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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:13 pm 
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Edited 12-30-16 to update links and add some more information!


Figured I would toss some info out here for anyone interested in learning how to do this themselves. I get a TON of questions from people all the time asking how I get my paint looking so nice and what products etc. I use, time to get some stuff out here for you guys :beerchug:

Always wash and clay bar before polishing!

I will start off with the polisher.
There are several types of polishers out there, from the $25 parts store special all the way to the king of the hill $400 Rupes 21 Bigfoot. This is, for the most part, a "you get what you pay for" type of situation. The cheap style of polishers just don't have the power to do any real paint correction, basically good for spreading wax and that's about it, basically stay away from them. This style is the bottom of the barrel, the stuff to avoid - Carrand 10" orbital buffer and the smaller 6" style here Carrand 6" buffer Those style of polishers will do you no good at all for anything other then removing money from your wallet and making tears run down your face. If you get one for a gift or buy one on accident, you can use a finishing polish such as HD Polish or an AIO like HD Speed with it, but they just do not have the power to do any real paint correction.

On the opposite end of the spectrum we have tools like the Rupes LHR21ES Bigfoot, Griot's BOSS G21 and the Flex XC 3401 VRG that come in right around $350 - $400 each. These are the king of kings in the world of paint correction. Very expensive, but totally worth it if you want the best and want an amazing tool that will last a VERY long time and is super smooth and fast as well as able to produce premium results.

Right in the middle ground we have tools like the Porter Cable 7424 XP and the Griot's Garage 6" Orbital Polisher I actually have both of these and far prefer the Griot's over the Porter Cable. While they are very similar machines in appearance, the Griot's has much more power which is very nice to have. See my review of these here - detailing-appearance/topic40108.html Many other players have since entered the game with their own versions of long throw polishers or trigger style bodied short throw machines, many of which are also great choices.

Now, to add to all this confusion, Harbor Freight jumped in the ring on this too with their own 6" polisher, the Chicago Electric 6" polisher which is super cheap and from the reviews on the detailing forums actually a decent quality tool with good power, many have recommended it, if I was looking for something to do just my own cars and didn't want to spend a lot of money, I would be going to Harbor Freight. I have recommended this to a couple friends as well as they just wanted to do their own and didn't want to spend a ton and they have been very happy with it, though they say it is a little on the heavy side.

Let's not forget about the oddball Cyclo dual head polisher I have no personal experience with this one but from my research it is very high quality machine though somewhat cumbersome to use. I have not seen many that actually uses one for work on cars, most seem to use it for carpet cleaning (brush attachments) and large vehicles such as semi trucks and RVs.

Of course, you may be asking what about the old school rotary buffers like the Makita 9227C polisher To that I say, don't bother. The rotary is still a great tool and the go to for many tough jobs but for any beginner I don't feel it is the right way to go. Orbitals are much safer and can achieve nearly the same results but may take a little longer depending on the style of orbital polisher you go with.

That pretty much covers the basics of polishers, though we can go more in depth if there are any questions :banana:


Pads and backing plates!
Most of the polishers I listed will either come with no backing plate at all or a 5.5" to 6" backing plate for using larger pads. While you can use that larger plate just fine, you will also be required to use larger pads, the problem being that larger pads have more surface area creating more drag which bogs the tool down easier making the job take longer. It is generally recommended that a 5" backing plate be installed for the use of 5.5" pads. Lake Country 5" backing plate is what I use and have never had an issue.

For pads, I have always used Lake Country 5.5" pads I use orange for compounding and cutting then white for polishing and black for wax / sealant application and removal.

I have also heard many amazing reviews on Meguiar's microfiber pads though I have not personally tried them yet, I will soon though! Update to this, 12-30-16. Earlier this year I purchased some of these pads and I am amazed with them. They cut VERY well and finish down to where just a very light polish is all that's needed for perfection. I have ordered more recently as well.

Another pad option I purchased and awaiting arrival is Lake Country ThinPro pads. The reviews on them seem very good, I wanted to try something else outside of the CCS pads I have been using for years, review to come!


Compounds and polishes
For many years I only used Menzerna polishes but have recently began to include 3D HD Products as well. Menzerna FG 400, Menzerna MC 2400 and Menzerna SF 3500 have always been a huge knockout combo that leaves beautiful paint every time. New offerings from HD have also been finding a home here as well, HD Cut and HD Polish are also some great stuff I will absolutely be keeping around.

Also, something else I recently tried, is an All-In-One polish which is basically a finishing polish combined with a sealant all in one product. It removes light swirls and oxidation while leaving behind a very smooth finish like it has been freshly waxed! This sealant isn't incredibly strong, lasting only a few weeks to two months, but wow am I happy with this product! HD Speed makes my life super easy when I just want to add a little gloss on hammered paint without doing a full on 12 hour paint correction detail and it looks amazing when done.

A final and very honorable mention here is CarPro Essence as a finishing polish topped with CarPro Reload. This combo to finish and seal absolutely blows me away, the gloss and clarity left after Essence truly made me sit back and admire it. Essence is actually made to be a primer polish for ceramic coatings such as CarPro Cquartz UK to help the coating bond and last longer (2 - 3 years easily!) but also has been shown to work excellent topped with Reload.

WHEW!!! That might be a lot to take in, but it is just a scratch on the surface of the world of detailing, I am sure that there is a lot of stuff I didn't touch on and could go further into, feel free to ask away any questions you may have!



Just a few examples :)

Playing around with HD Speed on my '03 SSEi which is very well kept, only minor correction needed.
Image
Image

HD Speed that same day on my absolutely hammered '96 Chevy truck, paint looked like construction paper it was so dull and lifeless! Notice there is still many swirls left, but the paint overall looks much more healthy with a ton of gloss, I was extremely impressed with the results.
Image

Menzerna SIP and SF on this gorgeous black '03 Cobra
Image
Image

HD Cut and Polish really woke this paint up on my '02 SE
Before
Image

After
Image

Menzerna Powergloss, SIP and SF on this Mercedes 380 SE
Image

SIP and SF on this red '03 Cobra vert
Image

SIP and SF again on this '05 CTS
Image

This truck was really trashed, I used Americana Amerirocks compound on a microfiber pad followed with Essence on a black foam pad then topped with Reload. Stunning!!! :beerchug:
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image



Now... along with this, I would also like to mention the photography side of this. FOCUS! That's right, focus. Focus on the paint, not the reflection when taking pictures to show the condition of the paint. If you look at my pics above you will see that in many of them the reflection is blurry, that is because I actually have the camera focused on the paint itself which is only a couple feet away at the most, where the reflection would focus the camera 50 ft or more away which would completely hide the way the paint truly looks. Compare it to taking a picture through a window screen, if you focus the camera across the road you don't even notice the screen outside of maybe a slightly blurry image, but focus on the screen and wow! Another thing to mention is that when taking pictures to show paint condition, you need a direct light source to reflect off the paint. Even trashed paint can look flawless in low light or indirect light pictures. I always try to get sun shots or flash shots of paint to show true condition when done.

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Last edited by crash93ssei on Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:57 am 
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Good write-up, Ryan!!

This is something I've been wanting to get into since we did my car back at the '09 Michigan meet! I'm still a super newbie at this, but I hope to someday be able to get to the point that I can make old and beat paint shine. Although that HD Speed seems to work quick wonders.

I'm wondering if you could add on some information like some tips and tricks for those wanting to get started. You don't have to walk us step by step (as there are lots of videos online for that), but maybe some things like the speed settings you use or what you do to prep. Just some thoughts.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:29 am 
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Definitely! I plan to do another writeup on technique and procedures as a follow up to this one, maybe in the next couple days :)

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2003 BMW 540i M Sport, 2001 BMW X5 4.4i, 2010 GMC Acadia, 2017 Grand Design Imagine 3150BH
1982 Cutlass Supreme - The fun one

MattStrike wrote:
It was the worst week of my life! *pause, drinks beer... smiles* But I'm better now!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:52 am 
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Awesome! That should help a lot!

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1995 LeSabre Custom: 312K Miles | Custom K&N CAI | Edelbrock SDT Muffler | Camaro Tips | 180 T-stat | LED Interior
& Exterior | 20% Tint | PA Grill & Portholes | Limited Trim | GTP Rims | Ported LIM | Plus Many More Mods | Restoration Thread
2001 Bonneville SSEi: 216K Miles | Instense FWI | Intense MPS (3.4") | 180 T-stat | ZZP Plog | Ported Rear Manifold |
ZZP 3" Downpipe | Magnaflow High Flow Cat | Retrofitted HIDs | Cleared Corners | PIAA Bulbs | 35% Tint | Plus Many More Mods |
2005 Bonneville GXP: 92K Miles | Stock
2009 G8 GT: 88K Miles | 35% Tint | Roto-Fab CAI | SOLO Mach Exhaust | BMR Tunnel Brace | BMR Sub Frames | BMR STB |
Kooks Headers | QTP Electric Cutouts | BMR Sway Bars | Elite Engineering Catch Can | Innovative Dual Wideband Kit
1984 Caprice Classic Wagon: 86K Miles | Restoration Project


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:39 pm 
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This is great. I was going to ask if you'd consider going over a few things, including progression of the pads and their usage for different problems. What speed, which polishes for what problems, etc. But, it seemed like a lot to ask.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:55 pm 
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This is an awesome writeup Ryan, thanks for sharing! :)

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:55 am 
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Great write up! Its exactly what i would need to get polishing with confidence. I'm just waiting for more favorable conditions here, and I need to pickup some supplies first, but I intend to give the Olds it's first good polish soon. Now looking for your follow up, thanks.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:00 am 
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Ryan, as for the meguiars microfiber pads, I've used them and can say I personally like them. Not sure. If you've tried them yet

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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 6:50 am 
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Ryan:
I just did my Tacoma with a Rupes using microfiber pads, also Rupes, and wow talk about quick removal of swirls and paint defects.

Pick of the tailgate after a well meaning parishioner put a wheelbarrow under the tailgate so mulch would not fall on the ground.

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Image

Pics after correction

Image

Image

I am hooked on the Microfiber pads as well. They worked well with Menzerna polishes.

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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 1:25 pm 
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95SLE wrote:
Ryan:
I just did my Tacoma with a Rupes using microfiber pads, also Rupes, and wow talk about quick removal of swirls and paint defects.

Pick of the tailgate after a well meaning parishioner put a wheelbarrow under the tailgate so mulch would not fall on the ground.

Image

Image

Pics after correction

Image

Image

I am hooked on the Microfiber pads as well. They worked well with Menzerna polishes.



Wow, nice work there. Looks like glass

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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 5:29 pm 
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DCJREDLINE wrote:


Wow, nice work there. Looks like glass


Actually it is kind of easy when your vehicle is garage kept. I have found that parking your vehicle in a garage really allows the paint and interior parts to last a long time. If you have a parking garage at work that would be a huge plus as well.

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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 5:49 pm 
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Looks great Tom :)

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It was the worst week of my life! *pause, drinks beer... smiles* But I'm better now!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:02 pm 
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This thread is a huge help for me. I recently picked up the harbor freight polisher, but haven't used it yet. I'm still figuring out which backing plate and pads to use. I watched a video on youtube about a one step cut and polish method I want to try. I'm not looking for show car results, just a general fixup.

EDIT: Here is the one step method I'm gonna try: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgeOXulAZC8

Ryan, which pad do use with HD Cut for plastic?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:07 pm 
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techweenie wrote:
This thread is a huge help for me. I recently picked up the harbor freight polisher, but haven't used it yet. I'm still figuring out which backing plate and pads to use. I watched a video on youtube about a one step cut and polish method I want to try. I'm not looking for show car results, just a general fixup.

EDIT: Here is the one step method I'm gonna try: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgeOXulAZC8

Ryan, which pad do use with HD Cut for plastic?


Missed this post somehow. I use Lake Country CCS pads, orange is what I use for cutting, white for polishing.

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2003 Bonneville SSEi - The Black Mirror SOLD!
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2003 BMW 540i M Sport, 2001 BMW X5 4.4i, 2010 GMC Acadia, 2017 Grand Design Imagine 3150BH
1982 Cutlass Supreme - The fun one

MattStrike wrote:
It was the worst week of my life! *pause, drinks beer... smiles* But I'm better now!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:28 pm 
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I have one question for Ryan who seems to the guru at detailing. When it comes to sealant you said you liked to use "Detailiers Pride Rinsless Wash & Gloss". My question is what do you think about nano based products like this one?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/171388238210?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT

The reviews on other websites have been very good as far as I can tell. Even if it only lasts 6 months its worth it since I live in PA. I want to keep my car looking great but not having to worry about any more then a rinse to prevent rust and nasty grit from the crap they put all over the roads during the winter.

Looking forward to hearing your input, let me know.

Thanks

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:42 pm 
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The rinseless wash and gloss is for washing not a sealant.

As for nano products such as that I really can't say because I have never used, I do know that if I was looking for something like that I would go straight for Carpro hydro2 - http://www.autogeek.net/carpro-hydro2-p ... ating.html I have seen a LOT of very good reviews on it from some highly respected and reputable detailers throughout the country, everyone loves it.

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2003 Bonneville SSEi - The Black Mirror SOLD!
2002 Bonneville SE - The Mutt Complete 2004 SLE interior, drivetrain, and body harness swap, ECC swap, HUD swap, black GXP wheels, GXP headlights and tinted tails - SOLD
2003 BMW 540i M Sport, 2001 BMW X5 4.4i, 2010 GMC Acadia, 2017 Grand Design Imagine 3150BH
1982 Cutlass Supreme - The fun one

MattStrike wrote:
It was the worst week of my life! *pause, drinks beer... smiles* But I'm better now!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:37 am 
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Sticky'd!

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repinS wrote:
Sticky'd!


And I was there for the momentous occasion :banana:

Yeah y'all can be jealous now.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:32 pm 
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Updated this today to add some more information for new products and update links!

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2003 Bonneville SSEi - The Black Mirror SOLD!
2002 Bonneville SE - The Mutt Complete 2004 SLE interior, drivetrain, and body harness swap, ECC swap, HUD swap, black GXP wheels, GXP headlights and tinted tails - SOLD
2003 BMW 540i M Sport, 2001 BMW X5 4.4i, 2010 GMC Acadia, 2017 Grand Design Imagine 3150BH
1982 Cutlass Supreme - The fun one

MattStrike wrote:
It was the worst week of my life! *pause, drinks beer... smiles* But I'm better now!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:35 pm 
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I will be sure to read through this thoroughly as my detailing experience has been mostly was and paste wax and call it a day. Maybe a little work with a polishing compound...always afraid that if I used the power tools, I'd burn the paint.

Is there a recommended baby steps process to build up to full detailing to get experienced enough to move into the more powerful lines of tools and products/processes? My problem is tendonitis, which limits how long I can work on anything while gripping a tool firmly...I have to do it in many steps.

Of course, there's the option of paying for someone else to do it for me, but I'm inherently cheap and would rather see my own work through my own hands whenever possible.

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Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:22 pm

Stock Car Mafia View the latest post

 


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