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  1. #1
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    Newbie single stage paint restoration

    I have a 1970 Nova with single stage "black cherry" color paint. I have no idea if this is the original paint, but it is the original color, and it's in pretty bad condition. I have owned the car for twenty years and never paid much attention to the dull oxidized surface. I always assumed that if I wanted to have a show-ready car, I would have to get it repainted. But recently I came across Mike Phillip's fantastic articles on how to breathe life back into this paint. I appreciate and welcome any advice and hope sharing my ongoing experience will help others.

    This is my FIRST TIME doing this. I haven't detailed my car in the twenty years I've owned it and I have ZERO experience. I studied articles online and YouTube, but I am probably not aware of all the dangers and correct/incorrect use of products. If you know a better way or see something wrong, please speak up.



    The steps I plan to follow are as follows:
    (1) Strip wash the car to remove any residual wax/polish and grime
    (2) Clay bar to remove surface bonded contaminants / industrial fallout
    (3) Condition the paint with Maguiars no 7 to restore oils
    (4) Compound to remove oxidation and other deep defects
    (5) Polish to remove surface defects swirls and scratches
    (6) Wax to protect the finish




    Paint Restoration: Before photos


    Here is what I'm starting with. I don't know if this paint is original, but I certainly haven't painted it since I bought the car twenty years ago. It's a single stage "black cherry" factory color with lots of chips and a few dents. There is also some minor orange peel in a few places. In this photo there is a layer of dust over the car from being stored for a while, but it also has significant oxidation and water deposits.
















    I don't expect miracles here - I'd be happy to just restore some color and depth to what I hav. The car needs metal repair and repainting at some point so I'm not too worried if I screw it up. I'm just trying to make the car presentable in the meantime.

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    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie single stage paint restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBandit View Post

    I have a 1970 Nova with single stage "black cherry" color paint. I have no idea if this is the original paint, but it is the original color, and it's in pretty bad condition. I have owned the car for twenty years and never paid much attention to the dull oxidized surface.

    I always assumed that if I wanted to have a show-ready car, I would have to get it repainted. But recently I came across Mike Phillip's fantastic articles on how to breathe life back into this paint.

    I appreciate and welcome any advice and hope sharing my ongoing experience will help others.

    This is my FIRST TIME doing this. I haven't detailed my car in the twenty years I've owned it and I have ZERO experience. I studied articles online and YouTube, but I am probably not aware of all the dangers and correct/incorrect use of products. If you know a better way or see something wrong, please speak up.

    The steps I plan to follow are as follows:
    (1) Strip wash the car to remove any residual wax/polish and grime
    (2) Clay bar to remove surface bonded contaminants / industrial fallout
    (3) Condition the paint with Maguiars no 7 to restore oils
    (4) Compound to remove oxidation and other deep defects
    (5) Polish to remove surface defects swirls and scratches
    (6) Wax to protect the finish


    Wow!

    What a cool car! Like right out of a time capsule.

    Out of the steps you listed above, here's what I would do in blue text...


    (1) Strip wash <-- Just wash as normal, like gently to remove loose dirt. The paint is probably dried out and fragile, so don't go nutso on it.


    (2) Clay bar to remove surface bonded contaminants / industrial fallout <-- This will work fine but be aware you'll load up your clay with some of the dead, oxidized paint, not a big deal but it will probably use up all your clay.


    (3) Condition the paint with Maguiars no 7 to restore oils <-- This step is for chalky, oxidized paint. After washing and claying the paint may be shiny again. Here's the deal "if it's vitally important to you to do everything you can to save and preserve this paint then do the #7 rub down.

    IF the paint is shiny after washing and claying, then you can move onto the compound and polishing step and do the #7 rub down AFTER the polishing step but before the waxing step.


    (4) Compound to remove oxidation and other deep defects <-- be careful here - paint looks very old and neglected, this paint is likely very dry and brittle and compounding could lead to burning through the edges and high points.

    You might be able to skip the compounding step.



    (5) Polish to remove surface defects swirls and scratches <-- I would test polishing first. See if this will restore the paint without having to compound.

    Here's where you would rub down with #7 then wipe most of it off, don't worry about getting it 100% off.

    (6) Wax to protect the finish <-- Pick quality carnauba wax.


    Mike Phillips
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    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie single stage paint restoration

    Question....

    What do you have for,

    Polisher
    Pads
    Compound
    Polish


    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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    Re: Newbie single stage paint restoration

    Mike - Wow the man himself responds to my first thread! Thank you for so kindly chiming in. I have already gone through a few steps (wash, clay, and condition w/ no 7), so let me bring this thread up to speed and then I'll explain what I products and tools I've purchased. I was going to break it down into a few posts but I didn't know new threads were moderated so hang tight just a sec and I'll add the info.

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    Re: Newbie single stage paint restoration

    Step 1: Strip Wash


    To get the car back to a "clean" slate, the first step was a "strip wash". As I understand it, maintenance car wash soaps are neutral, meaning they are designed NOT to remove residual waxes. Even though my car likely has little or no wax on it, I wanted to get it as clean as possible so I decided to use Meguiars Wash Plus buckless soap. I applied it directly to a microfiber wash mitt and worked over the car one panel at a time. Between panels, I rinsed off the wash mitt and reapplied the soap so any dirt/debri removed from the car wouldn't get dragged all over it. I think this soap contains a light finish polish which doesn't do a lot for paint in this condition, but it can't hurt. I have read you are supposed to use linear/back-and-forth motions with washing a car to avoid making intersecting circular scratches, but since this supposeably has a polish in it, I used circular motions for most of the wash. Once washed, I dried the car with microfiber towels.Then I went under the hood and rinsed down the inner fenders, suspension, and engine, followed by drying the body around it again and then drying under the hood.


    Here is a hyperlapse of washing the car




    Here is what the paint looked like immediately after washing.



    Here are some closer shots of the passenger quarter panel. This area has a lot of water deposits from vinyl top / gutter runoff so I will use it as a bell weather for progress.








    Products used:
    - Maguiars Wash Plus bucketless soap
    - Generic microfiber wash mitt
    - Generic microfiber towels (drying)
    Time: Approx 1.5hr
    Last edited by TheBandit; 03-22-2018 at 01:46 AM. Reason: Fix videos

  8. #6
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    Re: Newbie single stage paint restoration

    Step 2: Clay Bar

    The next step was to clay the surface. I understand the purpose of clay is to remove "surface bonded contaminants" aka "industrial fallout". These are harder to see contaminants on the surface of the paint, but they are easy to feel and typically wont come off with just a wash. I ran my fingers across the surface of the paint I could easily feel these contaminants as a sort of an inconsistent, rough texture. It's was easier to feel with my hands in a nitrile glove, although I've also read a plastic sandwhich bag works well. The clay acts as an abrasive to pick up these contaminants. It is similar in texture to play dough. To use the clay, I sprayed a lubricant (quick detailer that came in the Mothers kit) on the surface and simply rubbed the clay bar back and forth. Working in a small area (roughly 2ft x 2ft), I sprayed the lube, work the clay, then followed with a microfiber towel. I frequently kneeded the contaminants back into the clay before continuing to the next section. I could easily feel the smooth clean paint surface left after the clay.



    The top surfaces of the car had the most surface contaminants, especially the front of the hood. I also had a particularly nasty section behind the tires on the quarter panels. This is probably some bits of embedded rubber and asphalt left on the paint from making clouds.



    Here are some closeups of various areas after clay bar. You can see it didn't remove a lot of visually-obvious contaminants, but the car FELT a lot cleaner when I was done.









    I also took the clay bar to the windows. It made a big difference there too. Here is what the car looked like after the strip wash and clay. The paint still looks weathered but it's CLEAN.



    Products used:
    - Mothers clay kit (2x100g clay and instant detailer spray lube)
    Time: Approx 2hrs

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    Re: Newbie single stage paint restoration

    Hey Bandit. With a single stage paint I would look at polishing as opposed to compounding. Even with polishing be careful. Listen to our Oracle Mike Phillips! Yoda knows best!
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    Re: Newbie single stage paint restoration

    Step 3: Condition

    For me, this where the paint "restoration" part comes in. As I understand it, single stage paints aren't sealed up by clear coat, so over time they lose their composition as base oils are degraded and washed off over decades. I learned this from this awesome article Mike wrote up: this great in-depth article. To restore those important oils to the paint, I slathered the entire car in a very wet coat of Meguiars number 7 show car glaze.







    I was really tired after all the hard work washing, claying, and applying no 7 to the car, so the next step was welcome: I LEFT THE CAR OVERNIGHT. That's right. I just left that stuff on my car for a period of 24+ hours so it could impregnate the paint with all the juicy oils to make paint happy. Then, after 24 hours, I started to take it off. I used a number of microfiber towels (about 1 per panel) and rubbed vigorously in circular motions. This was a serious workout!



    Rubbing off the no 7 was like discovering a new car. Here are a couple videos looking over the surface afterwards. You can see the no 7 restored depth, richness, and gloss back to the paint. There are still a lot of defects in the paint, but the the car has a reflection now. I'd say it's analogous to a fogged up or dirty mirror now - it still needs work, but this turned the clock back a few decades.





    Here are a few close photos to show what it looks like after conditioning:



    The trunk panel has serious left-to-right scratches all over it. I am not sure why; this is the only area of the car that looks like this. Maybe someone (a younger me perhaps, although I don't remember) tried wet sanding this.



    I'm starting to see myself in the quarter panel! I'M SO EXCITED!!!







    Stepping back, the car is looking fresh. Note: driver's side hasn't been rubbed out yet in this photo.



    Due to family needs, I had to leave the car an extra night before rubbing off the driver's side. This seem to make the glaze harder to remove and I noticed swirl left on the paint afterwards in a few places, so I would definitely suggest if you follow this process to try to get all the glaze off in one go.







    Suffice to say I'm pretty stoked on seeing a reflection in this old paint!



    Here are all the microfiber towels I went through removing the glaze. I folded the towels into sixths and flipped or refolded after I felt the towel gumming up.



    That's where I'm at for now. So far I have only been working by hand, but for the next step (compound cutting) I will be using a dual action (DA) polisher. Stay tuned.

    Products Used
    - Meguiars No 7 Show Car Glaze
    - Generic microfiber towels
    Time: approx 5 hours work + overnight soak
    Last edited by TheBandit; 03-22-2018 at 01:50 AM. Reason: Fix videos

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  13. #9
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie single stage paint restoration

    Again....

    WOW!

    Amazing write-up so far!

    I have to go offline for now, but I'll be back to chime in tomorrow...


    Very cool of you to take pictures and document the process and the results. I owned a 1971 Nova SS so I have an affection for these cars...



    Mike Phillips
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    Re: Newbie single stage paint restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    Question....

    What do you have for,

    Polisher
    Pads
    Compound
    Polish


    Polisher: I bought a 6" DA polisher very similar in size and specification to the Porter cable 7424. Based on forum rules (i.e. stick with AG-sold products) I will let it go unnamed, but I am hopeful it will do the job for most of the car. Today I also ordered a Griots 3" polisher kit from Autogeek to help get some of the narrower sections along the top of the doors and in between the bumper, marker lights, and around the fender lips. This was on the advice of a Nova friend who recommended something smaller for those areas.

    Pads: For the 6" DA I bought a 5.5" Lake Country backing plate and 6" Lake Country 7/8" thick foam pads, one each yellow (heavy cut) that I don't plan to use, orange medium cut that I thought I might use for compound, white polishing that I was thinking to use for polish, and black finishing which I thought I would use to apply the wax. The 3" Griots comes with some Griots pads: cyan/blue cutting, tangerine/orange polishing and crimson/red finishing. They are 1.25 in thick so I don't expect heavy cutting with them which is probably good because I have to run them over areas that have body creases/edges. I was thinking cyan/blue for compound, tangerine/orange for polish, and crimson/red for wax.

    Compound: After stumbling on your thread of doing the single stage car that's literally on the bottle of Meguiars Ultimate Compound I thought I'd give that a shot. Based on your advice, I may try polish only, but if you look at the photos/video I was thinking I would at least need to compound the scratches on the rear panel and some of the oxidation on the quarter panels. What do you think? Should I just try polish first and then come back and use compound and re-polish on any areas that don't clean up?

    Polish:: I bought Meguiars M205. I was really unsure about what to buy especially because so much info online is not relevant to single stage paint. M80 compound and M205 were used in one of your articles on using no 7 to restore paint, so it was one of the first things I bought even before getting the DA.

    Wax: Again I was lost in all the product information that seems to be mostly focused on base/clear. I landed on Meguiars Ultimate Liquid Wax. Is there any harm in trying it out and switching to a carnuba wax later if I'm dissatisfied?

    THANK YOU for all the great help and advice. I wish I had bought more of these products from Autogeek to help support all the great info you provide here. When I first stumbled on the forum I did not realize at all it was related to a store so I bought a lot of this stuff locally or through big retailers. It seems obvious now but that was just my impression. Now that I see the connection, I will be sure to spend more of my money with you (as I did today with the Griots 3" polisher - can't wait to get it!)

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