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Swirls in the Paint Job
I've just spent $300 buying Meguiar's orbital buffer and some of their products in one kit available on their web page. I use it to polish my clear coated black Jaguar under the florescent lights in my garage, probably the environment that most shows swirl marks. I have bought all of the following and could probably write a book about some of these products.:
RainDance - not impressed
ONE - also not impressed but better than Raindance
TurtleWax's Vision -best single application product I've found
Meguiar's new ?Gold polish - again, not what I was after.
Blue Coral products didn't help either.
Numerous others at WalMart and auto parts shops. Many of these products produced a shine but they neither hid swirl marks well nor gave the black paint a deep look that I was looking for.
I would literally buy these products and try them side by side with my reference product, mentioned below, and, with the exception of TurtleWax's Vision, throw them out.
Here is what I've found:
The best product I had seen to hide swirl marks (until recently) is PPG's Formula #4. It can be applied by hand or machine. I've done both on my car and generally use by hand, especially on the bikes. It hides imperfections and makes clear coat black look VERY deep. However, since I paint some of my bikes as a hobby, I'm always looking for something new and, in December, bought the Maguire kit mentioned above. After trying all their products included with the kit both by the orbital buffer I purchased and by hand, I'm now going to use the following: Meguiar's Medallion brand cleaner polish. Yes, a cleaner polish. I really thought it would be abrasive but it isn't. Meguiar's also makes a Meguiar's brand cleaner that I'll bet is essentially the same but their new Medallian brand is what came with the kit. When I was through with it on the top surfaces of the car, it was extremely shiny and had no swirl marks.
Next step, which I may eliminate, is the hand application of PPG's Formula #4. I may eliminate this step because the final step works so well, that this step may be redundant. This products used to by my "reference" product with which all other polishes/waxes were compared. Available at paint stores only as far as I can tell. Final step: Meguiar's #26 Hi-Tech Yellow wax. This wax, as their website says, makes my car the deepest black I've ever seen - it truly looks wet under fluorescent lights and it HIDES swirl marks, like the PPG product mentioned below (Meguiar's has a new wax, #16 I believe that they say shines better but when I compared the two, the new wax doesn't have the depth to the black color that I wanted and I honestly didn't think it hid swirl marks as well as #26). Two weeks ago, I was in the paint shop where I buy my paint to talk to the owner and buy some more of the PPG Formula #4 product. I asked what he used and he said: "Meguiar's cleaner polish and #26 Hi-Tech Yellow Wax." I was really surprised that what I had just recently concluded was the best I had ever used was what he was using himself. I didn't buy any of the Formula #4 product.
As an aside, I've used Meguiar's #7 a few times in the last 15 years and it, along with Meguiar's #9 swirl remover were included in my kit. I used them and saw no benefit. In fact, I've never seen #7, which is highly touted, to be of much help compared to other products.
As others have said, the surface needs to be clean and you should use all cotton towels or cloth (I often use old tee-shirts) to buff these products off because polyester thread in some towels/cloths can scratch paint. For the first time, I used clay on my car, which came in the kit, and I believe it helped remove some of the surface grit that sticks to the hood and top surfaces. I've never had my bikes so dirty that they need this product. (I really don't ride all that much anymore - just short rides).
If you try these products, (and apply by hand), I bet you'll be pleased and have the fruits of my 5 year search for the best (and affordable and obtainable) products I've found.
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