Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Proper steps to detailing?

  1. #1
    Registered Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Rep Power

    Proper steps to detailing?

    Hello all, I have a black 1998 Eclipse that does not have a clear coat. I have a Dewalt rotary buffer and I want to know the right products to use. The "professional" detailer that taught me how to detail was supposed to remove the swirls from my paint and they are still there. When he detailed it, he washed, clay barred, compounded, glazed, polished, and waxed. He did the compounding, glazing, and polishing with a Dewalt rotary buffer. Did he not use the right products or did he just not use everything the right way or what? He gave me all of the products that he used but I want to get all Meguiars products so I need to know exactly what supplies that I will need. Bare with me.....newB


  2. #2
    Registered Member Mike Phillips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Stuart, Florida
    Rep Power
    Hi 98FWDSM,

    Welcome to Meguiar's Online!

    Below is some information to chew on, I'm pushing away from the keyboard for the night as I was up at 3:30am for the Saturday Detailing Class at Meguiar's today and it's time for a break.


    When working on dark colored paints, you really need to take every step you can to insure good results. Meguiar's never recommends using a cutting pad on the dual action polisher. While it may remove the defects the aggressive nature of the cutting pad when used with the oscillating action of the dual action polisher will haze the finish and it will often times require a rotary buffer to remove the haze.

    Conversely, the same pad used with a rotary buffer will create a clear, high gloss finish. It has to do with the action of the machine and how it works the diminishing abrasives against the finish.

    Here's a thread that discusses this more fully.

    PC+83 not "cutting" it!

    I'm not sure who's pads you using, but if you want to try to polish the paint out on this car again, here's a basic outline as to how to approach it.

    Here's the basic order of steps to follow,

    Before detailing your car, first do an extremely good job of washing it. Remove all the dirt from all the nooks and crannies. This prevents any small abrasive dirt particle from entering into the machine polishing process and potentially instilling a swirl. Get the Car Sparkling Clean to start with and everything will be downhill after that.

    After that clay the car, at least the horizontal surfaces. Again, do a good job of claying to insure you remove all above surface contaminants. The level of gloss you can achieve from your car's finish is mostly determined by how smooth you can make your paint. Claying will make your car's finish as smooth as new glass.

    After washing and and claying the car, and the car is all dry and ready to work on, the first thing you should do is to tape off any parts of the car you want to protect from splatter or prevent getting any product onto. Here's an example of a 1991 BMW taped off for machine polishing.

    Now move onto the cleaning step.

    Cleaning is different than washing. Cleaning is removing both above surface defects like oxidation and below surface defects like swirls, scratches, etchings, and dirt that has embedded itself under the surface. Choose the appropriate paint cleaner for the condition of your car's finish and your application process. If you're unsure of which paint cleaner or cleaner/polish is right for your car, describe your car and if possible post a picture and we'll be glad to make some recommendations.

    Polishing after removing the defects is typically using a pure polish that is non-abrasive to restore brilliant high gloss and deep, dark reflections. This is an optional step and one best used on medium to dark colored car.

    This is where you apply your choice of wax or paint protectant. Adding a layer or two of wax creates a sacrificial-barrier on your car's paint to protect it and also add shine and gloss. Generally, two thin coats will insure even coverage with a uniform appearance.

    Maintaining is the use of products like a quick detailer or a spray wax to maintain that "Just detailed look" in-between regular washings, and the regular application of a normal coat of wax.

    Meguiar's always teaches,

    "Always use the least aggressive product to get the job done"

    The idea is to see if you can restore an acceptable finish using the least aggressive product. Starting with a mild paint cleaner or cleaner/polish and testing to see what can accomplished with it is the safe way to learn which product you will need to safely remove the defects. If the first products you try don't do the job, you can always substitute a more aggressive product.

    The most aggressive you can go with Meguiar's products and a dual action polisher is using our #83 Dual Action Cleaner Polish and our W-8006 foam pad on the 5.0 setting. Getting any more aggressive than this can cause hazing of the finish and if the defects are serious enough to require a more aggressive product then you should use a rotary buffer or take it to a professional who is experienced with the rotary buffer.

    When it comes to removing swirls and other defects using the dual action polisher, here are two products that work really well,

    #80 Speed Glaze
    #83 Dual Action Cleaner Polish

    In keeping with Meguiar's philosophy of using the least aggressive product to get the job done, if you are unfamiliar with these products and/or your car's paint, then always perform "Test Spot" to a small are first before attempting to do the entire car.

    "If you cannot make one small area look good with your prescribed products and process, then you will not be able to make the entire car look good"

    Makes sense huh?

    To do a test spot, start out with the #80 Speed Glaze with a W-8006 foam polishing pad and buff for 3-4 minutes.

    When cleaning paint with the dual action polisher, you want to map out in your minds eye a section or area about 16" square or rectangle, or whatever fit's your car's body panels shape. The idea is you don't want to try to do to much of an area at one time or you will not get good results. The dual action polisher is gentle in it's cleaning and polishing action and for this reason, trying to work on too large an area at one time will not remove enough paint to remove any defects.

    Note: To remove a below surface defect, you must remove some paint until the highest points of the surface are level with the lowest depths of the defect you're trying to remove. This means removing paint. This also means how deep of a defect you can remove is determined by how thick you paint is. Often times you can improve a defect, but not completely remove the defect as to do so would remove to much paint and in the case of a clear coat, expose the color coat and in the case of a non-clear coat finish, you will expose the primer under the color coat. How much paint you can remove is hard to know because you can never know exactly how much working film-build you have to work with. Experience in this area helps a lot and sometimes luck is a factor to. Remember this, light swirls are generally pretty safe to remove, but deep scratches like key scratches etc. you will probably be better off merely improving the way they look so they don't stand out like a sore thumb, the to attempt to completely remove them.

    When using the dual action polisher to remove defects, map out a section to work in your minds eye. Check the speed setting on the variable speed adjuster. For removing defects you usually need to be around the 4.5 to 5.0 setting. Meguiar's never recommends running the polisher faster than the 5.0 setting as these higher speed settings produce an oscillating action that is too violent in it's speed and motion and this combined with time creates heat and the synergy of all these factors will loosen the Velcro material attached to the foam. Keep your speed settings at 5.0 or below.

    After applying some product to your foam pad, (already attached to the polisher), place the face of the foam pad onto the finish and then turn the polisher on. DO NOT turn the polisher on before it has come into contact with the foam pad or your will sling product all over the place and then you'll get to clean the splatter up instead or work on your car's finish. Once you have turned the polisher on, move the polisher around to spread out your product over the area you are going to work. This is important. What you're trying to do here is to spread-out your product so that you have a film of fresh product spread out over the surface you're going to work. THEN begin to work the product against the finish using a slow arm speed, moving the polisher back and forth over the section and overlapping your passes by 50%. You should run the polisher in a couple of different directions, always with overlapping motions, to insure even cleaning over the entire surface.

    Note: The reason you want to spread your freshly applied product out over the section you're going to work is because if you turn the polisher on and immediately begin to work in one place, as you're working the product against the finish the diminishing abrasives are breaking down. As you continue to move around the area you're working, by the time you get to the last portion of the area you're working, you will be using a much less aggressive product than when you started out because all the while the diminishing abrasives have been breaking down. If when you first start out you take a few moments to spread the freshly applied product around over the entire section you're going to work, and then go back to your start point, you will have fresh product ready to be worked into the finish as you move from one area to the other.

    Does that makes sense?

    After you have buffed the area for 3-4 minutes, (how long you buff can be relative to the temperature and humidity in your area, also the type of paint your working on and the amount of product you applied. The important thing is that you buffed long enough to work the product against the finish and have broken the diminishing abrasives down, but you have not buffed to long and buffed to a dry buff. This is something that is hard to explain with a keyboard and a computer monitor and is really something that first-hand experience will teach you), stop buffing, wipe off the residue and inspect the results in two kinds of light, (if possible). If your results look good and are acceptable to you, then repeat this process, (#80 Speed Glaze with the W-8006 foam pad on the 4.5 to 5.0 setting), and after removing all of the residue you can then go on to the waxing step.

    If your results don't look good, and this combination of products is not removing as many of the swirls and scratches as you would like, then try repeating the above to the same test section using the #83 Dual Action Cleaner Polish. Use a new clean W-8006 foam polishing pad for this step, or a W-8006 foam polishing pad that you have previously used with the #83.

    Here's a suggestion
    Use a permanent marker to mark the back of your buffing pads with the product number you're using with them so you don't mix different products onto different pads.

    After buffing the test section on the 5.0 setting remove the excess product and re-polish the same area with the #80 Speed Glaze and the W-8006 pad marked and used with this product. Repeat the same procedure as originally outlined for doing the test spot with the #80 above. After you are finished buffing this area, remove the residue and inspect your results again in two kinds of light if possible.

    The goal of coarse is that now your car's finish will look great! and be ready for you choice of wax. If your car's finish does look great and meets your expectations then repeat this 2-step cleaning approach to the entire car. If not then chances are very good to remove the defects and meet you requirements the finish will need to be professionally cleaned and polished using a rotary buffer by an experienced professional.

    Hope this helps...

    Mike Phillips
    Office: 800-869-3011 x206
    "Find something you like and use it often"

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. How do I identify proper detailing pads?
    By dmullen in forum The Dual Action Polisher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: Aug 24th, 2008, 06:03 PM
  2. Clay Detailing Steps
    By tom_kauf in forum Detailing 101
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: Sep 24th, 2006, 02:03 PM
  3. proper steps for detailing
    By rayck in forum Detailing 101
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: Aug 14th, 2006, 09:13 AM
  4. Detailing Steps...?
    By MonicaBolero in forum Detailing 101
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Sep 24th, 2005, 02:44 PM
  5. Proper steps i think? Advice needed
    By jsolomon4 in forum Detailing 101
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: Jun 14th, 2005, 04:59 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts