Hand Waxing vs. Orbital Buffer [Archive] - Hyundai Elantra Forum

: Hand Waxing vs. Orbital Buffer



jameswing
08-05-2004, 02:26 PM
How do you guys do your waxing? I've never been a big waxer, but want to keep my XD looking new.

I am planning on using NXT wax, (already bought it).

Thanks

hyunelan2
08-05-2004, 02:37 PM
An Orbital will save you time, if you know how to use it... if you don't you'll prob end up spending a little more time making it perfect, and run the minor risk of burning up some paint if you have a high-powered machine.

I prefer hand waxing. It's a good work out, allows you to spend personal time with your car, and get that hand-made perfect finish.

GTSpeedRacer
08-05-2004, 02:44 PM
Yep- Orbital's do require some skill although once you get the feel they use less elbow grease.

I prefer hand waxing myself.

SWortham
08-05-2004, 06:51 PM
I've never used an orbital buffer. I always wax by hand and even though the process is time consuming, the results are worth it. The automatic car washes just don't cut it.

04 elantra cvvt
08-05-2004, 09:59 PM
I have always done it by hand. But, if you want to use a machine, get a polisher. They run at a lot lower RPM so the risk of burning the paint is less.

tniv1
08-05-2004, 10:36 PM
Well, I used to do it all by hand, but then I got a random orbital. I do all of the sections of the car that are curved or by the windows, and then I use the buffer to apply wax to the big flat pieces. Then, buffing it off is all by the machine. It saves a lot of time.

04 elantra cvvt
08-06-2004, 12:33 AM
This is true, but you do have to be carefull. You seem to have it down, but for those that have never done it before, I would suggest having someone that has nearby.

cclngthr
08-06-2004, 01:18 AM
I have a high speed (rotary) buffer and a Portal Cable dual action polisher and rarely use those on factory paints. They have specific uses; the rotary is used to apply a compound to restore shine or apply a polish that requires a lot of heat. I use it to polish out a very oxidized car or finish polishing a car after colorsanding it or after I paint a car. The DA is used for polishes that are used for final finishing. Orbital buffers are very similar to DA polishers.

I don't recommend using a buffer on a car after it has been finished because they can actually wipe the paint away (they rub it off). Typically, buffing a car 3 times is the most you could go. Any more results in no clear coat.

A clear coat is typically 2-3 coats of paint for factory paint and 3-5 for a repaint.

For a wax, NXT is a good polish, but it only lasts a month. I put 2 coats on my car, and it looked good, but it was worn off in 3-4 weeks. I'm using a Dupont teflon polish that lasts 6 months or longer. Since I blocked my car and applied 5 coats of a Dupont Suprashield clear coat paint. This stuff is resistant to most scratches, mars and environmental chemicals. It is a very high gloss paint that is more durable than most automotive finishes.

watson80
08-06-2004, 08:26 AM
100% hand waxing for me. Id rather work harder but get every little detail the way I want it

jameswing
08-06-2004, 11:19 AM
Thanks for all the info, I'm gonna go at it by hand today after work.

04 elantra cvvt
08-06-2004, 07:08 PM
Sounds like the best option to me jameswing. Take your time and do it the right way.

cclngthr
08-06-2004, 08:29 PM
On EGT, the two detailers highly recommend claying the car regularly; which does remove some paint while you do it. I don't recommend this, and actually have refused to repair a paint job I did 3 years ago. I painted a car for a customer and recommended hand washing and hand waxing. The owner had clayed it every 6 months and machine polished it afterward. What happened was he removed all of the clear coat I put on.

DJ Hellfire
08-06-2004, 09:06 PM
You should orbital buff AND hand wax afterwards. All orbital buffers basically do is get out all the dirt that is inbedded in your paint and cannot come out by just washing the car. The orbital buffer takes all that dirt out. That is why when you buff just half of the hood, you'll notice that the orbital buffer pad will be quite dirty and should be changed.

As far as wiping off the paint, it won't do that if you know how to use it and on what sections of the car to apply pressure with the buffer. For instance, on the surface of the hood, roof, trunk, doors, and fenders, you would apply a good amount of pressure to the buffer because there is a good layer of paint that is EXTREMLY hard to burn through with an orbital buffer used right. Areas such as corners of the bumper, corners of the mirrors, painted plastic moldings, and just the bumpers in general should not be given too much pressure. These areas have much less paint than the above areas and are far more sensitive to the heat from the buffer and are almost as easy to burn with an orbital as it is with a high speed.

So basically, an orbital will get you a very nice shine, but you also want a nice coat of wax to seal in that shine. This will also keep your car from getting dirty as fast as it would with no wax.

cclngthr
08-06-2004, 10:24 PM
You should orbital buff AND hand wax afterwards. All orbital buffers basically do is get out all the dirt that is inbedded in your paint and cannot come out by just washing the car. The orbital buffer takes all that dirt out. That is why when you buff just half of the hood, you'll notice that the orbital buffer pad will be quite dirty and should be changed.

As far as wiping off the paint, it won't do that if you know how to use it and on what sections of the car to apply pressure with the buffer. For instance, on the surface of the hood, roof, trunk, doors, and fenders, you would apply a good amount of pressure to the buffer because there is a good layer of paint that is EXTREMLY hard to burn through with an orbital buffer used right. Areas such as corners of the bumper, corners of the mirrors, painted plastic moldings, and just the bumpers in general should not be given too much pressure. These areas have much less paint than the above areas and are far more sensitive to the heat from the buffer and are almost as easy to burn with an orbital as it is with a high speed.

So basically, an orbital will get you a very nice shine, but you also want a nice coat of wax to seal in that shine. This will also keep your car from getting dirty as fast as it would with no wax.


May I ask how many cars have you personally painted??

As I said, I have painted more than a few cars in my 15 years I have owned my shop. The average paint job only has 3-5 coats of paint, total for a factory paint. As you continually buff the finish, it gets thinner. The more you use the machine, the more you remove. OE paint only has 1-3 coats of clear on it; depending on manufacturer and model of car. For example, my old 01 Accent only had 1 thin coat of clear on the car. I know this because I rubbed through it very fast when I repainted it and the measurements I got with a thickness gauge confirmed how thick the entire paint job was. My Elantra had (I'll explain this in a minute) had a clear that had a higher reading on the gauge and was harder to sand through when I applied the Suprashield clear coat paint when I bought it; which I applied a total of 10 coats (finished product has 5-6 coats of clear).

I don't recommend buffing at all. After the paint has been finished, it already has been colorsanded and buffed. That is all it needs. If you get scratches on it, those can be rubbed out if they are not too deep, but a buff should be unnecessary. Keeping it waxed is what you should be doing. Most waxes available do have cleaners already in the mix and you are cleaning the surface as you wax it (by hand). Meguires has a cleaner wax available. I use a teflon based polish on the cars I work on.

ilanpro
08-06-2004, 10:32 PM
I did mine by hand with NXT

http://www.nitrousworld.com/pictures/P1010222.JPG
http://www.nitrousworld.com/pictures/P1010220.JPG
http://www.nitrousworld.com/pictures/P1010558.JPG
http://www.nitrousworld.com/pictures/P1010254.JPG

04 elantra cvvt
08-07-2004, 12:45 AM
Can someone please tell me exactly what the NXT wax is? I would like to get some, just want some more info on it.

And BTW Ilan... That looks killer.

jameswing
08-07-2004, 12:59 AM
Mequires NTX Tech wax, you can get it at any auto pars store and I have even seen it at walmart.

04 elantra cvvt
08-07-2004, 01:18 AM
Cool... Thanks a lot. Is it easy to apply and get off. Some of the stuff out there is really hard to remove.

BlackElantraGT
08-07-2004, 03:10 AM
Cool... Thanks a lot. Is it easy to apply and get off. Some of the stuff out there is really hard to remove.

It costs about $14.99 for the bottle and lately it's been advertised like crazy on all the car magazines. I personally have never waxed my car before until now and although it's a lot of work putting on and waxing it off, the wax does come off pretty easily. I use a microfiber towel to remove the wax.

2BIT
08-07-2004, 04:12 AM
I prefer hand waxing... I don't do it often enough personally. Usually I'm lazy and take it to a full serve wash here in Vegas and pay $40 for the wash, hand wax, and the goodies. I've just gotten so lazy......

04 elantra cvvt
08-07-2004, 09:56 AM
Im with ya 2bit. If I can pay someone to do it I usually do. That is the total opposite of the way I used to be. Actually, the Elantra is turning me around. I don't think that I've had anybody do anything to this car...

Anyway, back on topic, I will find some this weekend and give it a shot.

DJ Hellfire
08-07-2004, 11:41 AM
May I ask how many cars have you personally painted??

As I said, I have painted more than a few cars in my 15 years I have owned my shop. The average paint job only has 3-5 coats of paint, total for a factory paint. As you continually buff the finish, it gets thinner. The more you use the machine, the more you remove. OE paint only has 1-3 coats of clear on it; depending on manufacturer and model of car. For example, my old 01 Accent only had 1 thin coat of clear on the car. I know this because I rubbed through it very fast when I repainted it and the measurements I got with a thickness gauge confirmed how thick the entire paint job was. My Elantra had (I'll explain this in a minute) had a clear that had a higher reading on the gauge and was harder to sand through when I applied the Suprashield clear coat paint when I bought it; which I applied a total of 10 coats (finished product has 5-6 coats of clear).

I don't recommend buffing at all. After the paint has been finished, it already has been colorsanded and buffed. That is all it needs. If you get scratches on it, those can be rubbed out if they are not too deep, but a buff should be unnecessary. Keeping it waxed is what you should be doing. Most waxes available do have cleaners already in the mix and you are cleaning the surface as you wax it (by hand). Meguires has a cleaner wax available. I use a teflon based polish on the cars I work on.


I worked in the detail department of my job which has been running for years. My uncle is the manager and has been in the detail business for over 12 years and has managed this BMW detail department for the last 9 and this is how he does it. And you know what, his jobs come out excellent.

Yes I agree that fairly new cars should not need any buffing, but darker ones that haven't been waxed before might need it. I am sure the Hyundai detailers do not wax the new cars. They just wash and ship em. Now new Hundai owners are going for months on an unwaxed car that is bound to have dirt inbedded in the paint that cannont be washed or "rubbed" out. I guarantee you that orbital buffing will remove this dirt an will bring that new car shine back out that you can get from just a wash because I have done it to my car. I have high speed buffed my car twice and orbital buffed it 4 times and as you can see in my sig, my car is very bling! All that Meguires wax and quick detail bull**** is good, but a car that hasn't had a good detail in a will will definitely need to be buffed first. Otherwise, you are just putting wax over dirt if you haven't regularly waxed your car since it was new.

If you use the right chemicals to buff the car with, you will not damage your paint. Knowing how to use the buffers helps a lot as well. High speed buffing only heats up the paint and moves it around slightly to make it look smooth. But if you highspeed one arear too long, it will begin to burn through the clear coat. If you stop here, this will leave a dull patch on that surface. If you keep goin, you will remove the paint. You just have to know how to use it. Orbital buff barely causes any heat unless you press down the buff if one spot for a long time which no one does unless they are trying to **** the car up.

The chemical we use for regular needed high speed and orbital buffing is called BC-1. The chemical we use to high speed buff out very visible but non deep scratches is called finesse, then you follow that up with an orbital using BC, then we use Blitz wax or Collinite wax. All of these are supplied by Ardex. What the buffer does is work these chemicals into the paint and remove the dirt. Dark cars with that hazy scratched up look can only be revitalized by buffing or repainting. Adding wax to that is quite pointless unless you like to see the water bead up when it gets wet or if you want to keep it from getting worse. Also, cars that have water spots from rain that do not come out with a wash need to be buffed. I bet if some of you guys look across your hood, roof, and trunk, you will see a bunch of water spots even if you have a light color car and have just washed your car with treated water. This is from rain water dryin up on your paint in the sun. All you need is a good orbital with some BC and it should come out. Also, if you have a bad case of acid rain on your paint, you need a high speed buff followed up with an orbital both with BC. If you car has been keyed, you simply need a paint job!

One last thing. Not all paint shops buff their finished product. My friend got his black Maxima completely repainted by Maaco. From far away, it looks pretty good. But when you get up close, it looks like an orange peel.

My car after being buffed numerous times (pics taken in January 04):
http://memimage.cardomain.com/member_images/6/web/486000-486999/486709_61_full.jpg

http://memimage.cardomain.com/member_images/6/web/486000-486999/486709_56_full.jpg

Now you got me in the mood to wash, orbital buff and wax my Pearl White Millenia. I am going to my job right now to do that!

jameswing
08-07-2004, 01:32 PM
Well I just did it, It took about 45 minuites from start to finnish, The car looks better now, I need to buy some microfiber towels, the tery one that I got had a lot of lint in them, and it shows up real well on my black car :(, But I'm sure that the lint will fly away.

cclngthr
08-07-2004, 05:49 PM
I worked in the detail department of my job which has been running for years. My uncle is the manager and has been in the detail business for over 12 years and has managed this BMW detail department for the last 9 and this is how he does it. And you know what, his jobs come out excellent.

Yes I agree that fairly new cars should not need any buffing, but darker ones that haven't been waxed before might need it. I am sure the Hyundai detailers do not wax the new cars. They just wash and ship em. Now new Hundai owners are going for months on an unwaxed car that is bound to have dirt inbedded in the paint that cannont be washed or "rubbed" out. I guarantee you that orbital buffing will remove this dirt an will bring that new car shine back out that you can get from just a wash because I have done it to my car. I have high speed buffed my car twice and orbital buffed it 4 times and as you can see in my sig, my car is very bling! All that Meguires wax and quick detail bull**** is good, but a car that hasn't had a good detail in a will will definitely need to be buffed first. Otherwise, you are just putting wax over dirt if you haven't regularly waxed your car since it was new.

If you use the right chemicals to buff the car with, you will not damage your paint. Knowing how to use the buffers helps a lot as well. High speed buffing only heats up the paint and moves it around slightly to make it look smooth. But if you highspeed one arear too long, it will begin to burn through the clear coat. If you stop here, this will leave a dull patch on that surface. If you keep goin, you will remove the paint. You just have to know how to use it. Orbital buff barely causes any heat unless you press down the buff if one spot for a long time which no one does unless they are trying to **** the car up.

The chemical we use for regular needed high speed and orbital buffing is called BC-1. The chemical we use to high speed buff out very visible but non deep scratches is called finesse, then you follow that up with an orbital using BC, then we use Blitz wax or Collinite wax. All of these are supplied by Ardex. What the buffer does is work these chemicals into the paint and remove the dirt. Dark cars with that hazy scratched up look can only be revitalized by buffing or repainting. Adding wax to that is quite pointless unless you like to see the water bead up when it gets wet or if you want to keep it from getting worse. Also, cars that have water spots from rain that do not come out with a wash need to be buffed. I bet if some of you guys look across your hood, roof, and trunk, you will see a bunch of water spots even if you have a light color car and have just washed your car with treated water. This is from rain water dryin up on your paint in the sun. All you need is a good orbital with some BC and it should come out. Also, if you have a bad case of acid rain on your paint, you need a high speed buff followed up with an orbital both with BC. If you car has been keyed, you simply need a paint job!

One last thing. Not all paint shops buff their finished product. My friend got his black Maxima completely repainted by Maaco. From far away, it looks pretty good. But when you get up close, it looks like an orange peel.

My car after being buffed numerous times (pics taken in January 04):
http://memimage.cardomain.com/member_images/6/web/486000-486999/486709_61_full.jpg

http://memimage.cardomain.com/member_images/6/web/486000-486999/486709_56_full.jpg

Now you got me in the mood to wash, orbital buff and wax my Pearl White Millenia. I am going to my job right now to do that!

The two detailers on Elantragtclub like the use of clay bars and highly recommend them for amatuers. I don't. We have argued over this subject quite a bit. I don't want somebody who clearly has no training in paint work to buff/clay a car.

Maaco does not spray enough paint to buff. They paint for coverage only, which is about 1-2 coats. My shop deals with a lot of expensive cars and some average ones. We machine the paint after spraying it to remove the flaws, which is our standard procedure. We also spray enough paint to work with it.

Not all paints are equal. Acrylic enamels are at the low end durability wise and are softer than the erethane 2 stage paints that new cars come with. The OE paints are thin erethane base/clears. You can work with them to a point, but they too will go bad if you overdo it. Suprashield, a hard clear paint is better than OE, but has the same structure of OE paints. Imron, a Dupont paint is much harder than erethane but it is much harder to work with. That paint can actually be high speed buffed all day without rubbing through it, but it can be rubbed through.

I prefer a teflon based polish, which imbeds itself in the paint. It lasts much longer than wax and does not need to be applied as often. Although a rotary has to be used, it will not need to be machined at least for a year.

DJ Hellfire
08-07-2004, 07:18 PM
Now I agree with you on the clay stuff. I have been detailing for about a year and I am pretty good with a buffer. However, I was not trained on using clay, nor was I trained on wet sanding. Those are totally far from what an amatuer should be doing. You could really **** up your paint if you don't know what you're doing with the clay. As far as the wet sanding, this is even more dangerous for amatuers. I saw my uncle do it and at first I was scared because it looked like it actually took the clear coat off. Then he finished it by high speed buffing it and it smoothed the clear coat right back over the area he wet sanded. It looked like glass after he was done. This was also a car that had been recently painted by Maaco and looked like an orange peel. It was very smooth after the wet sand. But it is nothing an amatuer should do. High speeding is not for amatuers either!

I just got back from doing my Millenia. Here is the order I detailed it. First I washed it and cleaned the wheels and clean all the trunk and door jambs. Then I dry it off with a chamois (however you spell it). Next, with a high pressure air hose I sprayed all the water out of the window seals, jambs, lights, emblems, grill, and where ever else water still hides after you dry the car. Then I wiped the whole car down with "prep solve" with a microfiber towel. Prep solve gets out all the road tar and tree sap that soap and water can't get out and also some dirt and grease.

Since my car is pearl white, there was really no need to high speed buff it. So I just orbital buffed the whole car 1 section at a time using the BC compund. This took about an hour. There was so much dirt on the hood, roof and trunk that wouldn't come out with the wash or with prep. It came right out with the buffer, but there was so much dirt, I had went through about 5 clean buffer pads by the time I was done. But all the dirt was gone and most of the little suttle marks came out as well, not to mention it shined like glass.

To protect the shine, I put some of the Collinite wax over the whole car then removed it with a microfiber. With this wax, you have to wax on then wax off a section at a time. If you let it sit too long, it will get very hard and will be difficult to come off. This wax is one of the longest lasting waxes available, but it doesn't shine like the Blitz wax we have. The Blitz wax is not as strong so you are able to wax the whole car at once and let it sit over night if you want, and it will still come off in the morning. The thing about Blitz is that it doesn't last as long.

Since the Collinite wax doesn't shine as much as the Blitz, I put on some of this other wax we have called Viper on top of the collinite. It is liquid and it's more of a quick wax job and shines very nice once removed. Once I removed the Viper, I put on the tire shine with a paint brush. Applying silicone tire shine with a spray bottle will cause the silicone to fly all over your car and any car near it. Then I cleaned the windows. After I finished the windows, I pulled the car out into the sun to make sure I didn't leave any wax on the car. And then I was done. I'll post pics if you guys want.

http://memimage.cardomain.com/member_img_a/486709_181_full.jpg

http://memimage.cardomain.com/member_img_a/486709_182_full.jpg

http://memimage.cardomain.com/member_img_a/486709_183_full.jpg

http://memimage.cardomain.com/member_img_a/486709_184_full.jpg

http://memimage.cardomain.com/member_img_a/486709_185_full.jpg

http://memimage.cardomain.com/member_img_a/486709_186_full.jpg

cclngthr
08-07-2004, 09:40 PM
On my car, which has 5 coats of Suprashield clear coat paint, I usually hand wash/dry the car and apply the wax by hand. I used NXT, but found that did not hold up over the long term. I put 2 coats on the last time and it went away within 3 weeks. I want something that lasts longer than that.

I was trained to work with paint from its raw form to the finished product. I have painted quite a few cars including my own, and have used a high speed buffer with rubbing and polishing compounds to get the paint as I want it. I also have colorsanded paint as well, but know that if the car already has been colorsanded, that is the only time you need to do it.

I prefer to remove any scratches from the surface before beginning to detail. I usually do this by hand using a variety of chemicals that will smooth out the surface and then finish detailing it. A buddy of mine introduced me to teflon based polishes. His detailer is the only shop that specializes in Platinum Teflon Coating. http://www.platinumservices.info/

I prefer a polish that will last a long time. Teflon appears to last at least 6-12 months. Carnuba wax only lasts a short period of time and by using the product, you have to manipulate the paint more often, which will eventually wear the paint down. For me, it is harder to wax the car, especially during the winter months. Normal waxing does not ahere very well in colder climates. It has to be warm out before it will cure properly. Prep solve I'm assuming is similar to a very mild reducer or tar remover. I will use a similar product on some areas of the car if I think it needs it, or if the whole car is very dirty, I'll wash the car with that. However, if you have touchups, it could remove these as well. I also use another product that is weaker than reducer, but will still clean off tar and other contaminates. Here, you are not removing or lifting any paint, even new paint while you clean it.

I'm not trained to clay, but a colleage of mine, who also is a painter and he even does not suggest using clay on a finished product. He prefers to hand polish it if possible, but will use a machine when necessary. We at the shop do show quality paint services and expect the finished product to be of that caliber before it is returned to the customer. Since we have a lifetime warranty, we expect that quality to exit the door. My business partner has had a body shop for 30 years and has specialized in high end auto paint jobs during that time period.

For my tools, I have the average orbital buffer and a PC dual action polisher and a PC rotary high speed buffer.

DJ Hellfire
08-08-2004, 12:24 AM
Where is your shop?

cclngthr
08-08-2004, 11:39 PM
It is in western WA state.

you might want to post on egt about your car HJ.

carbonbluerocks
08-09-2004, 01:28 AM
Clay bars (such as the Meguiar's or Mother's system) are paint-friendly as long as one makes sure there's enough lubrication applied between the clay and the paint surface itself... I've seen some good before and after comparison pics on the EGT club of cars that have been clayed (think it was member f1guy68's car)...

And back to your original question james, hand wax it... at least that's my 2 cents.. and if you want a wax that you can use in the sun as well as in the shade, I believe Poorboy's World carries a wax in their lineup that can be used in the sun... can't remember the name of it right now..

jameswing
08-09-2004, 12:26 PM
Alright thanks, I want to work up a few layers of good wax on it to protect my paint.

When I got back from my trip last night I saw that I had a chip of paint about 1/8 inch diameter on the rear top section of the bumper. How should I take care of this.

carbonbluerocks
08-09-2004, 01:12 PM
Depends on how deep the chip is.... cclngthr should be able to help you out on this...

jameswing
08-09-2004, 01:25 PM
It looks like it's down to the metal, I saw it when I went into the store yesterday, and didn't look real well, all I know is that it didn't wipe off.

cclngthr
08-09-2004, 02:37 PM
The bumper is plastic so if you see black, it is down to the bare plastic. Keep in mind these parts are hard to touch up and even paint. You can take some touch up paint and dab it on the spot and let it dry. You might have to add a second-third coat after 24 hours after the first. Once that is fully dry, about 3 days, you can lightly polish it out and wax it.


Clay bars (such as the Meguiar's or Mother's system) are paint-friendly as long as one makes sure there's enough lubrication applied between the clay and the paint surface itself... I've seen some good before and after comparison pics on the EGT club of cars that have been clayed (think it was member f1guy68's car)...

And back to your original question james, hand wax it... at least that's my 2 cents.. and if you want a wax that you can use in the sun as well as in the shade, I believe Poorboy's World carries a wax in their lineup that can be used in the sun... can't remember the name of it right now..


I don't recommend using clay bars by those who have no training in using one. To me, they dry out to quickly and leaves the chances of scratching the paint (even with lots of lube) very easy.

jameswing
08-09-2004, 03:50 PM
On closer inspection over lunch it looks like a good scuff, It's white on my Black paint. I'll try to use my Meguires paint cleaner this evening on it.

cclngthr
08-09-2004, 06:03 PM
If that don't work, you will have to use something more abrasive. I highly recommend you be very careful. I don't know if the Meguires cleaner will do it. That has a cleaner, but it is not much of a cleaner.

jameswing
08-09-2004, 06:30 PM
I think my only problem with using the cleaner and wax is that I don't use enough preasure. At least it's not a chunk out of the paint.

DJ Hellfire
08-09-2004, 07:40 PM
On closer inspection over lunch it looks like a good scuff, It's white on my Black paint. I'll try to use my Meguires paint cleaner this evening on it.

That means someone must have hit your bumper with their car. At my job we use automotive paint thinner to remove minor scuffs that have not ripped the paint off. It will just remove the paint of the car that bump yours. You dont even have to rub that hard, besides, you dont wanna start removing your own paint as well.

cclngthr
08-09-2004, 08:43 PM
That means someone must have hit your bumper with their car. At my job we use automotive paint thinner to remove minor scuffs that have not ripped the paint off. It will just remove the paint of the car that bump yours. You dont even have to rub that hard, besides, you dont wanna start removing your own paint as well.


I use an enamel reducer which is milder than a thinner is. Dupont SML3812y fast dry thinner. It is expensive, about 20 bucks a gallon, but it can be used on cured paint without removing your own paint.

f1guy68
08-17-2004, 10:18 PM
Clay bars (such as the Meguiar's or Mother's system) are paint-friendly as long as one makes sure there's enough lubrication applied between the clay and the paint surface itself... I've seen some good before and after comparison pics on the EGT club of cars that have been clayed (think it was member f1guy68's car)...

Well...Little did I know that my discussion with CC over at EGT was being continued over here as well...lol


You could really **** up your paint if you don't know what you're doing with the clay.

Agreed...but imagine what they could **** up with a rotary and compounds! I don't just tell someone to use something..I teach them and share all the positives and negatives! Anyway..read below for some insight from my perspective being a pro detailer for 15 years!

I indeed suggest the use of a clay bar at the EGT club and to anyone else whom would like to get the most from their detailing time and effort! I would never tell someone to do something If I thought they were at risk of damage and getting pissed off at my advice!

I feel that clay is a very safe and effective process to giving paint that smooth as glass finish! I have had countless detailing rookies use my simple advice and instruction on this product and they have all replied with resounding results from using the clay bar! Yes..they were terribly nervous in trying, but after 30 seconds or so, they had it in the bag.. and it's so much easier to learn and master than a high speed rotary and then learning the myriad of chemicals and there properties! In this case we have two things to learn only..clay and lube..that's it!

My son is only 6 years old and can clay like a pro! It's that easy! That's how much I trust the clay..even in the hands of my son..I have no fears! I just have to make sure he doesn't drop it....lol

Meguiar's and Mother's would not put this product out to the general public if it was only to be used and mastered by professionals! They would not take that liable risk! This product is very safe! I can't keep saying this enough! Just try it! You'll see...please...30 seconds and you will have it mastered!

The key to safe claying is what I always say and that is : LUBE LUBE LUBE! This is the most paramount instruction I offer!

Lots of lube and your clay will not dry up (clay is almost dry anyway) and you will not scratch the paint or even remove paint as believed by many!

Clay is totally non abrasive! Clay is offered in different grades, but that is relative to the adhesion factor of the clay...not the abrasiveness!

All clay does is act as a very sticky catalyst that will glide effortlessly across the surface with lubrication but has very adhesive properties to collect any contamination in your paint and remove it from the paint! The only risk to scratches with clay is to perhaps drop a piece on the ground, pick it up and continue to use it! That's not a good idea at all! And you don't need to use excessive pressure either! Just a little pressure and you will be amazed! There is very little risk using clay!

The dirt that clay removes from the paint is imbedded deeper into the surface of the clay itslef! And if you "knead" the clay every so often, you will have no problems at all! The dirt will not remain at the surface of the clay and act as an abrasive! To confirm this..clay a section of your car and then feel the clay bar..it's totally smooth and that means your safe! If you feel it's getting "rough" than turn or knead the clay to expose a clean side!

It's a lot easier and safer to teach someone to clay (30 seconds max) than to hone there skills with a rotary machine and compounds! A high speed rotary is very dangerous in the hands of a rookie!

A piece of clay will never burn the paint, or swirl the paint or create any of the possible accidents that can happen with a rotary!

In comparison..I know many many detailers whom are very reluctanct to try new things! I can respect that, but where I get a little confused is when they slam a product or technique that they have never tried before! And when I get really burned is when they tell someone what to use, but not how to use it! That's dangerous!

I'll tell you the truth! I can clay a whole full sized car in less than 40 minutes, and just this step alone brings about stunning results! 99% of pro detailers like myself use clay! And we use them on Ford's To Ferrari's...Hyundai's To Hummers...It's an amazing and safe product!

I believe as do my pro detailingcollegues, that a high speed rotary is not for cleaning dirt and contamination out of paint! It is for correcting paint issues such as swirls, cobwebs, scratches, and for polishing etc!

When using a chemical to clean the paint with a rotary, that product is generally more abrasive in nature and then combined with the dirt in the paint, becomes even more abrasive. The general rule of thumb is to always use the least agressive product to get the job done!

My personal belief is to polish the paint, not to polish the dirt and the paint!

After I have clayed a car, I know that I'm starting with a very clean surface!


All I need to do now is polish the paint and correct the defects and bring back the gloss! I don't need to spend a lot of time doing this, as I'm working with a clean dirt free surface! I can use gentler products, softer pads and less pressure with the rotary! The results are less risk of burning the paint, less work putting the essential oils back into the paint, and little risk of creating buffer swirls, as I know all I'm doing is polishing and not trying to clean as I polish!

Think about this..it will make sense!

CC Said:


Typically, buffing a car 3 times is the most you could go. Any more results in no clear coat.

I just wanted to clarify that this comment is relative to the use of a high speed rotary buffer only!

Your very safe with a random orbital! And your very safe by hand as well! Buff away!

cclngthr
08-17-2004, 11:03 PM
Well...Little did I know that my discussion with CC over at EGT was being continued over here as well...lol



Agreed...but imagine what they could **** up with a rotary and compounds! I don't just tell someone to use something..I teach them and share all the positives and negatives! Anyway..read below for some insight from my perspective being a pro detailer for 15 years!

I indeed suggest the use of a clay bar at the EGT club and to anyone else whom would like to get the most from their detailing time and effort! I would never tell someone to do something If I thought they were at risk of damage and getting pissed off at my advice!

I feel that clay is a very safe and effective process to giving paint that smooth as glass finish! I have had countless detailing rookies use my simple advice and instruction on this product and they have all replied with resounding results from using the clay bar! Yes..they were terribly nervous in trying, but after 30 seconds or so, they had it in the bag.. and it's so much easier to learn and master than a high speed rotary and then learning the myriad of chemicals and there properties! In this case we have two things to learn only..clay and lube..that's it!

My son is only 6 years old and can clay like a pro! It's that easy! That's how much I trust the clay..even in the hands of my son..I have no fears! I just have to make sure he doesn't drop it....lol

Meguiar's and Mother's would not put this product out to the general public if it was only to be used and mastered by professionals! They would not take that liable risk! This product is very safe! I can't keep saying this enough! Just try it! You'll see...please...30 seconds and you will have it mastered!

The key to safe claying is what I always say and that is : LUBE LUBE LUBE! This is the most paramount instruction I offer!

Lots of lube and your clay will not dry up (clay is almost dry anyway) and you will not scratch the paint or even remove paint as believed by many!

Clay is totally non abrasive! Clay is offered in different grades, but that is relative to the adhesion factor of the clay...not the abrasiveness!

All clay does is act as a very sticky catalyst that will glide effortlessly across the surface with lubrication but has very adhesive properties to collect any contamination in your paint and remove it from the paint! The only risk to scratches with clay is to perhaps drop a piece on the ground, pick it up and continue to use it! That's not a good idea at all! And you don't need to use excessive pressure either! Just a little pressure and you will be amazed! There is very little risk using clay!

The dirt that clay removes from the paint is imbedded deeper into the surface of the clay itslef! And if you "knead" the clay every so often, you will have no problems at all! The dirt will not remain at the surface of the clay and act as an abrasive! To confirm this..clay a section of your car and then feel the clay bar..it's totally smooth and that means your safe! If you feel it's getting "rough" than turn or knead the clay to expose a clean side!

It's a lot easier and safer to teach someone to clay (30 seconds max) than to hone there skills with a rotary machine and compounds! A high speed rotary is very dangerous in the hands of a rookie!

A piece of clay will never burn the paint, or swirl the paint or create any of the possible accidents that can happen with a rotary!

In comparison..I know many many detailers whom are very reluctanct to try new things! I can respect that, but where I get a little confused is when they slam a product or technique that they have never tried before! And when I get really burned is when they tell someone what to use, but not how to use it! That's dangerous!

I'll tell you the truth! I can clay a whole full sized car in less than 40 minutes, and just this step alone brings about stunning results! 99% of pro detailers like myself use clay! And we use them on Ford's To Ferrari's...Hyundai's To Hummers...It's an amazing and safe product!

I believe as do my pro detailingcollegues, that a high speed rotary is not for cleaning dirt and contamination out of paint! It is for correcting paint issues such as swirls, cobwebs, scratches, and for polishing etc!

When using a chemical to clean the paint with a rotary, that product is generally more abrasive in nature and then combined with the dirt in the paint, becomes even more abrasive. The general rule of thumb is to always use the least agressive product to get the job done!

My personal belief is to polish the paint, not to polish the dirt and the paint!

After I have clayed a car, I know that I'm starting with a very clean surface!


All I need to do now is polish the paint and correct the defects and bring back the gloss! I don't need to spend a lot of time doing this, as I'm working with a clean dirt free surface! I can use gentler products, softer pads and less pressure with the rotary! The results are less risk of burning the paint, less work putting the essential oils back into the paint, and little risk of creating buffer swirls, as I know all I'm doing is polishing and not trying to clean as I polish!

Think about this..it will make sense!

You like to clay a car on a regular basis. Clay bars were originally intended (and still is labelled as) to remove overspray; which is paint. It does do that quite well. If it is abrasive enough to do that, over time, it will also thin the clear down to the base coat; which is why I don't recommend it for amateurs (as DJ Hellfire also agreed with me). You must have training to use such a product well enough to use it correctly. It is very easy to rub through a clear coat on a factory paint job. Some body shops do use them to remove overspray. On the label on the clay bar box, it does say *removes paint overspray.*

Some detailers prefer a machine over a clay bar. Tims (Pumbaa) detailer does not use a clay bar. His products require the use of a machine, and he prefers to use a rotary with the teflon polish rather than claying the car and then using a DA to rub out any flaws. The machine does both steps in 1. Also, using prep-solve is also useful to lift dirt and contaminates without softening the paint. The prep-solve is a liquid with zero abrasive, which easily disolves road tar, tree sap, and most dirt contamination. Although my concern with prep-solve is with how it might react to the paint. It could cloud up the paint. A enamel reducer is a product similar to prep-solve, but it will not cloud up the paint or remove it since it is chemically compatable with paint (which is why I prefer it). If there are scratches, I prefer to hand rub those out first; which a machine might not be able to remove them completely (if they are surface scratches).

For me, and what I come across, using the machine, either a rotary or a DA is necessary because either the paint is very oxidized or I'm colorsanding the finished surface. I only do show quality work, which zero orange peel is accepted and a mirror finish is the absolute minimum requirement as a final outcome. On a car that is already shiny, using a machine or clay bar should NOT be needed. The last time I machined my car was when I recleared it and that was a year ago. I hand polish my car. I don't plan on machining my car any time soon, or allowing it to be clayed.

Many people, including detailers think these circular scratches you see in bright light are swirls. They are not, they are called sunburst scratches. These are very small scratches that are very hard to remove, even by using a rotary.

I started an auto detail shop at one of the schools I taught at. With the students, who had developmental disabilities and learning problems, I had to design it so it was impossible for them to damage the paint. I got a lot of offers from distributors about a clay bar and machines. In my opinion, these kids were not able to effectively use either product. If they had a clay bar, they would easily rub through the paint. We chose hand waxing/cleaning only.

carbonbluerocks
08-17-2004, 11:28 PM
Oh boy, you two aren't gonna go at it again, are you? :rolleyes:

jameswing
08-18-2004, 12:28 AM
Well I did it again tonight and let it dry longer this time. It looks even better than before. It just gets a little hard when you have to wait till almost sunset and it's still in the 90s.

cclngthr
08-18-2004, 12:39 PM
Oh boy, you two aren't gonna go at it again, are you? :rolleyes:


I will say this, we do not get along at all. He thinks he knows a lot, but he does not know much about paint chemistry and paint thicknesses, which are critical in working with paint.

I can look at a picture and tell whether a part has been repainted by looking at several things against the old surface. Newer paint always appears shinier and more rounded at the edges than factory paint. It also appears thicker (deeper color/shine).

A while back, Crobarcar posted a thread on egt about a Corvette that was detailed at Meguires that had the valances repainted. I knew immediately by looking at the picture than both valances were prepped wrong and the car looked ugly after it was detailed because what happened was the body shop did not take the time to chemically clean the old paint first before colormatching the new paint. The new paint was matched to the dirty paint.

On Hp.com, when Rob had his old 99 Accent repaired and showed pictures of the 2 door front end on his 4 door car, I also noticed a difference in the surfaces. I could tell it was repainted by the orange peel and the differences in thickness of the paint when comparing it to the door.

Also, different types of paint react very differently to detailing. Lacquer is a soft paint that can be easily rubbed out. Synthetic enamel is a harder paint than lacquer, but it is still softer than acrylic enamels. Erethane enamel is much harder than all three paints I mentioned and is what car makers use now. Suprashield is a clear paint that I put on my car and it is harder to chip than plain erethane (it is a erethane, but it has extra chemicals in it) but has the ability to resist most scratches and rock chips. It does this by making the surface of the paint very hard, but also soft enough to bend when something hits it. Imron, a paint made by Dupont is a product that has a very hard surface but it is hard to remove scratches because it has a surface that is very durable.

f1guy68
08-21-2004, 10:20 AM
Oh boy, you two aren't gonna go at it again, are you?

No No No...I'm not in the mood for it...lol



You like to clay a car on a regular basis. Clay bars were originally intended (and still is labeled as) to remove overspray; which is paint. It does do that quite well. If it is abrasive enough to do that, over time, it will also thin the clear down to the base coat;

No..I don't like to clay (the same car) on a regular basis! There is no need for it! But if I detail a car for the first time and it has a lot of contamination, than I will clay the car!

But never once did I say..Clay on a regular basis! Once a year at most if you don't take all preventative steps to keep your paint clean! Otherwise, you may only need to do it once in a lifetime per vehicle!

None the less..Our opinion differs as so do some of my ideas with other detailers as well! But hey, once they call ME up to clay a car for them, they see how easy and safe it is, and it's something they use often as well!

Listen...I do respect your abilities and knowledge! I just get wrapped up in the thought that your methods are best reserved for body shop pro's and are not geared towards the weekend detailer who wants to clean his car!

I still say clay and lube is so much easier and safer to use, than offering a newbie to detailing the idea of using a high speed rotary, compounds, chemicals etc!

I know you guys may not have been trained in clay, but there really is no training! It's very easy to learn, and I say that if you gave the newer poly clays a try, you will be amazed at how much time and labor you will save over using machines and the compounds etc!

I'm not suggesting short cuts here; I'm very much a perfectionist as well! Claying to me is the most superlative effort I take in getting the paint totally clean from contaminants!

CC...Correct..I don't know very much about chemical structures of paint etc, but I know how thick paint is and I know, and can always get the most out of it without having to take a body shop approach! I don't think I know a lot...with all due respect...I DO KNOW a lot!

I understand very well that my actions with machines, clay, chemicals etc on paint demand my full attention and respect! With that I also realize the "critical" aspects of working with paint!

Just wanted to add some comments from other pro's regarding the safe use of clay! Read carefully...

"Claying is a process that is new to the world of automotive detailing and has found enthusiastic acceptance. It's not hard to understand why, as its resume reads like a miracle cure, and after reading it you may think that it's too good to be true. But claying delivers.

The clay we are talking about is similar to the toy "Play-doh" that kids enjoy although a special type is required for car detailing. It performs it's function by removing the contaminants from the surface of the paint. It works by virtue of its flexibility as it easily forms the exact contour of the surface it is in contact with. What it does for a painted surface is similar to the function of polish, but unlike polish, clay is not an abrasive. This is an advantage for the beginning or casual detailer, as no harm can be done to the paint. Claying also does not remove wax, so unlike polish, there is no need to reapply it after an application. It works on surfaces that might not be appropriate for polish, such as glass, brightwork and trim items. Claying is also relatively quick and easy when compared to a polish job. Clearly a winning situation all around!"

"When clay bars were brought to the United States several other usages were found for them. Clay bars were found to be effective for removing overspray, tree sap, acid rain & water spots and a variety of other surface contaminants."

"Today, clay bars are routinely used by professional detailers and body shops as a simple, safe way to remove overspray and surface contaminants from painted surfaces, chrome and glass."

1. Poly Clay does not dry out with age.

2. Poly Clay does not decompose with repeated applications.

3. A single non-abrasive grade works on all paint conditions yet is still clear coat safe.

4. Poly Clay is easier to work with. It pulls, stretches and refolds easier than normal clay.

5. Poly Clay leaves almost no residue on the surface making clean-up much easier.

Poly Clay will not remove paint or the clear coat finish. It can be used as often as necessary to keep the surface free of contamination and smooth.

When contaminants get a solid grip on your car's paint, washing alone may not be enough to remove them. Pre-wax cleaners also may not be able to exfoliate large particles. In this case, you have two choices: use a polishing compound, which removes a lot of paint material, or use a clay bar. Clay isn't a polish or a compound, it is a surface preparation bar that smoothes the paint and exfoliates contaminants.

Clay bar products are most frequently used to remove paint over spray or contamination on a car. Contamination consists of tiny metal shavings from rail dust, brake dust and industrial fallout. This contamination affects all paint finishes and can cause serious damage when left untreated. Paint contamination can be felt as a "rough or gritty" texture on the paint's surface and can lead to tiny rust spots.

There is no wax, natural or synthetic, or any chemical treatment that can prevent or protect against this contamination. Compounding with an abrasive polish may remove this contamination but it can only be performed a few times before removing too much of the top, clear coat finish.

The solution to this problem is a clay bar, which safely removes over spray, and industrial fallout by "pulling" it off the surface. What differentiates a clay bar from other abrasive polishing or compounding solutions is that it does not perform any abrasive actions.

When clay bars were brought to the United States several other usages were found for them. Clay bars were found to be effective for removing over spray, tree sap, acid rain & water spots and a variety of other surface contaminants.

Today, professional detailers and body shops use clay bars as a simple, safe way to remove over spray and surface contaminants from painted surfaces, including chrome and glass.

cclngthr
08-21-2004, 08:47 PM
My concern with your enthusiasm about clay bars is people will read this as it should be used regularly. I don't recommend it at all. All you should be doing is waxing the car, preferably by hand. I also recommend touching up any chips and removing any scratches when they appear. My recommending this is to prevent future damage to the paint and should be easy enough to do. Since I have a full front end mask, I recommend regularly removing the hood section and washing the car and removing the whole 2 piece unit and thoroughly washing and waxing the area at least every 6 months at the least, more often is better. For the mask areas, which are covered, the wax may last longer, but some waxes may not last because of the heat. I used NXT on my car in mid June and by the time it was mid July the wax under the cover was non-existant, where regular carnuba wax would still be there yet.

While water spots can be a problem in some areas, they can be taken care of by the wax/polishes that are available. NXT really does not have the agents to remove them well, but most carnuba waxes has the cleaners to do this. I'm sure Meguires Cleaner Wax has the ability to remove them by hand with no problem. I have a problem with water spots if I wash my car at my house because the water isn't good for washing cars, but if I go to a friends house and wash my car there, the water spots do not appear.

For serious dirt and contamination, as with the Corvette on Meguires.com, the paint had to be chemically cleaned first. I prefer a product that gets into the dirt and lifts it out without harming/scratching the paint surface.

For the startburst swirls, which are on any car over time (caused by normal driving/washing) filling them in is your best choice. These are commonly mistaken as swirls because of their appearance. Most waxes will fill them in, but they will reappear.

A lot of people do not know how to wax a car very well. The waxes available today should keep the contaminates away from the surface. However, people may go too long without reapplying the wax. The test is if the surface squeaks, you have no wax.

The last time I used a machine on my car was when I reshot the clear, which was last year. I keep it waxed and free of nicks and scratches. and it still looks new.

On very new paint, it is recommended not to wax the car until the paint is fully cured. Typically this lasts 3 months. You might think this will increase the chances of contamination, but if you don't let the paint fully cure, it won't harden up. While the paint outer surface is road worthy after 3 days, the paint next to the primer is still wet. On most new cars, the paint is just a few months old (up to 3 months) and it might not be ready for wax. The plastic that is on the car also holds in the dampness and solvents, making the curing much slower.