Of all the aspects of automobile detailing, paint restoration is our greatest specialty.
Restoring automotive paint is a 5 to 8+ step process that will leave the paint on your car looking incredible.
The first step is a through examination and evaluation of the condition of your car’s paint. This is where we look for all the problems that can occur like:
scratches, thin areas, flat burns, edge burns, pull marks, wheel marks, and swirl marks, we also check for endemic problems like excessive texture (orange-peel), runs, checking, bad chemistry, blend marks, etc. The specific type of paint used on the car must also be realized. This whole process is analogous to looking for cars before crossing the street, and is just as important.
The next step is to protect areas of the car that are not compatible with the polishing process by ether removing or taping them off.
Our paint restoration system breaks down into 4 basic parts:
This step removes minute (seriously, micron by micron) layers of damaged or defective paint to expose the good unblemished paint underneath. In the worse case scenario, wet-sanding may be necessary, otherwise we begin with a special pad on a high-speed polisher.
There are literally hundreds of compounds, polishes, glazes, on the market, available from a dizzying array of chemical companies. We’ve narrowed these products down to about 20 that we have at our disposal, each one appropriate for a given situation and paint type.
The exact same thing goes for polishing pads…
It is often necessary while cutting the paint, to stop short of removing a deep scratch or blemish due to limitations in the thickness of the paint. What I frequently must do is strike a balance between minimizing the appearance of the blemish while still leaving the paint as thick as possible. I treat every clients car like it were my own and I know that I would like to preserve as much of the paint’s thickness as possible, so that there is enough paint left to remove the next scratch that comes along.
Now that we have a nice, flat, blemish-free surface, the real fun begins. The paint is polished to a high luster using very specialized pads and polishes. This brings out depth and reflectivity like you have never seen. Special care, utilizing high level technique is taken here to minimize swirl marks to the point to where they can be removed in the next step.
The glazing, or de-swirling process as it’s also known, is both a machine and hand process. The machine work can often involve two sub-steps, especially with dark or black cars. These are ultra-fine polishes that contain within themselves glazing agents that fill in the microscopic residual swirl marks while burnishing the paint, adding depth and shine to the surface.
Glazing by hand takes the paint even further with a compound I blend myself. I even modify the ratio of ingredients on the fly based not only what the paint is, but also which part of the car I’m working on. At this point the paint is almost beginning to glow, but were not done yet.
Here again, we find a vast array of waxes and sealants that are available. For the most extreme depth, color clarity, and reflectivity, nothing beats good old fashioned paste carnauba wax. My wax of choice comes from Europe and contains from 55% pure white carnauba wax, and other exotic oils. It costs $500 for a small jar! The paint is now so beautiful that it’s hard to take your eyes off of it. But were still not quite done,
The paint is now finished with an extensive leveling and inspection process.