You can spend a lot of money on auto paint detailing. It is an investment in the life of your vehicle. One answer to this dilemma is doing your own auto paint detailing. It requires purchasing some supplies and takes a little while to learn, but you should be able to get great results and save a lot of money.
There’s no substitute for a good washing. Wheels and tires should be the first thing you do (and you can use a degreaser type soap or a mix specifically designed for this purpose). Don’t mix soapy water with clean. Use a bucket for each and keep them apart. Be sure to rinse all the soap off your vehicle and get it completely dried before you continue. You will want to wash the car both as your first step in the process and after using the clay bar.
One trick that the professionals use is the clay bar. It’s something that’s fairly easy to do and will give great results. Clay bars are made of a type of resin. They are designed to remove any residue still on the vehicle after washing.
Once your car is dry, you need to do a visual inspection. Proper analysis and evaluation on the condition of your finish will allow you to get the best detail. You will want to decide if the finish is in bad condition overall, has some trouble spots or is basically perfect.
When you buy a polisher you need to decide which type is best for you. There are circular polishers and dual action ones. In general, the circular polisher will do a better job. However, the learning curve is a lot steeper and if used incorrectly a circular polisher can damage your finish. If you have a beater to practice on, or have experience with a circular polisher, that’s probably the best choice. If not, you will want to go with a dual action model.
Always polish in the shade. Direct sunlight and heat causes buffing compounds to dry out quickly. If your vehicle’s finish is problem free you can just use the polisher to apply a finish coat. If there are problem areas you will want to treat them with a buffing compound. If the whole car needs work, only do small areas at a time. If the buffing compound goes dry is used up, stop and apply more. While polishers are great for taking out minor scratches and swirls, any scratch deep enough to catch a fingernail in it will need repair. Attempting to buff a scratch that deep out can result in further damage to the finish.
You will want to apply paint protection. You can use car wax or some other paint sealant. Some people prefer to do both. Whatever you choose, don’t skip this step.
Protecting the finish on your vehicle is a good way to protect the value of your car or truck. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a professional detailing. If you get the right supplies and practice, you can get professional results yourself.