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· 'SEMPER FI' CGM Member
220 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey guys i did a search for detailing but to much to look thru and most didnt even relate to my search well i wanted to detail my baby really good and well ive done the old basic wax and buff but i wanted to see if i can get some tips on how to get a real shinny glare,lust,etc. out of the paint so it can look show room presentible never done anything like this so it would help for some tips on:

*Products to use
*steps on the detailing
*how to avoid making swirl marks/and removing swirl marks
all in all just how to make my ride look spectacular

Thanks everyone in advance:wiggle:

· Sooper Genyus
470 Posts
The most important part of detailing is the process (proper prep work), and the products used are secondary. Most of the time product choice is entirely personal preference.

The general detailing process:

-wash thoroughly
-claybar to remove surface contamination
-polish with abrasive and/or cleaner to remove swirls, oxidation, etc.
-seal and/or wax

Proper maintenance:


-car wash soap with high lubricity
-high quality sheepskin wash mitts
-foam gun
-2 buckets with grit guards for paint
-1 bucket and mitt for wheels
-high quality microfiber towels
-210+ mph electric leaf blower
-high quality sealant and/or wax
-quick detailer


-wash wheels/tires/wells first to prevent spotting on paint and glass

-Don't use the same mitt or bucket for wheels that you use on your paint. The brake dust, etc. from your wheels will cause scratches and swirls in your paint.

-using foam gun, cover vehicle in a thick layer of foam

-Use two buckets for washing paint. One with a soapy mixture, the other with plain water to rinse the mitt between panels.

-Never use circular motions. Always wash, dry, and wax using front to back and top to bottom motions.

-when vehicle is fully cleaned, allow a slow, steady stream of water to flow over each panel...sheeting the majority of the water off

-use the leaf blower to blow all water from flat surfaces, mirrors, lights, etc.

-remove any remaining water with a waffle weave drying towel and detail spray

*The less you touch the paint, the less chance of marring*

Keeping a good sealant and/or wax on the paint will assist in cleaning and reduce chances of marring.

· 'SEMPER FI' CGM Member
220 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ZaneO said:
The most important part of detailing is the process (proper prep work), and the products used are secondary. Most of the time product choice is entirely personal preference.
can i know what you use to do your detailling...ive heard of that claybar but what is it a liquid,paste,....and can i find that at any auto store??

· Sooper Genyus
470 Posts
I use tons of different products for detailing.

Here are some products I use and/or recommend:

- car wash - Zaino, Meguiar's, Griots, Eagle One, etc.
- clay - very few differences
- polishes - Menzerna, Poorboy's, Meguiar's, etc.
- pads - Lake Country, Sonus, Propel - light cutting, polishing, finishing
- wax - S100, Pinnacle, Clearkote, Trade Secret, Natty's, etc.
- sealant - Zaino, Tropi-Care, Werkstatt, Klasse, UPP, Wolfgang, etc.
- quick detailer - Zaino Z6, Clearkote Quik Shine, Meguiar's Final Inspection, etc.
- towels - a good variety is needed
- microfiber and towel detergent
- mitts - Eurow sheepskin
- degreaser/all purpose cleaner - Simple Green, Meguiar's APC, Eimann Fabrik, etc.
- rubber and vinyl dressing- Zaino Z16, Adam's VRT, Meguiar's Natural Shine, Armor All, etc.
- glass cleaner - Stoner's Invisible Glass, Eagle One 20/20, etc.
- wheel cleaner - Eagle One A2Z, TOL Wheel Wash, etc.
- metal polish - Mother's, English Custom, Flitz, etc.
- shop vac
- Porter Cable 7424 or 7336
- spot cleaner - 303 Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner, Folex, etc.
- leather cleaner/conditioner - Zaino Z9 and Z10, Leathermaster, Lexol, etc.
- wide assortment of brushes - carpet, upholstery, wheel wells, air vents, engine, etc.

A claybar is a bar of clay formulated for automotive use. It can be found at most parts stores - Clay Magic, Mother's, Meguiars, etc.

· 'SEMPER FI' CGM Member
220 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks guys for all your input seems like zaino is the bomb!!! especially after seeing those pics im gonna get me a kit it doesnt give pricing so any one that has gotten a zaino kit can you give me a rough idea of what im gonna be spending

· Registered
271 Posts
I initially purchased the Total protection kit for $85. I wish I would have spent the extra $30 or so for the Ultimate since I ordered the leather products and tire shine a couple of weeks later. I could have saved some $ in shipping.

· Detailing Guru
283 Posts
This may go without saying, but while you're still getting used to the process/products, take your time! Don't rush anything or you'll make silly mistakes. Once you get the hang of it, you'll be able to detail your car in no time flat. Read the instructions that come with the Zaino kit carefully. Evaluate your surface after washing, but before going any further. You will need to claybar for sure, but how bad is the swirling? You'll need to use an abrasive polish (Zaino Fusion) either by hand, or better yet, by Porter Cable 7424 and a polishing pad if your swirls are moderate.

Like Zane said, once you have your car polished to a satisfactory level, you have to be careful when washing or you will undo all that hard work very quickly.

· Premium Member
10,476 Posts
If you really want a great long-lasting shine, I would first focus on preparing your paint, no matter if you're using Zaino, Tropi-Care, Sonus, Zymol, Klasse, et. al.

Two related sites to peruse for tips/info/suggestions: - forums - their "how-to" site.

The biggest purchase I made to help my paint prep was a Porter-Cable PC7424 orbital polisher. Unlike a rotary buffer, which, in the hands of a novice, can burn the paint off to the bare metal, an orbital can be used by a novice and you won't totally screw up your paint. In fact, you'll make it a whole ton better.

In the past two weeks I've used the PC on 3 different cars:

a) mother-in-law's black 2004 Chevy SSR she just bought used. Had a bunch of scratches and swirls.
b) wife's 2004 Envoy. No real swirls, but some rock chips, door dings, and a gouged rear bumper where somebody hit her car in a parking lot, then drove off (no note)
c) my black 1998 Olds Aurora (lots of door dings, bunch of swirls, couple of good scratches.

My PC came with the Tropi-Care foam pads (a cutting pad and a polishing pad, along with some cotton bonnets). After washing the cars and claying them, I used the PC along with 3M products.

For the SSR, I hit it up with the foam polishing pad and 3M Foam Polishing Pad Compound for dark-colored cars. I used the foam cutting pad/3M Rubbing Compound on some of the bigger scratches, followed by the Foam Polishing Pad Compound again. Another wash, an application of Zaino Z-5 Pro, and it looks pretty good/like glass.

For the Envoy, I did the same as above, but had to use the rubbing compound more (white shows everything), particularly on the rear bumper. Got all of the red and grey paint off, just showing the areas where the paint is gone. Followed the foam pad/polishing compound with Z-5 Pro and the car looks brand new.

For the Aurora, I used the foam cutting pad and the rubbing compound on the whole vehicle. Followed up with the foam polishing pad but used 3M's Swirl Mark Remover for Dark Cars (which contains filler). That took care of a lot of the scratches and swirls (clearcoat is thicker than most people realize), but some were still visible. Used the Zaino Z-PC fusion w/foam pad and the swirls are virtually undetectable, even in bright sunlight - amazing for a 9-year-old black car. I haven't followed up with any additional Zaino products (want to touch up some of the scratches/dings/chips before applying Zaino), but the paint surface feels as smooth as a baby's butt, and that's what you want BEFORE you apply anything.

I like Zaino products (been using them for 5 years), because they are so easy to apply/remove, the results are spectacular (especially on dark-colored cars), and the longevity is great, but it's really a matter of personal preference what you use. Most of the anguish with Zaino is the whole wash/clay/wash process - something you should do no matter what product you use. Anyone can use a product like Zaino and make your car look good - for it to look great you need to really learn how to properly prepare your paint.

Hope this helps,

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