Detail & Clean LLC

Guide To Detailing A Car

How to detail a car, part deux-

Welcome back to learning how to detail a car. In part one, you learned the basics. In part 2, its gets a little more hardcore. I’m of course talking about compounding and polishing your cars paint. This, my friends, is a delicate process. It’s all about making the car shine without removing the clear coat, and what a pain in the ass that can be. Id like to go ahead and say on record that if you aren’t a professional detailer, I wouldn’t even attempt this. You can make your paint look worse than it is. With that being said, if you want to go for it, here’s some tips.

Always wash, dry, clay and use an IPA or Isopropyl alcohol or dedicated paint prep before polishing your car. When ready to polish, get yourself a nice electric polishing pad, and prime the whole pad. Make sure you spray water during the polishing. Polish one section of your car at a time in nice smooth S patterns. Do not go over board!! Remember to always tape off the trim as well, especially plastic trim. Compound comes into play if you want to spot buff scratches or blemishes. You never want to compound your whole car unless you’re doing a serious paint correction.

If you are removing a serious scratch, the best way to remove that scratch from your car and your life would be to wash the area like we discussed before, tape off the area, sand it down with 3000 and then 5000 grit sand paper, prime it, repaint it using the paint color that matches your cars original paint color (which can be found inside the drivers side door) and then use the paint revitalizing steps…polish then wax then paint sealant then clear coat that Baby. There are tons of videos out there that explain some of these things better than I can, but I have to warn you again, the process of removing a serious scratch on your car is a lot harder then it sounds. I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer here, just being honest, but hey, the good news is, by doing this job yourself, and it turns out looking good, which is very possible, you can save yourself at least $700.

Okay, lets talk about something fun and non stressful, like…headlight restoration. Headlight restoration is super easy!! First of all, why should you restore your headlights? The headlights on your car are the eyes of your vehicle, the gateway to your vehicles soul. It’s essential to restore your headlights to maintain vision for your vehicle, and for you!! In my opinion, they’re probably the 3rd most important item to maintain on your vehicle as far as safety is concerned (behind the brakes and the windshield wipers, well maybe fifth place, after the engine and the seat belts, but you get the idea!!), and its not bad to have them looking oh so good as well. Concentrate on the left headlight first and than the right, or vice versa. Here are the steps you can take to restore those bad boys…

  1. wash your headlight with soapy water and then dry it

  2. tape off your headlight

  3. spray down your headlight with water and using sand paper, begin to sand your headlights like your life depends on it (switch to a different sand paper each time it turns a different color…and alternate sanding horizontal with the first sandpaper than vertical with the second sandpaper etc…go from the lowest grit sandpaper to the highest…wipe your headlight down after each sand. Here are the sandpaper sizes I recommend…(400, 800, 1000, and 2000.)

  4. wipe down your headlight with rubbing alcohol

  5. cover the headlight area with a trash bag and tape and cutout the headlight, wipe down with alcohol again, than buff with compound in a vertical and horizontal direction, and then wipe down again.

  6. buff with polish until it looks like you could eat your lunch off your headlight and wipe down your headlight with alcohol for a final time.

  7. spray your headlight with clear coat with nice light smooth sprays…let sit for 5 minutes…spray another coat…let sit for 5 minutes…and then spray the final coat. (make sure your getting every area of the light, including the edges) Note, if you want a longer protectant for your headlights, you can use ceramic coating, but use one or the other, clear coat or ceramic coating, I repeat do not use both…DO NOT USE BOTH.

There you have it folks, I guarantee you will be jumping around like a crazy person after you see the results. I hope this helped, I know the paint correction advice was a little dodgy, but I hope you make the right decisions, and your car turns heads in whatever direction you decide. One more note, never ever make payments to buy a car, always pay in cash, and never ever ever lease a car, ever, trust me. That’s it for me…and I’m out.

Here are the Items I use and talk about in this blog entry:

Mckees 37 UV ceramic coating

Sandpaper size 400, 800, 1000, 2000)

Meguirs ultimate compound

Meguirs polishing compound

a buffer for headlights

garbage bags

blue painters tape

Spraymax 2K Clear Coat

Three spray bottles (One for soapy water, one for water, and one for rubbing alcohol)

Btw, the World doesn’t need anymore Agitation…

So why be mean, when you can clean.

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