How much of importance is surface prep?
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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up How much of importance is surface prep?

    Was wondering why all the fuss about LSPs when surface prep is the single most important regime that every one of us should be perfecting? Especially on clearcoats..
    Protection? Gloss? Surface smoothness? Reflectivity? I bet you won't get any of it without suface prep.

  2. #2
    Sr. Global Product & Training Spec Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Re: How much of importance is surface prep?

    Quote Originally Posted by zaidgreat View Post
    Protection? Gloss? Surface smoothness? Reflectivity? I bet you won't get any of it without suface prep.
    Very, very true.

    If you look at all the fantastic "before and after" threads here on MOL and elsewhere, and read through the steps taken to return a battered, neglected, tired or abused finish to a gleaming show car shine, you know it takes work. But you also know that none of those vehicles would be so transformed if nothing more than a wax, even an extremely expensive wax, was applied as the ONLY step.

    Most of the discussion surrounding LSPs revolves around what are usually fairly subtle changes to the final appearance after all that prep is done. The discussions can become somewhat esoteric (not unlike the debate over various types of cables/wires used in high end audio systems) and, unfortunately, they can also degrade into a massive argument that serves no real purpose. So as this thread progresses, let's all just keep that in mind!
    Michael Stoops
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  3. #3
    Detailing Dunce akimel's Avatar
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    Re: How much of importance is surface prep?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Stoops View Post
    Most of the discussion surrounding LSPs revolves around what are usually fairly subtle changes to the final appearance after all that prep is done. The discussions can become somewhat esoteric (not unlike the debate over various types of cables/wires used in high end audio systems) and, unfortunately, they can also degrade into a massive argument that serves no real purpose. So as this thread progresses, let's all just keep that in mind!
    I suppose that it is at this point when the discussion turns to waxes that detailing ceases to be craft and becomes religion. I'm not sure why this is so, but it seems to be the case, at least by my observation.

    The one thing I do know is that I wish one day to acquire the polishing skills to create a swirl-free finish. I'm not even close. Sigh.
    Swirls hide in the black molecular depths, only waiting for the right time to emerge and destroy your sanity.
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  4. #4
    Sr. Global Product & Training Spec Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Re: How much of importance is surface prep?

    Quote Originally Posted by akimel View Post
    I suppose that it is at this point when the discussion turns to waxes that detailing ceases to be craft and becomes religion.
    Sometimes it even starts in the defect correction stages. We were discussing this over the weekend in our Detailing 101 class. Specifically the very heated debates over which compound/cleaner/polish/etc is best. Funny thing is, you'll get 6 guys yelling and screaming at each other over products and techniques, yet when you search through that same forum for work that each has done, they all get great results. They seem to miss that while yelling at each other. Seriously, if 6 people can use 6 different products and all achieve outstanding results, how can any of them be "wrong"?

    Find something you like, and use it often. Hmmmmm.... now where have I heard that before????
    Michael Stoops
    Senior Global Product & Training Specialist | Meguiar's Inc.

    Remember, this hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need therapy.

  5. #5
    aka: 23jam J. A. Michaels's Avatar
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    Re: How much of importance is surface prep?

    Well I agree the prep work is the key. The more meticulous you are about the prep work, the better end result will be achieved. Just my 0.02.
    quality creates its own demand

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    Re: How much of importance is surface prep?

    Quote Originally Posted by J. A. Michaels View Post
    Well I agree the prep work is the key. The more meticulous you are about the prep work, the better end result will be achieved. Just my 0.02.
    So, why is it that LSPs costs a lot more than surface prep products? Are we all sort of ''misguided""..

  7. #7
    Calais Auto Detailing Calais's Avatar
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    Re: How much of importance is surface prep?

    I made a thread kind of like this: http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35249
    James - 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais
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    Registered Member ninobrn99's Avatar
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    Re: How much of importance is surface prep?

    id say 85-90% prep, 10-15% product.
    Hitachi SP 18VA & PCXP
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    Registered Member Caress Detailing's Avatar
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    Re: How much of importance is surface prep?

    It also depends what the user is trying to achieve.

    Some people might consider just claying a car as surface prep and then apply a wax.

    Is that wrong? I don't think so. If the car doesn't need compounding, polishing, or cleaning then maybe claying is sufficient.

    Then of course, obviously heavier neglected cars will need more correction.
    2006 San Remo Red WRX TR
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    Registered Member captaincog's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: How much of importance is surface prep?

    I would say good surface prep is important for several factors that I have learned over taking classes and then practice, practice...
    I know that a well prepped surface not only comes out looking great, but any additional corrections that need to be done are easier to see. I also learned the surface prep makes the final stages much easier. I remember using old paste wax and dishwasher detergent on my Dad's MGB when I was a kid and did not know any better. Wow, what a chore that was after doing the same wash and then paste wax every week. Years later the job was torture because the surface was so bad that the wax could not be removed. Many years later after learning the right techniques, correct product application, etc., the removal is no work at all. I find that for me surface prep makes the entire job easy. I am able realize some solace, satisfaction, and visual rewards for a well done job. Oh, and the 50+ car show trophies don't hurt either.

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