A while back we had the pleasure of working on our client’s 2013 Honda Civic. With the car being a recent purchase, he wanted to make sure the paint would be in good condition; and be well protected for the future. This particular car would prove to be a challenge for us, and it reminded us why doing a test panel is critical before a proper paint correction.
Here was the car first thing in the morning, dew and all.
The shade does a fine job of hiding imperfections so we pulled her into the street and gave the paint a good evaluation.
The usual suspects of dirt, calcium deposits, swirl marks, and some random isolated deep scratches.
We started off with a two-bucket wash and proper drying, and brought her in the garage so that we could start claying. Claying windows is a great way to get embedded contaminants out of the glass.
We make our own clay lube, which is simply a mix of water and dish soap. You could also use a quick detailer or clean soap/water used to clean the car. When we do a paint correction we shy away from using quick detailer as a spray lube since we want the surface as clean and as free of dirt or solvents as possible.
After clay, we brought the car into the sun so that we could see the true condition of the clear coat; and get a feel for the methods and products we will most likely be using.
The swirls were obviously present but not as bad as we were expecting. This is where we were reminded of how important a test panel is. The swirls on this car were very minor. This picture was the worst spot on the entire car. We were fairly certain that a one-step correction with some polish would be enough to bring this car back to a perfect finish.
We were wrong. After testing with a polishing pad and some polish, we noticed no change to the paint’s finish. We followed with a microfiber cutting pad and some compound and saw a drastic change in the car’s finish. Paint hardness varies from car to car and manufacturer to manufacturer. All clear coats behave differently and what works for one car may not work with another. Do a test panel! It saves headache and will let you know exactly what you need to do to properly correct the paint.
We continued with the cutting pad and compound around the entire car.
We also upgraded our DA! Went from our old Porter Cable to something with some more power. In our case, a Griot’s Garage 6″.
After compound we switched to our finishing pad and our polish.
We LOVE Ammo products. Ever since we made the jump we can’t fathom using anything else.
After our polishing was done we added sealant, and did some interior work while we let it cure. Finally, we added some carnauba wax to add more depth and incredible shine.
Finally we were done. It was very late and dark by the time we finished and getting finishing shots in the cramped garage was difficult. But the car looked amazing.
The shine coming from the car was insane! It’s hard to capture in images how much reflection comes off of the car after a correction. It was a long day, but completely worth it. This Civic paint correction turned out great and the customer was very happy to see his car in show room quality.