Saturday, October 15, 2005

Secret to Smooth Paint Surface - Claying

One of the steps to maintain a smooth paint surface is by claying. It is also one of the important steps in surface prep, where the surface has to be clean before proceeding with polishing and waxing. Normal washing alone will not remove all the dirt. Bonded contaminants such as tree sap, paint overspray, industrial fallout, and other dirt will attach to the paint surface over time. The next time after you've washed your car, just run your palm over the paint surface-particularly the horizontal panels (bonnet & roof), if it feels rough and bumpy; that is a sign that you need to clay. Clay is almost like plasticin.

To clay your car, you would need a claybar and lubricant. Few types of clays are available in the market:
  • Meguiar's Quik Clay System (includes a bottle of Quik Detailer)
  • Meguiar's Professional Clay - Mild
  • Meguiar's Professional Clay - Aggressive
  • Magic Clay

This lubricant can either be a detailing spray such as Quik Detailer, or Final Inspection; but a more economical way is to prepare a mixture of car shampoo and water. Fill up a spray bottle with this mixture.

Roll up the clay into a ball and flaten it.

Spray the lubricant generously on the paint surface.. too little and the clay will have difficulty gliding over the surface.

Glide the clay over the surface. No pressure is needed.. as you glide the clay along, you should be able to feel the clay picking up the contaminants. After a few passes, the gliding action will smoothen.

Be sure to inspect the clay often, flip over to the other side once it gets dirty. Once both sides are dirty, roll the clay into a ball and flatten it to get a new clean clay surface.

Look at how much dirt there was! Normal washing couldnt remove these.

After this, your paint will be baby bottom smooth!

Should you ever drop your clay on the ground, do NOT use it again! Throw it out or you will put scratches on to the finish.


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