad if needed. It is possible the UC may need followed up with SwirlX, cant say for sure until you try.
5) Wax
6) Wax

The best option would be to do a small test spot in one area, check it out good, and then come back here for any questions, if you have pictures, etc. Then proceed on the entire car.

pugfun
Feb 16th, 2012, 12:39 AM
1) Wash
2) Clay
3. No need to re-wash
4) I would not want a cutting pad. I would want to try a test spot with the SwirlX with polishing pad first. Then I would try UC with polishing pad if needed. It is possible the UC may need followed up with SwirlX, cant say for sure until you try.
5) Wax
6) Wax

The best option would be to do a small test spot in one area, check it out good, and then come back here for any questions, if you have pictures, etc. Then proceed on the entire car.

Mur1525 Thank you for your advise..i was so confused, now i am going to try what you say, i will share the result after try test spots, thank you very much again,,,

pugfun
Feb 18th, 2012, 04:41 AM
Murr1525 Today i tired a test spot, i saw that 3M polishing pad + swirlX woks fine, but not the best, i tried 3M polishing pad + UC other spot, i saw that it works better, but i guess it would be better i just wonder which one is less damage the paint, UC or twice aplied SwirlX ? and do you offer me to apply UC and swirlX together ? i mean first UC than SwirlX with 3MPolishing Pad? and here is my last applying order;

1-)Wash Car
2-)Clay Car
3-)3M Polishing Pad + SwirlX(twice),,,,,,,, or UC,,,,,,,, or UC + SwirlX
4-)
5-)NXT Tech Wax 2.0

My car is black so can you please offer me Polish for deep black effect for number 4 ?

Murr1525
Feb 18th, 2012, 10:10 AM
Sounds like the UC first, then followed up with SwirlX may work best.

pugfun
Feb 18th, 2012, 10:55 AM
Sounds like the UC first, then followed up with SwirlX may work best.

Ok, So will do like that, do you have a suggestion for number 4 ?

Murr1525
Feb 18th, 2012, 11:25 AM
The #4 step would basically be the SwirlX.

botan
Apr 18th, 2012, 09:15 AM
Do you guys think Meguiar's should sell a inexpensive test kit?

Likely no matter how much you preach, most consumers are not going to spend $60 on 6 bottles of product, to figure out which $10 product they should be using.


I totally agree, I'd love to try one of everything from Meguiar's if I had the money :).

Murr1525
Apr 18th, 2012, 10:01 AM
A sample or variety kit could be nice.

Though really, having 3 products + soap, clay, and a wax isnt that much.

jasmcauley
Aug 31st, 2012, 03:25 PM
great post

imranhakro
Sep 27th, 2012, 04:52 AM
http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/how-articles/25304-secret-removing-oxidation-restoring-show-car-finish-antique-single-stage-paints.html

Michael Stoops
Oct 1st, 2012, 01:42 PM
Just so you know, the discussion we were having with margallar about single stage paint has been moved to its own discussion since it really doesn't fit in here and may well be of interest to others looking to work with single stage paint. We've moved it over here. (http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?56472-Dealing-with-older-single-stage-paint)

PeterK1
Jun 2nd, 2016, 03:02 AM
Nice post on the subject of different types of paint I should say

I myself have come cross many paint jobs that have similar traits when it comes to finishing off with a shine only to find that the end result just seems to mar paintwork. In particular Subaru, Liberty's more so and damned Hondas.

In particular black Hondas. I recently did a black Honda and although I was using a soft polishing pad with a finishing polish, the end result was looking like I finished off with a cutting compound even though I was using the flex with a polishing pad and finishing polish. One combination that works on one paint, won't necessarily work on the next. I have learned this many times and you also need to have an arsenal of finishing polishes because you are right when you say that in most cases it is the pad that does the damage but sometimes it can also be the choice of polish.

I found that I had to move to the softest possible finishing pad, take the weight off the buff and slow down the OPMS on the machine and should I mention, that I had to put aside the Flex which has a forced rotational cut and a throw of 8mm and move to a 5mm throw which has no cutting ability. This was how I finished with what we know as sticky paint on this Honda. The end result was nothing but black glass.

Acesty6
Feb 25th, 2018, 06:23 PM
trying all of this product is a way pricey does anyone know what is the best among them i am on a tight budget now.

SarahPolson
Dec 24th, 2018, 02:42 AM
so nice!))