View Full Version : Detailing! (first timer)

03-03-12, 02:35 PM
Well, after a broken aerial left some marks on my passenger door, I decided to detail my black NM exceed...

Cant believe the difference! I've never detailed a car before, so I bought a kit from autobarn at $60... Came with wash, clay bar, detail spray, cutting compound, canuba wax, two terry towels, and two applicator pads...

The black paint hides a lot from a distance, but up close the paint had started to oxidize a fair bit. I washed the car at a local touch free wash place (10$ rather than an hour or two of hand work) then dried it with some clean cloth nappies (kids are out of them now). The clay bar made a lot of difference - I was skeptical at first, as I dint think my paint was that bad, but now I'm sold. It is PERFECTLY smooth now. A clean cloth slides on the bonnet with so little resistance! I finished with the canuba was (what a lot of work!!)

In the end, it was worth it, but almost an entire days work. I'm glad I borrowed dad's orbital polisher! (I used that for the cutting compound). At $60 and a day's work, it now means the paintwork should look good for a month or so with less maintenance! Pics to come.

03-03-12, 07:38 PM
Gday Mate,
took my NJ to the "do it yourself" car wash today. 6 dollars and 12 minutes later it was done. Probably doesn't look quite as good as yours though!!
Glen :)

03-03-12, 07:56 PM
ive got all my own stuff and takes me 4hrs to do mine properly
regards peter

03-03-12, 08:06 PM
Should not use electric buffer.
Sequence is...

Takes about 10 hours for the pajero. Clay is required to remove iron embedded into the paint (happens if parked near construction, rail or similar site). If you wash and wax and find the paint is rough when you rub your hand over it, the paint needs to be clayed, otherwise I would not worry about it.

03-03-12, 09:36 PM
Should not use electric buffer.
Sequence is...

Takes about 10 hours for the pajero. Clay is required to remove iron embedded into the paint (happens if parked near construction, rail or similar site). If you wash and wax and find the paint is rough when you rub your hand over it, the paint needs to be clayed, otherwise I would not worry about it.

Fair enough - not knowing a lot about it, I thought I'd give it a try! Can you explain why not to use an electric buffer? I did follow the sequence you mentioned though! I dont think they paintwork on my Paj had ever been detailed before as there was (still is some) swirl marks etc. I'd love to know what to do with the plastic mouldings on the sides - wasnt sure whether I could treat those with a polish etc? Is clay for more than just iron? I thought it was for any impurities?

04-03-12, 12:02 AM
Clay bars are for anything sitting on top of the paint. They won't help where you have a contamination that penetrates into the paint. That requires a paint cleaner.

Clay bars are absolutely magic. Worth every cent. Don't use them on a freshly waxed car though - that sucks. And you should have clay barred before waxing :-)

Swirl marks - well if people washed, clay barred and used a paint cleaner where needed, you wouldn't see much in the way of swirl marks. Instead people polish/wax a rough contaminated surface, expecting the polish/wax to remove the contamination - which it doesn't, it just uses it as an abrasive to create fine scratches ie swirl marks.

There is NOTHING like the feel of a car that has been properly prepared, polished and waxed. My little 2001 Daewoo Lanos (silver) is truly spectacular, even at 11 years old. After a wash, clay bar and wax, you can't look at it in the sunlight, and the panels hardly get warm in the sun.

If you have ever seen someone inexperienced use an electric buffer on their car - you would know why people say don't buff unless you know exactly what you are doing. I have seen a door wrecked in seconds by a mate with a buffer.

Those orbital polishers are pretty cool with the right application pads on them. For a vehicle as big as a Paj I would say they are a good idea. That being said, I've waxed by hand and I've waxed using a polisher and I prefer by hand, although it's a shitload more work. For cutting, they rock...

As far as removing swirls marks go, I've had mixed results. My Daewoo was easy as, my BA Falcon really hard. Say what you want about the 'woo - but it has a VERY good factory paint and clear coat. ZERO orange peel, far superior to my falcon. It ended up so good I had goosebumps. I gave up on the falcon and I am going to get it professionally buffed one of these days...sooner rather than later as I'm getting the shits with these inconsiderate people in car parks leaving scratches and paint on my doors...

The secret is definitely in the preparation before waxing. Get that right and you can end up with an unbelievable finish. Meguiars have some good videos online although I think their Tech Wax is utter crap - give me a good carnauba wax or turtle wax any day...

09-03-12, 06:58 AM
i can vouch for it doesnt take much to ruin a paint job with a orbital buffer.

i recently re sparayed my mudguard after someone didnt like the original shape of it i was using cutting compund with the buffer and it doenst take much to burn the paint. luckily it was only on a part of of the panel the will be eventualy covered by the wheel arch flare.

09-03-12, 06:18 PM
If you want to detail your paj properly, my advice would be to join one of the many detailing forums out there and learn how to do it properly and safely....however just be careful....you can end up with some very grand ideas and a very empty wallet.

And to put my 2c in, machine polishing is perfectly fine and much, much better than hand polishing as long as you know what you're doing and have the right tool. Instead of using an orbital polisher I suggest learners start off with a random orbital sander like the Bosche PEX 440E and the right pads and polishing compounds for a Paj's paint.

13-03-12, 12:39 PM
I recently had some accident damage repaired (2 drivers side doors) and asked whether my panel beater could cut and polish the guard and rear section while he was at it to make the blend a little better.

He said he would polish but not cut as the paint is getting too thin.

My Paj isnt a daily driver but sits under a car cover on the road. If it isnt driven in a month I will wash it (black city dust sits on paint). If it does get driven it gets a wash before going back under its cover. Basically it is well cared for apart from not being garaged.

My paint isnt chalky, just a tiny bit dull (well compared to the newly painted doors). Does the clay bar remove any paint? I am keen to give it a go because even after polishing with meguiars the surface feels a little rough.

Are there any brands in particular that are better than others? Does the polish you use need to be a particular type if you are going to wax afterwards? Maybe I have been conned into being lazy but I thought modern day polishes 'do it all.' It sounds like they are a cheats way of getting an ok result with less effort and the long way is more expensive, more time consuming but has far superior results.

29-03-12, 01:26 PM
A claybar shouldn't remove any paint...some grades are more aggressive than others but a Meguiars clay bar should do the trick just fine. Just make sure you're using plenty of lube, you turn the claybar to a clean section regularly and if you ever drop the claybar...bin it and get a new one. I'd suggest breaking a new clay bar into 3 when you first get it, then if you drop 1 part, you haven't wasted $40.
If the paint's dull it's sounds like it could have a lot of swirls or marring, you could get this out with a machine polish and good polish....but I'd recommend you spend some time on a detailing forum getting the required knowledge before you attempt it yourself. You've summed it up perfectly really....modern 1 size fits all polishes will mask the issues temporarily but to properly rectify it, it takes more money and time.

29-03-12, 03:20 PM
Don't be too worried about using an orbital machine with foam pad to apply polish/paint cleaner etc - They are very forgiving and much more "idiot proof" than a rotary buffer with lambswool pad.


I use one like this and never had a problem in over 8-9 years of use. Even on corners and edges, I've never burnt through the paintwork on any car..

As for clay bars - don't waste your money on $40 clay bar kits..

There are heaps on ebay that do the job perfectly.

then keep an eye out on ebay or the Supercheap Auto specials for the "quik detailer" or "ultimate inspection" sprays that are used as the lubricant. I know of some people who make their own using a mild car wash detergent and water - seems to work just as well..
Google "Clay Bar Lube" or "Clay Bar lubricant" for cheaper ways to get the lubricant or to make you own....

12-04-12, 03:05 PM
Yep, clay bar is a must to remove surface contaminants. Get a small plastic bag and put your hand in it, then rub lightly over the paint. You will feel the surface a lot better for contaminants.

The cutting can be done with a dual action buffer and an orange cutting pad. Then step down to a finishing pad with a polish. As mentioned, fool proof with a orbital buffer as it is just mimicking hand polishing at a greater degree.

I like using a rotary with foam pads, if you know how to handle one the results are outstanding compared to a orbital. You just can't get the same results with a orbital, they are great for finishing though with a polish.

For best results you should step down to a finishing pad with a good polish before appling a wax or sealant. This step is called "Jeweling" the paint for high shine.

When washing your car, you should wash in straight lines not in a circle. This causes swil marks and micro marring.

This was done with a rotary buffer and cutting compound, polish then hand wax.


I could go on for ages :lol9[1]:, but I won't.


12-04-12, 04:36 PM
for safety sake of your duco, it is not a wise move to machine buff your vehicles paint works unless you are competent in doing this work . if in doubt use Elbow Grease. ;)

12-04-12, 04:46 PM
Agreed! A good way to learn with a rotary is grab an old panel from the wreckers and practise. Keep doing it until you are confident enough to do your own vehicle.

They can do some serious damage in the wrong hands!

You have to start somewhere though in order to learn.

25-06-12, 09:40 PM
Re-hashing an oldie here (I didn't see the need to start a new thread) but I took to the Paj over the weekend with a clay bar. Gotta say, the results are well worth the all-by-hand effort. I followed the standard approach...
Wash>>Chamois>>Clay Bar>>Polish>>Wax

I always thought she cleaned up well but up close you could some rejuvinating was necessary.

Long story short... I got some great results and highly recommend this as a good way to waste a few hours on the weekend.

I'm not posting photo's, it's too embarrassing to have such a bright and shining 4wd - you'll just have to believe me...