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Well I haven’t ever had a chance to work on gm paint from a car made in Germany before so this interesting for me. At any rate if you think your paint is good or even great because the Buick is new, that may well be, but it isn’t perfect and it probably has some swirls/defects in it. My vehicle has approx 300 miles on it and I have no history on any washing or any wax/sealant that was applied to the vehicle before I obtained it. Any before photos I show below were after a wash and dry.

At a minimum get your paint clayed because for whatever reason there was a significant amount of surface contaminants in the paint. It could be that they had to sit in a boat coming to the US, or they sat in the rail yards/shipyards a long time, or who knows why but the paint had a lot of surface contaminants in it. If your dealer put a wax, sealant, or whatever multi year product on the vehicle there is a good likely hood your vehicle still has those contaminants. No wax or sealant is going to remove surface contaminants; as a matter of fact it just locks them into the paint more.

The paint is of a medium hardness for a gm product approx a 5 on a 1 to 10 sale. The scale with the number 1 being the softest and referenced to a GTO. Number 10 being the hardest paint and referenced to a corvette.

The paint thickness seams to be a little better then average for GM product, it was between 10-11mil. It was also very uniform throughout most of the panels.

I only have a few shots to show today, as so far I only clayed the vehicle, did a test panel for cutting/polishing on the trunk lid, and did cutting/polishing of the areas I was applying clear bra too. I probably won’t have time to do the complete detail till the middle of next month. I’ll update the thread as I move through the process.

Surface contamination. Inside door ledge no less-





Swirls-





Before and after cut/polish- Test panel which is the trunk lid. The top part of the photo above the blue tape shows the original state of the paint. The bottom part of the photo below the blue tape shows the polished/cut side-
 

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I plan on having my black regal compounded and glazed come springtime. Should do the trick to get rid of those small scratches in the clear coat.
 

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T-Type,

Thank you for your post. I am amazed at the difference between the area you clayed and polished and the area you have yet to touch.

If I may ask, specifically, what products did you use? Did you purchase a basic over-the-counter clay bar, or did you purchase a product from a company such as Griot's? Also, I am not familiar with the phrase "cut and polish." Would you mind explaining what you mean by this phrase?

Sorry for all the questions. I really work to keep our cars looking great and want to go beyond the Meguiar's 3-step process, yet do not want to pay someone else to perform the work.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
 

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T-Type,

Did you purchase a basic over-the-counter clay bar, or did you purchase a product from a company such as Griot's?
You got a lot of questions there, let me deal with this one first and as I have time I'll offer more of my opinions. Now these are just my opinions, they are informed by my 15+ years of experience of doing detailing work for a living, so I often have a different opinion then someone who may do detailing as a hobby, relaxation method, normal consumer, etc. I am not going to post my website/business as I don't need to incur the wrath of the "your not a vendor gods", but I'll be happy to give my opinions.

I am addressing this first, because the vehicle needs to be properly clayed before any other kind of paint correction can occur. The clay process doesn't fix any paint imperfections, what is does do is remove containments from the surface of the paint, which needs to the first step to any paint correction. Here is a fact that not so well publicized about clay: The same company makes all clay currently commercially available in the US. So no matter whom the end retailer/company selling it, the same company makes it. So that being said basically any OTC (OTC=Over The Counter. Something you can get at your local parts store. IE: pepboys, kragen, etc) clay is going to pretty much work as well as any other clay regardless if it is OTC or boutique (boutique=something you have to get from online or a local specialty retail store. IE: Griots, properautocare, etc).

So that said you can get any OTC brand you want. You want to get one that also has the clay lubricant/spray with it. This is essential to the claying process. There are many online tutorials on how to do the clay process, just pick one and follow the process.

Another important thing is to be sure all product (wax or sealant) is removed from the paint surface before you do the clay bar process. One of the best ways to strip off the existing product is to use Joy or any other dishwashing soap and give the vehicle a wash first. Once that is done, then you can start your clay process.
 

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You're 90% there Int'l Regal...
This guys site has the basics and they're not too far from what a pro will do to your car for 200 to 400 bucks.
Auto Detailing Guide

I told the dealer ship NOT to detail my car when I picked it up and my buddy detailed it for a case of beer. Most of the damage is from the car jockeys & min. wage body shop employees detailing the car during PDI.
You can see my buddy's work on better cars than my Regal...
Carter's Classic Muscle Cars

Best tip ever... the variable speed buffer/polisher. Get a cheaper variable speed for guys like me (bearing and switch will wear out first) but get the DeWalt mention in the matey site for hard-core users.

PS: for daily driver car I would use Maguir's NXT tech wax and for car collectors I'd stick with carnauba.
Thank you for your response and for the information. Actually, the method shown in the video you provided is very similar to the method I use. I always (since WAY back in my high school days) wash my car from top to bottom. I usually wash just a panel or two at a time and even rinse my wash mitt out with the hose in between washing every one to two panels!

I have in my possession, and have used, the Meguiar's clay bar, along with the detailing spray. I have never completed the entire car in this manner, as I simply do not have the time. Just washing my car in the aforementioned fashion, then doing the clay bar method for say the entire front end, takes a few hours in itself. I have yet to do this process to the Regal. I used the clay bar method on the 2007 Aura I used to drive.

Thanks again for your help. Much appreciated.
 

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T-Type,

Thank you for your response. Yes, I know. I asked a lot of questions in my post. I appreciate you taking the time to answer the first question.

For me, the most important question that I wanted assistance with was paint prep, so you answered my number one question. I appreciate your feedback on the clay bar. It makes sense that most clay bars are created equally, seeing that clay is formed by natural geologic processes. I did not know if one particular company used an "additive" so to speak, that would make their clay bar superior to others.

A friend has recently turned me on to Griot's products. I actually received a few items at Christmas from my wife. I even received a windshield/glass care package that includes a small clay bar (among other items) for the glass. I assume this clay bar is basically the same as the clay bar I have for the body panels. I just look at it as simply a clay bar I will use on the glass when needed and keep the other clay bar for the body panels. Don't want to cross-contaminate! ;)

Anyway, I appreciate your expertise. Any additional information you want to pass along to the rest of us in regards to automotive detailing would be much appreciated.

Happy detailing.

BTW... Your Regal looks great!
 
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