A couple of newbie questions you might be able to help with.
- What’s a normal detailing routine?
At the moment, having clayed any car after I’ve bought it, I polish (a basic SRP) and then wax (Collinite 845) twice a year. In between this I just wash as and when. Can / should I polish and/or wax it again?
- What can I do to improve my paintwork?
I currently can’t afford to spend hundreds of pounds on a detailer’s services (as much as I’d really like to). What can I do to improve my paintwork beyond a basic polish and wax by hand?
Thanks for your help!
Thanks for your post!
Regarding a normal routine, do you mean in relation to just wash stages or the overall complete detailing process? With regards to what you have done this great, fully wash and decontaminate the car with the likes of a tar and glue remover and fallout remover like IronX just to minimise the ammount of contaminant during claying. After claying I would fully rewash the car dry and cleanse the surface using a surface prep or an IPA prior to polishing. With the SRP I take it you applied by hand? This is indeed the next step however machining does the job properly and evenly and this is where you start to add clarity depth and gloss working up different grades of polish! It is also great to hear you have applied a wax post your polishing stage - almost everyone just uses a product like SRP and then just leaves the car. What this is doing is leaving the paint extremely exposed and completely unprotected!
With regards to polishing again - this is dependant upon the upkeep. If you wash the car carefully and correctly very little polishing will ever need to be done again if you removed all scracthes, marring and swirls etc originally. Twice a year is good though, just keep an eye on the beading when wet, this will give a clear and simple indication of how well the wax is lasting!
With regards to improving, removing all marring is a first. The sooner you have done this you can slowly start working up through different grades of polish to create fantastic quality and depth - the other main benefit is that when you are applying a wax or similar you are applying it to a flat surface (unlike when there are scratches present) this will create a much better "wax job" not only in gloss but also longevity of the application.
It sounds like you are doing quite a decent job though and the upkeep is good so I would just say the initial swirl removal is the big thing for you!
Completely understand re costs - it is unfortunately very labour intensive to do the job properly! I hope the above has helped?
What Are the best products for applying wax and buffing
Get yourself a good quality foam applicator. Always order a couple as if you drop it by mistake then throw it away instantly and use your other new spares!
Something like this is great (although I am not a big Autofinesse fan) as it gives you a good grip for applying : http://www.cleanyour.../prod_1082.html
For buffing off, use a high quality mircofibre buffing towel just like this : http://www.cleanyour.../prod_1303.html
Hope this helps!
My Starlet will be due back from a full respray soon, and obviously, I want to make sure I don't start inadvertently wrecking the paint. I already use a deep bucket with grit guard in the bottom with wash mit for the actual washing, with a foam gun snowfoam before that to drag any loose dirt off.
Great, looking forward to seeing the pictures! You are 100% along the right lines, just make sure you use 2 buckets - ideally 5 gallon so large volume with a grit guard in the bottom of each one - one for soap and one for clean water to rinse your mit in after it has started to run dry when washing. Then back in the soap and back onto the car. Snowfoam is great so keep that up and jet wash it all off prior to washing, also use a really good quality shampoo and dont skimp on the amount you put in. This acts as a lubricant when washing and the more the better to stop scratching. Follow the guide on the bottle but just test the water with your fingers, it should be almost slippery / slimey when rubbing your fingers together! Apart from that work your way down from top to bottom, always do front bumper before rear as it collects less dirt (especially in this weather) and a good tip is get a second wash mit for the lower sections of the car. this way you dont run the risk of retaining any grit particles from the lower sections in the mit and then scratching the upper sections of the car as a result!
Hope this helps also