1) Wash Car

Items Used: Blue Coral Car Wash, Microfiber Towels, Two Buckets (one for dirty water and one for suds.

My Method:

a) Really? Do you need a DIY? If so please stop... take to a professional.

b) Seriously though fill one bucket up with suds and water... the other bucket with water.

c) Wipe off dirty car with sudsy microfiber towel from sudsy clean bucket.

d) Wipe car with that towel then dip and wring out in dirty water bucket.

e) repeat c.

*Doing this will lessen the amount of dirt still on the towel thus reducing spider webbing over the 6 months between detailing.

Does not have to be a good drying job.

*Don’t use dish soap because it will dry out your rubber parts and discolor your black trim over time.

2) Clay Bar

Items Used: Pinnacle Clay Bar, 50/50 Water and Rubbing Alcohol Mix in Spray Bottle, Microfiber Towel, sandwich baggie and Clay Lube.

My Method:

a) Place hand in sandwich baggie and rub on paint. You should feel LOTS of contaminates on the paint. If you skipped this step you will reduce the effectiveness of the paint correction and sealant later. The contaminants will hinder you from actually reaching the paint.

b) Take clay lube and spray on the car... take the clay bar and rub on surface.

c) Any clay residue can be dealt with by spraying the 50/50 H20/ Alcohol solution and wiping dry with a microfiber towel.

d) Place hand in sandwich baggie and rub on paint. You should feel a huge difference. I normally will clay the area until it feels about 80% better. Horseshoes and hand grenade method.

3) Paint Correction

Items Used: Blue Painters Tape (thick), Porter Cable 7424 w/ car detail fixings, mechanics gloves, spray bottle with H20. Details on combos below.

In order of light to heavy cut:

Light - Orange Pad w/ Pinnacle XMT 3 Intermediate Swirl Remover

Medium - Orange Pad w/ Menzerna Intensive Polish

Medium Heavy - Yellow Pad w/ Menzerna Intensive Polish

Heavy - Yellow Pad w/ Menzerna Power Gloss

Always start light and move up... as tempting as it may be to throw a yellow pad on fight the urge.

My Method:

a) Tape off all trim, emblems, windshield nozzles on hood, areas where paint is near your conv. top, seals, door handles and antenna bases. You will thank me later for this step!

b) Put gloves on... if you don’t you will have very raw and vibrating hands. Especially when you are on hour 3 of your detail.

c) Mist pad with water

d) Take Pinnacle XMT 3 and place a quarter size dab on the pad

e) Take the Porter Cable and smear the quarter size dab on the car in a 2 X 2 or 3 X 3 area (this reduces splatter).

f) Put Porter Cable on 4.5 Speed and work the 2 X 2 or 3 X 3 area for ~ 5 Minutes. Alternate applying pressure and allowing the pad to spin with a light touch. You will see the Pinnacle go from thick to a thin greasy layer... almost like it isn’t even there. Mist pad every few minutes. When done wipe residue off with a microfiber towel.

g) Don’t be afraid to retry the same pad and correction combo again before moving up the ladder.

*The learning process for me was to SLOOOOW DOWN and work the stuff into the paint. Before I would fire her up and go for 1-2 minutes... then go to a heavier cut. I have found that if you take your time you can do 80% of the things with a light paint correction and more time spent.

On really bad areas you can work your way up the ladder. Remember the heavier you go to try more speed... alternating between 4.5 and 6.5 on the Porter Cable and applying less pressure.

Remember the beauty of the Porter Cable is that it is pretty much idiot proof. You cant really hurt the paint unless you go yellow pad with Power Gloss applying lots of pressure (did that on my Mirror ). If you work up the ladder applying less pressure you will do fine. While it is good to keep your pad misted and the Porter Cable moving it is pretty idiot proof to burn the paint.

4) Sealant Application

Items Used: Blue Pad, Water in Spray Bottle, Microfiber Towel, and Menzerna One Step Acrylic Jacket.

I again will plug the Acrylic Jacket... it is a very light corrector, polish and sealant in one bottle. It offers protection for 6 months and easy to apply and remove.

My Method:

a) Put gloves on.

b) Take Microfiber Towel and fold into a 1/4 th.

c) Mist Blue Pad and put a quarter size dab on the pad.

d) Smear into paint to reduce splatter.

e) Turn Porter Cable on to 4.5 (leave it there) and start working into large area. With this you can do large areas (hood, door, trunk etc.).

f) It is best to have someone follow behind you wiping off... or to stop after each section and wipe off if you are a loner. DONT DO THE ENTIRE CAR AND COME BACK TO WIPE OFF. You will regret it... talk about a workout. One of those learning experiences.

g) When you see it is harder to wipe off (greasy streaks in paint) turn you towel over to a clean 1/4 side and wipe off. It should come of quickly.

Stand back and admire your work!

With clay, paint correction on the entire car and sealant expect to spend 4-6 hours.

After your initial paint correction and if you do a good job of using the two bucket method of washing on subsequent washings you should very little paint correction needed. In other words you can clay and use the One Step Acrylic Jacket and come in under an hour!

Some other tips:

Never dry Microfiber Towels with fabric softener... for some reason this makes them stiff... go figure.

Clean pads after use... I also recommend Zippy Pad Cleaner. You can buy it off of Auto Geek or any other detail site. It really helps to wash and condition the pads.

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