slightly frustrated with my results

Discussion in 'Compounds, Polishes, Paint Cleaners, and Glazes' started by roadster220, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. roadster220

    roadster220 Virgin Detailer

    Just getting started in the detailing "hobby" and although I have done a few cars for friends who were quite satisfied with the vehicle after I am not getting the blow your mind results I am looking for. Now the vehilces I am working with are daily drivers and most don't get much attention when it comes to the paint condition, in fact most are lucky to get a trip through the local car wash once in awhile, so there is plenty of opportunity for me to develop the craft.
    I will cut to the chase and outline the products I am using and my methods, at this point I am going to accept the results due to my inexperience rather than bash a product.

    Polisher - PC 7424 w/5" velcro backer
    Pads Lake Country yellow, orange, white and a blue
    Compund Optimum 2
    Polish Optimum 2
    Chemical guys clay bar lube
    Klasse all in one and sealant glaze
    wash soap CG maxi suds

    My process, thoroughly wash and dry vehicle, compound with a generous X pattern across a yellow pad with a few drops of the clay bar lube, pad has been moistened with clean water and excess removed. Usually start on a 2x2 section on the hood with lines running at 90 degrees.Wipe clean with microfibre and do the same process with the white pad and polish, both with moderate pressure on the pad. Again wipe with a new microfibre.

    And lastly ( this has been a disappointment to me when I read the reviews for this product) Klasse all in one with a blue pad finishing off with a hand application of the sealant, which I have found to be extremely finicky...too little and you can't tell where you have been and too much and you end up with spaghetti arm trying to get the stuff off!

    i see some guys that are able to correct 1500 to 2000 grit equivalent scratches and I seem to be unable to even get close to that, is it my products, process or a combination of the 2?
  2. 911Fanatic

    911Fanatic DB Pro Supporter

    If you are trying to remove deep scratches, you will more than likely gave to go to a more agressive compound like Megs 105. I haven't used the Optimum polishes, so can't really voice an opinion on their abilities. Based on what I have used, here is what I would suggest. Spend a few dollars and get the new Meguiars Microfibre Cutting Discs and D300 compound. They are 2 for $20 and a pint of D300 is around $35 I believe. With these two products, you will be able to remove over 90% of defects, barring gouges, and produce a finish that is LSP ready enough for 99% of people. You can follow up with the white pad and Menzerna Power Finish to amp up the gloss if you'd like. These two polishes and pads will produce excellent results every time. If the car is only lightly swirled, use the white pad and Power Finish. I'm not sure what speed you are using on your PC. I put two or three pea sized drops on my pad. With the machine OFF, spread the polish over the intended work area. With the machine against the paint, turn it on. I usually just start on speed 5 as Ive already spread the polish out. After a couple passes, up to speed 6 until the polish has broken down. Remember to go up and down and then side to side, overlapping each stroke by around 50%. :)
  3. roadster220

    roadster220 Virgin Detailer

    Thank you very much, I will be looking into these products immediately! Help me out a bit here I'm still learning the language and short forms...LSP??? I get the impression I have been using way too much product when you say you only use a few drops on the pad. I usually start off at about the same speeds as you and do the side to side back and forth but perhaps not as much overlap, will incorporate that on my next attempt.

    Thanks again for your input.
  4. detailersdomain

    detailersdomain Administrator

    I would agree with Ken.
    We have found the Meg's D300 and the Meg's MF DA Cutting Pads to be extremely good in the shop as well a welcomed addition to our enthusiast and pro customers.
  5. Kilo6_one

    Kilo6_one DB Forum Supporter

    LSP= last step product, IE wax or sealant........
  6. 911Fanatic

    911Fanatic DB Pro Supporter

    The problem with the PC is that it does take longer to break down polishes. Using too much polish will only frustrate you as it will take way too long to break the polish down or you will be left with marring because you stopped before the polish had a chance to break down completely. Two to three large pea sized drops over a 2' x 2' area is enough. That way your pad won't become saturated resulting in wasted product either.

  7. Merlin

    Merlin Virgin Detailer

    I have a PC 7424xp and I have been able to obtain outstanding results with it.

    I'm a big fan of the Meguiar's M105 / M205 product combo.

    For removing paint swirls and scratches...
    PC Speed 5
    I personally have never had good luck with the LC yellow pads
    I have had good luck with the Surbuf 5.5" with a 5" backing plate.
    I also have had good luck with Megs microfiber 5.5" cutting pads.
    Follow up the two pads above with LC orange 5.5" light cutting pad
    I like using the Megs 5" flexible backing plate and Megs M105

    To clear up the surface after using M105...
    PC Speed 5
    I like using M205 with an LC 5.5" white flat pad.

    To increase the shine even more...
    PC Speed 4
    I like using Menz PO85 with a 5.5" LC black flat pad.

    To enhance the gloss...
    PC Speed 3
    Follow that with Wet Glaze 2.0 using a LC blue flat pad.

    Then follow with LSP
    This can be Carnauba or a sealant.
    I have a few different personal favorites.

    I usually purchase the LC 5.5" flat pads in a six pack.
    2) Orange, 2) White, 1) Black and 1) Blue

    Use a square area no larger than 24" x 24"
    (Painters tape helps define and contain the area)
    Keep the pad FLAT. Travel at 1" per second.
    Make a make on the backing plate with a sharpie.
    Press down on the head of the PC with your hand.
    Do not press so hard that the backing plate stop rotating.
    Overlap you prior pass 50% each time you make a pass.
    Go horizontal then vertical to complete the section.
    Repeat this 4-5 times on each 2' square section.
    Arm speed, Rotation Speed, approx 15lbs of pressure.

    Applying Product:
    I like to "prime the pad" by applying small product lines.
    Then "press" the product into the pad with your fingers.
    Ensure the entire pad surface is "primed" with product.
    Then apply 2-3 nickel sized amounts on the pad surface.
    Apply pad to surface and begin on speed 3 to spread
    Do not power on or off without the PC being on the paint.
    Make sure the pads is "moist" with product. Do not buff DRY!

    That is pretty much it...Well that and some time and practice.
  8. roadster220

    roadster220 Virgin Detailer

    Thank you for your replies, but before I make any purchases I think I will refine my process first. I have learned that I have made some very basics mistakes right out of the gate, probably the biggest is getting the compound to the broken down state. I am certain I have not worked the compound or polish for that matter long enough for it to work combined with me using too much product. The reason I was using too much was to avoid the dry buff scenario, which is why I bought some clay bar lube. I do have a car I can use as a test mule of sorts so I will be going back to the drawing board to apply some of the techniques outlined about.

    If I have the proper amount of product on the pad I should not need any additional product such as the claybar lube correct?

    Keep the info coming though, I do appreciate the help!
  9. Merlin

    Merlin Virgin Detailer

    I would not suggest using clay lube when polishing paint to keep a polishing compound moist
    Some compounds use diminishing abrasives and some use a non-diminishing abrasives.

    This means that with some compounds the more you work them the smaller the abrasive particles become.
    Think of it like using 1000 sandpaper for so long that the particles actually become 2000 grit in size.
    The "workability longevity" issue is a different animal. This is about the amount of time a product can work.

    This means that not matter how long you use a compound the abrasive particle size will remain the same size.
    Again, this is different than the the amount of working time you have before a product flashes and is not effective.
  10. JoeyV

    JoeyV Welcome to Detailing

    OP; the reason you not getting the "blow your mind" results some of the pros get, is most probably because you are using a PC/DA and not a rotary. Even with aggressive polishes, there's only so much the DA can accomplish. PC/DA machines mostly "round off" the edges of a scratch to make it look more even with the surrounding higher area or less evident, while rotary polishers have a much easier time actually removing the surrounding area to bring it down to a flat, level surface. I would also suggest adding in a black CCS pad to your equipment list for refining polishes.
  11. roadster220

    roadster220 Virgin Detailer

    So the PC is to be considered an entry level machine then? What brand would you reccommend for a rotary? I assume the rotary system means a different direction in terms of polishing products?
  12. BoostedMk6

    BoostedMk6 Jedi Nuba

    I've corrected some pretty harsh paint with my PC and Flex 3401. Try a more aggressive pad, and slow your passes down to really work on the defects.

    Also, I heard Optimum polishes work best with rotary. Give Powergloss or M105 a shot.
  13. JoeyV

    JoeyV Welcome to Detailing

    Don't get me wrong, the PC is still used by pros as well, I am not a pro and I use it myself. Mostly for the final polish and sealant/liquid wax application though. If you choose to go the rotary route, I suggest getting any of the flex machines, I use the 3403, as it's very versatile and light. As for polishes, the aforementioned Megs 105/205 combo works miracles. Just make sure you get practice on a scrap peice of car first. You don't want to find out what burning through paint is on your baby. :p
  14. TimAD

    TimAD Jedi Nuba

    Lot of good info in this thread OP.

    Now get to work ;)
  15. roadster220

    roadster220 Virgin Detailer

    You are right TimAD I need to get onto a vehicle to apply what I am learning. I am glad I stumbled across this site! Tons of info and good people willing to share experience.

    Thanks to all!
  16. 911Fanatic

    911Fanatic DB Pro Supporter

    Au contraire mon frere! I know you've seen a bunch of my writeups and all of them involved my PC at some point. All my one steps are done with a PC and I can assure you the finished product is just as good as most guys will ever get with a rotary. The newer pads and polishes available have really levelled the playing field. If I was going to do some very heavy compounding, I would indeed start with my rotary. Other than that I typically use my PC. The new Megs MF Cutting Discs and D300 compound are awesome and are capable of delivering an LSP ready finish good enough for 99% of people. I'll be posting a 30hr job I am doing on another Porsche after I finish it this week and ALL polishing was done with my PC. The PC is very capable of removing all but the heaviest defects in an acceptable time frame. For any enthusiast, I would recommend a PC over a rotary as it's safer and the results can be just as good.
  17. Merlin

    Merlin Virgin Detailer


    I easily have been able to obtain what I consider to be "as good as rotary" results with a PC.
    The PC does does take longer to be able to achieve the results. It just takes time and skill.

    The four P's
    Paint, Process, Pads and Product

  18. roadster220

    roadster220 Virgin Detailer


    Bit the bullet and placed my order with Detailer's Domain today, looking forward to some better results. I have a black Freestyle to work on next week sometime so I'll keep you all posted. may even post up a 50/50 pic if it's good enough.
  19. roadster220

    roadster220 Virgin Detailer

    I had an opportunity to use the Meg's microfibre pad with the D300 and I have to say the results are much much better. I think I need to work on breaking the polish down fully but I think that will come with more practice. The menz power finish did add some gloss but I think it is also a matter of me getting used to using the product to it's fullest. I am getting there! Thanks to all who posted up the great advice I am much happeir with the looks of my work now. Just need to get some 845 to finish things off better than the local auto parts store stuff I'm using and I'll pretty well set for awhile.
  20. Merlin

    Merlin Virgin Detailer

    Megs M105, M205 and D300 use S,M.A.T. technology, are non-diminishing abrasives & it does not break down.
    Menzerna PO85 on the other hand, is diminishing and the polishing compound will become finer with work time.

    You will become better at it with more practice! Practice slow arm speed (1" per second) & keeping the pad flat,
    Also, constant, even, pressure on the head on the DA. (spin slow). Mark a line on the backing plate with a sharpie.

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