I wanted to share my amature work in washing, polishing, sealing and waxing my car for the first time. I had previously done the two bucket wash method (love this btw) and had waxed the car, but this was the first time I went into a major polish. I was nervous but motivated as I had spent around $250 at a local car wash for a full detail 4 months ago, but was not satisfied with the work and felt I could do better.
Here are the products I used based on recommendations from the site and what I could get from Amazon and Target. I am sure there are better products but for me, they did the trick as I am still in the learning process, was not certain I would have the time to use them and did not want to over invest in products that would sit on a shelf.
Meguiars Crustal Wash, Clay Bar, Mirror Glaze 105 and 205, Polish and Cut Pads
Porter Cable 7424XP
Smart Sealant (2 coats)
Meguiars Gold Class Carnauba Plus
I tried to take pictures as I went with my Iphone, so the quality is ok. Also, I had to do my work when the kids were asleep (nap time to wash and clay the car, after 10 pm to polish, seal and wax) so I wanted to concentrate on making sure I finished rather than focusing on taking pictures.
The first 4 pictures are the before, the remainder are after and the next morning when I could shoot pictures in the sun (sorry, I cannot figure out how to put comments between pictures, but thank goodness they are self explanatory
After finishing, I took some notes on my impressions that I wanted to share for anyone else that may be thinking of taking the plunge into a polish for the first time:
- I am very satisfied with my work and fell it was time well spent. Besides the results, I have a higher level of owner satisfaction knowing I took the time to really care for the car and know that the car's exterior is well protected.
- I am by nature a perfectionist, but I told myself at the beginning I was not shooting for perfection, just a large improvement in the finish, and I am glad I did. My time was extremely limited and 6 1/2 hours was all I could realistically devote to the project; if you are seeking perfection, there is no limit to how long you can spend buffing or correcting every scratch or chip during the polish phase. I removed probably up to 85% of the swirls, marrs and scratches, and that had to be good enough for now.
- I can see why people spend big bucks on detailers and I have even more respect for the job you do. Getting that last 15% in results must take an extraordinary amount of time and experience and takes a toll physically. I was really burnt in the morning!
- I am glad I spent the time to tape the trim wrap and the top joints before I started. It did not take as long as I thought either. No matter how careful I could have been in the process, I would absolutely have gunked up my trim.
- If forgot to order a buffer pad and paid for it at the end of the process. Being able to use the polisher rather than by hand for removing the excess sealant coats and wax would have been nice at 3AM.
- The polish made the car look noticably better after the initial passes. Not only do the swirls, scratches, etc. come out but I feel the Jerez Black paint looks less dingy and brighter. The Purple comes out more so now than before the polish.
- This has been said before, but using the Sealant first then the wax is spectacular; the pictures do not convey the deepness in the color that you see in person and it maintains the "wet" look. You can stare at it and it seems continue getting deeper. (As an aside, I really like the Jerez Black color when it is clean, especially in the sun when it has a dark purple hue).
Thanks for reading!