What am I doing wrong with the waxing - what should I be doing instead??

Discussion in 'Chevy Truck Accessories' started by Springthing, May 13, 2009.

  1. Springthing

    Springthing Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Ok- Looking for the proper application and equipment. Here's what I have so far... I have a 10" dual action buffer thing, I got a can of wax, I have a container of polishing compound, and a bottle of swirl remover.

    I am trying to get the light surface imperfections off my (black) truck and get a gloss going to it.

    Here's what I've done so far:

    Terry cloth and polishing compound to put it on with the 10" buffer in smaller sections.
    Fluffy buffer thing to buff when it's hazed and dried.

    Ended up with a haze that was very hard to remove so I figured the 10" terry cloth buffer was a bad idea - or I was doing it wrong.

    Moved to the wax. I got a tin of Mother's Carnauba Cleaner Wax and applied by hand with a terry cloth.
    Fluffy buffer thing to buff when it's hazed and dried.

    Ended up with marks all over the place from the application and it would not come off. I don't think the car was too hot or anything so I'm not sure what went on there. I was left with white streak marks everwhere like I had quickly wiped half the hood with a white bar of soap.

    Moved to Mcguiar's Swirl remover with the DA buffer/terry cloth thinking it would at least take care of all the crap left over from the wax but that ended up not going all too well.

    Ended up having most of the wax marks left and, at some point, I've gotten little white dots all over that won't come off unless I use my thumb nail. I'm guessing they are dried bits from the buffing of...something...?

    What am I doing wrong, what am I supposed to be doing, and what am I supposed to be doing it with!??

    Flashvan- If you come across this thread I'd be interested in knowing what you may have and what you recommend for getting something nice and waxy and shiny andd protected.
  2. Blazerado

    Blazerado Rockstar 100 Posts

    Ok where to start. To fix what has gone wrong so far you need to go to any auto store and get youself a clay bar kit to remove the waxy nasty stuff you have on there now. As far as the white dots they may be small rocks chips that you didnt see before. It happened to me when i did the daily driver. Honestly i dont ever wait until it is completely dry, that way ur not rubbing a dry cloth over dry polish. Next how much grit is your polishing compound rated at, you need to watch how fine or coarse it is you may do more damage than good. If you use the polishing compound in small sections at a time and dont let the buffer run in one spot too long. After you run the compound and make sure the suface is clean just switch the pad on your buffer to a clean one and do your wax but dont do circles for either or you will be pissed(experience)
  3. Rich Sr

    Rich Sr New Member

    On my black truck, I use what is called "The Black Box". I get this at auto zone. Does a couple of things. It cleans the surface a little better, and any small chips or scratches will be left black. Very easy to apply and remove, it is just time consuming.
  4. heavy chevy

    heavy chevy Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts ROTM Winner

    He said what I said use the clay bar kit. I will tell you this I never use a buffer I do it by hand. Only wax in sections this will save you from having to hurry and take the wax off before it drys to hard. Do tailgate, passenger bed, passenger door, passenger fender, hood and so on. Use a cleaner polish before you use the clay bar. You can go to you tube and it will have videos for all of these applications. Doing it by hand is just as good as using the buffer the only difference that I have seen from it is the buffer gives swirl marks and by hand makes your arm hurt. Also when I wax and clean up my truck it usually takes me 6 hrs because i do it in sections and take breaks and I am a young guy but it is best to take your time and not rush. In the end your finished product will look a lot better and your will be more satisfied. I also suggest checking out voodoo products. These products are great for washing and detailing.
  5. pmpddyd1

    pmpddyd1 New Member

    ditto to what was said above except for one recommendation. use a microfiber towel instead of terry cloth. the terry seems very rough and i think it scuffs the paint. microfibers way softer and not much more expensive. just a thought
  6. omegafiler

    omegafiler Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Here is what I do. First of all, do this in the shade, such as a garage. The vehicle must be cool to the touch. If it's hot or even warm, this won't work right. You might even be able to do the entire vehicle rather than sections at time, depending on how fast it dries (especially with the help of a buffer).

    Additional lighting helps so you can see what you're doing, especially in the shade. I also use a Porter Orbital buffer (not rotary). If used correctly, it won't leave swirls and enables much better results. Especially if you're trying to help hide those swirls. I also recommend clean microfiber towels for everything where you don't use a buffer, such as removing wax and claybar. Buy extras - you'll need 'em!

    And always follow the directions on every product you use. Don't skip steps!

    1. Wash with car wash soap and water. Use high pressure water to remove all loose dirt possible. Use clean mit. Make sure it stays clean so you don't rub dirt into the paint when washing. This is how many scratches/swirls get their start. Starting from the top and working your way down will help.

    Tip: If it's very dirty, run through a respectable touchless car wash first. Just the basic one where it doesn't add any extra waxes/polishes. The high pressure water will remove most of the dirt for you so you're not rubbing it into the paint when washing by hand.

    2. Tape off any plastic parts with the Green or Blue 3M take found at most auto parts shorts. This is optional of course, but I'd recommend it unelss you want to spend the next few days removing wax from the plastics. :)

    3. Claybar until paint is smooth.

    4. Apply polish and remove.The type of polish you use will vary depending on the results you want (ie. if removing swirls). If using a buffer, make sure you are using the appropriate pad here. There are different pads/colors depending on how aggressive you want to go.

    Tip: When applying polish/wax, put it on the buffing pad first, gently spread around the paint, then begin. This prevent wax flying everywhere.

    5. Apply final wax and remove.

    Any well known wax/polish/clay product will do just fine. I personally use Wolfgang, but have used Mothers and Meguiars with great results. Take your time and inspect everything after each step and you should have a great end result.

    In fact, here is a shot of my most recent detail. Just to prove the process works. :)

    Last edited: May 13, 2009
  7. omegafiler

    omegafiler Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Also, for more info regarding the buffing pads, go to autogeek.net. Check out the Lake Country buffing pads. You'll see a wide variety of pads for different applications. So if you have deep swirls, they've got a product just for you. If you use the wrong pads or cloth, such as one that is too soft, it's not going to work as well to get into those existing swirls.

    Once again, also where the orbital buffer helps a lot. But just in general they have lots of info and tutorials that explain how to correctly detail your vehicle, whether you are using a buffer or not.
  8. Alaster

    Alaster Member

    This is exactly correct though if you really can't get those swirls out, you will have to do a 2-stage polish. This will also require a different kind of pad and for the most part experience.

    Before doing the swirl power polish, find a deep/diamond cutting polishing compound with the appropriate pad (it is usually a little rougher). This is where you have to be careful since you run the risk of really burning or even ripping off your paint (I've seen this happen a couple of times). You can't leave the pad on a certain spot too long but you also need to leave it on long enough to actually work. I know its a little tricky at first but you get used to the right feel/timing.

    Now it won't look super awesome after the truck is completely deep cut polished but it will soon enough. Go over the vehicle and you will notice if you look deep that all the swirls are gone (and if it is done properly, they will for sure be gone). Wipe off all the excess polishing compound that may be left over and now do a simple swirl power polish and it will be like a night and day difference.

    After you have finished the power swirl polish, remove any excess polishing compound that may be left over and now put on a good coat of wax and let it sit. Now it really doesn't matter if you leave the wax on too long, just don't take it off right away. That's a simple mistake most people make. Also like mentioned above, do this in a garage or just away from the sun or else it really will become difficult to take off.

    And if you REALLY want to make sure you didn't miss any spots, do another coat of wax but a lighter coat would be fine here. It really helps to get the pad you are applying the wax with to be a little damp (throw some water on it but not much). This will really help throw an even and light coat of wax on. Now wipe of with a microcloth and you'll be laughing at how shiny your vehicle is :rofl:.

    -> If you have horribly dis-colored head/tail lights, you can power polish them and it will help make them look new again. Don't forget to wax them after!
    ->You can apply wax on ANY chrome (yes even your RIMS) and this will work a lot better then any glass cleaner you use.
    -> I recommend anything Meguires; I found all of their products I have tried to work wonderfully.

    p.s. - I used to be a car detailer.
  9. Flashvan

    Flashvan New Member GMTC Sponsor

    Hi Steven,

    I would like to mention that an orbital polisher will not remove surface contaminates, scratches, oxidation etc. An orbital polisher is good for applying a coat of wax or removing light swirls. A rotary buffer will remove surface contaminates, paint overspray, scratches, oxidation etc. But if you do not use the proper buffing techniques and products, you can put more swirls in the clear than removing them. You can also use a hand application. If you are trying to remove surface contaminates, then focus on one section at a time.
    I also want to point out that microfiber towels work great for removing wax and for a spray wax. Microfiber does not work well when you are appying a product to remove surface contaminates. The fiber is too soft and will not work well with the product that you are using. Terry cloth is more abrasive and works well for applying waxes, polishes or compounds. Also a claybar is good to use, but you will have to wax your truck after using it. Why not use a product that has clay and wax in it. You also dont want to clay your truck every week. Every time you clay you are removing mils from the clear coat. Its better to build up coats of wax to protect your clear coat from surface contaminates.

    We carry Malco professional detailing compounds, polishes and waxes. These products are professional grade, easy to use and can not be compared to any detailing products that are available in your local auto parts stores. I have used these products for professional detailing since the mid 1980's. You can also use Malco products by hand application with great success. We carry a product called Rejuvenator. Rejuvenator is a one step product. It contains Kaloin clay which is the cutting agent and a durable polymer wax. Rejuvenator will remove swirls, scratches and contaminates from your vehicles clear coat. You do not have to apply wax after using this product. Its very durable.

    We also have an easy to use liquid paste wax. Its called Flash Liquid Paste wax and its one of my favorites. Flash contains carauba and dupont teflon. Its a cleaner wax. It can be applied in direct sunlight and goes on easy and comes off easy without streaking. It leaves a high gloss shine. The more you use it, the deeper the shine. Flash is great for large vehicles. All of our local fire departments use it. The can leave it hazed on a fire truck when out on a call in the hot Florida sun. It comes off easy when they return to the station. Try to do that with mothers or meguairs.

    What I am trying to say is that I can save you time, effort and get great results without breaking your back.
    I would recommend using Rejuvenator and Flash wax. Both of these products will make your truck look like a black diamond. Take care.

    Joe Carollo
    Flash Auto Detail Products
    727 582-9073

    Last edited: May 22, 2009
  10. Springthing

    Springthing Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Joe, thank you for all the great information, as well as everyone else. I'm sure all your help will make the truck shine again.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009

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