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      12-02-2011, 03:39 PM   #1466
Detailed Image
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Albany, NY

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Restoring the paint to better than new condition will help highlight the mods you've done instead of detracting from them. We can definitely help you get your paint looking it's best again. First off I highly recommend checking out our detailing guide and our Ask a Pro Blog, both of them have a wealth of knowledge. I'll go ahead and outline a full detail that restores the paint and in between you should wash and protect every 4 months at a minimum, but obviously you can do it more often. I'll do a full detail at least 1 - 2 times per year but again the frequency is really up to you. A full detail to me consists of a wash, dry, clay bar, polish, sealant and/or wax. This process will deep clean the paint and make it really shine again while protecting it for months to come.

Wash/Dry - most swirls come from this process so quality products and techniques are critical. Check out our detailing guide for this step and other steps to maximize your efforts. Here are two awesome kits if interested.
DI Packages Washing and Drying Basic Kit
DI Packages Washing and Drying Starter Package

Clay Bar - This step deep cleans the paint so it's free from stubborn build ups not removed by the washing process. This may seem complicated or different but it's pretty simple and basic. In short spray some clay lube on the paint and glide the bar side to side and picks up micro contaminants in the paint. Here is an excellent value on a clay bar and lube - DI Packages DI Gentle Fine Grade Clay Bar 100g & Clay Lube.

Polish - This is the step where you really restore the paint to like new again. You can permanently remove swirls, oxidation, etc. not just temporarily hide them. I highly recommend you consider getting a Porter Cable (PC) as they are so easy to use, vastly improve your results while saving you time and energy. We have some affordable kits that give you the PC, backing plate, pads and polishes you would need here DI Packages Porter Cable 7424XP, Meguiar's Polishes and Hydro Pads Starter Kit or DI Packages PC 7424XP with M105, M205 and 5.5" pads. Both kits give you the M105 and M205 polishes with the PC that are going to help you really restore the paint to like new. Best of all the PC is easy to use and completely safe even for a first time user. Check out our detailing guide for step by step instructions and other helpful hints.

If you prefer to do a hand application I generally just recommend a one step process with a foam applicator and Meguiar's Ultra Finishing Polish M205.

Protection - After polishing protect and enhance the shine with a sealant or wax. Waxes last about 2 - 6 weeks so we generally recommend a sealant which lasts 3 - 6 months. The Blackfire Wet Diamond with Polycharger is my favorite sealant. It provides a remarkable shine with durable protection while easy to apply. You can apply it by hand or use a blue pad and your buffer. If you really want to you can apply a wax on top of the sealant for added protection and shine. The Poorboy's World Liquid Natty's Blue Wax is a great option for a quality liquid wax that works on all colors. If you want a bit more gloss from a paste wax try the Chemical Guys 50/50 Limited Series Concourse Paste Wax or any of the Dodo Juice waxes. These options are applied by hand only but the exceptional gloss makes it well worth it.

I hand remove all of the excess product with a clean DI Microfiber All Purpose Towel. These towels are paint safe and help quickly remove the left over clay lube, polish, sealant, etc. I'd suggest getting about 5x - 10x of them.

Now step back and admire how awesome your vehicle looks. If you have any other questions please let me know!

Take care!

Greg @ DI