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Detailing, can it be done over the space of a few weeks?


Cee-Lo
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I'm keen on giving one of my cars a detail in the near future.

Since owning it for the past year and a half, I haven't gone any further than giving it a monthly wash using a bucket and a microfiber mitt.

It's a red car (non metallic) with minor fade on the boot and roof, with a few swirl marks here and there.

I will definitely give the car a going over with a claybar, would i need to use any cutting compounds and polishes in the same session, or can I leave that for another time.

And seeing as the car has a few deep scratches and paint chips that I want to repair, is that best one before or after doing a cut & polish?

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You really should do it all at once. However, I have done work like this:

Day 1)

Wash

Clay

Day 2)

Wash

Polish/Correction

Sealant/Wax

If the panel hasn't got stonechips or down to the white; you can do correction but it's not worth it on a damaged one as they'll respray the entire thing anyway.

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You really should do it all at once. However, I have done work like this:

Day 1)

Wash

Clay

Day 2)

Wash

Polish/Correction

Sealant/Wax

If the panel hasn't got stonechips or down to the white; you can do correction but it's not worth it on a damaged one as they'll respray the entire thing anyway.

In addition, it would help if you leave it parked locked up in a garage over night.......just so you dont have to go over it again in the morning looking for "New Spots".

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I'd just touch up paint chips and such myself, the car isn't worth getting a professional respray on. The detail is just for my learning purposes.

If I was to do the detail on a panel by panel basis, would I be best to start from the top (roof/boot/bonnet) or bottom (front/rear bumper) first?

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I'd just touch up paint chips and such myself, the car isn't worth getting a professional respray on. The detail is just for my learning purposes.

If I was to do the detail on a panel by panel basis, would I be best to start from the top (roof/boot/bonnet) or bottom (front/rear bumper) first?

There really isn't a set order to do the panels. From personal experience, the tailgate on hatches need the most work as this is where the water / dirt / grime accumulates. This area will need the most work (clay, polish wax wise) I would spend a good hour just on this section.

Next, I would goto town on the roof. Again, spend time here as this gets all the sun plus the dirt / grime stick and bake onto the paint here. After this, just work on the remaining panels.

If you want to spread out the detailing time, can i suggest a maximum of 2 weeks. I say this so your great effort doesn't look patchy in the end.

/my 2 cents

slighty off topic: where are you based, BG Pete House of Awesome Car Cleaning might be near by :P

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slighty off topic: where are you based, BG Pete House of Awesome Car Cleaning might be near by :P

^he lives in the east side of melb, - he was driving the red holden in the last VIC EoMm,

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slighty off topic: where are you based, BG Pete House of Awesome Car Cleaning might be near by :P

^he lives in the east side of melb, - he was driving the red holden in the last VIC EoMm,

Correction, south east melb :P

And yeah it's one of those bright red older commodores.

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I'd go with Pete's recommendation, and I have heard before to do the 'horizontal' panels before you do the 'vertical' panels, so the bonnet, roof and boot first, then your doors, bumpers etc

I have spread out a detail over a few days/weeks before, but that mostly stems to a full detail i.e. exterior one day, rest of the exterior (wheels, trims) another day, interior another day, that sort of thing. If I'm going to clay, polish and wax I always try to do it on the same day to lessen the contaminants around spoiling my work, but have also done like Andrew and clayed one day, polished and waxed the next.

It'd be a great car to practice on too :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

it all depends how much of a perfectionist you are.

if you overly desire a perfect job, you could spend a whole day on 1 or 2 panels, spread out across weeks. obviously machinery will help reduce that gap, but if you are doing it all by hand - then yea...lols.

i remember doing a job by hand on 1 day (because my trusty DA polisher was being repaired), and i spent close 4 hours on the bonnet. making matters worse, it was solid white paint that had been stained from years of neglect, so there were more than the average steps to do.

in the perfect world, i would spend 1 week detailing a car, provided it will always be garaged during the whole 7 days - but then again after doing that you wouldn't want to drive it either!

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

So I did get around to doing a cut and polish, however I decided to do it on my white corolla, as that is getting used much more often than my other car now, and it needed some tlc.

First off, i got a bottle of touch up paint from autobarn and set out touching up some stone chips. In retrospect I probably should have used primer or something first, and anded down some of the chips before applying the touch up paint. A couple days later I sanded down the touch ups using 2000 grit wet sandpaper.

DAY 1

-high pressure hose of car at carwash

-went home, washed using 2 bucket method

-dried car off

-claybarred the body/panels of the car

DAY 2

-2 bucket wash

-used meguiars scratch x with hand polishing pad

-used autoglym super resin polish with hand polishing pad

-used carnuba wax, applied by hand

Overall the paint came up ok, most of the oxidisation got taken care of, though the paint touchups havent fully blended with existing paint, and there is still an orange peel like look to the clearcoat, so its not quite a mirror finish. Is a machine cut & polish the only way to get a mirror finish, or did I just need to be firmer with the polishing stage?

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None of the products you have used constitutes a cut and polish. AutoGlym Super Resin Polish is a good finishing polish but doesn't have very much cut in it at all.

If you're getting off the shelf stuff, Meguiars Medium cut/ Meguiars Light Cut polish are OK for the price. I wouldn't use them by hand though.

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cee-lo

if you want I can bring my RO polisher and "the good stuff" to the Melbourne meet and then we can do a good cut / polish on your car on the monday

BTW, what colour is your car?

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