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      04-16-2007, 08:26 AM   #1
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Arrow Ask a Professional Detailer...

As a new E90POST member and sponsor, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Greg Pautler, owner of Detailed Image. We specialize in high end automotive detailing. Our goal is to help other members raise their standards in automotive car care, while maximizing their detailing objectives.

We started a thread, "Ask a Professional Detailer" on some other forums with great success and wanted to start a thread on E90POST to ask me any questions you might have on auto detailing. On e46fanatics, our Ask a Pro Detailer thread is still one of the top threads in their detailing section since July '05, with over 1400 posts and 60k thread views. We'd like to build up a great reference tool here on E90POST, specifically for newer model BMW's.

I know this is a great forum already, I see some familiar faces on here, and a wealth of information from Picus and other members. I hope to help contribute to the forum and answer as many questions as I can in a detailed and timely manner. I would also like to extend a 10% discount to all members on any purchase from Detailed Image. To do so, just enter in e90post during checkout to receive your discount.

I look forward to taking part in some great conversation.

Greg

Last edited by Detailed Image; 03-22-2012 at 09:59 AM.
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      04-16-2007, 08:58 AM   #2
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I have a Jet Black e92. The pro's on the boards have said these particular
models have a soft paint. I've done the whole Zaino route and not all that thrilled with it. I have PC'ed the car with Blackfire SRC (I was told its Menzerna polish in 16oz version) with good results. I wiped it down with ISO
and then Zaino again. I think I would like to use a Glaze and sealer, wax combo to hide the marring I could not remove. What would you recommend?

Last edited by turbojet3; 04-16-2007 at 08:59 AM. Reason: gmr
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      04-16-2007, 09:25 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbojet3 View Post
I have a Jet Black e92. The pro's on the boards have said these particular
models have a soft paint. I've done the whole Zaino route and not all that thrilled with it. I have PC'ed the car with Blackfire SRC (I was told its Menzerna polish in 16oz version) with good results. I wiped it down with ISO
and then Zaino again. I think I would like to use a Glaze and sealer, wax combo to hide the marring I could not remove. What would you recommend?
Great question. May I ask which pad combination you were using with the Blackfire SRC? To my understanding this product is nearly identical to PO106ff but in the 16oz size as you said. Also what was your technique with the buffer? (speed setting, amount of pressure, how many passes, etc.)

As far as a glaze, if you liked the performance of the SRC you might want to stick with the Blackfire / Menzerna line of products. I have had great luck with Menzerna Finishing Touch Glaze for aiding in hiding imperfections with its kaolin clay and oil based fillers. Menzerna Full Molecular Jacket as a sealant was designed to work over their FTG which makes a great glaze and sealant combination.

Sometimes certain products do not like to bond well together, for instance, I also carry ClearKote Red Moose Glaze, but typically do not recommend it under a sealant due to potential durability issues. It has its place under a wax, but you would be using this combination purely on a aesthetics standpoint, not durability.

As far as a wax over a jet black BMW, I have a couple of favorites. Best bang for the buck wax I have found that yields a very wet looking surface that has great depth and gloss to it is Poorboy's World Natty's Blue Paste Wax. If I was prepping a vehicle for a concours event or car show my goto wax is Pinnacle Souveran. It yields tremendous depth and gloss and really captures a warm glow and a very wet look, however the downsides are its price and durability. On average natural carnauba waxes last between 2 - 8 weeks. Souveran is definitely on the lower side of that range, where Natty's Blue is between 4 - 8 weeks on average.

There certainly are other possible products to choose from, however based on your Zaino experience and seeing how you liked the Blackfire SRC, I think you'd have good luck with that particular product combination.

Keep us posted, and don't forget to answer those questions above, maybe we can nail down a way to remove the marring from your paint.

George

Last edited by Detailed Image; 04-16-2007 at 11:13 AM.
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      04-16-2007, 09:30 AM   #4
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George - welcome! This is bound to be a very popular and useful thread, and I'm glad to see a detailer/vendor aboard!

Coincidentally, I was just doing some browsing on the Zaino site and thinking about buying some products. I fall into the 'keeps his car in really nice condition", but not to the level of show car, etc. I have for years used Mequire's products with satisfactory results for the most part, but I would also love to take it a step further. I've been researching the use of clay (even bought a bar that I have yet to use). I just took delivery of my third BMW, a '07 328xi in Alpine White. I'd like to give her a good start.

Would you recommend using clay on a brand new car? I think BMW does a good job of subjecting cars to minimum elemental damage during the shipping process, but I'm sure contaminents find their way on.

Any advice on using Zaino vs. off-the-shelf products?

Thanks!
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      04-16-2007, 10:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LEDZEP View Post

Any advice on using Zaino vs. off-the-shelf products?

Thanks!
Yes I would like to hear more on this...
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      04-16-2007, 10:10 AM   #6
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George - welcome! This is bound to be a very popular and useful thread, and I'm glad to see a detailer/vendor aboard!

Coincidentally, I was just doing some browsing on the Zaino site and thinking about buying some products. I fall into the 'keeps his car in really nice condition", but not to the level of show car, etc. I have for years used Mequire's products with satisfactory results for the most part, but I would also love to take it a step further. I've been researching the use of clay (even bought a bar that I have yet to use). I just took delivery of my third BMW, a '07 328xi in Alpine White. I'd like to give her a good start.

Would you recommend using clay on a brand new car? I think BMW does a good job of subjecting cars to minimum elemental damage during the shipping process, but I'm sure contaminents find their way on.

Any advice on using Zaino vs. off-the-shelf products?

Thanks!
Great questions and thank you for the positive feedback.

I am a big fan of claying a new vehicle, I recently responded to the poll posted on claying a new vehicle so I'll copy over my response.

Quote:
Using a clay bar on a new vehicle is very important to remove stubborn contamination that may have occurred during transit of your new vehicle. Quite often we see new vehicles with lots of tiny specs of rail dust that will not typically come off with a normal wash and dry. Prepping your new vehicle will help remove these pieces of rail dust and other contamination as well as help reveal your true clear coat underneath.

Lets be honest, dealerships do not care about your car the same way you do. They are trying to get you in and out of the door as fast as possible and have every trick in the book to help hide imperfections so you do not notice them until a later date. They often use products that are heavy in fillers and can hide and conceal things such as swirl marks, water spots, bird dropping etchings, etc. By using a clay bar on your paint you will help reveal the true condition of your clear coat and then decide if it needs more attention to remove imperfections.

I always recommend stripping down what the dealer put on and starting with a fresh coat for a couple of reasons. First you do not know what type of product was used, how long ago it was applied and how long it should last. If they used a natural carnauba wax, chances are it won't last longer than 2 - 8 weeks. You also wouldn't want to apply a sealant over the wax because the sealant is not going to bond correctly to the wax and the durability will only be as long as the coat underneath. By starting fresh, either by washing with Dawn, using a clay bar, or polishing, you can be sure you are adding a fresh coat of sealant or wax, which in most cases will be much higher quality form of protection than what the dealership put on.
To really maximize your results with detailing, knowing about the proper process and techniques will take you further than the products you are using. Once you understand what each step of the process is trying to achieve and how to do it correctly, you can properly decide on which products will best fit your needs, budget and most importantly, meet your detailing objectives.

In my eyes, there are roughly 12 processes that your exterior can undergo.

Washing & Drying - This is an important step to master because this is the foundation of any detail. This is also the process in which most imperfections are added to your paint, so take the time to research the proper washing and drying techniques.

Waterless Washing - This is a great step to learn if you do not have access to a hose on a regular basis. It works great for people who reside in apartment complexes and mobile detailers.

Using a Clay Bar - This step will help further remove surface contamination that was left behind during the wash stage of the detail. It properly preps the surface for the next steps.

Compounding - This step is used to correct paint with severe defects. Only use this step as a last resort after other, less aggressive methods have been tried and failed. You will almost always leave a haze or marring behind with this step which will need to be corrected by polishing or finishing the paint. You are removing part of the clear coat during this step.

Polishing - This step will take care of most imperfections, like light swirls, water marks, light surface scratches, etc. You are removing a minimal amount of clear coat during this step.

Finishing Polishes - This step will remove any hazing left behind from a more aggressive polish or a rotary buffer. This is when you diminish swirls and other imperfections to a minimum and the gloss and depth really jumps out. You will typically remove a tiny bit of the clear coat during this step.

All In One Products - This step is used to save time by combining some cleaning or polishing characteristics along with some form of protection. While the results are not quite as good as doing the steps separately, these products save time for people looking for great results in less time.

Glazes - Glazes typically have oils and clay in their formula in order to help fill in and hide imperfections. This is only a temporary solution as the fillers will wash out over time.

Sealants - This step adds a barrier of protection that typically lasts 3 - 6 months. A majority of sealants are easy to apply and remove, while giving off a reflective, mirror like look. These products are usually created in a lab.

Waxes - This step will add protection that typically lasts 2 - 8 weeks. A benefit of waxing is you add depth and dimension that sealants are unable to achieve. This is commonly used at car shows to really give off the wet look.

Spray on Protectants - This step usually enhances either a sealant or wax and is often used after a wash and dry during a maintenance step.

Quick Detailers - These products often have light cleaners in them and are great for removing a light dusting after performing a full detail.

Getting to know each step of the detailing process will really help you grow and learn when and why you are performing a detail on your vehicle. This is especially important if you plan on detailing for other people. It will save you a lot of time and you will best meet the customers needs by understanding what happens during each step of the process.

After you really understand what is going on, the products used are just the finishing touches. Once you start looking at the higher quality brands of detailing products, when used correctly, they will yield great results. Some products look better on certain colors, some will be more durable, some interior will give off more gloss or more of a matte look, etc. We all come to have our favorites and go to products over time.

Golden Rule - Prep work is the key to any quality detail. This means removing as much contamination as possible and removing as many imperfections in the clear coat as possible (while doing it safely of course). Prep work occurs during washing and drying, using a clay bar, polishing and glazing.

As far as Zaino vs OTC products is concerned. I think the biggest thing you would notice is longer durability of the protection offered. Zaino is always noted for its durability and recently have made some of their products easier to apply and use. If you vehicle is heavily swirled, Zaino may not be the best option to take, as they only have an option or two that actually remove imperfections. Other steps, such as Z5 fill in and hide imperfections.

I hope this gives you some insight on caring for your new vehicle and what options are available to you when it comes to choosing what processes your vehicle can undergo.

If you have any questions on anything presented, please do not hesitate to ask.

George

Last edited by Detailed Image; 04-16-2007 at 11:14 AM.
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      04-16-2007, 10:28 AM   #7
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Hey George, good to see you here. It's about time this board got a detailing vendor sponsor.

Guys, fwiw, I buy ~75% of my stuff from Detailed Image and have always had a good experience. Plus George and Greg are nice guys. He's got a similar thread to this at e46fanatics and it's like a billion pages long, gotta respect that he takes the time to reply so thoroughly to each one. I'd go nuts.
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      04-16-2007, 10:52 AM   #8
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Hey George, good to see you here. It's about time this board got a detailing vendor sponsor.

Guys, fwiw, I buy ~75% of my stuff from Detailed Image and have always had a good experience. Plus George and Greg are nice guys. He's got a similar thread to this at e46fanatics and it's like a billion pages long, gotta respect that he takes the time to reply so thoroughly to each one. I'd go nuts.
Thanks for the welcome Kevin. I see you have already filled the forum with some informative posts and started things off on the right foot. Your new car prep thread is priceless and encourage all members to look it over if you haven't already.

If you haven't guessed already, Kevin is one of the top detailers in the industry. I know I've learned some tips and tricks along the way from him!

George

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      04-16-2007, 10:53 AM   #9
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I ended up using a Orange pad. Maybe 10lbs of pressure speed 4 on the porter cable.I followed with a pass with a white pad speed 6. I overlapped passes in each direction. I have some marks on the rear deck lid around the license plate where I can't get the machine. I have read good things about
the Moose glaze and poor boys. I figure I like to try that.
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      04-16-2007, 11:09 AM   #10
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Thanks George! And yes, Picus has been our guru and has offered some GREAT advice.
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      04-16-2007, 11:09 AM   #11
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I ended up using a Orange pad. Maybe 10lbs of pressure speed 4 on the porter cable.I followed with a pass with a white pad speed 6. I overlapped passes in each direction. I have some marks on the rear deck lid around the license plate where I can't get the machine. I have read good things about
the Moose glaze and poor boys. I figure I like to try that.
I think you'd have good results with those products as well.

Back to the polishing... you may want to consider finishing with a black pad (I'm assuming you're referring to the Lake Country Pads when you are referencing the colors). The finer and softer the pad you finish with, the better the chance you will rid micro-marring.

This is the way I operate the PC when correcting imperfections:

I'll apply a thin ring of product around the outside of the pad. Smear the product around in the working area (start small until you feel comfortable with the results you are getting), so say 1' x 1' or 18" x 18" areas. Spread the product using speed setting 3 or so to evenly distribute the product over the working area. Then I'll kick the buffer up to speed setting 5 and begin in one corner (say the top left) and work left to right using some pressure (5 - 10lbs on top of the weight of the buffer, if it bogs down its too much pressure). I move the buffer at no faster than 2" per second. As you reach the end of the boxed in area, work the buffer down about 3 inches so and proceed to perform the same pattern now working right to left. You should be overlapping your last pass by at least 50%. Continue the same pattern until the entire box has been worked left to right, then proceed to do the same technique now going top to bottom. This gives you 4 passes with the buffer over each area working at a slow and steady pace with some medium pressure. I'll give a final set of passes with just the weight of the buffer moving at the same slow speed. Once completed turn off the buffer, and remove with a clean microfiber towel.

This is the technique I use when working in a polish designed for paint correction. For sealants I usually just look for even coverage and do not make as many passes with the buffer as I mentioned above.

Hope this helps, let me know if there is anything else I can give you a hand with.

George
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      04-16-2007, 01:01 PM   #12
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What would you recommend as the best drying product and buffing towels? Also, what would you recommend as the best drying technique?
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      04-16-2007, 01:07 PM   #13
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Hey,

What is your opinion on detailing a grey car? The color is space grey. I was looking into buying all the products I need since I have nothing right now. I will keep really good care of the car and wash it myself. I have no experience with good products, but am looking to either get the zaino kit, a souns kit with Klasse AIO and P21S, or am going to get a large kit from Griots Garage. I would love to hear your opinion on these products, or any others you would recommend! Thanks
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      04-16-2007, 01:59 PM   #14
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I've bought from Detailed Image before after getting advice from them on e46fanatics and was very happy with the recommended products, they're what got me so into detailing my car and now I strive to have a flawless car.

Anyway, Greg, I was wondering if you guys plan on carrying any other brands of products anytime soon, particularly the Optimum line?
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      04-16-2007, 02:01 PM   #15
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Question about pads... namely Edge 2000 6" pads

They are double sided with a quick attachment Drive Adapter....

Autogeek is saying one thing to me... Detail City is saying another... but basiclly it boils down to this...

What is the order of abrasiveness of the pads?
Autogeek says Yellow --> Green --> Orange --> Blue --> White
Detail City says Orange --> Yellow --> Green --> Blue --> White
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      04-16-2007, 02:27 PM   #16
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For those of us who don't live anywhere near yourself or picus (kevin), any tips on finding a good detailer in our area? Any specific questions we need to be asking potential detailer? Is there any sort of industry site or standard that lists 'certified' (for lack of a better term) detailer?

I've read a few posts here of rather unfortunate encounters with so called 'detailers', that have done more damage than good to some cars here. How do we avoid these types?

My car (black sapphire metallic) has unfortunately been the victim of the bmw dealer carwash (wasn't told they were going to do it), and then their 'detailer' in an attempt to fix the holograms done by the wash. Needless to say they didn't really fix it, just waxed over it. I've been looking for a detailer ever since, but am really unsure what to look for in a shop.

Thanks!
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      04-16-2007, 02:34 PM   #17
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Hello George and welcome to the forum.
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      04-16-2007, 02:37 PM   #18
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George, welcome to the forum. I look forward to discussing some detailing techniques for my Jet Black 330i. From what others have said, it's hard to keep this color fresh and clean
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      04-16-2007, 02:51 PM   #19
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Hey George, any suggestions on my bird crap from hell stain?

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54084

cool store. looks like i'll be buying some clay bars later
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      04-16-2007, 02:55 PM   #20
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Hey George, any suggestions on my bird crap from hell stain?

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54084

cool store. looks like i'll be buying some clay bars later
Have you tried a chemical cleaner, like Klasse AIO on that?
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      04-16-2007, 03:05 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Have you tried a chemical cleaner, like Klasse AIO on that?
not yet. was looking at my cheaper options which was a waste of time since nothing worked . I guess i'll have to give it a try. First buy from Detailed Image will be coming soon from me!
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      04-16-2007, 04:22 PM   #22
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What would you recommend as the best drying product and buffing towels? Also, what would you recommend as the best drying technique?
Great question. We really stress the importance of investing in the proper washing and drying tools and techniques. This is how we recommend drying vehicles:

After you have rinsed off your vehicle for the final time, remove your spray nozzle. Flood the surface of the vehicle from the top down. The flooding creates a sheeting effect that will self dry the vehicle. What I do is start from the top of the vehicle and move left to right with the hose. On the way back, right to left, lower the hose to the point where the water is falling and proceed to "catch" the falling water from your initial pass. Continue this method until you reach the bottom of the car. Like I said, you'll notice a vast majority of the water off the paint before you even begin to use your drying towel.

My product of choice for drying towels is Microfiber Waffle Weave Towels. This combination of sheeting the water and the microfiber waffle weave drying towels is the safest combination I have found for quickly and effectively drying your vehicle, while minimizing adding additional imperfections into the paint. Seventy percent or more of imperfections typically occur by using improper washing and drying products and techniques.

Chamois, like the popular Absorber, tend to have a fairly flat surface, which if there is still contamination on the surface, you risk adding swirls to the paint. Similar reason why a sponge is one of the worst things you wash your vehicle with. You want something with texture and a thicker pile so that contamination is not just being pushed around the surface, but can be absorbed into and pulled away from the surface. This is why professionals will recommend a sheepskin wash mitt or an Edge ShMITT.

As far as towels to remove product, I have had some great feedback on our General Purpose Microfiber Towels. The resident pro detailer, picus, recently commented on our towels here in this thread on Detail University. They seem to have the perfect nap for removing polishes and are very durable. Many people who have tried them say they enjoy these more than the higher priced specialty towels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TML BMW View Post
Hey,

What is your opinion on detailing a grey car? The color is space grey. I was looking into buying all the products I need since I have nothing right now. I will keep really good care of the car and wash it myself. I have no experience with good products, but am looking to either get the zaino kit, a souns kit with Klasse AIO and P21S, or am going to get a large kit from Griots Garage. I would love to hear your opinion on these products, or any others you would recommend! Thanks
I think you'll have good results with any of the products you have mentioned assuming you take the time to properly prep the vehicle. We carry some of the mentioned products like Klasse and P21s as well as Menzerna, Poorboy's World, Clear Kote, Pinnacle Souveran, Lake Country, Porter Cable, Clay Magic and a couple of other brands for exterior care. I'd be happy to put together a complete package that fits your detailing needs. Let me know what your goals and objectives are, time commitment and how often you plan on maintaining your vehicle and I will give you my best recommendation.

Hope to hear from you soon. Feel free to PM me or post for others to view.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 328i View Post
I've bought from Detailed Image before after getting advice from them on e46fanatics and was very happy with the recommended products, they're what got me so into detailing my car and now I strive to have a flawless car.

Anyway, Greg, I was wondering if you guys plan on carrying any other brands of products anytime soon, particularly the Optimum line?
Thank you for the positive feedback 328i. It's great hearing from our previous customers. We have talked about carrying the Optimum line but I cannot give you an estimated date on that. I am excited to read about the new Opti-Seal.

We greatly appreciate your support of Detailed Image.

George
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