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clay before or after ?

Never clayed a car before but read plenty on it over the last couple of months and just to be a little safer first time I have gone for Halfords G3 clay mitt.
The paintwork is Carbonio Black and has a couple of chips mainly down around the cill that I would like to sort out and my question is should I clay then touch up the paint or touch up and clay say a couple of weeks later ?
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My personal view it makes no odds really.

Make sure the chips are cleaned thoroughly before applying paint to ensure good adhesion. Also best practice is to leave paint proud of chip and use a nibber to lightly sand it down to same level as paint.

Obviously you'll need to polish out the sanding marks afterwards.

Take your time with the clay bar as preparation is key to getting a good finish. So don't rush it, do a panel at a time of you haven't got time to do he car in one go.

Personally I'd clay the car, prep it with IPA treat chips (inc sanding when dry etc) then protect the paint afterwards.

A lot to get done in one go I'd suggest.

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Thanks, yes maybe a bit at a time.
I had wondered if the clay would lightly 'sand' the touched up paint itself hence my question.
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Thanks, yes maybe a bit at a time.
I had wondered if the clay would lightly 'sand' the touched up paint itself hence my question.
The "claying" doesn't sand the surface as such, it removes all the particles that have attached themselves to the paint. I suggest the clay mit is not up to the job if your car hasn't been clayed before. You need this:
Halfords | Meguiar's Quik Clay Starter Kit
You will then have some quick detailer left to top up all your hard work.
Don't forget that once you have "clayed", polished, and waxed to seal in the finish.
Autoglym EGP is good for this.
Halfords | Autoglym Extra Gloss Protection 325ml

Atb,Alex
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I have been using Harley Wax and Collinite so its had some decent protection
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Personally I'd fully decontaminate the paint first (tar & glue remover, fallout remover and clay). Then touch up the stone chips. Flatten the repairs with wet and dry (wet, obviously) starting with 1500 grit working down to 3000 grit then machine cut and polish, wipe down with a 50/50 IPA mix then seal/wax.

The best clay out there by far is Bilt & Hamber. It comes in 3 grades and doesnt require a dedicated lube or quick detailer, tap water is fine, although I usually add a small amount of shampoo to add to the lubricity.

http://www.bilthamber.com/clay-bars

www.facebook.com/tjr5150 For all your valeting and detailing needs.

Last edited by Tommywho156; 11-02-15 at 08:50.
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Thanks for that link
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Personally I'd fully decontaminate the paint first (tar & glue remover, fallout remover and clay). Then touch up the stone chips. Flatten the repairs with wet and dry (wet, obviously) starting with 1500 grit working down to 3000 grit then machine cut and polish, wipe down with a 50/50 IPA mix then seal/wax.

The best clay out there by far is Bilt & Hamber. It comes in 3 grades and doesnt require a dedicated lube or quick detailer, tap water is fine, although I usually add a small amount of shampoo to add to the lubricity.

Clay Bar Products | Protect Paintwork With Auto Clay Bars - Bilt Hamber Laboratories
This is the one i use as well, its great that you only need to use tap water to lube the bar
 
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I wouldnt buy the clay kits. The microfibres and applicators you get in the kits are cheap crap from china that should go in the bin (specially that megs one) you get bugger all clay as well. The liquid wax is cheap and nasty and you get hardly any. The megs detailer is good but never by ready mixed detailer because you are being ripped off.

Basically get 3m clay on ebay and you will get like 5 large blocks for 15 quid. In the kit you get 2 tiny thin slices. Clay is clay, and clay is cheap and readily available. dont pay a premium for it.

And buy a concentrated detailer like dodo juice, or garry deans infite use detail juice.

Dont bother buying applicator pads specifically made for cars. Buy little foam cleaning pads for babies in tesco's. They are softer than applicator pads and about 5% of the price.

In terms of cloths all you need is a Master Clean Eagle borderless cotten cloth. It is THE best cloth. you need no other cloth apart from waffle weaves for removing excess liquids. Nothing else should ever touch your cars paint from the following

noodle wash mitt (or lambswool)
Clay
the little baby foam applicator pads for wax
waffle weave for liquid removal
eagle master clean bordless cloth for removing wax or sealent. (or excess polish when polishing)

thats it nothing else touches your paint. Avoid cheap microfibres. Do not buy any microfibre if its "made in China" (korean only you can feel the difference in quality)
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I wouldnt buy the clay kits. The microfibres and applicators you get in the kits are cheap crap from china that should go in the bin (specially that megs one) you get bugger all clay as well. The liquid wax is cheap and nasty and you get hardly any. The megs detailer is good but never by ready mixed detailer because you are being ripped off.

Basically get 3m clay on ebay and you will get like 5 large blocks for 15 quid. In the kit you get 2 tiny thin slices. Clay is clay, and clay is cheap and readily available. dont pay a premium for it.

And buy a concentrated detailer like dodo juice, or garry deans infite use detail juice.

Dont bother buying applicator pads specifically made for cars. Buy little foam cleaning pads for babies in tesco's. They are softer than applicator pads and about 5% of the price.

In terms of cloths all you need is a Master Clean Eagle borderless cotten cloth. It is THE best cloth. you need no other cloth apart from waffle weaves for removing excess liquids. Nothing else should ever touch your cars paint from the following

noodle wash mitt (or lambswool)
Clay
the little baby foam applicator pads for wax
waffle weave for liquid removal
eagle master clean bordless cloth for removing wax or sealent. (or excess polish when polishing)

thats it nothing else touches your paint. Avoid cheap microfibres. Do not buy any microfibre if its "made in China" (korean only you can feel the difference in quality)
I disagree with much of what you're saying.

Unless you're a pro do you really need loads of clay when you only need to use a small piece maybe twice a year? Not really is the answer, so why buy 300g (3-bars) of 3M for £15 when a 200g bar of Bilt & Hamber is less than £10 and is a FAR superior clay that only requires water as a lube.

Not all clays are equal. There's a lot of fake 3M clay floating around eBay at the moment. It's closer to Blu-Tac than detailing clay so only buy from trusted sources.

Baby sponges are impregnated with baby oil, never use one on your car. Dedicated foam applicator pads are about £3 for 12, hardly a rip off.

Don't use quick detailer when claying, a drop of car shampoo in a 500ml spray bottle works perfectly.

Borderless cloths are great but expensive when compared to normal microfibers, if you fold a normal one properly the edges aren't a problem.

Junkman is great but don't take his word as gospel, there are better ways of doing things properly.
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For me i would clay then touch up, that way you know the surface is contamination free for the paint to adhere to.

I have to agree with tommy on this one, i just get the big pack of cloths from costco at like 12 quid and fold them properly so the corners arent touching the paintwork,
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I was in halfords today. Megs clay is 9.99 for a 50 g bar. you can get 5 x 180g 3m bars for 10 pounds (not 15) with delivery on the bay. Ive got it and I use it. Ive also got megs clay because again I was given the megs claying kit about 5 years ago as a present. Its exactly the same as the megs stuff except its like a tiny faction of the cost. they both work fine. It isnt fake (its too cheap to be worth faking really) They both pick up the contaminate layer. You can feel the 3m stuff is nice and tacky and grippy and you keep it nice and lubricated. It feels the same as the megs stuff and lifts off the contaminate layer. buy some and try it is what I would say. you wont be paying top $$$ for your clay again.

note

You are buying 'Clay Magic' indirectly whichever clay you choose...

There are only a couple manufactures of clay and patents protect the technology, with some subtle difference in consistency and firmness, a recent court hearing found components of the “elastic clay” to be a patent infringement and the judge ordered sale of the product to be halted. (In the United States, Auto Wax Company Inc. (now owned by Illinois Tool Works Inc.) owns the US patent rights (No. 5,727,993) and reads thus- "Conventional compounds comprising an elastomeric resin mixed with abrasives used to remove protrusions, projections, and/or strongly adhered foreign matter from vehicle surfaces"

Auto Wax owns six patents relating to clay products and provides private label clay too many of the detail industry’s leading companies - Clay Magic detailing car clay and Auto Magic specialty products As a result, all of the Polybutene (Polyisobutylene) or plastic clay being manufactured now comes from the same factory in Japan, which as the only patent holder has a monopoly on the market. Meguiar's, Mothers, Sonus, Zaino, et al get their clay either from Japan (Source Chem. Inc. one of Japan's biggest clay manufacturers) or from a US licensed manufacturer.

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It is maybe worth noting that the Autogeek quote about clay is referring to the USA market. The U.S. patents do not apply to us in Europe or in other parts of the world. An example of a clay not made in America or Japan would be the Bilt Hamber clay, as this is made in the UK.

The recent introduction of clay cloths was a very clever way around the USA patents. It is also worth noting the original clay bars were introduced to remove overspray in bodyshops. These aggressive bars are great in that task but will leave heavy paint marring, the later grades of medium and fine became ideal for the detailing market
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yer spot on its a US patient only.

but its really to just make a point about how you will see like Megs offering a clay and say zaino offering one etc. They are really all the same.

megs and 3m will all be the same stuff. made by the same company. With different dye.

You can "feel" its the same. The only difference is the price.

£10 for 50g of Meg
£10 for 900g of 3m (delivered)

(sure euro companies can do what they like but its will still be similiar)
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....megs and 3m will all be the same stuff. made by the same company. With different dye......
We are going a bit off topic but don't forget 3M own Meguiars so in effect they are made by the same people
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most helpful - thanks
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yer spot on its a US patient only.

but its really to just make a point about how you will see like Megs offering a clay and say zaino offering one etc. They are really all the same.

megs and 3m will all be the same stuff. made by the same company. With different dye.

You can "feel" its the same. The only difference is the price.

£10 for 50g of Meg
£10 for 900g of 3m (delivered)

(sure euro companies can do what they like but its will still be similiar)
One of the lads on Detailing Addicts (Facebook group) has just been stung. He decided to take advantage of the eBay discount and received 900g of utterly useless Blu-Tac.

That's why you don't buy the cheap 3M clay from eBay....
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just buy off someone with good rep who sells automotive products? will always be ebay horror stories out there and scammers etc... But its very easy to find good vendors on Ebay (for anything). Id be surprised if he got 900g of blue tack because that would be more valuable than the clay.

Or just buy off a local auto shop. point is do not buy (for example) 50g of megs clay from halfords for a tener. (unless you really dont mind that price)
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