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Discussion Starter #1
Just bought a great '68 Sedan Deville and man am I glad I found this site. I'm hoping some detail gurus can help me out with my paint problem.

The original paint is light green/blue (caribe aqua) and badly faded. It's completely matte in appearance and has a texture to it. I can provide pics if you need a visual reference. Honestly, I'm not sure what product to start with on reviving the paint.

My issues:
- I'm having trouble finding out if Cadillac used a one-step or clearcoat paint in 68. This might affect which products I'd use.
- I've also read online (with a grain of salt) that metallic finishes shouldn't come in contact with abrasives. How the heck am I suppose to remove oxidation, etc without a compound or polish?

Can someone inform me the proper materials and steps to get this original paint back in decent shape?

Ultimately the car will be repainted, but for the next year or so I'd like to show off what it does have. Not necessarily expecting a mirror finish, but I want to restore what I can without causing damage by using the wrong materials.

Thanks for you time and assistance,
Ryan Weber
Sin City, NV
 

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1979 Phaeton Coupe, 1990 Brougham d'Elegance 5.7 liter
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4,416 Posts
The paint used on your Caddy is lacquer. Old school, tough-as-nails, lacquer. It's fine to use polishing compound on it. But, you probably won't ever get a really nice finish out of the current paint. Metallics just don't usually polish up as good as regular old gloss finishes. So, basically just polish the hell out of it with polishing compound, then a scratch remover, then polish, then wax. I did that on my '79 and it made a difference. I used a damp kitchen sponge to apply the polishing compound, and terrycloth and microfiber for the rest of the job. Or, if that seems like a lot of work (it is) then just take it to a detailer and have them work magic on it. Maybe it could be wet-sanded if there's still enough good paint on it. That would take more dead stuff off than just polishing.

If you have any questions, ask away :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Man, you rock! You just saved me another 5 days of Googling. I can wetsand lacquer then?

I don't mind the elbow grease and time. I have a sick affinity for detailing...it's relaxing.

Any compound, polish will be fine? Also, any sense in using a clay bar at any point?

I did a small compound test in a hidden spot and the color underneath that oxidation is amazing. It'll never reflect, but the metallics will sparkle again.

Thanks for your help!
Ryan
 

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1988 SDV; 1997 SDV D'Elegance
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For starters I would wash/clay/wash to see just what you have ahead of you, compounding-wise. depending on the result (let's say, it is a matte finish when it's been cleaned and dried), then I would begin with a MEDIUM grade compound in an inconspicous spot to see what's what.

If that seems to bring the paint back to life, then after doing the car with it, move on to a fine compound and then a finer one, etc. Think of it like fine, detail-grade sandpaper grits: begin with 1,200, then 1,500, then 1,800, then 2,000, then on up to 9,000 grit and make sure you don't SKIP any of the grits!

When you're done, that paint should be about as good as it gets. Follow with an excellent sealer, then poly-finish and you're good to go!!!
 
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