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Detailing Training? Worth Every Penny

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Having spent a lot of money on professional detailers over 6 previously owned cars I finally decided to sign up for a training course on paint correction. The average time spent detailing some of my previous cars, including 3 Bentleys was 3 days with outstanding results. At an average cost of £600 per car and after watching all the specific aspects of detailing at close quarters I thought it would be a good idea to invest in some training.

I was surprised to find there was a quite a few professional detailers out there who were prepared to offer one to one training as well as their full detailing services. My working life was exclusively in the motor trade and as a car freak I really wanted to correct the paint on my latest car a 2007 Lexus LS460. A one owner car, serviced exclusively by one Lexus dealer who I bought it from in Siena Red, a stunning colour when the sun hits it. The previous owner was not interested in car cleaning so I spent the first month thoroughly cleaning every aspect of this wonderful car. Although the bodywork was not damaged i.e dings, dents etc the paintwork was full of swirls and some fine scratches. Although I removed the sill covers and front and rear bumpers for repainting as these parts were in need of refurbishing, the rest of the paint needed to be cut back.

So 2 weeks ago I spent 2 full days with a full time detailer and had one to one training specifically on paint correction. Totally hands on with practise body panels to make full use of. In summary the best 2 days for a car freak to come away with a great understanding of how to correct paint or the top lacquer coat in my case. Like all modern cars they have a base coat and clear paint system applied to them.

Everything I wanted to know was explained and the reasons for it. Things like using Rotary and Orbital polishing machines, cutting polishes, cutting pads (there are hundreds of them) final finishing polishers, pre wax cleaners, sealers and waxes not to be confused with polishes. Rotary polishers were not for me, they can be like a wild animal in your hands and the heat and risks for paint damage is too great for my level of experience. No, the Orbital DA polisher is so much more controllable although will take longer to achieve what you want. Taking your time and generating the right amount of heat in the pad so as to break the polish down to an oily film will only come with practise. I just loved the experience and started on my own car 2 days later after purchasing a lot of the products I used over the 2 days, including a DA orbital polishing machine. It will take me a long time to detail my paint but doing a panel at a time is my way of approaching paint correction. I take my hat off to professional detailers who are so much more than car cleaners.

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Good to know.

Detailing is honestly not as difficult as everyone makes out.

Personally I'd always stick with a DA rather than a rotary. Machines like rupes make light work of defects with very little chance of damage.

Rotaries on the other hand may be cheaper but oh boy I'd never give one to an amateur!

I'm assuming you already have polishing pads of varying firmness? If so, get yourself some sonax perfect finish. It finishes perfectly on soft Lexus paint and rarely requires anything more than a light polishing pad. It's a one step and should save you loads of time!

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Thanks for the tip Rayaan, useful, I'm using Rupes pads at the minute, yellow and white seem to be doing the job and I found some decent 50mm pads for the hard to get places and use a 50mm backing plate and a small air line fed mini polisher which I find very controllable for tight areas. The DA polisher is suiting my ability for the larger areas and the two types of 3M polishes seem to be taking out the fine swirls. I'll try the Sonax EX 04-06 which I see is listed by the Clean Your Company of Huddersfield where I bought all my detailing products, they seem to be raving about it's ability. I saw a You Tube clip for taking Lexus door handles off which is useful for as getting to the areas behind the handle which show significant defects would have been more difficult but ideal for the 50mm pads. I guess one of the most important pieces of kit I should invest in is a paint depth gauge even though I only intend to detail my own cars.

Cheers, Steve

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The perfect finish should be more than enough for the Lexus paint. On firm pads it does great on hard Audi paint so it's the best all rounder. The EX 04-06 may be too aggressive.

Instead of taking the door handles off invest in a polishing sponge and just use that under the handles as its easier

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