Polishing up a carbonia black159? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 7 Old 03-12-16 Thread Starter
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Polishing up a carbonia black159?

Hi guys
The 159 I am looking to buy soon has really flat dull paint. I don't mind that as it's actually priced very reasonably and thr interior is lovely.
It also has some flaking top coat at a few places around the car which would need fixing up. How would be best to do that? Sand spray lightly and polish up? All flaking bits are in hard to see places.

Also I have heard that the paint is very thin? Has anyone ever had problems machine polishing them? I'd pay for a professional to do it quite a lot of money but I'm worried it may buff through the top coat :/

Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Jack
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you'd need a pro to sort the top coat out. as for the dull paint; if you've not got a polisher you're not going to to do much to it by hand, without your shoulder falling off.
maybe a nice oily glaze and some wax on top of it would make all the difference, for not much cost.
i'd wash>fallout remover>clay>wash>glaze>wax. any more than that, give it to a pro detailer.
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Yeah I wonder how much that would cost haha. But then again no rush to get the flaky bits sorted really just get them done as and when probably spring time.

I'd get it done professionally to get it tidied up though. Specially to protect it through winter. I just heard that they were very thin paint and could be hard to polish without getting damaged :/

Cheers bud
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It is impossible to know how thin your paint is without measuring it. Assuming someone has not bashed away the paint with some strong compounds, the paint should be ok. The flaking paint could be down to neglect or could indicate too much paint has been removed in the past.

If the car was mine I would give it a damn good washing and then use a paint cleaner, loads of these for sale eg Meguiars Stage 1 cleaner (from Halfords) or Serious Performance Paint Cleaner. Follow with some claying, again huge number of clays for sale although many now like the clay mitts (G3 from Halfords is fine). The reason for this approach is the paint will be chemically cleaned without removing any paint.

This should improve the gloss of the paint and at the very least will give you a better view of the paint. Products such as Autoglym's SRP are very good as they have a mild chemical cleaners and some very mild abrasives but will hide any minor marks. Nothing wrong with hiding defects, it all comes down to what you want to do. Maybe worth using something like SRP with a wax and wait until spring to work out what to do next.

As the outside temperatures are beginning to drop, many products (waxes) can be a bit tricky to apply although if you have a (heated) garage this should not be a problem. I use either a spray wax which is full of UV filters or spray sealant without problems in winter as a drying aid so they provide protection for the paint and make drying quicker.

Not sure how much machine polishing would cost, my guess is several hundred quid upwards although I would get a bodyshop to sort out the flaking paint first. If you do decide to use a professional detailer, do your research, there are some dodgy people out there as well as some very skilled workers. Machine polishing is not a hard skill to learn if you want to do it yourself but it is understandable if you wish to use a professional.
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Flaking may be due to a poor repair so check any related parts. It could have been badly masked when resprayed without disassembling the parts.
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I have looked over the car. None of the paint looks different colours on different panels. All the panel gaps are the same along the length and the history check on the car came back saying it hasn't been in a crash.
One weird thing that has made me wonder though was along the front bar across the front of the engine bay apparently loads of dirt crystals formed on the rubber bonnet seal and has worn away the paint along the top of the metal slam panel. It's now got duct tape all along it as the owner said it was going to get re-sprayed if he hadn't sold the car :S does that sound dodgy to you haha?

As for detailing I have a quote for £400 for the following.
- Snow foam
- Wash
- De-Tar
- Fallout Removal
- Claybar
- 2 Stage polish up
- Gyeon Quartz professional 18 month crystal protection dried and set under uv lighting.

Looking at the places work it will come out looking stunning haha.
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I would give the car a proper wash, de tar, clay bar if necessary, then seal and wax it. If the paint is still dull after the clay bar you might want to consider getting the car polished before sealing and waxing. You can easily do the polishing yourself provided you use a dual action (DA) machine. Rupes do a fabulous one and are available in different sizes. For about £600 you will have all the equipment you need to get this car up to the standard a detailer will achieve (except the coating). The difference is you obviously do it yourself (you find out more about your cars condition than is good for you) but you have the machinery to do it again. Personally I wouldn't put anything else other than sealer and a good wax to give you the shine. Honestly, you'll be amazed at the difference a proper wash and wax will do on its own.
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