Greetings, fellow AGers!
I had a busy, but productive day today. It's rare that I get two straight days off from work, so I decided to make this last day count. I had done my share of the household chores yesterday, which made my wife VERY happy. And if the wife is happy, life is good, right? ROFL. Now that the condo is clean and sparkling, I decided it's now my car's turn.
Wanted to wash my car, and wanting to beat the summer heat, got up at 0600. Condo rules forbid me from washing and waxing cars on the property, so I did the next best thing. I packed up my whole kit and drove up to the nearest local coin-operated car wash.
A. Two buckets with Grit guards in each.
B. Rinseless wash. In this case the last dregs of Blackfire's Rinseless.
C. Lake Country 'Big Blue' sponge.
D. Tire brush.
E. Fender brush.
F. Two 2 x 4's cut to approximately 24". Trust me, it makes better sense later.
G. Two LC CCS Euro Foam Hand Applicator Pads, White.
H. One LC CCS Euro Foam Hand Applicator Pad, Red.
I. 2-ounce sample bottle of Blackfire Gloss Enhancing Polish.
J. 2-ounce sample bottle of Blackfire Sealant.
K. Various MF's, including Meg's WW and 4 Cobra Gold Jr's.
Car was extremely dusty, and not wishing to add any wash induced swirls and scratches, proceeded with a quick pressure wash and spot free rinse. Drove like a maniac up and down the main road to get the excess water off. Lucky for me there were no cops or speed traps. LOL
After unloading all the stuff I'd need I then started with the rinseless wash. I won't bore you all with the details, but that pressure wash sure worked wonders. It made washing MUCH easier, faster, and more importantly, safer. I got done, without rushing, in about 30-45 minutes. I don't rush anymore. I really don't feel like putting scratches on my car's finish, especially since it's less than two weeks old.
After the car was washed, I then got busy doing the tires. Here's a little tricked I learned from my dad. Starting with the driver's side, I laid down those 2 x 4's mentioned earlier in front of both tires, and slowly and CAREFULLY, drove over them. This allows me to clean and dress the tires without having to constantly move the car. Got the tires, hub caps, rims, fender wells and bottom of rocker panels, dried completely and dressed tires using Optimum Tire Gel.
I was ready to call it quits at that point and go home, but on a whim decided to give both Blackfire's Gloss Enhancing Polish and Sealant a try. I've had them since June of this year and decided now would be a good time to use them. At first I wanted to do just the hood section, but after seeing how easy it was, I decided to do the whole car. BTW, I don't have a DA polisher. Here's where the fun part starts. Luckily I had also brought along my LC hand pads, and put them to good use as well.
Blackfire Gloss Enhancing Polish bottle.
Blackfire Wet Diamond All Finish Paint Protection. Man, what a mouthful!
This is the LC CCS White Hand Pad. See how pretty and white it is? *Chuckle*
First I had to prime the pad, using as little product as possible, to make removal quick and easy. I like quick and easy. Saves me a lot of headaches.
At first I was nervous about botching things up. I had never done anything like this before. I started working very small sections of the hood, but as my confidence grew, I expanded to larger sections. I used medium pressure.
This is the amount of product I used for subsequent sections and panels.
This is the pad after polishing just half the car. Yuckiness! (That's a scientific term, BTW)
I had forgotten the directions of use, so decided to just 'wing-it'. After polishing each section, I immediately wiped off with a clean MF. Removal in some spots was tricky, as some of the polishing oils took some extra buffing. Heck, I even polished the trim and they came out squeeky clean. I just had to remember to remove residue immediately after polishing.
Blackfire's Gloss Enhancing Polish is a thick, rich, white cream, with the consistency of hand lotion. Very little was needed to prime the pad and even less for the rest of the car. The smell was a little on the odd side. It had a very faint scent of Elmer's Glue. *Sigh* Childhood. Times were simpler back then. But I digress.
After polishing the entire car, using both white pads, I next got started with Blackfire's sealant. The full and official name is 'Blackfire Wet Diamond All Finish Paint Protection'. I decided that 'sealant' is good enough. Kinda like the old song from the '80's: "You can call me Ray, or you can call me Jay, but you doesn't have to call me Johnson. My name is Raymond J. Johnson, Jr."
This song ring any bells for ya? LMAO!
My goodness, I keep regressing. Anyways, to continue the review. I next used the LC CCS Euro Foam Red pad for the application of the sealant. This pad was noticeably softer than the white pad, which was extremely stiff at first, but gradually softened with use. For those veteran detailers in the audience, I'm sure you know all about the CCS 'pockets', so I won't insult your intelligence by going into a full blown explanation, suffice it to say they did reduce the amount of product absorption and released just the right amount needed.
The Red Pad.
Remembering all of the threads and postings I've read regarding the proper application of waxes and sealants, I applied the product thin. As a matter of fact, thinner than I've ever done before. Scent was very pleasant. Somewhere between chemical-ly and fruity. The sealant took a lot of shaking, and needed to stay shaken throughout the entire session. It just refused to stay shaken. Product was a light blue color and very thin and watery, so at first it was a challenge to get the right amount of product down. But I got the hang of it. Eventually.
Application was as simple as can be. Wipe-down showed I had applied product a tad bit heavily in some places, so after the first wipe-down, I followed up with a second coating, to ensure even and complete coverage. Wipe-off this time was a breeze! In the coming days, after the sealant has fully cured, I will be applying a second coat. Or maybe even a third. My next AG shipment of OCW should be arriving around that time, and I'm interested to see how this combo works for myself.
After polishing, I could see a definite improvement to the gloss, depth and richness to the finish. As an added benefit, the numerous, but small, scratches and spiderwebs virtually disappeared. I'm not sure if it's a combination of the polish with the white pad, or because of GEP's built-in glaze, but IME almost 90 percent of the imperfections were corrected or at the very least, well hidden. Color me impressed. But wait, there's more!
When the sealant residue was wiped-off....OH-MY-GARD! The metallics really started to stand out. I believe it's called 'Pop'. And the gloss, depth and richness stood out even more. I glanced down at one of the door panels and could use it virtually as a mirror!
After I got home, I decided to take some full-on sun "money shots".
Total time, from washing, to polishing, to waxing took a little over 5-1/2 hours. If I had a DA, could I have done a faster and more consistent job? Definitely! But if a person does not have a DA, can he still do it by hand? Absolutely! I'm not the best, nor am I the brightest person in the world. Heck, there are times when I have trouble tying my own shoe laces! But at least my heart, if not my head, is in the right place.
Like the title says: If I can do this, anybody can!