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Optimum Finish Polish Questions

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I recently corrected my black Subaru WRX with Meguiars M205 on white LC CCS pads. The paint is so buttery soft, that I was able to achieve almost 100% correction with this combo. Unfortunately, I do have some uniform looking micromarring and towel marks from the polish removal process, IPA wipedown process and quite possibly the 205 not being fine enough and leaving micromarring itself. I have sealed it with Opti-Seal for the time being.

 

In a few weeks I would like to apply Opti-Coat 2.0 to the car so I can get some hardness/scratch resistance to my paint (I am so tired of dealing with soft black Subaru paint!). I will most likely clay the car again with Pinnacle Utra-Fine Poly Clay/Pinnacle Clay Lubricant and Iron X the car to make sure it is fully decontaminated before the Opti-Coat.

 

After the decontamination I would like to use an ultra-fine finish polish to remove any towel marks/micromarring from last time and any new additional micromarring I get from claying with the Pinnacle clay this time around. Would Optimum Finish Polish be a good product for my needs in this case?

 

I will be using a PC7424XP and was wondering a few things about how to remove the micromarring using Optimum Finish Polish:

 

1. What pad should I be using? I use LC foam pads mostly and was thinking of using a Black "Finishing", Blue "Finessing" or even a Red wax pad? My gut feel is that black would be too firm and red would be too soft so blue might be the best choice?

 

2. What speed should I set my PCXP to, and how much pressure should I use to remove the marring? I heard maybe speed 3 with firm pressure?

 

3. Obviously I will do a test spot but how many passes might it take just to remove marring. A low number like 2 or 3 or would it take more?


Thanks,
Drew

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John,

 

That is so helpful! I really appreciate the help! Thanks and have a great day. :thumbsupup[1]: I am pumped to apply Opti-Coat for the first time. I am going to do some reading/research on this forum about application techniques to make sure I do it right!


Drew

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One more question for those out there on Opt Forum.

 

1. Is Optimum Finish Polish easy to remove if applied and work properly? I heard it can sometimes be tacky if you use too much?

 

2. Can I go right from Finish Polish to Opti-Coat with no wipedown? (I will be using a damp onr towel to remove the residue and I did not know if the ONR polymers or the Finish Polish oils would interfere with Opti-Coat bonding) I am thinking of doing a Carpro Eraser Wipedown just to be on the safe side.

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I use a damp mf for removal, the old blue indigos from AG. Don't think they sell them anymore. I use onr and sometimes just damp mf. Eraser or ipa wipe down never hurts to be safe, just make sure your using your best mf towels.

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10-4 John, Thanks!! I will probaly use some damp pandas short nap side as you have recommended in the past and do a Eraser wipedown with some boas to be safe. Looking forward to getting a hard coating on my Subaru paint because some of the recent paint gauge readings I have taken do not look pretty!

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Did you clay it already on the most recent detail session? Unless you drive a ton of miles or through grime and muck, consider not claying again so soon. With such soft paint, you need to try and avoid potential to add additional defects.

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Drew

Maybe Richard Lin of Show Car Detailing can chime in on his recent experience with buttery soft paint which I think was also on a subie. He recently wrote about the paint being so soft the Opti-Guard applicator was marring the paint. He is a new member here and most likely share that info with the forum.

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Drew-

 

I have polished many Subaru's in the 10 years I've been correcting paint, but it wasn't until I had to Opti Coat a black one did I realize that it's next to impossible to coat one without instilling any defects in the paint. Let's not even consider the issue of Subaru's sticky paint which tends to make every polish dry and sticky. Should you find a method that let's you perfect the paint and lets you arrive at a totally clean surface free of polishing oils, silicones, polymers, etc.. that will accept the coating, you still have to get Opti Coat on the paint and level it. Should you have any high spots that need extra buffing or wiping with ONR, you will more than likely mar the finish at that point as well. Currently the best known ways to apply OC on scratch sensitive paints is with a microfiber suede applicator or if you don't mind using 4 times as much product, spray it on. My problem wasn't with the application however. Once the OC starts flashing, you can reduce the amount of leveling by blowing it with compressed air. You will still have to wipe it at some point and that's where the frustration begins. OC Pro takes a week to fully cure. Even though it's dry in a few minutes, it's not hard and will not resist scratches. I have found that Prima Amigo which is a polymer glaze and paint cleaner will let me level high spots even after OC has cured. I am actually thinking it might be best to just coat the Subaru paint and let it flash off and leave any high spots until it's cured, then use Amigo to level the spots. I didn't have a week to test this theory however, but as I write this, it sounds like a plausible solution.

 

Here is a detailed step by step of the process I went through to achieve a nearly perfect coating with OC Pro.

 

I first corrected the black 2009 Subaru a couple months ago and it came back several weeks later because of "swirls" the owner found. The car was a complete mess and had not been washed in those weeks which rained and sat outside under a tree. Even though the paint was "perfect" upon delivery, apparently I had not thoroughly cleaned the paint and the OC didn't bond properly. So I decided to remove the OC Pro and repolish the paint "properly" having to full correct it a second time. I had the car the second time for over 2 weeks. I spent 100+ hours and ended up developing a new cleaner known as "Super IPA". Polishing the sticky paint wasn't that bad and removing the coating wasn't that bad either. With such extreme differences in how the paint reacts, it was easy to see whether the coating had been polished through or not. If I cut the paint and it was easy to wipe off, I wasn't through the OC yet, but if it stuck like glue, then its obvious. Polishing the paint to perfection could be done with a variety of polishes. Scholls S3 worked well with a MF pad even though it stuck. Menzerna 4500 stuck like glue as well despite all of the oils. Prima Swirl did the same. Meguiar's M105 did as well. I tried using mineral oil during polishing and that helped a great deal but I was more concerned about the potential of paint swelling and then having to thoroughly remove the oils that might have permeated into the paint, I couldn't be absolutely certain the paint was clean before coating. So my process was cut with MF pad with Rupes Bigfoot 15 and Menzerna FG400. I discovered that Prima Amigo, a polymer glaze and paint cleaner with a Buff and Shine black pad on the BF15 would remove the stuck on polish. Trying to remove the polish by hand would surely cause marring. Spreading the force out over a pad would ensure no marring occurred. The problem with using a polymer glaze/paint cleaner is that like using oils, the chances of having polymers left over which could affect the coating process was a concern. I spent several hours testing different methods. I know the polymers in Amigo are there for looks, not protection. If I use only Amigo, the resulting paint is perfectly clear but slippery as well. So I tried 3 followup steps. Two wipe downs with 45% IPA ("super IPA") until the slickness was gone. I followed with ONR as well as distilled water knowing that my IPA mixture was water soluble, I knew that further cleaning could be done this way. But wiping down with water by hand caused marring. ONR was safer but left a slightly slick feeling. I talked to Chris Thomas about this and although he said it's not recommended it "could" work. I decided not to take the chance. I decided to try something very unconventional. I know that I can kill these polymers with alcohol. I use alcohol to clean my wax applicator pads so I know how effective it is. My method was put a dot of Prima Amigo on a black B&S pad and spray the rest of the pad with "Super IPA" to effectively neutralize the polymers. This allowed me to clean the sticky paint until it was perfectly clear with no haze. Next I used another clean B&S Shine black pad lubricated with only "Super IPA" to clean the surface on the BF15. There would be some buildup along the pad edges as I cleaned but a final wipedown by hand with "Super IPA" before coating would eliminate it. For coating I used the suede microfiber towel wrapped around a foam block. I used generous amounts of OC to ensure even coverage with minimal passes. I used compressed air to level the OC to minimize wiping. By this step everything is fine. I used about a dozen brand new microfiber towels for this car. Lit with my LED lights I would very lightly buff the surface to remove the OC. I carefully checked the surface for any streaks or residue. I used ONR in a spray bottle to remove anything left over and brand new microfiber towels. By this time, some marring might be introduced. I have found that Prima Amigo is a fantastic OC leveler and for polishing swirls from OC. I polished out a severely neglected OC'd Acura NSX recently using this method.

 

About an hour after the coating had been applied, I went over the entire car and used some Amigo on a soft MF towel and gently wiped off any high spots that I missed earlier. The paint was clear but from certain angles I'd see some marring. I would try to "correct" this and it would be fine, but then I'd see issues in other areas as I looked at it from different angles. It was impossible to get any surface "perfect" when viewed from every angle. On a few panels that got me most frustrated, I went back and repolished it and coated it again but of course that used up more product. So that was my process for this car.

 

You can see what the STI looked like after the first polishing attempt.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151412300801133.539591.157160866132&type=3

 

Outside it looked great

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151414422951133.539826.157160866132&type=3

 

The second time I had it, I took far fewer pictures.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151527082976133.1073741833.157160866132&type=3

 

The paint was flawless until I started buffing off the OC Pro. You can see very light swirls at the bottom of this picture. Lit with my 5500 Lumen LED's it was looking fantastic.

https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/887109_10151527085451133_734103407_o.jpg

 

I recently corrected my black Subaru WRX with Meguiars M205 on white LC CCS pads. The paint is so buttery soft, that I was able to achieve almost 100% correction with this combo. Unfortunately, I do have some uniform looking micromarring and towel marks from the polish removal process, IPA wipedown process and quite possibly the 205 not being fine enough and leaving micromarring itself. I have sealed it with Opti-Seal for the time being.

 

In a few weeks I would like to apply Opti-Coat 2.0 to the car so I can get some hardness/scratch resistance to my paint (I am so tired of dealing with soft black Subaru paint!). I will most likely clay the car again with Pinnacle Utra-Fine Poly Clay/Pinnacle Clay Lubricant and Iron X the car to make sure it is fully decontaminated before the Opti-Coat.

 

After the decontamination I would like to use an ultra-fine finish polish to remove any towel marks/micromarring from last time and any new additional micromarring I get from claying with the Pinnacle clay this time around. Would Optimum Finish Polish be a good product for my needs in this case?

 

I will be using a PC7424XP and was wondering a few things about how to remove the micromarring using Optimum Finish Polish:

 

1. What pad should I be using? I use LC foam pads mostly and was thinking of using a Black "Finishing", Blue "Finessing" or even a Red wax pad? My gut feel is that black would be too firm and red would be too soft so blue might be the best choice?

 

2. What speed should I set my PCXP to, and how much pressure should I use to remove the marring? I heard maybe speed 3 with firm pressure?

 

3. Obviously I will do a test spot but how many passes might it take just to remove marring. A low number like 2 or 3 or would it take more?


Thanks,
Drew

 

Thanks Paul! Yes that black STI was not fun to coat.

Drew

Maybe Richard Lin of Show Car Detailing can chime in on his recent experience with buttery soft paint which I think was also on a subie. He recently wrote about the paint being so soft the Opti-Guard applicator was marring the paint. He is a new member here and most likely share that info with the forum.

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Thanks for the quick reply Richard. I'm not looking foward to coating any subie paints but I now have a idea of what I would be up against and a couple of ways to try and tackle the job.

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Wow, Richard thank you so much for the helpful info/tips. Subaru black paint is certaily quite a challenge! I think after reading your post I will be better prepared to tackle the project at hand.


Drew

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Beeing somewhat "Green" in the correction work area of detailing, If I can get my WRX 75% as nice as what Richard accomplished on that STi I will be a happy man. I might just have to live with a small amount of marring, but on the other hand it is my daily driver not my RX-7. My main goal is to get it to the best of my abilites and protect the paint/existing clear because I took some paint gauge readings and they were not to flattering, especially on the roof! Also, I want to carve out a weekend and have fun with this and not sweat the details. It is a learning process.

 

Drew

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