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Ultimate Paint Restoration

Here we will go over the steps needed to get your 2gnt looking like new again!

First off some info, did you know applying wax on a washed car without surface prep will trap contaminents under it resulting in reduced clarity? Contaminents such as dust, dirt, sand, etc. will settle onto the surface of your unwaxed car and bond to it. Rub your hand across it, it will make noise and you should be able to feel roughness. When we are done it will be silent and completely smooth. Lets make sure its as clear as can be.


Here is a rough list of items needed. I swear by and will always use the Meguiars line of products. But I put a description next to them in case you wanted to use a different line of products. Microfiber towels can be bought from auto parts store for around 7 dollars for 10. I used all 10. You want the wool and terry bonnets.

Electric CORDED random orbital buffer.
Bonnets for the buffer.
Meguiars Gold Class soap or other mild car detergent.
Several CLEAN microfiber towels (as in around 10).
Meguiars ScratchX (medium to light cut).
Meguiars SwirlX (light to fine cut).
Meguiars Gold Class or TechWax 2.0.
Wax applicators (microfiber circular pads).
3M 1.5" Green Automotive Tape.

Number One Rule

Yes, there is a number one rule for this. If a bonnet, wax applicator, wax tub, microfiber towel, etc., falls onto the floor/ground, THROW IT AWAY! It will pick up particles of sand/dirt and it will scratch your car essentially making the hours of work your putting into your paint worthless.

Switch out your microfiber towels often as well, once it gets too much dust into it it will make it harder to buff off. You can wash them in a washing machine.


I have always enjoyed detailing, its relaxing, and the sense of accomplishment is second to none.

But here are some other reasons. Basically, if you take your car to a standard detailer around town you will pay $100.00 or so for a production type job that would include a quick buff a coat of wax, it will still look good, but not the best. If you get a detailer who is into actual paint restoration, you will pay hundreds, and it will show that it was worth it!

All of these materials will cost you less than a production detail with better results. As you get better and more into it you can achieve near flawless results.

Getting Started

First off you need to wash your car to remove any dirt. This needs to be done immediately before you start the detailing because fine particles will cause scratches on your paint. After its thoroughly washed, dry it and pull it into the garage or a nice shaded spot. Now tape up the window mouldings, this is so you dont get polish and wax on the moulding, as its a pain to get it off. Make you use the green automotive tape though, you can buff right over it.

Your car should look something like this now:

Now is the time to look at your cars surface. Now picture it a hundred times better, thats what your gonna end up with!

Getting Prepared

Now that your car is clean and taped its ready for electric buffing. Its important to understand a few things. One, always start and stop the buffer on the surface of the car. Two, put your extension cord over your shoulder, that way it is out of the way. Three, never stay in one stop! If the buffer is on and touching the car if should be moving.

Study this awesome MS Paint buffing pattern. Basically, using this pattern will reduce the chance that you go through the paint or leave a pattern in the paint. This would cover about a 3' x 3' section.

Decide where you will start and make an order of which section you will buff on the car. I do the hood, then roof, then hatch and spoiler, front drivers side fender, then door, then rear quarter, rear bumper, passenger rear quarter, door, then fender.

First Step - ScratchX

This step will remove medium contaminents and scratches from the surface of your paint.

Grab your buffer and put the wool bonnet on it.

Now apply some ScratchX to the bonnet in a circular pattern. You dont want to use too much or too little. Put the buffer to the surface of the car and turn it on, now using the pattern go side to side, up and down, then repeat once.

After its applied your hood should look like this:

Now let it haze and buff off with a microfiber towel:

Here is the passenger door after ScratchX was buffed off:

Take off the bonnet, being sure to store it face up.

Now your done step 1!

Second Step - SwirlX

This step will remove any fine scratches and swirls, polishing your paint before wax goes on.

Now, put a terry bonnet onto the buffer and grab your SwirlX.

Using the same pattern as before, apply the SwirlX to the surface and start buffing!

Car should look this now:

Now grab a Microfiber and buff it off! It will look like this now, starting to a see a difference yet?

Final Steps - Waxing

Now that your paint surface is smooth and clear, we need to apply two or more coats of wax to protect the surface, enhance gloss, and color clarity. i wont go into too much detail here as waxing is pretty self explanatory. I prefer paste wax, but its all a personal preference.

Grab a wax applicator and put wax on it, now apply it in small, tight circles, let haze, then buff off in the opposite direction. Repeat at least twice.

After the first coat of wax:

After that you can remove all the tape, and go over it one last time with a microfiber towel to be sure you removed all the hazed wax and dust.

Now pull it out into the sun and take pictures!

Final Results

Look at the pictures above, when we started it wasnt in great shape was it?

Now look:

Final Word

With some time, about a days worth, and less than a hundred dollars in materials (including buffer!), your car can look near new. The important thing is to take your time and do it right.

Document statistics: Last modified on 2009-03-28 22:52:24 by teklein

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