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Old 12-29-2011, 08:23 AM   #1
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Best Swirl Removing Process?

All,

I have a black car that has a heavy amount of swirls/spider web scratches in its paint. I have been usings the Maguires Deep Crystal 3-Step system to try and get these swirls out (4 coats of Step 1 (cleaner), 2 coats of Step 2 (polish), and 2 coats of Step 3 (carnauba wax)).

Although there are visible improvements from this extensive process, the results are definitely not worth the work. There is still a decent amount of swirl marks in the paint.

I want/am willing to put in the hours to get these swirls out, but I am looking for a better process to use for my next time around.

My question is: What do you think are the best products that I can combine to get rid of the swirl marks and protect my car's paint.

Also, I do not want to machine buff my car, so I am looking for a product/process that I can use by hand.

Money is not too big of an object but I am looking for something reasonable. No pictures of the car yet.

Thanks a ton!

Luigi
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:31 AM   #2
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Re: Best Swirl Removing Process?

Welcome to the forums Luigi. I do have to ask, are you doing this by hand or machine?
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:47 AM   #3
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Re: Best Swirl Removing Process?

Quote:
Originally Posted by F1fan5 View Post

All,

I have a black car that has a heavy amount of swirls/spider web scratches in its paint. I have been using the Maguires Deep Crystal 3-Step system to try and get these swirls out (4 coats of Step 1 (cleaner), 2 coats of Step 2 (polish), and 2 coats of Step 3 (carnauba wax)).

Although there are visible improvements from this extensive process, the results are definitely not worth the work. There is still a decent amount of swirl marks in the paint.
The reason you are unable to remove the swirls using the Meguiar's 3-Step System is because the correction product in that system, the Step 1 Paint Cleaner offers very little ability to remove paint.

Here's the deal Luigi,

The way you remove swirls is by removing paint and re-leveling the surface. This means for your first step product you need something with the ability to abrade paint.

The other reason you are having difficulty removing swirls using this system is because modern clear coat paints tend to be hard, or at least harder than traditional single stage paints. You're hand is pretty much useless.

Here are three articles I've written, please take a moment to read all thread as this will help you to understand what you're up against.

Read this one first,

The practical differences between single stage paints and a clear coat paints


Then this one...

Man versus Machine


And here's the pertinent part from this article,

The Free Floating Spindle Assembly - The Story Behind The Story...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Phillips


From Hand to Machine
In the last 15 to 20 years a lot of people have made the switch from working by hand to working by machine because it's faster and more effective, especially on modern day clear coat paints.


Clear Coat Paints Are Scratch-Sensitive
Modern clear coat paints last longer than traditional single stage paints like the lacquers and enamels that were used to paint cars from the time the Model T was introduced till the early 1980's. In the early 1980's car manufactures began switching over to a new paint system called Basecoat/Clearcoat where the color coat or pigmented layer of paint is sprayed onto the car first and then a layer of clear paint is sprayed over the top of the color coat. Besides being a different approach, the resin used to make the paint changed also.


Longer Lasting
The results are paints that resist oxidation, (oxidation was a huge problem with single stage paints), and last much longer over the service life of the vehicle as compared to single stage paints.


Scratch-Sensitive = Easily Scratched = Eyesore
The problem is people confuse last longer with look good longer and these are two very different things. A modern clear coat finish can last a long time but that doesn't mean it will look good over this period of time. You see clear coat paints are scratch-sensitive, that means even though they tend to be harder than traditional single stage lacquers and enamels, they still scratch very easily and the swirls and scratches show up easily to our eyes because the scratches tend to be opaque or whitish in color and because of this, the colored or pigmented layer reveals and even showcases the swirls and scratches to your eyes making the finish on your car an eyesore in the sun.


The practical differences between single stage paints and a clear coat paints

Early 1965 Mustang with single stage paint and a modern Mustang with a basecoat/clear coat finish





Frustration with clearcoat paints
Now let me tie this back to why machine polishing has become so much more popular since clear coat paints were introduced.

As more and more cars being manufactured made their way into the market, as car owners, or in other words, do-it-yourselfers, would try the traditional methods of removing defects out of the paint, that is with traditional rubbing and polishing compounds, they would find that most of these products may remove defects but leave their own defects in the paint at the same time.

Not only that, but because generally speaking, modern clear coats are harder than single stage paints, the energy, time and skill required to actually remove defects out of clear coat paints increased dramatically, and in fact increased to the point that many people attempting to remove defects and restore a shine like their car had when they bought it brand new, left most people feeling frustrated and their cars no better off than when they started and often times worse.


Enter the Porter Cable DA Sander
That's right, I said sander! The Porter Cable Dual Action Sander is the tool that became the Tipping Point that was the driving force behind the average person switching from working by hand to working by machine.


The Porter Cable Dual Action Sander with Wood Dust Collecting Attachment for Sanding Wood




Sanding the old finish off using a Porter Cable Dual Action Sander




The exact same tool only outfitted with a foam polishing pad for machine polishing automotive clear coat paints




The story behind the story...
Here's why the Porter Cable Dual Action Polisher switched people from working by hand to working by machine
1) Safe - Uses a Free Floating Spindle Bearing Assembly for a drive mechanism

2) Faster - Faster and more effective at removing swirls compared to working by hand

Safe - Uses a Free Floating Spindle Bearing Assembly for a drive mechanism
This in my opinion, is the key feature that gave the average person the confidence to work on their car's paint by machine. The biggest fear people have about using a machine to polish their car's paint is the fear of burning though the paint or instilling swirls.

The Porter Cable Dual Action Sander overcomes these problems by using what we now refer to as a Free Floating Spindle Bearing Assembly. This is a unique drive mechanism that will rotate and oscillate a buffing pad at the same time enabling the user to remove swirls, water spots and scratches while at the same time if too much pressure is applied to the buffing pad or if it's held on edge or on top of a body line the pad will simply stop rotating thus prevent the pad from harming the paint.

Faster and more effective at removing swirls compared to working by hand
Besides being safe, it goes without saying that the speed and effectiveness were and still are very important reasons that people accustomed to working by hand switch over to working by machine. Typically, as a person uses the Internet to do research on how to remove swirls out of there car's clear coat finish they discover these things called discussion forums and after a little targeted reading they learn about the Porter Cable Dual Action polisher, commonly referred to as the DA Polisher.

To see how safe these tools really are, check out this video where I place extreme pressure to the back of my hand using a Porter Cable Dual Action Polisher

Pushing down as hard as I can




That's the story behind the story as to why Dual Action Polishers like the Porter Cable 7424XP, the Meguiar's G110v2 and the Griot's Garage ROP have become so popular.


Yesterday's Trend... Today's Norm...
Today, DA Polishers are the most popular tool among do-it-yourselfers crossing over from working by hand to working by machine. Many Professional Detailers also use the DA Polisher for their follow-up polishing steps after using a rotary buffer to do the major correction work. These tools are the easiest tools to learn how to use and so safe that even my son Rand is able to operate one safely on Nate Truman's 1966 Batmobile Recreation.

Photo courtesy of LacViet Photography



So if you're still working by hand... check out the dual action polisher and see if you're ready to move up to machine polishing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by F1fan5 View Post

I want/am willing to put in the hours to get these swirls out, but I am looking for a better process to use for my next time around.

My question is: What do you think are the best products that I can combine to get rid of the swirl marks and protect my car's paint.

Also, I do not want to machine buff my car, so I am looking for a product/process that I can use by hand.

Money is not too big of an object but I am looking for something reasonable. No pictures of the car yet.

Thanks a ton!

Luigi
As to the rest of your questions...

To work by hand and actually remove swirls by removing paint, the best option on the market at this time is the Meguiar's Ultimate Compound.

Follow this with either ScratchX or Ultimate Polish as a less aggressive polish to remove any hazing left by hand applying the Ultimate Compound. Note there might not be any hazing after hand applying the Ultimate Compound it is a very good product as it uses some very cutting edge abrasive technology BUT when you "hand-apply" product you have un-even pressure points caused by your fingers and grip of whatever you apply the product with.


It would be faster, more effective, easier and actually safer to learn how to machine polish. The ONLY time I work by hand is when I HAVE to work by hand because I cannot get a machine into the area I want to polish.

I've been teaching people how to polish by hand and by machine all my life now and here's something I type from time to time and it's 100% accurate.

It takes more skill to work by hand than it does to work by machine"


Seriously... in order to remove paint by hand and create a swirl free finish takes real skill. Anyone can turn on a polisher like the PC, Meguiar's G110v2 or Griot's Garage DA Polisher and get professional looking results with no skill at all.

Get a copy of my book, it covers everything you want to do...

Paperback



If you decide to get a DA polisher get a copy of this too...

Mike Phillips' Principles of Machine Polishing




Hope this helps...

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Old 12-29-2011, 08:54 AM   #4
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Re: Best Swirl Removing Process?

Just to point out... Ultimate Compound is not the only product you can use by hand to remove swirls and scratches and leave a nice looking finish behind, but it is tricky.

It all comes down to the,

Abrasive Technology


Some products work and some products don't. Just to clarify, it's easy to make an abrasive product that will abrade the paint and remove scratches. The problem is most abrasive technology remove the original scratches but leave behind their own scratches.

That's one step forward and one step backwards... you always want to be moving forwards in the paint polishing process, never backwards.

Here's an example of another product that has great abrasive technology as I used it to remove, not fill in but remove, #2000 grit sanding marks BY HAND.


Removing Scratches By Hand


I induced straightline scratches by hand, then ran a tape line across the paint, then worked the scratches out by hand using Wolfgang Total Swirl Remover, (4 well worked applications), followed by Wolfgang Finishing Glaze, (2 gentle applications), then striped with 17% IPA








I try to do all my work by machine but there are some places a buffing pad on a machine can't get to or it's risky.



The below is from this article,

The Wolfgang Twins



The Wolfgang Twins
Wolfgang Total Swirl Remover 3.0 16 oz
Wolfgang Finishing Glaze 3.0 16 oz






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Old 12-29-2011, 09:30 AM   #5
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Re: Best Swirl Removing Process?

Quote:
Originally Posted by F1fan5 View Post

My question is: What do you think are the best products that I can combine to get rid of the swirl marks and protect my car's paint.

Also, I do not want to machine buff my car, so I am looking for a product/process that I can use by hand.

Money is not too big of an object but I am looking for something reasonable. No pictures of the car yet.

Thanks a ton!

Luigi
Luigi,

I appreciate your love and concern for your paint's finish.

Check into the Cyclo polisher, it mimics natural hand motion while effectively leveling, correcting and clarifying the surface of your paint's finish.

Also Mike(as usual) is spot on regarding product. I find that Wolfgang TSR is a safe, effective, easy to use product for step one of swirl removal.

Here is a link to my Youtube Channel which contains a few vehicles that received the full treatment. IPLEETHEFIFTH's Channel - YouTube

Good Luck!
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:53 PM   #6
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Re: Best Swirl Removing Process?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike.Phillips@Autogeek View Post
Just to point out... Ultimate Compound is not the only product you can use by hand to remove swirls and scratches and leave a nice looking finish behind, but it is tricky.

This is all great info everyone, thanks for the input!

Mike, my car is 21 years old and I am worried about going through the clearcoat to the paint with an abrasive product or too much of an abrasive product. Does anyone think that this should be a concern with my paint?

Also, what do you guys suggest for a protectant or wax after the scratches are gone?

Thanks,
Luigi
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