As technology improves, in any industry, oftentimes it has a trickle down effect. For the car care industry, coatings have started to evolve to more consumer level coating options. This allows for the possibility for the at home detailer to experience results that used to be only obtainable by the pro’s. Today, I would like to go over some things I have learned from many years of experience in applying a broad spectrum of coatings in the hopes that you could apply these tips to your own coating application. This is, if you are actually in the market to perform a paint coating yourself. I also recommend that if this process is overwhelming or outside your comfort zone, to seek the professional application of a qualified detail shop in your area.
What to Do
- First and foremost, DO make sure that your work environment is sustainable to achieve the highest level outcome as possible.
- Don’t apply coatings outside and never in direct sunlight or on a warm surface.
- DO make sure the surface has been properly polished.
- DO make sure the surface has been properly decontaminated by using a clay bar and/or iron remover during the wash process.
- DO follow the instructions on the bottle of the coating solution.
- DO wear proper safety equipment such as gloves and a mask if specified by the manufacturer during installation.
- DO Make sure to remove polishing oils and residue after polishing with a solution such as Car Pro Eraser or ServFaces Neutra Cleaner
What to do if you experience high spots
We find that proper surface prep is detrimental to ensure that the coating levels easily
Try to avoid high humidity as this can make it hard to work with certain coatings
High spots are simply an excess amount of coating on the paint surface that was not properly removed or “leveled” during the application process. Sometimes these do not show up in direct lighting but require different light settings and angles to see.
Be sure to apply the coating nice and thin and if you do have high spots, remove them quickly. The longer you wait, the harder they will be to remove, which can often times requiring polishing.
Each coating will have different installation instructions, always follow the instructions on the bottle. Cure or “flash” time essentially means the time it takes for the coatings solvents to properly evaporate and allow the active ingredients to bond to the clear coat. Remove the coating too quick and you risk reduced performance, waiting to remove the coating for too long and it can be very difficult to remove. Try to avoid the car getting wet or seeing rain for the first 48 hours. Coatings generally cure with heat, thus a nice warm day in the sun after coating is the best way to ensure proper and fast curing.
Taking care after coating
To ensure the coating lasts as long as the manufacture specifies it is ensure to take care of the coating as the manufacturer recommends.
Usually this means using a ph neutral soap, avoiding polishing or buffing, removing any heavy contamination as quickly as possible, avoiding use of all purpose cleaners, and using a high quality maintenance detail spray.
Our featured coating brand is ServFaces. German made, German quality, protecting your's.
Prepare your car for Spring with these detailing tips!
As Spring is finally here there is lots to do. What should be on top of the list is some Spring detailing. Winter can be brutal and it can have a nasty effect on your vehicle's finish. If you want to keep your finish looking its best then proper maintenance detailing is absolutely crucial. We take a look at some of the things that should be done after Winter to ensure your keeping up on your maintenance.
As you could imagine step one would be giving your car/truck/suv or even motorcycle a proper bath.
Using lots of soap is always helpful in creating a slick surface. The best way to lubricate the surface before you bring your wash mitt to the paint would be to use a foam gun. We recommend the MTM Hydro foam gun generation 2.
Using a soap designed to strip away any prior protection is always a great idea as well. We want to ensure we get as many as contaminants removed from the surface as possible during the was process as this will help later. Using a soap like CarPro Reset or Limitless Strip Down would be an idea solution.
After you perform a wash we move on to our next strip
In order to ensure we are dealing with a perfectly smooth and clean surface before we move on to the next phase we want to make sure the paint is free of any contaminants invisible to the eye. Sometimes you can feel these contaminants on the surface when you glide your hand across your finish. It will often feel like sand paper or even sound rough instead of smooth and buttery. During the wash process after you have performed an initial cleaning, you can remove iron contaminants and other various road debris embedded in the paint. You could use a product like CarPro Iron X Snowfoam as your soap, which is PH balanced, and contains degreasers that cut through road film and heavy grime with ease. Or, if you choose you can add the additional step of using a iron particle remover such as CarPro Iron X. The key to using this product is after you cleaned the surface but the car is still wet. You want to apply to painted surfaced and even wheels if you choose and watch as the formula turns purple indicating it is working. Lower areas of the car such as side skirts and the bottom of doors are especially prone to heavy contamination. Once you have waited a few minutes your free to once again do a basic wash and then dry the car.
Once the car is dry it is ideal to further ensure a smooth contaminant free surface by claying the paint. We recommend using a clay mitt for ease of use such as the Griot's Garage Fast Surface Prep Mitt. The mitt will last you many uses and make detailing a breeze. Make sure you use it with a proper lubricant however such as Adam's Detail Spray. If you prefer the traditional clay bar you can also try using a fine or medium grade clay bar. If you car is maintained routinely a fine clay bar will probably do the job. Once the whole car has been clay barred your ready for the next phase.
3. Paint Correction and Protection
After you have dried the car off, and have ensure the surface is smooth and clean you can move either straight to protection or if your ever so inclined paint correction. Giving your car a light polish is always helpful in further refining the surface. Just like skin your car will have dead paint and be oxidized which can harm your shine. Refining the surface will allow for a shine like no other. You can polish by hand using something like Adam's Revive Hand Polish or with a machine of your choice and any number of possible compounds, polishes, and pads. The choice if yours to do this step.
After this step your ready for Protection. You can choose to wax your car if you have the time to keep doing so every few weeks. If so a paste wax like Griot's Garage Premium Carnauba Wax will work wonders or if you like a liquid wax you can try Adam's Buttery Wax. If you won't have time to detail again for quite some time try a long lasting sealant like Sonax Polymer Net Shield and you will have protection for month's not weeks. If you want to protect your finish for a year or more at a time you can use a ceramic coating such as ServFaces Ultima. The choice is yours but it is important to protect your freshly cleaned surface as it will help prevent further contamination for the seasons ahead.
As long as you do this routinely you will find your vehicles finish constantly looking like new. And remember if you have any questions you can always ask us by sending an email to Support@DetailingConnect.com