Part 2 – Polish & Wax
Following on from Part 1 of our Showroom Shine guide this week we will concentrate on polishing (to remove oxidisation and small scratches) and then sealing the paintwork with wax. For best results try this on a warm dry day, but not in direct sunlight!
The best way to apply polish is with an applicator pad – stick to one panel at a time when you’re starting off and give it time to dry before buffing off. Before you begin make sure the polish is suitable for your paint type! (I love Mer polish, but can only use it on my older “lacquer free” cars).
Pour a €2 coin sized amount of polish onto the pad and apply to clean paintwork in small circular motions and try to keep the polish away from any black plastics or window seals/rubbers as it’s almost impossible to remove from them. If you need to go right into the edges you may want to invest in some detailing tape to keep the plastics clean – just like when you mask off a room for painting!
Leave to dry. Using clean polishing cloth test an area – if it rubs off like dust the polish is ready to be removed. Repeat all over the car – and take photos as you go along so you can really notice the difference!
If you can see small scratches and scuffs on the paintwork after polishing it may be worthwhile trying a coloured polish – buy one to match the colour of your car and the colour in the polish can disguise minor damage (think of concealer).
If polishing alone hasn’t brought up a shine you may need to consider compounding – this is similar to polish but much more abrasive. Make sure you read the instructions on the product before you begin and make sure it’s suitable for your paint type!
When you’ve restored the original glory of your paint colour, you will need to apply wax/sealer for protection.
Using a fresh applicator pad apply the wax using the same method as the polish – it’s especially important to do this on a dry day as any dampness in the air will make it almost impossible to remove the wax. When it’s dry, buff off and admire the shine! Then repeat as necessary!
Not only should your car be looking much better, as the surface is smoother rain will just run off and dirt won’t stick as easily. A good test of your skills is to spray a finished car with clean water and see the “beading”. The smaller and more uniform it is, the better!