Originally posted by pkm3@Oct 24 2004, 02:53 AM HELP,
Ive got lots of fine scratches on my car, What is the best thing to use ?.
Go over to AUTOPIA and read the How-To's on Washing, Polishing, and Waxing.
Most likely you'll end up:
1. Thorough Wash
2. Clay Bar
3. Polish (unless the scratches are deep)
4. Wax (or a final step product like Klasse All In One, then Klasse Sealant Glaze topping this with wax)
My 325 is Black/Black and I had a few swirl marks that I couldn't remove by hand so I bought a Porter Cable Polisher and used the instructions from Autopia to remove them pretty easily. I also had tough water spots that I couldn't wax or polish out so I first washed my car and then re-washed it with white vinegar. I then used a clay bar, 1Z Paint Polish, Klasse All In One, Klasse Glaze (3 coats) and then topped it off with P21S Wax (3 coats).
Although the car is a '93, the paint looks as good as the day I picked it up from the dealer in April '93.
There are other products to get you there. These worked for me.
i had to do some serious paint touchup just recently (body mods, rust removal feathering and blending). here are a few things to consider:
is there bare metal; if so, is there any corrosion or rust at all. if not you simply apply touchup paint very carefully using a very fine artists brush then sand down very very carefully using a very very fine sandpaper (1500 grit or finer). rust works like a disease so if it is present it should be treated immediatley before it has a chance to do serious damage. there are paints that have rust inhibitors in them and i beleive that you may even be able to find an pure additive that could be mixed in with your own paint. however, the best treatment is to remove it. this should be done using a fine sandpaper (220 grit) very carefully as to not scratch more area than you absolutley need to. also, be swift as bare metal can rust suprisingly fast. your main two concerns when sanding this deep is getting all the rust removed and feathering the edges of the paint (so you cant feel the edge where the paint stops and the metal begins). using flowing water will help greatly to keep the sandpaper from getting clogged full of paint debris, therefore, helping keep the surface much smoother and consistent. make sure the sandpaper is wet/dry sandpaper or else it'll fall apart in water. once you acheived a satisfactorily smooth rust-free surface, dry the surface completely of all water (it's best done on a warm day or at least indoors with some warm lamps). you can now begin masking off the area; cover any areas you dont need to receive paint. to acheive a smooth paint finish you should use an air-spray applicator (not pump-spray). it's standard to first spray a primer coat, sand it smooth using a sanding block, then apply the top coat. primer coats show imperfections better and are easier to sand. remove your masking and sand down the edge between each coat to avoid a visible ridge in the paint. the trickiest part of the whole thing is blending the final coat's edge. good luck.
one more thing, as the others have said, slight scratches may be removed by using semi-abrasive polishes and finish-claybars. so if the scratches aren't too deep try it first. be very careful with the clay though. be sure it isn't too abrasive by trying a hidden spot of paint first.
Originally posted by aaainvestor@Oct 24 2004, 01:24 PM one more thing, as the others have said, slight scratches may be removed by using semi-abrasive polishes and finish-claybars. so if the scratches aren't too deep try it first. be very careful with the clay though. be sure it isn't too abrasive by trying a hidden spot of paint first.
Actually that's a myth regarding clay bars (unless you use some wierd abrasive clay) You use a clay bar with a clay lubricant or just plain old soapy water (car wash water). The clay is used to remove contaminants off of the paint/clearcoat surface like paint overspray, old wax, water spots and hardened blobs that might have adhered to the surface and won't wash off.
The clay comes in a bar but it's soft and you flatten it out to the size of your palm before you actually use it.
There are various grades of clay but there is almost ZERO chance that you'll damage the surface if you keep the surface lubed. Without the lube, the clay bar sticks to the paint and won't move at all.
Look in the section at the local auto shop where the car washes are stocked for a clay bar "kit" that includes the lube.
PS: The clay won't remove scratches, only surface contamination that washing can't get to.
The polish is what removes the scratches. Some polishes have a filler that actually remains behind and fills some scratches.
Go over to Autopia and read their forum. You'll be a scratch removal expert in no time.
gaijin1 is right about nearly all of his post. BUT gaijin1 I have to tell you that from personal experience i know that pkm3 is wise to heed my warning about ALWAYS trying new unproven products on a small unnoticeable area.
pkm, do yourself a favor and DO NOT listen to the "... but there is almost ZERO chance that you'll damage the surface" in gaijin1's post. The clay that damaged my paint i purchased from a local autmotive shop and it was yellow. Since then i've done nearly the same as gaijin1 apparently has, with a white clay, which had much better effects (left the paint smooth as baby's behind). But DO test your product first, most products even say on the package to do so.
gaijin1, do everybody a favor and don't speak on topics you're just speculating on. I do, however, commend your advice, "The polish is what removes the scratches. Some polishes have a filler that actually remains behind and fills some scratches." - very helpful on this topic.
The AutoGuide.com network consists of the largest network of enthusiast-owned enthusiast-operated automotive communities.
AutoGuide.com provides the latest car reviews, auto show coverage, new car prices, and automotive news. The AutoGuide network operates more than 100 automotive forums where our users consult peers for shopping information and advice, and share opinions as a community.