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  #1  
Old 04-25-2016, 12:24 AM
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Black Crystal Pearl paint care advice needed

I've noticed some very minor spider web style scratches in several areas on my nine month old black Altitude. You can only see them in direct sunlight and they probable would not be noticeable in a photo. I'm wondering if they may be due to my washing the vehicle by hand even though I am very careful. I wash with Meguires Gold and a soft mitt and dry with microfibre towels which get machine washed between every car wash.

Is some of this superficial scratching inevitable due to the nature of clear coat paint or can it be avoided with extra coats of wax? I just waxed the vehicle for the first time recently with Meguires Black Wax.

Any advice from exterior detailing experts would be appreciated.

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Old 04-25-2016, 12:39 AM
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Re: Black Crystal Pearl paint care advice needed

A good detailer can be a miracle worker. Some of the paint correction work I've seen is truly incredible. After the paint is corrected protecting it is key and there are a number of 'hard' coatings that'll protect your paint from anywhere from 6 months to 5 years depending on care. My detailer in New York really amazes me - here is an example of his work.
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Old 04-29-2016, 07:57 AM
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Re: Black Crystal Pearl paint care advice needed

Well, you got two issues. 1. How to get rid of the swirls, and 2. How to wash and minimize swirls/scratches.

I use a two mitt and two bucket system. One bucket to rinse the mitts, and one with the wash soap. I have two mitts, one with those large microfiber worms and one with more of a microfiber fabric. I use the worm mitt first, and then the microfiber (one in each hand). Rinse in the rinse bucket, and then back in the soap.

Dry the car with a leaf blower (gas or electric). Don't use a towel except to pick up the dribbles after the leaf blower.

Now to get rid of the swirls. You'll need a random orbital buffer, some pads, and some elbow grease.

Sample Bill of Materials

Porter Cable random orbital polisher (or equivalent).
Dual-Action Hook & Loop Flexible Backing Plate 5"
White Lake Country 5 1/2 Inch Flat Foam Pad
Orange Lake Country 5 1/2 Inch Flat Foam Pad

Meguiar's Ultimate Compound
Meguiar's M205 Mirror Glaze Ultra Finishing Polish
Menzerna Power Lock
Detail Mist
Clay bar

First clay bar the entire car with detail mist as a lubricant.
Then use the ultimate compound
Then hit with the finish compund
Then seal with Menzerna Power Lock.

After you clay, tape off your car before hand to prevent any products touching plastic. Blue painters tape is probably OK. There's also a technique to using the random orbital polisher you should research before use. I got most of my info from videos on Autogeekonline. The Meguiars ultimate compound is a nice, user-friendly compound (it breaks down into finer grit as you work it). And even though your car is fairly new, you should at least check the surface with your hand inside a plastic sandwich baggie to feel for contaminants before skipping this step. If you feel them, then use the clay bar.

When you're all done, sit back and admire your handywork

I'm not a professional detailer, or an expert by any means. Just a long-term owner of a black jeep. Swirls are inevitable, but if you keep up on it, wash with a swirl-minimizing method.... they can be tolerable.

Hope this helps and gives some ideas!!!
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Old 05-02-2016, 02:36 PM
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Re: Black Crystal Pearl paint care advice needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by brent View Post
Well, you got two issues. 1. How to get rid of the swirls, and 2. How to wash and minimize swirls/scratches.

I use a two mitt and two bucket system. One bucket to rinse the mitts, and one with the wash soap. I have two mitts, one with those large microfiber worms and one with more of a microfiber fabric. I use the worm mitt first, and then the microfiber (one in each hand). Rinse in the rinse bucket, and then back in the soap.

Dry the car with a leaf blower (gas or electric). Don't use a towel except to pick up the dribbles after the leaf blower.

Now to get rid of the swirls. You'll need a random orbital buffer, some pads, and some elbow grease.

Sample Bill of Materials

Porter Cable random orbital polisher (or equivalent).
Dual-Action Hook & Loop Flexible Backing Plate 5"
White Lake Country 5 1/2 Inch Flat Foam Pad
Orange Lake Country 5 1/2 Inch Flat Foam Pad

Meguiar's Ultimate Compound
Meguiar's M205 Mirror Glaze Ultra Finishing Polish
Menzerna Power Lock
Detail Mist
Clay bar

First clay bar the entire car with detail mist as a lubricant.
Then use the ultimate compound
Then hit with the finish compund
Then seal with Menzerna Power Lock.

After you clay, tape off your car before hand to prevent any products touching plastic. Blue painters tape is probably OK. There's also a technique to using the random orbital polisher you should research before use. I got most of my info from videos on Autogeekonline. The Meguiars ultimate compound is a nice, user-friendly compound (it breaks down into finer grit as you work it). And even though your car is fairly new, you should at least check the surface with your hand inside a plastic sandwich baggie to feel for contaminants before skipping this step. If you feel them, then use the clay bar.

When you're all done, sit back and admire your handywork

I'm not a professional detailer, or an expert by any means. Just a long-term owner of a black jeep. Swirls are inevitable, but if you keep up on it, wash with a swirl-minimizing method.... they can be tolerable.

Hope this helps and gives some ideas!!!
I really appreciate the advice and the detailed explanation!

What I will start on my very next wash is the two bucket and two mitt approach. It sounds like a great way to minimize dirt getting back in the soap bucket.

I also love the leaf blower idea for drying as I do have a good electric leaf blower. I have been concerned that towel drying was a little risky for scratching.

Do you use any wax on top of the other protection products you listed or is that the detail mist?
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Old 05-06-2016, 08:36 AM
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Re: Black Crystal Pearl paint care advice needed

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Originally Posted by David360 View Post
I really appreciate the advice and the detailed explanation!

What I will start on my very next wash is the two bucket and two mitt approach. It sounds like a great way to minimize dirt getting back in the soap bucket.

I also love the leaf blower idea for drying as I do have a good electric leaf blower. I have been concerned that towel drying was a little risky for scratching.

Do you use any wax on top of the other protection products you listed or is that the detail mist?
Cool! I'm glad it offered some ideas!!!

I don't use a wax, but you can.

I might have jumped around in my thoughts in my response. But the order of application is..

Wash/dry
Clay bar w/ detail mist lube (check surface first with hand in baggie)
Ultimate compound
Finishing polish
Powerlock sealant

You could substitute the sealant for a high quality carnauba wax. It'll shine better than a sealant but you'll have to re-apply it more frequently. It wears off in about a month. It'd be interesting to try a sealant on one side of the hood and a carnauba wax on the other to see the difference. I'm a little more practical in my approach so I offered the sealant as a suggestion. It'll last around 4 months before it needs to be reapplied.

You can also substitute other brands... but to remove those swirls you'll need some grit and then a fine polish. I like the ultimate compound because of it's user-friendliness. I bought a couple of those SnapOn garage LED lights at Costco that I use to light up the area I'm working on. You really want to be able to see what you're doing, and overhead garage lights may not be enough. You can keep a nice powerful flashlight handy too and check your work as you go.

I'd be interested to see how bad your swirls are... you can use your cell camera and an LED flashlight to get the swirls to pop. Can you post a photo here so we can see what you're dealing with???
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Old 05-09-2016, 04:16 PM
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Re: Black Crystal Pearl paint care advice needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by brent View Post
I'd be interested to see how bad your swirls are... you can use your cell camera and an LED flashlight to get the swirls to pop. Can you post a photo here so we can see what you're dealing with???
I'll try to take a picture if they even show up on camera. They are quite minor, more just random spider marks and not really swirls. They are only in a few spots as well and not the whole vehicle.

On that note, I'm not sure I need to do the full treatment at this point although I do appreciate your detailed tutorial. I'm more interested in how to minimize them going forward. That's why I was wondering if good wax or the sealant you use would help protect against those kind of scratches when hand washing.
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Old 05-09-2016, 04:58 PM
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Re: Black Crystal Pearl paint care advice needed

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Originally Posted by David360 View Post
I'll try to take a picture if they even show up on camera. They are quite minor, more just random spider marks and not really swirls. They are only in a few spots as well and not the whole vehicle.

On that note, I'm not sure I need to do the full treatment at this point although I do appreciate your detailed tutorial. I'm more interested in how to minimize them going forward. That's why I was wondering if good wax or the sealant you use would help protect against those kind of scratches when hand washing.
Ah, that's cool. If they're fairly minor, you could probably buff them out by hand. Wait a year or so for the full treatment when it's needed.

I just bought a couple of Griots Garage wash mitts (two pack) and used them this weekend. I'd link you but I'm not sure if it would conflict with forum rules. But you can easily find them. They're the microfiber worm mitts in fluorescent colors. And boy are they chubby! Nice big mitts with lots of those worms to keep the dirt you pick up off your car. Just keep turning them as you wash, and vigorously rinse them frequently.

Dragging material you pick up is going to do the most swirl damage. So use your best judgement on washing (start at the top and go down, wash tires last with a separate mitt). I think I did a lot of damage myself when I'd do a half ass wash, then pick up the dirt I missed when I'd dry it with a terry cloth towel. Those were the old days for me..

Also, when you take your car to the dealer, consider asking them to skip the wash. There's nothing quite like having the dealer install swirls from those automatic car washes.

That's about all the tips I have for you! There's nothing like a clean and shiny black car!
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:05 AM
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Re: Black Crystal Pearl paint care advice needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by brent View Post
I just bought a couple of Griots Garage wash mitts (two pack) and used them this weekend. I'd link you but I'm not sure if it would conflict with forum rules. But you can easily find them. They're the microfiber worm mitts in fluorescent colors. And boy are they chubby! Nice big mitts with lots of those worms to keep the dirt you pick up off your car. Just keep turning them as you wash, and vigorously rinse them frequently.
We don't have a Griots Garage distributor in Canada, but I found some very similar Simoniz mitts locally (see attached pic).

Based on your drying advice, I bought a hand-held cordless blower specifically for the task (see attached pic). It's light weight and easy to handle (5 lbs.) and moves a lot of air at up to 90 mph. I haven't had a chance to use it yet, but will let you know how it works out.
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File Type: jpg AirDryer.jpg (125.2 KB, 7 views)
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:15 AM
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Re: Black Crystal Pearl paint care advice needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by David360 View Post
We don't have a Griots Garage distributor in Canada, but I found some very similar Simoniz mitts locally (see attached pic).

Based on your drying advice, I bought a hand-held cordless blower specifically for the task (see attached pic). It's light weight and easy to handle (5 lbs.) and moves a lot of air at up to 90 mph. I haven't had a chance to use it yet, but will let you know how it works out.
That's cool! Let me know how that cordless blower works for you. I think my neighbors would appreciate me using something like that. I use my gas powered leaf blower and it's loud as hell. I'm sure they don't appreciate that at 8am on a Sunday morning.

When you use your leaf blower, you can also tell how your sealant or wax coat is performing. If the water beads up and is easily moved, it's working well! If it sheets and moves in streaks, it might be time to reapply a sealant/wax coat.
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