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Any car paint experts?

Discussion in 'General' started by motion, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. motion

    motion Nihilistic Member

    I had my shiny new black vehicle in Montana this summer. Between the rain and sprinklers, it now has millions of water spots welded into the finish. I've washed the car 3 times, tried Meguiars polishing wax, and distilled white vinegar, but nothing is making a dent on the spots. What's next? Clay bar? I've never used one and am a bit nervous about damaging the finish.
  2. Mongo

    Mongo Administrator

    Yes clay and won't hurt the finish a bit.
  3. SundaySocial

    SundaySocial Blue and Gold

    Wax it (well) immediately afterwords
  4. tito

    tito Well-Known Member

    claying is easy, with only a few precautions… Make sure your car is clean, meaning no dirt, oil, asphalt on it. the clay will pick this up and scratch your car. Make sure you keep the car wet, the clay needs something to glide on. also make sure you don't drop it. if it falls on the floor, or ground it will pick up any rocks,gravel,plastic, etc that will then scratch up your paint. Clay will strip any wax/polish you have on so make sure you wax after.
  5. BigBird

    BigBird blah

    I haven't tried this personally, but I like all things Car Pro, so I believe it should work.


    I fought this problem too, but I ended up doing a Meguiars 105/205 followed with CQuartz Pro.

    If I was to do it again, I would probably try Car Pro Essence to correct/polish and then do the ceramic CQuartz .
  6. Phl218

    Phl218 .


    motion, 418 and fastfreddie like this.
  7. eppy01f4i

    eppy01f4i Well-Known Member

    Clay - use a clay mitt, they are a game-changer
    Polish - pick your favorite or chem guys V38 is a good one
    Alcohol wipe the whole car - Goggle it, I typically use 70% mix.
    Ceramic coat it - I like https://avalonking.com/, LEGIT25 gets you 25% off.

    That will seal the paint for 2-3 years.
    Go drink beer.
  8. NemesisR6

    NemesisR6 Gristle McThornbody

    If the clear is etched no amount of hand polishing will work.

    You either need to get yourself a good random-orbital polisher and some good polishing compound and learn how to do it, or I would just take it to a professional and have them do it.
  9. BrianC636

    BrianC636 Well-Known Member

    Autogeek is a favorite place for detailing stuff. They also have a forum to post on that may help with this and point you to some videos on tips and tricks to solve the issue.
    23103a and BigBird like this.
  10. BigBird

    BigBird blah

    I thought a RO was a given, but it does bear repeating that one is needed.
    NemesisR6 and eppy01f4i like this.
  11. 23103a

    23103a Well-Known Member

    This. Go to the autogeek.net forums, spend 6 hour reading everything you can, then buy a few supplies and fix it.

    Porter Cable 7424XP with a white pad and some Meguiars M205 will take those spots right off.
    BrianC636, NemesisR6 and BigBird like this.
  12. NemesisR6

    NemesisR6 Gristle McThornbody

    I taught myself to do paint corrections back in 2011 or so, and my first project was my F150 that had spent a few years getting occasionally sprayed by the sprinklers at my work, which was fed with reclaimed water here in FL. There is really very few things on Earth that are as hard on paint as that stuff.

    Etching was so bad I could feel it with my fingernail.

    Here is what the hood of the truck looked like before:


    .....and after a full correction. Some spots I even had to hit to carefully wet-sand prior to polishing in order to get the peaks and valleys from the etching out.


    While the side of the truck didn't have as bad of etching, there was still a TON of deposits from the reclaimed water that would hit and then bake in the sun. I did a few test spots just to show how bad it had gotten, and to get an idea of how many passes it would take to correct......




    I've applied these techniques to all my vehicles since and have gotten quite good at keeping them looking good by doing a full polish just about every year and maintaining good washing techniques. There is just something about flawless paint.....

    blkduc, BrianC636, wsmc42 and 5 others like this.
  13. BigBird

    BigBird blah

    I have a Flex 3401, and it's definitely me and user error, but I like using my old Porter Cable, and feel like I get better results with it.

    I also like Griot's Garage pads. Don't buy Chemical guy pads, as they break down really fast.
    BrianC636, XFBO and NemesisR6 like this.
  14. Venom51

    Venom51 John Deere Equipment Expert - Not really

    Stop buying black cars or put in the work. I do a once a year on all the vehicles. First rule is always go least aggressive to aggressive in your approach. My go to products are mostly Mequaire's.

    Ultimate polish and a finishing pad for the lightest approach. If you are good at up keep this should be about all you need once a year. Follow it up with the protective finish of your choice. Honorable mention to 3m's Finesse polish as well. It's a product I like it's just pricier.

    More aggressive would be M205 on a finishing pad or waffle pad. Still not terribly harsh but will go after some tougher issues. Follow that with the previous polish and protective finish if the results are good. Slightly more aggressive would be to move to a microfiber with a thick foam backer. Still more aggressive a high cut thin backer microfiber.

    If it's real bad then you'll move on to either some M105 or some 3000 grit wet paper and a foam block and follow that with M205, polish and protectant. That would be some clearcoat that is in really tough shape however.

    My go to products for protection at this time are Griot's One Step Sealant and Beadmaker. Twice a year on the Sealant and the Beadmaker is just a quick topper and drying aid post wash. The Griot's is fairly durable but the Beadmaker while providing some nice gloss enhancement isn't all that durable.

    Always wash the pads in something that will break down the products in them after use and let them air dry. They'll last doing it that way. I just clean them in a diluted Castrol Super clean at 50%.

    I work a little harder on the Wife's airport car as it currently lives outside most of the time.
    8 years old this year.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  15. speedluvn

    speedluvn Man card Issuer

    Sometimes I regret reading the beeb. :(
    YamahaRick likes this.
  16. NemesisR6

    NemesisR6 Gristle McThornbody

    I've thought about the Flex 3401 as well, but now that I've gotten so good at maintaining the paint between polishes, the Porter Cable is more than up to the task. Only takes a couple passes each year and it gets rid of any minor imperfections and deposits that have accumulated.

    I recently did a full correction on my father's black E-class Mercedes, and it would have been nice to have the extra power from the Flex, but the PC got the job done.
    BigBird likes this.
  17. BigBird

    BigBird blah

    Ever used a ceramic coat? I am a believer now. I did still get swirls on it(my water quality TDS is off the charts), but bugs just come right off with a simple wash, and water just cascades down like the Ganges.
  18. BigBird

    BigBird blah

    the main plus of the flex outside of the constant power is their isn't a constant vibration, but I feel I understand the how my now 15 year old PC works better. (you know how I know I'm old)
  19. NemesisR6

    NemesisR6 Gristle McThornbody

    Yea, I do think I may have to invest in one for the next time I have to do a refresh on my toy hauler.........the PC got it done, but it took much longer than I wanted and the vibration got quite tiresome with all the square footage.
  20. Venom51

    Venom51 John Deere Equipment Expert - Not really

    I haven't for only 2 simple reasons. Mine never get dirty enough to go that far and my over active anal retentiveness means they get washed every week or at least every other week. It's oddly my relaxation time. I may try it on the airport car after the hood gets resprayed. It's starting to get enough impact damage to make it worth a respray.

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