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Treating/Cleaning Original Paint

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I tried to search for this, and maybe it's just my bad search terms, but I found nothing.

What's the best way to clean and treat original paint? Should I use a polishing compound first, then synthetic sealant and then carnauba, like I do with clear-coat paint jobs? Is there a particular product that people use?

I just got a '76 with the original jadegrun paint in decent shape, but I want to make sure I take care of it properly.

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My 1600 has original Nevada paint; I took it to a pro and had them lightly wetsand some horizontal environmental issues and then clean/polish the balance before applying a high grade wax. If you decide to do this yourself, be careful polishing around the trunk, hood and roof creases as the paint is now thinnest there.

For maintenance, I don't wash the car unless it happens to get rained on but rather dust, speedshine and then apply more Pinnacle Sovereign carnauba solid wax.

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Unless your paint is deteriorated and requires a polish to remove flatness or contaminants, you probably would do well to avoid using a product that further abrades the original paint. While the factory paint on your car has obviously held up well, it ultimately won't stand up to repeated compounding or polishing. Your best bet might be to simply protect it with a non-abrasive (non "cleaning") wax.

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I will sound like a Meguiars vendor but I really like their stuff.

Try Ultimate Compund if possible with a random orbit dual action polisher. Best ones are Meguiars, Porter Cable and Griot's Garage. This product have microabrasives that won't harm your paint and shouldn't make any swirls on it either. If you get swirls you can take them of with another of their products called swirlx.

Before applying the ultimate compound wash your car real good and use some detailing clay that takes off the contaminants and preps the surface real good to use the compound on it.

When you are done just protect it with some nice synth wax or carnauba and post some before and after pics!

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the safest approach for a novice to remove contaminates, water spots, etc is to use a clay bar...most major auto parts chain stores sell the Meguiars clay bar kit

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+1 on all the above advice. I have been using both Meguire's and Griot's products for many years. Start with the least abrasive polish (by hand if you can).

Stay away from air powered buffers - they will burn the paint if you aren't experienced using them.

After my Griot's treatment with Porter Cable random orbit polisher and orange foam pad (pics courtesy of SCR: [email protected] hotel parking lot 2008). NOT original paint.

IMG_3107.jpg

IMG_3108.jpg

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I have a 72 agave that has original paint that was in "decent" shape. I used 1 or 2 stage products, but looked for something better.

At the Vintage, I met a vendor demonstrating Glosshaus products

http://www.glosshaus.com/

The key to their system is that they match each grade of polish to a specific foam pad for the Porter Cable (the pads are color coded). I later learned that many professional shops also key each level of polish to a specific pad.

I started by washing with dish detergent to remove any wax, then clay barring the entire car. Then I worked up progressively through Glosshaus Foundation I, II, and III, then Glaze, using Lake Country foam pads http://www.lakecountrymfg.com/ which use the same color coding system.

I finished with Meguir's wax, but using an LC waxing pad saved a lot of work.

It's not cheap, and entails a fair amount of work, but I'm pleased with the results.

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The above are good thoughts. Here is a another wrinkle.

Never forget the clay step - ever.

But instead of starting with the more aggressive product and pad right off of the bat and working up to the polish and glaze, take a small area of the car (1'x1') and start with the the least aggressive product and pad and work backwards until you find the right product and color of pad to remove the scratches and oxidation. Then start doing the rest of the car with that level of aggressiveness and work up to the polish/glaze/wax.

This process will let you only use the most aggressive product and pad your car needs. No sense starting with a compound when you only need a polish or something even less.

As far as products, to each his own and what works for you. I have used Zymol, Griots, Pinacle, Klasse, McGuirers, Mothers and 3M. 3M has never made a bad product. They have three lines of product, good, better, best, with three levels of abrasiveness in each line.

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You can clean your paint without actually polishing it, using something like (listed alphabetically):

1Z Einszett Paint Polish Lack-Politur

Four Star Ultimate PreWax Cleanser

Griot's Garage Paint Prep

Klasse All-In-One

Pinnacle Paintwork Cleansing Lotion

P21S Gloss Enhancing Paintwork Cleanser

SONAX Paint Cleaner

Wolfgang Paintwork Polish Enhancer

Zymol HD Cleanse

Follow with the last step product of your choice - a carnauba wax or synthetic sealant.

As far as clay bars, consider checking out the Nanoskin Autoscrub System if you have a machine polisher. It attaches to a dual action polisher and will save you time and money (after your initial investment!).

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I started with a dry chalky finish. First step was a bucket of water and a 1500 grit sanding sponge from an auto parts store. Next was meguires cutting compound on a buffer I got from harbor freight for $30. After that I used meguires polish on the same buffer, new pad. And finally hand wax. Whole process was about 2.5 hrs and under $75. You would never guess this car has a few rust holes.

post-22405-13667667108891_thumb.jpg

post-22405-13667667109848_thumb.jpg

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Good point about working progressively on abrasiveness, Bill. I neglected to point that out. In my case, I started with level III, and didn't see much cut.

I then tried II, and things were looking better. I tried I in a small area, and saw a marked difference, thus my decision to start with the most aggressive. Going forward, I expect to use only glaze and wax.

Other notes that come to mind are:

-- Never use a dry pad, keep it damp using a water mister.

-- Do not apply pressure on the buffer; let the pad do the work. I only guided the buffer; it's weight and orbital action prove adequate pressure.

-- I washed the car between stages to remove residual compound.

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