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Detailing dilemma: professional paint correction or DIY?

Old 12-27-2018, 10:25 PM
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gregmitch
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Default Detailing dilemma: professional paint correction or DIY?

Purchased my first Porsche almost 6 months ago and I've been debating on what to do about properly protecting the paint. I do have rock chips in the usual spots, some door dings and just a few scratches here. Paint overall is pretty good, not concours by any means. Better than driver I'd say. I would like to have it detailed, remove containiments and some swirl marks/stains...make it pop as best as I could get it, then protect with proper wax/sealant.

My dilemma is do I cough up the money and get professional paint correction now and then properly maintain it myself from here on out OR do I invest in proper tools/knowledge and tackle it myself? My experience in detailing is limited to the basics but I do find satisfaction in the results once the work is put in. Is this risk of trying to correct the paint myself too high?
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Old 12-27-2018, 11:50 PM
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Let's assume you take the car through a two stage paint correction and whatever protective coating you want applied. You're looking at approximately $1000 to have that done. That price will certainly vary depending on where you go.

Then you'll maintain it with at-home washes. So you will need buckets, microfiber, wheel brushes, and product. Regardless of whether you do the correction yourself, you will still want the proper items for home care. That expense is happening either way so it's a wash.

To do the correction, you will need a random orbital polisher, pads, the product, and whatever protective product you choose. So you'll end up spending roughly $500-$750.

To do the wash, decon, clay, polish, and protection you'll likely spend 8-10 hours of your time. Maybe more since it is also the learning process.

You have to decide which of those is worth it. As for difficulty, it's not that challenging. But it does take some time to learn. Especially correction. With a Random Orbital and the right product you can ensure success with limited chance of damage.

For me, I like doing it. It's a fun experience and very rewarding. Though it is time consuming.

Check out Matt Moreman's YouTube Channel ObsessedGarage. Along with AmmoNYC. Both are rabbit holes that will help you decide if you want to go down this road.
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Old 12-28-2018, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by iammacey View Post
Let's assume you take the car through a two stage paint correction and whatever protective coating you want applied. You're looking at approximately $1000 to have that done. That price will certainly vary depending on where you go.

Then you'll maintain it with at-home washes. So you will need buckets, microfiber, wheel brushes, and product. Regardless of whether you do the correction yourself, you will still want the proper items for home care. That expense is happening either way so it's a wash.

To do the correction, you will need a random orbital polisher, pads, the product, and whatever protective product you choose. So you'll end up spending roughly $500-$750.

To do the wash, decon, clay, polish, and protection you'll likely spend 8-10 hours of your time. Maybe more since it is also the learning process.

You have to decide which of those is worth it. As for difficulty, it's not that challenging. But it does take some time to learn. Especially correction. With a Random Orbital and the right product you can ensure success with limited chance of damage.

For me, I like doing it. It's a fun experience and very rewarding. Though it is time consuming.

Check out Matt Moreman's YouTube Channel ObsessedGarage. Along with AmmoNYC. Both are rabbit holes that will help you decide if you want to go down this road.
This is great info and exactly the breakdown I was looking for! Thank you.
As for those YouTube channels, I'm already down those rabbit holes haha. Been using some Ammo products for my hoseless washes.
I definitely would like to do it myself, if it's possible to not easily mess up the paint, as I'd love to learn it all. I like the rewarding experiences.

Any recommendations on the random orbital polishers/pads? I've been pulling my hair out trying to narrow the choices down.
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Old 12-28-2018, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by gregmitch View Post
This is great info and exactly the breakdown I was looking for! Thank you.
As for those YouTube channels, I'm already down those rabbit holes haha. Been using some Ammo products for my hoseless washes.
I definitely would like to do it myself, if it's possible to not easily mess up the paint, as I'd love to learn it all. I like the rewarding experiences.

Any recommendations on the random orbital polishers/pads? I've been pulling my hair out trying to narrow the choices down.
It can be a lot of fun. Back in 2003 I bought my first random orbital. It was a Porter Cable sander that people figured out you could slap pads on. I bought Griots Garage Machine Polish 1 - 3 and went to work. A few minutes later I was pretty confident my hood would need to be repainted. It made me sick. An hour or so later and it was incredible.

Now, with companies like Rupes, they are so many options for polishers. I would check out some of their comparison videos to help select which one is right for you. I do a 6" and that's it. I haven't invested in multiple sizes. Yet.

Definitely a fun and rewarding process and there is a lot of pride when you're finished.

I would also add, if you haven't landed on how you're going to protect the finish, check out a nano coating like GTechniq. I've been very impressed with them and it makes cleaning the car way easier. I have also been a long time fan of Zaino Bros. Showcar polish over carnuaba if you go a more traditional route.

If you're a Reddit user check out r/AutoDetailing
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Old 12-28-2018, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by iammacey View Post
It can be a lot of fun. Back in 2003 I bought my first random orbital. It was a Porter Cable sander that people figured out you could slap pads on. I bought Griots Garage Machine Polish 1 - 3 and went to work. A few minutes later I was pretty confident my hood would need to be repainted. It made me sick. An hour or so later and it was incredible.

Now, with companies like Rupes, they are so many options for polishers. I would check out some of their comparison videos to help select which one is right for you. I do a 6" and that's it. I haven't invested in multiple sizes. Yet.

Definitely a fun and rewarding process and there is a lot of pride when you're finished.

I would also add, if you haven't landed on how you're going to protect the finish, check out a nano coating like GTechniq. I've been very impressed with them and it makes cleaning the car way easier. I have also been a long time fan of Zaino Bros. Showcar polish over carnuaba if you go a more traditional route.

If you're a Reddit user check out r/AutoDetailing
Of course the rabbit hole gets deeper with Reddit...
Sounds like I have lots of material to read up on. Looking forward to learning more about it.
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Old 12-28-2018, 01:23 AM
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Good advice from iammacey, there are lots of great options available for polishers, compounds and pads.

My only other suggestions would be to consider having the scratches and chips touched up before you go through the polishing process. Getting the paint touched up ahead of polishing will help blend everything together.

Polishing with a DA really isn't difficult although I would strongly recommend using painters tape to cover any panel gaps and hard edges like the rain gutters and the hood center indent. I also typically remove headlights/tailights and turn signals to clean and polish the areas around them. You can also use a light polish for the plastic lenses, it will remove all swirls and make them glossy again.
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Old 12-28-2018, 01:25 AM
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Also wait until you finish the polishing/detailing before having PDR performed to remove dings/dents. Glossy paint will help the PDR Tech easily see when the dent is completely removed and you may find more mild dings when you finish polishing, speaking from experience here.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:06 PM
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I bought the random orbital polisher and all the stuff recommended by a pro chief concours judge buddy who does restoration and detailing for a living.
I shopped around and got it all for well under $200. And micro fiber cloths are cheap if you buy them in bulk packs from Sams, Costco or Amazon. And there are now ceramic coatings available on Amazon for $10-12 or so for 25-30 ml bottles.
So if you have the time, you canyouY and save aton of money.
Im retired and have the time, so will go the DIY route, and take my time learning....
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by PCA1983 View Post
I bought the random orbital polisher and all the stuff recommended by a pro chief concours judge buddy who does restoration and detailing for a living.
I shopped around and got it all for well under $200. And micro fiber cloths are cheap if you buy them in bulk packs from Sams, Costco or Amazon. And there are now ceramic coatings available on Amazon for $10-12 or so for 25-30 ml bottles.
So if you have the time, you canyouY and save aton of money.
Im retired and have the time, so will go the DIY route, and take my time learning....
Be careful with the bulk microfibers available from Costco and or any supplier for that matter. Most of those are great to use for wheels, trim and interior but I would keep them away from paint after the first wash. The fibers get hard rather quickly and I’ve seen first hand that they will leave swirls on paint and sometimes deeper scratches if you’re trying to clean up a bird dropping etc. For paint go with Cobra 530 or a similar higher end microfiber, they’ll last years and won’t mar your paint.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:39 AM
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I've decided to go the DIY route and begun to stock up on products that I'll be using in the spring. Makes the sting a little less purchasing over time than all at once. The amount of information out there is slightly overwhelming, so I'm going to continue doing research until I'm comforatble putting the polisher to the paint.

I'm excited to see the results of the work.
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by gregmitch View Post
I've decided to go the DIY route and begun to stock up on products that I'll be using in the spring. Makes the sting a little less purchasing over time than all at once. The amount of information out there is slightly overwhelming, so I'm going to continue doing research until I'm comforatble putting the polisher to the paint.

I'm excited to see the results of the work.
Greg feel free to PM me with any specific questions. I’ve been detailing for nearly 30 years, at times professionally and I’m pretty well versed with many products and how/when to apply them.
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:15 PM
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Congrats on the semi-recent purchase! I just bought mine over a year ago as well. I have a love hate relationship with black cars. They look amazing, but are definitely a part time job to maintain properly. I'm a pretty avid weekend warrior, it satisfies by OCD, and I love the results.

As iammacy alluded to above, the proper two bucket technique wash and dry to maintain is crucial. My gf "just had to" take her car through an automatic car wash about a week after I polished her car and destroyed 8 hours of labor in 3 minutes.

I'm a big fan of Larry from AmmoNYC, very informative and passionate about detailing. As you know, he has his own line of products, but has no problem recommending others as well.

Depending on how much you want to spend, Rupes polishers are the best in the business. Their effectiveness will save you some time, but comes at a price. I went with the Griots Garage polisher, has a lifetime warranty and has all the power you'll need. Just remember when picking polishing pads and polishes, do a test panel and try to go from least abrasive and work your way up. Generally, Meguiars 105 and 205 are many people's go to's.

Sealants are pretty new, and semi advanced so tread carefully. Detailer's domain, and Detailed Image are great resources for tips, tests and products. I just tried Gyeon's Can coat, and a Quartz topper. First time I've used coatings (have used sealants in the past) and it was relatively easy, and water beading is amazing, Hopefully it lasts a while. Quarts is amazing, helps dry the car quickly, but also adds silica protectant.

I could go on and on, but do some research, a lot of great products out there, and feel free to reach out!
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jungkim1234 View Post
Congrats on the semi-recent purchase! I just bought mine over a year ago as well. I have a love hate relationship with black cars. They look amazing, but are definitely a part time job to maintain properly. I'm a pretty avid weekend warrior, it satisfies by OCD, and I love the results.

As iammacy alluded to above, the proper two bucket technique wash and dry to maintain is crucial. My gf "just had to" take her car through an automatic car wash about a week after I polished her car and destroyed 8 hours of labor in 3 minutes.

I'm a big fan of Larry from AmmoNYC, very informative and passionate about detailing. As you know, he has his own line of products, but has no problem recommending others as well.

Depending on how much you want to spend, Rupes polishers are the best in the business. Their effectiveness will save you some time, but comes at a price. I went with the Griots Garage polisher, has a lifetime warranty and has all the power you'll need. Just remember when picking polishing pads and polishes, do a test panel and try to go from least abrasive and work your way up. Generally, Meguiars 105 and 205 are many people's go to's.

Sealants are pretty new, and semi advanced so tread carefully. Detailer's domain, and Detailed Image are great resources for tips, tests and products. I just tried Gyeon's Can coat, and a Quartz topper. First time I've used coatings (have used sealants in the past) and it was relatively easy, and water beading is amazing, Hopefully it lasts a while. Quarts is amazing, helps dry the car quickly, but also adds silica protectant.

I could go on and on, but do some research, a lot of great products out there, and feel free to reach out!
Oh man, an automatic car wash after all that work!!

I just picked up a Griot's 6" polisher and got a Meguiars microfiber cutting pad and Rupes Yellow foam pad. Went with those pads from seeing Larry use them a lot. Will start with the foam pad and polish first...least aggressive like you said. I picked up the Meguiars 105 and 205 as well. Just saw Larry use M110 on that Maserati MC12 and the one step process sounded interesting though. I'm hoping just a polish will remove some swirl marks. Some bumper love marks may need some more work, but you never know until you put the product to the paint.

The whole sealants and coatings thing twists my brain around. Lots to look at and many fancy words.

All fun stuff to research though and will be slowly building up the tools/products over the winter until it's time to put back on the summer tires.
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Old 01-15-2019, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by jungkim1234 View Post
Congrats on the semi-recent purchase! I just bought mine over a year ago as well. I have a love hate relationship with black cars. They look amazing, but are definitely a part time job to maintain properly. I'm a pretty avid weekend warrior, it satisfies by OCD, and I love the results.

As iammacy alluded to above, the proper two bucket technique wash and dry to maintain is crucial. My gf "just had to" take her car through an automatic car wash about a week after I polished her car and destroyed 8 hours of labor in 3 minutes.
Prior to her 718 my girlfriend had a 1 series and I was always amazed at what she would do to that cars paint. Dealer washes, car washes, sit things on it... That was before we lived together. I take care of the 718 and she's as OCD about it as I am now. I can't imagine her taking it through a car wash. Just imagining it is gutting so I can't even fathom what your internal response was when she told you. So brutal you just have to laugh.
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by iammacey View Post
Prior to her 718 my girlfriend had a 1 series and I was always amazed at what she would do to that cars paint. Dealer washes, car washes, sit things on it... That was before we lived together. I take care of the 718 and she's as OCD about it as I am now. I can't imagine her taking it through a car wash. Just imagining it is gutting so I can't even fathom what your internal response was when she told you. So brutal you just have to laugh.
To avoid crying yes, I had to laugh. Now she knows bird s**t can wait a few hours to get home as opposed to going the full nuclear route.
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