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  1. #1
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    Super-sharp reflections - does smooth "corrected" clear coat, or overlaying coating(s) make the difference? (My refl. are hazy.)

    Educate me: does a smooth "corrected" clear coat make all the difference for super-sharp reflections - no matter the over-coating product(s)?

    The story behind this question is that, unlike previous years, reflected images are not sharp-edged, even a bit hazy.
    -
    Car history and particulars - if useful:

    Simple, by hand, twice-yearly process for an older street-parked silver-metallic compact car (MIJ): Full-Wash. Clay. Quick-Wash. Wipe-on wipe-off Klasse All-in-One.

    After the most recent job: car beads water well and shines as usual, but noted that reflected images (trees, power lines) have lost sharpness at their edges (and may be a bit hazy), compared to prior years.

    Only differences were a) the paint is a year older (18), and b) tried an iron-remover (by smell a weaker one) because, last fall, clay-alone did not get every one of the tiny rust-colored spots. (On application there was not much color changes to red, or effect on many of the spots.)

    After the lesser than usual result, tried adding a last step of Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze (a container long-stored, but never before opened). Now the car blindingly reflects sunlight as well, but the reflections are still not razor sharp.

    Perhaps the paint is at an age and condition where it could use a compound and abrasive polish? There has of course been an accumulation of paint defects over time (though not too apparent with this color without close-up inspection). Just not sure of the relative contribution of clear coat vs LSP/overlays (sealant/wax, etc.) to the sharpness of reflected images.

    Thanks.

    PS No immediate plans to buy a cordless DA polisher and accessories, or have the paint corrected professionally. Today, just want to learn.
    PPS I did clean (and detail) my eyeglasses, and even tried a stronger prescription. . .
    -

    Poor photos of reflections (hood and roof) 7PM (cloudy, between showers) - taken after KAIO, but before KHGSG.

    Super-sharp reflections - does smooth "corrected" clear coat, or overlaying coating(s) make the difference? (My refl. are hazy.)-car2wb-jpg

    Super-sharp reflections - does smooth "corrected" clear coat, or overlaying coating(s) make the difference? (My refl. are hazy.)-car1wb-jpg


    Reflection of late day sun 7:30 PM (sun peeked through, after shower) - drivers side.

    Super-sharp reflections - does smooth "corrected" clear coat, or overlaying coating(s) make the difference? (My refl. are hazy.)-car4wb-jpg





  2. #2
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Super-sharp reflections - does smooth "corrected" clear coat, or overlaying coating(s) make the difference? (My refl. are hazy.)

    Note


    Is I type it's Monday morning, 8:30am and I found your "first post" in the Moderation Que. I don't see anything in your post that would flag it so all I can think of is "Ghost in the Machine?

    I've approved it so now it's VISIBLE to the rest of the forum community. (Moderated posts are invisible until approved)



    Since this is your first post,

    Welcome to AutogeekOnline!




    Quote Originally Posted by jg8901 View Post

    Educate me: does a smooth "corrected" clear coat make all the difference for super-sharp reflections - no matter the over-coating product(s)?

    Yes.

    The flatter the paint, the higher the D.O.I. or Distinction of Image

    The more textured the surface, the lower the D.O.I.


    Doing paint correction i.e. some form of abrading the surface, (compounding, polishing or extreme abrading - wetsanding), flattens out the surface and increases D.O.I.


    Also - darker colors are better at reflecting more clear defined images than lighter colors.




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  4. #3
    Super Member 2black1s's Avatar
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    Re: Super-sharp reflections - does smooth "corrected" clear coat, or overlaying coating(s) make the difference? (My refl. are hazy.)

    Like Mike said, the answer is yes. The clearest, sharpest reflections will come from the smoothest painted surface.

    Think of a sanded and well polished custom paint job next to a well polished OEM paint job... There is really no comparison. The custom paint will reflect sharper, clearer images, or exhibit increased DOI (different ways of saying the same thing).

    Your description of hazy, less sharp reflections sounds a little peculiar to me. The only thing I can think of that might cause that is a degradation of the paint film surface... Maybe the very early stages of clear-coat failure. Do you have a 10x magnifier? Inspecting the finish under magnification can provide some insight.

    Typically, paint will become smoother (very slightly) over long periods of time from regular maintenance, i.e., washing, polishing, waxing, etc., thus increasing the DOI. This is opposite of what you are describing. I see no logical explanation of how this could happen except for the degradation noted above.

    With that all said, strange things do occur... When I changed LSPs on my truck from a sealant to a carnauba wax, I noticed a similar effect. Check out Post #6 in the following thread, specifically the last three paragraphs... Meguiar's 26 on a Black Chevy Colorado

    In summary, I think that paint surface degradation is the cause of what you are describing. Compounding (maybe even a very light sanding with 3000G or finer) and polishing could correct it, you just have to try and see what difference it makes... Or... Your LSP choice is creating the illusion as I describe in the referenced/attached thread.

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  6. #4
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    Re: Super-sharp reflections - does smooth "corrected" clear coat, or overlaying coating(s) make the difference? (My refl. are hazy.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    Welcome . . . Yes. The flatter the paint, the higher the D.O.I. or Distinction of Image. The more textured the surface, the lower the D.O.I.
    Understood. Appreciate the welcome and the education.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2black1s View Post
    The clearest, sharpest reflections will come from the smoothest painted surface . . . In summary, I think that paint surface degradation is the cause of what you are describing. Compounding (maybe even a very light sanding with 3000G or finer) and polishing could correct it, you just have to try and see ...
    Thanks for the forensic work. Certainly possible for degradation to have occurred after so many years. Found just a single suggestive comment on the only other variable - the iron-fallout remover - in a review of the product "[black car] almost looked as if it had stripped the clear coat to a dull hazy finish . . . Ended up having to compound those areas . . ." But cannot find any reference to such an effect due to such a common treatment elsewhere. Either way compounding/polish seems to be indicated.

  7. #5
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Super-sharp reflections - does smooth "corrected" clear coat, or overlaying coating(s) make the difference? (My refl. are hazy.)

    Quote Originally Posted by jg8901 View Post

    Simple, by hand, twice-yearly process for an older street-parked silver-metallic compact car


    Quote Originally Posted by jg8901 View Post

    Certainly possible for degradation to have occurred after so many years.

    For what it's worth, the human hand will never achieve the gloss, clarity and thus reflections it is possible to achieve via machine polishing.


    Even the most simplest but effective dual action polisher with a foam polishing pad and a quality one-step cleaner/wax will dramatically improve any results you can achieve by hand plus undo years of aging.


    Watch this video. It covers how to machine polish your car from start to finish using a simple Porter Cable polisher.







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