Sorting out poor paintwork - Alfa Romeo Forum
You are currently unregistered, register for more features.    
 
Thread Tools
(Post Link) post #1 of 6 Old 19-03-09 Thread Starter
Status: To fix or to break, that is the question!
AO Member
 
xsquared_uk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: United Kingdom
County: West Yorkshire
Posts: 66
Sorting out poor paintwork

Hi all,

I've read a lot in this forum and learned all sorts of things about detailing that I didn't know before, so thanks everyone for sharing their experiences.

A lot of people on here seem to have really nice cars which they want to keep in that condition, and there is a lot of good advice on how to do that. However, my circumstances are a bit different! My car has poor paintwork in a few places - it is black, and in certain areas the paint has lost the lacquer and is matt in appearance, there are scratches and stonechips, I'm sure it is probably covered in tree sap and tar and whatnot, basically it needs some serious time and attention.

My question is this - what is the best way to sort out a car with poor paintwork? To my mind, all those waxes and things are just going to coat the problem areas and so if there's something I should do first then I'd rather not have to remove all the wax again to do it! I'm going to have to respray a few bits where there is no paint left at all, what is the best way to protect those when I'm done? Is the method the same for fresh paint as for old, or will I damage the new paint? How do I know when the paint is too far gone to save? Etc etc.

I know this sounds a bit thick, and some people will think 'just T-Cut the damn thing or else get it resprayed' (no chance sadly) but I am genuinely looking for any advice from more experienced people, and if that turns out to be the best option then so be it, but at least I made the effort to find out!

Thanks!
xsquared_uk is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Status: -
AO Platinum Member
 
Ralf S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: The land that Time forgot
Posts: 13,073
Re: Sorting out poor paintwork

If the lacquer is peeling then your have Top Coat Failure. Respray is the only solution.

If the finish is just not shiny, then the lacquer is still there.. but just not shiny.

You need to polish the beast.

First of all, wash the car.

Then use (if you can) a dual-action machine polisher and a mildly abrasive ("medium") polish. This will remove surface marks and swirls. You'll be unlikely to get a good result polishing badly faded paint by hand.

When you're done, switch to a finer polish and polish it again. A finer polish turns that "medium" polished surface (which will be still quite dull) into a shiny surface.

Now rinse the car.. get those abrasives off.

If your car is black you can next try a glaze. A glaze contains fillers which tend to mask some minor swirls (you're bound to still have some) so can improve the appearance. A glaze does not make dull paint shiny, nor does it protect the finish.

To protect the finish you need a wax or sealant. On a dark car, I'd got for a wax.. (anything with Carnauba wax in it). This is usually applied by hand.. and as your paint will be smoooooooth now, it's actually quite theraputic. Let it dry and wipe it off. Repeat.. 2 or 3 times if you have time/energy left.

If you don't like wax (why not? It smells great! ) you can try a sealant. These last longer than wax.. give a slightly less "wet" look but nice all the same. Suits lighter car better though..

You can tell your paint is beyond help if the lacquer is peeling, or if you can see primer. Mostly anything else can be saved.

Note that polishing erodes the top coat (you are removing some top coat to get the surface microscopically flat and uniform) so if you polish too often or for too long you can induce a top coat failure (i.e. you wear through the lacquer until it's so thin it starts to peel) but this is RARE. It doesn't sound like your car has been polished enough for "thin top coat" to be an issue to you.

It's worth buyinga Dual-action polisher and some kit. It's very difficult to wreck the paint using a DA polisher. For polish, start with the mildest one you have and then only go to the more abrasive one if the mild one isn't abrasive enough.

Everyone and his dog will have their prefered brand or products.. but to avoid confusion (wait till you see all the products recommended) I'd stick to just one manufacturer so that the products you need and how they relate to each other are easier to understand.

I tend to use Poorboys products.. In the scenario above, the products you'd need are;

Medium polish: "SSR2"
Fine polish: "SSR1"
Glaze: "Black Hole" glaze
Wax: "Natty Blue" wax


Once you have your car sorted, you only need to maintain it. Regular washing.. (see "2-bucket method" to reduce new swirling) and claying (see "claying") will prepare the surface... then you just need to glaze and wax it.

Ralf S.

No bullets for Chaingun..
Ralf S. is offline  
(Post Link) post #3 of 6 Old 20-03-09 Thread Starter
Status: To fix or to break, that is the question!
AO Member
 
xsquared_uk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: United Kingdom
County: West Yorkshire
Posts: 66
Re: Sorting out poor paintwork

That's great, thanks for taking the time to reply Ralf. So you don't think I need to use clay at the moment, I should save that for future cleaning?

I'm definitely going to have to respray the roof (myself, so that should be interesting...) but it is good to know that a lot of it can be saved - thanks again!
xsquared_uk is offline  
Status: -
AO Platinum Member
 
Ralf S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: The land that Time forgot
Posts: 13,073
Re: Sorting out poor paintwork

Some fellas clay before polishing.. but if you're going to attack the surface with a medium abrasiveness polish, then there really isn't any point in claying first - the polishing process will more than likely remove the contaminants anyway.

Clay is good at getting rid of bonded-on contaminants like tar and industrial fallout etc. You'll be abe to feel the surface and tell when it needs doing (run you hands along the door bottoms.. you'll feel the tar and dirt as "grit").

Clay (if lubed properly) isn't aggressive to the paint so you can do it as often as you like. A clayed surface that's then been waxed stays in better condition for longer anyway so you end up not needing to do it very often.

For your new paint.. I guess once you've sprayed it and lacquered it, you'll end with a final polishing step anyway, so just wax it when you're done, to protect the new finish.


Ralf S.
Ralf S. is offline  
Status: [aluminium undertrayfitted
AO Silver Member
 
springbok's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: South Africa
County: Western Cape
Posts: 2,133

Member car:

Alfa 156 GTA

Re: Sorting out poor paintwork

Well answered Ralf S. The only point which I dissagree with is that most detailers ALWAYS clay before they polish. Especially if you are using a machine with foam pads, claying will remove a lot of the gunk which can really stuff up the pads. Polish works best when applied to a perfectly clean and smooth surface.

On extremely dirty and neglected cars I sometimes even use a paint cleaner first, then clay and then polish.

xsquared, I am afraid to say that it sounds as if your paintwork is pretty far gone, but good luck anyway.
springbok is offline  
(Post Link) post #6 of 6 Old 22-03-09 Thread Starter
Status: To fix or to break, that is the question!
AO Member
 
xsquared_uk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: United Kingdom
County: West Yorkshire
Posts: 66
Re: Sorting out poor paintwork

Yeah, to be fair the more I look at it, most of it isn't THAT bad, but there are bits which are definitely too far gone. For example, if you look at the pic in my avatar in full size, at first glance you wouldn't notice but once you know the paint on the roof is appalling it sticks out like a sore thumb! For now I will only drive past short people to avoid anyone else seeing it...
xsquared_uk is offline  
Reply

Go Back   Alfa Romeo Forum > Supported Alfa Romeo Models > Technical & Vehicle Assistance > Car Detailing

Tags
paintwork , poor , sorting

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome