EXTERIOR DETAIL: Owner photo documents the process


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At this time of year, it's difficult to get motivated or have weather suited outdoors for doing any type of detailing. In this example, I had decent weather in late January for improving the surface finish of a local owner's 2006 Lexus IS several weeks ago. Here is an example of the surface scratches present and usually associated with the normal washing and drying process.

After a thorough wash to remove the heavy and loose dirt, I clay barred the paint and glass with a gray mild Clay Magic bar to remove any gritty contaminants(tree sap, rail dust, old wax etc.) that may have been present. Once completed, a rinse to remove any soap and residue was done.

I started with the FLEX buffer using a combo of an orange pad/Menzerna SIP to remove the circular style scratches. Starting a speed 3 to spread the product on the surface, I increased to speed 5 and moved slowly across the area to break the product down until it was almost clear. With the Menzerna, expect it to dust rather heavily due to its powder base.

This detail gave me a chance to test a new purple foam foamed wool pad from Lake Country for its effects.

After using the orange/SIP combo, I followed with a white pad/TC-8 Swirl Cutter to smooth the surface and remove any micro-marring/hazing caused by the orange pad combo. As a guideline, Swirl Cutter can be used to remove the ultra-fine lines on the surface or holograms caused by a high speed rotary polisher. For deeper or more stubborn scratches, it is better to attempt machine removal using either Menzerna IP or SIP with the orange pad.

For today's exterior finish, I appled the TC-3 "Sunburst" Sealant xP using the blue "final finishing pad. This combination has no cutting ability as I was looking to get maximum clarity, gloss and protection. For more depth on darker colors, our TC-2 "Crystal Black" Carnauba Creme is very effective too.

To complete the exterior look, the tires were dressed with our water based TC-15 "White Pearl" Tire/Trim Dressing.

Since the Menzerna and Swirl Cutter can be dusty with their use, I followed with a quick rinse to clean out all crevices. The blower can be quite handy for clearing out all remaining water.

Starting later this week, we will demonstrate the effects of these products and more on a '06 Nissan 350Z at the Dallas Autorama at Market Hall. For those who have a chance to come to show, feel free to come see us in booth 27-29.

Feel free to comment or ask any questions.


Audio Guru
I so need to have you guys work over my jetta inside and out. Its nasty from the old lady driving it. You guys do great work