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  1. #11
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: When to stop buffing - Or - How far should you go to remove swirls and scratches?

    Quote Originally Posted by PEAD19 View Post

    Thanks, I thought you were using a polish that contained the ceramic in it also because you dont use a ceramic coating in your #3 package.
    Sorry, was typing fast, think I mentioned I typed out the article in 25 minutes or less. You can't even find an article like this typed out on a Facebook group.


    When I described Package 3 that was focused on the correction aspect as the context of this article is about chasing after swirls and scratches. After you posted this, I added this to the first sentence in the description of Package 3


    followed by polishing, chemically stripping and then installing a ceramic coating.


    On the topic of using a polish that contains ceramic in it, currently these are more or less known as

    Primers


    The idea being for a product that,

    1. Removes fine defects - in other words is an actual fine cut or ultra fine cut polish.
    2. Somehow uses ingredients that will NOT affect the bonding of a true ceramic coating.
    3. Also LEAVES BEHIND ceramic coating as a part of the application process.




    That's a lot to ask from a single product, kind of like a traditional cleaner/wax or cleaner/sealant or AIO.

    I have tried a number of these that are on the market but have not entirely made the switch yet to use one of these as my last step polishing product before installing a coating. I'm looking forward to the future however as I expect to see the market move this direction.

    AND - this is a good thing because in my experience and opinion, I don't think most people, or at least the average person possess either the skills or enough microfiber towels that are in perfect condition to chemically strip paint. I probably have more factual information written on the process of chemically stripping paint than anyone breathing. It's not addressed in detail that I know of by all the experts and gurus, at least not like I address it.

    Simple point being, panel wipes or any solvent that is able to dissolve polishing oils and other substances is also NOT a great lubricant. Thus the act of chemically stripping paint is the act of marring paint. You might not see it on white or light colors but you can see it on black. And common sense states that if it's happening to black paint it's happening to all paint it's just the human eyeballs cannot easily see marring on light colors. Add to this most do-it-yourselfgers DON'T own great hand held lights so they can't inspect their work properly anyways. Coatings are great but they are also a can of worms and this is why myself and any other self-respecting detailer charges more to "install" them. It's much easier to apply a coat of wax or sealant or like in my Package 1 - simply use a great AIO like BLACKFIRE One Step.

    Make sense?

    Great line of questions by the way, kind of off topic from the point of this article but that's okay, all discussion that helps others is good discussion.


    Mike Phillips
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  2. #12
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    Re: When to stop buffing - Or - How far should you go to remove swirls and scratches?

    So what do you do then?

  3. #13
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: When to stop buffing - Or - How far should you go to remove swirls and scratches?

    Quote Originally Posted by luckydawg View Post

    So what do you do then?

    After your first step process, whatever it is, you move onto the next step.


    Simple Simon


    Mike Phillips
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  4. #14
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    Re: When to stop buffing - Or - How far should you go to remove swirls and scratches?

    sorry I didnt make myself more clear by quoting

    I meant after you realize that you have the paint on the pad and realize that you removed all the clear in that area and also have removed some of the base?

  5. #15
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: When to stop buffing - Or - How far should you go to remove swirls and scratches?

    Quote Originally Posted by luckydawg View Post

    sorry I didnt make myself more clear by quoting

    I meant after you realize that you have the paint on the pad and realize that you removed all the clear in that area and also have removed some of the base?

    What you do then or next is probably cry a little.


    The only honest repair is to repaint the area or repaint the panel.


    And it is for this type of horrible experience that most people, especially if working on a daily driver, shouldn't try to remove each and every single scratch out of the paint.


    I've buffed through, or "burned through" paint before, both single stage and basecoat/clearcoat paint systems. I've seen others do it and cannot count how many times someone has shared this experience on this forum and elsewhere.

    It's really not a fun experience. And then in hindsight, you wish you would have simply STOPPED and called it good or good enough. Learn to live with a few minor imperfections here and there.


    Good question.


    Mike Phillips
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  6. #16
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    Re: When to stop buffing - Or - How far should you go to remove swirls and scratches?

    Thanks Mike

  7. #17
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    Re: When to stop buffing - Or - How far should you go to remove swirls and scratches?

    Super helpful advice, especially for the newcomers and the chronically disappointed. Relentless (and amatuerish) pursuit of the perfect detail usually ends in anger and frustration.

    Over time one acquires a certain wisdom and appreciation that detailing is more art than science, and an understanding that every detail must be approached with realistic expectations.

    The question you posited in this thread: when to stop buffing, is a deeply philosophical one.

    Acceptance of what is possible, or realistic, is the key to detailing bliss.

    One factor not mentioned in your post is whether the project is a daily driver or garage queen.

    For the former there should be less interest in perfection since swirls and scratches are inevitable. I only do my own car. What isn't remedied today can always be tackled in the next round. In a weird way I actually look forward to this.


    As they say, a good detail is its own reward.



  8. #18
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: When to stop buffing - Or - How far should you go to remove swirls and scratches?

    Quote Originally Posted by obguam View Post

    Super helpful advice, especially for the newcomers and the chronically disappointed.

    Relentless (and amatuerish) pursuit of the perfect detail usually ends in anger and frustration.

    Thank you.

    One thing I have is empathy.

    I've been in the shoes of everyone that has taken up car detailing as a hobby or a profession.



    Mike Phillips
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