Subaru Impreza: Beyond Swirl Free
Terrible orange peel on this OEM subaru paintwork, I just had to reduce it using Osren P40 compound and Velvet pad.
The condition of the car wasn’t too bad, it has your daily dirt and grime, paint is also heavily waterspotted and lacks depth and clarity. Lots of Random Deep Isolated Scratches (RIDS) as well.
First job to do is to clean the wheels, or hubcaps in this case, tires and wheel wells. Tires scrubbed twice with Osren Multi Clean(diluted 1:1), hubcaps and wheel wells cleaned with Osren Degreaser FX(diluted 2:1)
Next was the engine bay. Alternator and electrical connections wrapped with aluminium foil, brushed with Osren Degreaser FX(diluted 2:1), blow dried and dressed with Meguiar’s Hyperdressing (diluted 2:1).
After the Hyperdressing is sprayed on, I shut the bonnet and started the engine. The warm engine bay will help water evaporate faster and the dressing soak into the plastics and rubber better. Tight areas where a sponge cannot fully clean is brushed with Osren Degreaser FX(2:1).
Bodywork is washed with Chemical Guys Citrus Wash and Gloss and a splash of Osren Degreaser FX for extra cleaning power. Paintwork is then smoothened with Osren Magic Clay Cloth. Old duck tape residue removed with M6000 Wax and Grease Remover.
At this point, the car is dried off and all masked up ready for polishing. Open the bonnet and you should see a clean and dressed engine bay.
*Photos are not arranged according to chronological order to make for easier reading*
Process for paintwork preparation and orange peel reduction.
1. Osren P40 Compound, Osren Velvet Pad, Rotary @ 900 RPM
2. Meguiar’s #105 Ultra Cut Compound, Lake Country White Polishing Pad, Rotary @ 1200-1500 RPM
3. Meguiar’s #205 Ultra Finishing Polish, Lake Country White Polishing Pad, Dual Action @ Speed 6
4. Dodo Juice Lime Prime, Lake Country Black Finishing Pad, Dual Action @ Speed 5 -> 3
Before and Afters of swirling below:
Reflection after flattening.
Now this is why I had to use Lime Prime to finish off.
The paint was super soft, I was marring the paint while wiping off the M205 residue. Hence, had to use a product with oils to add some slickness to reduce friction. The micro abrasives in Lime Prime also helped to remove those light wipe marrings.
P40 creates A LOT of dust.
I couldn’t remove the windshield washer nozzle, so had to use smaller pads and polish around it.
The rear plates were removed, tail gates and both bumpers were prepped using:
1. M105, 4″ Surbuf pad, DA @ Speed 5
2. M105, 4″ Lake Country Orange CCS, DA @ Speed 5
3. M205, 4″ Lake Country White CCS, DA @ Speed 5
Next up is the interior. Carpets were machine scrubbed using Porter Cable’s Aqua Brush with Presta’s All Purpose Shampoo, rinsed and extracted using a wet/dry vac. All interior plastics were cleaned with Meguiar’s All Purpose Cleaner(diluted 10:1).
With the car full of dust, it is rinsed off and rewashed with some Osren Nano shampoo.
1. Duragloss #601 Polish Bonding Agent, Detailogy White pad, Dual Action @ speed 3
2. Duragloss #105 Total Performance Polish, Lake Country black ccs pad, Dual Action @ speed 2
While the sealant was drying off, I polished the headlamps with M105 and M205. Coated with Optimum Opti-Coat.
Finally, buffed off the sealant and shine on! Apologies for the lack of after shots. The slight haze you see is from the sealant.
Thanks for looking!!!
P.S I just want to end this post by saying how important the prep work is. The final looks from the car is 85% affected by the prep work and 15% by the protection coat, wait, make that 90% preparation and 10% protection. You could coat a car with the most expensive coating or some expensive wax with very high carnauba content stored in a crystal jar applied with bare hands. It’s not going to get the paint looking good without good prep work. Many people ask “which wax should I use to get the best wet look”, I think the more suitable question would be “how can I polish the car until it is looking wet”. Rather than buying ten different types of wax and ten different types of glazes, spend the time learning good prep work. It does not have to be orange peel reduction, e.g. prep work that involves compounding with a twisted wool pad will create better gloss than only using a foam pad. That’s from my limited experience, please feel free to correct me if I am wrong. I’m saying this because I have been at the stage of surfing detailing forums and taking up people’s opinion about which wax gives what kind of look, now I have a few cans of wax, a few bottles of sealant and lots of glazes collecting dust. In this detail, after P40 and M105, the paint looked glossy AND glassy, the subsequent steps of M205 and Lime Prime did little to make any observable marginal difference to the paint.
I guess the best wet look would be to get a custom aftermarket paint job where the clearcoat is thicker than OEM paint so that it can be sanded and compounded till it’s really flat. 75% Carnauba content wax? I’ll pass.
UPDATE: This post got featured on the front page of zerotohundred.com, I’m a happy boy!