My first DIY paint correction / detail thanks to auto geek
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2004-2007 Cadillac CTS-V Appearance Mods Discussion, My first DIY paint correction / detail thanks to auto geek in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2004 - 2007; This is just a re-post of a thread I posted over at AutoGeek.net last week. I found their forums sometime ...
  1. #1
    WesH8398's Avatar
    WesH8398 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    My first DIY paint correction / detail thanks to auto geek

    This is just a re-post of a thread I posted over at AutoGeek.net last week. I found their forums sometime this summer after a local detail shop did a pretty damn shoddy job on my V, and I wanted to make it right. Man, the forum members over there are SUPER helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable ... Kinda like here! lol If any of you are interested in doing your own detail, check this place out for resources.
    All in all, I spent about $400 on products including the polisher, pads, etc, etc. I literally started from nothing. Having completed my car, I can say with confidence that this was $400 very well spent. I'll be able to do this 10 more times before I'll even need another bottle of polish. Needless to say, my wife's highway warrior Mazda3 is up next, and I can't wait to see the results. Anyway, here's the post. If you want clarification on any of the abbreviations, just let me know.

    Well, after spending a few months here reading around and asking a few questions, I placed my first order. It included a GG 6" polisher, the 5" Meguires microfiber DA system kit, appropriate BP, some extra 5" pads, some 3" pads and BP, a bottle of Collinite 845, 2 hydro-tech crimson pads to apply that, and some other odds and ends including some quality microfiber towels, etc. About a week ago, I finally set a day aside to put all this stuff to work. Here are a few pics of what I was dealing with (thanks to a local "detailer" who took me for $200 and left me far worse off than I started):






    So, as you can see, I had a bit of work to do. Some areas of the car (namely the hood and trunk deck lid) were almost grey-looking they were so swirled.

    After re-watching all the how-to videos I could and rereading all the great advise from you guys in my various start-up threads, I got to work.

    PREP:
    I washed using 2 bucket method and grit guards, then clayed using Riccardo's yellow clay and a mixture of water and Optimum No Rinse.

    CORRECTION COMPOUND:

    This took about 6 hours with short breaks. I tried to stay in 2x2 sections, but think I went larger most of the time, even though I kept telling myself not to. Noob mistake, but I think it worked out anyway.

    I used compressed air to clean my pad after every section or 2. After each cleaning, I would add another 2-3 pea sized drops to my pad. I went with about as much pressure as I could while still allowing the pad to spin (black mark on BP helped a lot), and used a very slow arm speed. I had my GG set at 3.5 for the recommended OPM's. Once a whole panel was done, I would wipe off. The product came off very easily and was an overall pleasure to deal with. After this step alone, I felt like I was ready for a wax/sealant already. It corrected most of the swirls and came out looking glossy and really didn't leave anything terribly ugly behind. I think I could have got more of the surface scratches out had I adjusted my technique a bit, but I was thrilled just to see the majority of swirls disappearing before my eyes.

    FINISHING WAX

    This step took me an hour and a half or so, if I remember correctly. I cleaned the pad less frequently (every 2-3 sections), and felt like I was using less product than the compounding step too. Here, I used a pretty quick (too quick?) arm speed, and really not much more pressure than just the weight of the machine. I had my GG DA set to 2.5 in order to meet the recommended OPM for this step. I found it tough not to work on larger than 2x2 sections here too. As with the first step, once a full panel was done, I would buff off. The stuff came off very easily. Again, a pleasure to work with.

    Here are some shots of the results after just this 2 step process. Pretty impressive, I must say. Especially considering that my technique likely left a lot to be desired.











    Just to give an idea of the finishing wax at work:





    FINAL STEP:
    After all the positive things I read about Collinite 845, I had to try it out. I gave the finishing wax a few days to cure and applied the 845 today. I applied the 845 with crimson HydroTech pads, employing a pretty quick arm speed and doing about a panel at a time. I probably did about 3-4 "section passes" of each panel, which I wasn't sure of... Just kinda winged it. In about an hour, the car was covered and I left it for about 30 minutes before I buffed off in the same order I applied. The wax came off pretty easily, so I definitely didn't put it on too thick. The gloss was amazing and wet-looking, and I was really impressed with the product.


    Thanks for reading and I hope this helps anyone who is in the position I was in.
    Merge and Merge like this.

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  3. #2
    Andringa is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: My first DIY paint correction / detail thanks to auto geek

    Looks like an awesome first correction. I found Autogeek this spring and got a PorterCable and everything needed to do my V. I couldn't be happier with my money spent.

    Did you happen to use any IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol) during your compounding? Diluted with water it can be used to wipe down a panel and see what it looks like with out any compound filling in the finer swirls. I used it and went back over a couple spots that I thought were done.

    Nice post, this reminds me that I should at least get a new coat of wax on before it snows.

  4. #3
    EdmundGTP is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: My first DIY paint correction / detail thanks to auto geek

    GOD DAMN your paint was in rough shape! Nice work on the correction. My last full job consisted of Menzerna P091, followed by Menzerna PO85RD, Followed by Poorboys Black hole, followed by Poorboys EXP sealant, Followed by Pinnacle Souveran Paste wax.

    The hard part now is keeping the finish looking the way it does now. Hope your car lives in a garage.

  5. #4
    WesH8398's Avatar
    WesH8398 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andringa View Post
    Looks like an awesome first correction. I found Autogeek this spring and got a PorterCable and everything needed to do my V. I couldn't be happier with my money spent.

    Did you happen to use any IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol) during your compounding? Diluted with water it can be used to wipe down a panel and see what it looks like with out any compound filling in the finer swirls. I used it and went back over a couple spots that I thought were done.

    Nice post, this reminds me that I should at least get a new coat of wax on before it snows.
    Yah, winter was my main reason for doing this. I knew it needed a good wax, but I didn't want to lay down a nice wax over that sad looking paint. Ideally I would have did this in the spring so it looked it's best for the summer, but being my first correction and being as I wanted to get some practice in, I figured I'd do it now. If the winter is that hard on it, I'll give another once-over in the spring.
    As for the IPA, no, I didn't do that. I just went with what I learned and hoped for the best. lol

    Quote Originally Posted by EdmundGTP View Post
    GOD DAMN your paint was in rough shape! Nice work on the correction. My last full job consisted of Menzerna P091, followed by Menzerna PO85RD, Followed by Poorboys Black hole, followed by Poorboys EXP sealant, Followed by Pinnacle Souveran Paste wax.

    The hard part now is keeping the finish looking the way it does now. Hope your car lives in a garage.
    Yea, it was pretty rough thanks to my local "detailer" and the gift certificate my wife gave me. You took a ton of steps with yours, eh? Have you read much about the Meg's MF system I used? As you can see, it does a HELL of a job, and in only 2 steps! Add a good last step product if you like, like I did with the 845, and you're off to the races in only 3 steps.
    And no, my V is NO garage queen. It'll even be out all winter playing in the snow.

  6. #5
    EdmundGTP is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: My first DIY paint correction / detail thanks to auto geek

    I'd be tempted to try the Megs MF system at some point. As of now, all my car ever needs is a single stage polish with the PO85RD and sealant re-application every 8 months or so. In between that I freshen up the coat of wax every 6 weeks or so. I go to borderline extreme lengths to keep things from marring my clearcoat, so that any correction work is minimal at worst when it comes time to do it. Between corrections NOTHING touches my paint except microfiber, quick detail spray, wax, and occasional soap and water. I don't even drive my car if there's more than a 10% chance of rain so that I don't have to wash dust crust off of it. When it's not being driven it's in a garage and under a cover.

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    GDPossehl is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: My first DIY paint correction / detail thanks to auto geek

    ^ Wow, I wish. I drive my car at least 50 miles a day to work and back. Needless to say my paint takes a beating. It's tough to keep up, but I hand wash it once a week.

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    CancerJCC is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: My first DIY paint correction / detail thanks to auto geek

    Looks great! This thread reminds me I need to put some of that last UPS order to work...(Some new polishes and pads). Not exactly the most exciting project but it sure looks great in the end. I can't believe how many people think my V is brand new.

  9. #8
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    Re: My first DIY paint correction / detail thanks to auto geek

    Great job man! I also found autogeek this summer and find it full of useful info. I plan on fully detailing my car in the spring.

  10. #9
    mberisha is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: My first DIY paint correction / detail thanks to auto geek

    Wow....looks great!

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    Re: My first DIY paint correction / detail thanks to auto geek

    Looks really good!
    Have before/after pictures of any scratches? How did they come out?

  12. #11
    EdmundGTP is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: My first DIY paint correction / detail thanks to auto geek

    Quote Originally Posted by Merge View Post
    Looks really good!
    Have before/after pictures of any scratches? How did they come out?
    A clear coat correction will not remove any scratches that are deep enough to feel with a fingernail. The only way to successfully remove "scratches" is to repaint the area, OR in the event that the scratch doesn't go through the clearcoat, you can wet sand the area level and then re polish. This is generally not worth the risk of sanding through the clearcoat and into the paint though.

  13. #12
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    Re: My first DIY paint correction / detail thanks to auto geek

    I'm looking into going with the Griots garage machine polish kit (http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/...%26+wax+kit.do) Do you think i'll be able to obtain similar results or should i look into other products (correction compound, cutting discs, etc.)? I've had great results with hand applying their best in show wax but i've never used the buffer or machine polishes they offer

  14. #13
    Andringa is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: My first DIY paint correction / detail thanks to auto geek

    Griots makes good stuff. If anything the correction compound that they have in that kit is probably less aggressive than some others. That compound may take a little longer to accomplish the same result but it should get you there in the end.

    Looking at that kit the biggest thing that you are missing out on is extra pads. I wouldn't suggest trying to correct an entire car with 1 orange pad. When they get dirty and or filled with compound you need to wash them and let them dry before using them again. I also really like having some smaller pads available. I got a 2.5" backing plate with 3" pads and use them on the bumper/mirrors/trunk where the 5" or 6" pads have a hard time fitting.

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    Re: My first DIY paint correction / detail thanks to auto geek

    Quote Originally Posted by Andringa View Post
    Griots makes good stuff. If anything the correction compound that they have in that kit is probably less aggressive than some others. That compound may take a little longer to accomplish the same result but it should get you there in the end.

    Looking at that kit the biggest thing that you are missing out on is extra pads. I wouldn't suggest trying to correct an entire car with 1 orange pad. When they get dirty and or filled with compound you need to wash them and let them dry before using them again. I also really like having some smaller pads available. I got a 2.5" backing plate with 3" pads and use them on the bumper/mirrors/trunk where the 5" or 6" pads have a hard time fitting.
    Thanks for the feedback. I definitely plan on getting more pads and some micro fiber towels and i was also leaning toward the Wolfgang Duo Package from autogeek as it seems the polishes are a bit more aggressive for our very hard paint and may get the swirls out a bit easier. I'll probably finish it off with a sealant afterwards for longer protection and then possibly some wax for added depth

  16. #15
    EdmundGTP is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: My first DIY paint correction / detail thanks to auto geek

    The best microfiber towels I've used so far are the Deluxe Mega Towel (DMT) from Poorboys. http://poorboysworld.com/microfiber.htm They have an extra plush side and a thicker short weave side, so they multi-purpose very well.
    Very reasonably priced as well. $50 for a dozen of them.

    EDIT: Also be sure to wash new MF towels at least once before using them. Do not use regular clothes detergent though, just something with no bleach and no dyes, or fragrances. And do not use a dryer sheet when you dry them out. There are several detergents specifically for MF available on Ageek. MF's get softer the more you wash them.

    Another good practice is to visually inspect each MF towel before you go rubbing down your car with it. MF towels have a tendency to pick up small debris (i.e. very small wood splinters or twigs, small crumbs, hairs, fibers from other less gentle fabrics) and the last thing you wanna do is be dragging these other things along your freshly polished paint. Take a minute to look over each side of the towel before use and pick off anything that ISNT microfiber. I even go as far as to pick off bits of lint from OTHER MF towels. If a towel starts to fray, its fibers can "cross contaminate" other MF towels and get knotted up in the weave. Even though it IS microfiber, when it's knotted up at all it can mar clearcoat.

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