New Location

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Major and exciting news for Project Detail in the new Financial Year of 2017! We have relocated to a brand new complex in the past few weeks and we are taking bookings fast.

Our new address is 88/14 Loyalty Road, North Rocks NSW 2151

We want to thank everyone of our loyal and important clientele in the past two years at our Buffalo Road, Gladesville location. While the workshop was fantastic, it didn't have the dedicated space to allow us to grow and move in the direction we envisioned and allow us to provide the high level service we strive for.

We hope that the new location will be able to service our customers across Sydney and NSW, its a fantastic and brand new complex. With on site security patrols and on site CCTV, it provides us an extra layer of safety especially for the level of cars we work on regularly.

If you have any questions regarding the new location or would like to organise a booking, be sure to click here to get in contact with us.

Decontamination: Clay Lubricant

Clay Lubricant in process

Clay Lubricant in process

What is a Clay Lubricant and Why Do I Need One?

Specialising in Car Detailing, Project Detail Melbourne and Sydney will be covering a series of articles focusing on decontamination and in this post, we will be discussing about Clay Lubricants and why they are crucial in for decontaminating your vehicle to achieve the best results. 

You could read our previous article on how to about clay bars by clicking here.

Clay bar is what we called a physical (or mechanical by some detailers) decontamination. There is chemical and physical. Chemical is used to dissolve and remove contaminations via chemicals such as iron fallout remover, tar remover etc. It is best suited for cars that are already has been applied with Ceramic Quartz Coatings or brand new cars that does not have much contaminants. Clay bar removes contaminants physically by adhering the contaminants into the clay bar while you glide it across the surface. 

Clay bar by itself is very sticky, it needs a lubricant to be able to glide across the surface, picking up all the contaminants in the paintwork. That is why a lubricant is crucial in physical decontamination, by using the wrong technique or clay lubricant can leave minor scratches and marring on the paintwork, especially on a softer paint. 

Amateurs often use soapy water from their buckets as clay lubricant. 

Amateurs often use soapy water from their buckets as clay lubricant. 

Misconception 

Soapy water, quick detailer and spray waxes are the most common "lubricant" car owners and amateur detailers use as a clay lube. While they might work fine, but those chemicals are not designed to use as a clay lube. Therefore the clay bar itself might not be performing as well as using a proper clay lubricant. Worst case, it might cause marring or even scratches that requires paint correction to properly remove them. 

Concours Purify - Clay Lube with Iron Remover 2-in-1 for effective decontamination

Concours Purify - Clay Lube with Iron Remover 2-in-1 for effective decontamination

Clay lubricant - The Correct way 

Using a dedicated clay lubricant is crucial when comes to clay barring your car. Without a proper lubricant, your car might risk getting marring or getting scratched. After a bucket wash and rinse, spray plenty of clay lube and start claying. Small sections at a time to avoid claying over a dry area. 

Some companies recently came up with a cutting edge clay lubrication by adding iron remover into their clay lube, it removes 20% to 40% more contaminants. 

We hope this article helped you gained more understanding on decontamination. Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions in regards to car detailing by clicking here. 

Top 5 Myths of Car Detailing

Myth Busting Car Detailing

At Project Detail, we often hear people discuss about how they wash or detail their cars. We realised that there are quite a lot of myths, uncertainties and guesswork  surrounding in the topic of car detailing. Here at Project Detail Studio, we are going to discuss the Top 5 Myths of Car Detailing. 

Snow Foam Pre-Wash, as part of our 21-Stage Wash and Decontamination

Snow Foam Pre-Wash, as part of our 21-Stage Wash and Decontamination

Myth #1 - Car Wash and Car Detailing is the same

Myth:

 Car Wash and Car Detailing are pretty much the same, just different names. Their job is to clean cars and make sure they are well cleaned. 

Fact:

The services at a car wash cafes are completely different to what proper Detailers offer. For starters Car Detailing is a lot more than just a wash.

In fact, the car wash takes up less than 15% of what detailers do. When a car is washed by us, we follow up with a full vehicle decontamination that safely removes above-surface contamination that can't be removed by a simple 2-bucket method wash. Our sole goal, is to now only wash and clean the vehicle but do so in the most gentle manner to avoid swirls and defects from quick and improper washing.

We then follow up with an extensive paint polishing to remove below-surface contaminations such as blemishes, minor scratches, swirl marks etc to refine the paintwork to be close to brand new condition, or sometimes even better. After all those steps, we then apply a premium last step product (aka LSP) for short or long term protection. 

50/50 Before and after shot, achieved by Paint Correction

50/50 Before and after shot, achieved by Paint Correction

Myth #2 - Save money by hand polishing cars myself

Myth:

It is not necessary to hire a detailer to polish cars when I can just buy some products and polish the cars myself. I could save myself some money. 

Fact:

This myth used to be a fact back in the 70s where base-clear coat paint system hasn't been introduced and the paintwork back in the day are all single stage paint and paint oxidisation can be removed by polishing with hand. But in recent years, after base-clear coat paint system introduced, base-clear coat paint is way too hard and it is impossible to hand polish to a good result. Products you find on the shelf of auto stores are mainly glazes, waxes or sealants which contains fillers and resin that does not contain any abrasives to level the minor scratches and blemishes out. They simply 'fill' or 'mask' the imperfections so it looks good for a short period of time, but the effect is not permanent.

Paint Correction (aka cut and polish, buffing, polishing etc.) performed by professional detailers are permanent results that will not be washed away or come back after a week or two. 

The weekend warrior or car enthusiast might see the value of buying equipment themselves to polish their cars to save money. We respect the enthusiasm but however keep it mind the cost will be more than hiring a professional detailer and the results won't be as good compared to a professional detailer. Machine polishers, compounds, cloths, chemicals and miscellaneous products such as masking tape's cost will be about to $1500 to $2000. Not to mention you'll need to learn how to use them properly in order to achieve good results. 

BMW M5 + P-01A + BC-04 Coating, Curing with IR Lamps

BMW M5 + P-01A + BC-04 Coating, Curing with IR Lamps

Myth #3 - New cars doesn't need Paint Protection

Myth:

Modern clear coats are design to resist UV and it can protect itself, especially modern hard clear coats and self-healing technology. Getting a detailer to apply a good paint protection would be a waste of money and I don't see a value in that. Paint Protection are rubbish anyway. No paint protection product can resist bird poo baking under the sun on paint. Just buy a $10 wax and apply every month, that's the best protection you can get. 

Fact:

Clear coats are only designed to resist UV to an extent. Long exposure to the sun's UV rays (especially in Australia) will lead to clear coat fading and failure. While European, luxury and high end vehicles certainly have better quality paint, it is by no means impervious to UV, swirls or scratches.

Waxing your car is a good way to protect to some extend but not all. We did several test with conventional wax, sealant and coatings. Wax does not protect your car from chemical etching such as bird/bat poo, sealant does a okay job as long as it haven't been sit on the paint surface for too long.

Meanwhile Ceramic Quartz Coatings were resistant to chemicals of pH 2-11, UV and even physical resistance such as micro marring and very light swirl marks. Coatings are usually considered as permanent due to their inability to be washed away from regular washes and they require good preparation stages for the coating to perform well.
 

Masking is crucial as part of the preparation process for Paint Correction

Masking is crucial as part of the preparation process for Paint Correction

Myth #4 - Paint Correction is the same as Cut and Polish

Myth: Any detailers that claim they offer paint correction is exactly the same as cut and polish. It's just an marketing term detailers use as a marketing term for a huge price markup. 

Fact: Cut and polish is not just using a paste/liquid compound that you apply using a foam hand applicator and "polish" the paintwork that many people still assume. These paste/liquid cut and polish compounds are generally not designed for clear coat finishes, they work on oxidised single-stage paints that came out from the factory in the pre-1980s. Going all the way back, cut and polish actually means you "cut" back the paint with sand paper and polish the sanding marks out with a rotary with a lambswool pad. Typically these combination restores the paintwork back to how it looks like when its new, therefore the popularity of the term. In modern detailing world, a proper cut and polish is equivalent to Stage 3 to 4 Paint Correction where we wet-sand, heavy leveling with a rotary, level and finish it with a Rupes polisher which it would be a week worth of project and several cups of coffee.

Holograms caused by improper use of a rotary polisher.

Holograms caused by improper use of a rotary polisher.

Myth #5: There's no difference in price

Myth:

Detailer A charges me $100 cheaper and the quality is no different from other detailers that charges more. What a deal!

Fact:

We all hear about new detailing businesses that charges at a low rate and gets themselves busy. We respect that because we understand that a good detailer has to start somewhere.

But when comes to quality and results, its a whole different story. Good detailers charges more for a reason, a good detailer has more experience and attention to detail. To produce good results, a detailer needs to spend more time looking for little imperfections and taking extra steps in their work to achieve another level of perfection which cannot be learned overnight.

Furthermore, as a detailer progresses, they ideally invest more money into better equipment, more intensive techniques and better products. A detailer with a workshop, also has fixed overheads which are often larger meaning that his prices and work must reflect these costs.

We hoped we helped you to debunk some of the myths circulating around the topic on Car Detailing. For any questions or inquiries regarding about detailing, feel free to contact us by clicking here.

Why is Masking Rubber, Trims and Plastic Important?

Importance of Preparation 

Specialising in Car Detailing, Project Detail Sydney & Melbourne. We will be covering the importance of masking, preparation for paint polishing or wax application in our series decontamination and preparation. 

We will be talking about what is masking and why is it important.

Trims masked on a Volkswagen Scirocco R, preparation for Paint Correction,

Trims masked on a Volkswagen Scirocco R, preparation for Paint Correction,

Amateurs neglect, true professional embraces

There are thousands of discussion on the internet about masking off trims and plastics while polishing or waxing their paintwork. And beginner or amateur detailers doesn't seem to like the idea of spending the extra time to mask off areas.

Black plastic trims, especially rubbers are highly sensitive to compounds, polishes and waxes.  As some of you may have realised. Polishing or waxing over them may leave a white residue and more often or not, when you try to clean it off, it doesn't come off. Hence why it is important to mask all rubbers, trims and plastic to protect compounds, polishes and waxes touching them. 

Masking trims on a Lamborghini Gallardo on the A pillars.

Masking trims on a Lamborghini Gallardo on the A pillars.

In Project Detail, we highly emphasise on preparation stage. We strongly belief a good preparation work equals to good results. 

Pro-Tip: When your detailer is polishing the car or waxing it, check if he masks the trims and plastic. If he doesn't mask any of them to save time, stay away. 

Masking shows you good before and after results

Half of the panel masked, preparing for a 50/50

Half of the panel masked, preparing for a 50/50

Detailers love to show before and after shots, or what we call a 50/50 shot that shows the outcome after. This is a great way to reassure customers and sometimes it also made us feel motivated after seeing the difference of before and after. It can be achieved by masking half of the panel.

50/50 on a panel after a Stage 2 Paint Correction is performed.

50/50 on a panel after a Stage 2 Paint Correction is performed.

We hoped this article helped to understand on why masking is important when comes to Car Detailing. For any questions or enquiries, feel free to contact us by clicking here.

Swissvax Full Detail - BMW M4 Coupe in Mineral Grey

Project Detail is Sydney's only authorised Swissvax Car Detailer. This bespoke range of Car Care Products when Combined with our specialised Detailing Studio in Gladesville, Sydney produces fantastic results for clients looking for the best detailing for their vehicles.

BMW M4 - Swissvax Full Detail finished with 'Blau-Weiss' hand made wax.

BMW - Sheer Driving Pleasure

The owner for this BMW M4 opted for our Swissvax Full Detail as a means of revitalising their coupe. The car looked very tired, had water marks, calcium and mineral deposits on the surface and general build up of dirt and debris across the entire vehicle.

The M4 underwent our 21-stage wash and decontamination process with the major change being that we utilised Swissvax products for each stage of the Full Detail. Swissvax is top tier car care range which utilises hand made products manufactured in Switzerland. What we covet about Swissvax is their bespoke approach towards different makes and models, providing waxes for different paint finishes or different leather materials to achieve the best results.

The BMW responded very well to the Swissvax Full Detail, all the mineral deposits were broken down and removed safely and the paintwork looked immaculate even before we applied the wax 'Blau-Weiss' to finish.

The wheels were also removed and deep cleaned with our hoists and a coat of Swissvax Autobahn wheel wax was applied in order to bring the best out of the gloss black finish and provide protection on the rims for the owner.

Swissvax Blau-Weiss - Hand Made for BMW Paintwork

If you are looking for quality detailing for your vehicle and you are not looking for more long term options such as Modesta Glass Coatings, consider our Swissvax Full Detail. It will treat every component of your vehicle with the highest quality care care product range.

Our Swissvax Full Detail not only uses all Swissvax products but the engine bay was washed, detailed and waxed. Even the rubbers & plastics were treated with Swissvax Seal Feed & Pneu.

Blau-Weiss, hand made for BMW Paintwork.

Stunning results from our Swissvax range.

To find out more about our Swissvax products, click here to see the range. To find our more about our detailing services, click here to see how we can help your vehicle look its best.

If you have any more questions regarding Swissvax, car detailing or general questions, we can answer your emails here.

How to choose between a Wax, Sealant or Ceramic Quartz Coating?

Chapter 2 -Not all paint protections are the same. 

Project Detail  Sydney & Melbourne focusses on prestige car detailing and customisation, but unlike many others we enjoy sharing our knowledge so that all enthusiasts or car owners can benefit from know how to better take care of their car.

Project Detail has a running series of articles designed to inform and educate the car owner on paint protection. Part 1 of our series can be found by clicking here.

In Part 2,  we are going to cover the main differences between a wax, sealant and ceramic quartz coating to give car owners a good overview on the 3 protection options and type that suits individual car owners the best. In Project Detail, we offer all 3 types of Paint Protection.

It is important to understand that 'Paint Protection' can be a wax ... it also can be a sealant and most definitely some type of coating. The importance, is knowing the key differences between the variations.

Choosing between the types of paint protection can be overwhelming for car owners and usually have thousands of unanswered questions, we are here to help. One of the most common questions we get asked at Project Detail is what is Paint Protection and what is the main differences between Wax, Sealant and Paint Protection Coating. To simply put it, it depends on what is the vehicle's purpose and results you are looking to achieve. 

1953 Allard J2X, finished with a Teflon based sealant after a multi-stage Paint Correction. 

1953 Allard J2X, finished with a Teflon based sealant after a multi-stage Paint Correction. 

Wax

Swissvax is a premium range of waxes.

Project Detail is an authorised applicator.

Project Detail is an authorised applicator.

Waxes are the most traditional form of waxes. Although there are thousands of variation of waxes, they are usually only two types of waxes. 

Natural Wax
Natural wax are usually more expensive and they provide a warmer, deeper finish. They are usually referred as Carnauba wax, which derives from the copernica cerifa plant in Brazil. These natural waxes usually have a percentage of carnauba. The carnauba content can either be in a pure form, or mixed with oils or petroleum products to certain degrees. Carnauba content and how pure it is plays a huge role in how much they cost. Natural waxes are usually the most expensive waxes. They usually comes in a paste format. 

Synthetic Wax
Most of the car waxes on the shelf in auto stores are usually synthetic waxes. How are they different from natural wax you may ask? Synthetic wax are design to do the exact same thing with natural waxes, but instead of using natural content such as carnauba, they are made from non-organic chemicals. They usually comes in a liquid or spray format. Advantage being it's a easier to apply compared to natural wax and it is usually cheaper compared to natural wax. 

Sealant

Sealants are the second generation of paint protection and they are well known to last longer and providing a better protection solution as compared to waxes. But in terms of how good the finish is, natural wax outperforms sealants from its warmth and depth. Sealants are considered a ground-breaking technology in the past until ceramic quartz coatings are introduced. There are two main types of paint sealant

Polymer Sealant
Vast majority of the sealants you can find on the shelf of your local auto store are usually a polymer sealant. A polymer sealant is made up of tens of thousands of synthetic particles that are linked together. When a polymer sealant cures, it is basically forms a 'plastic' shield on the vehicle's paintwork - glossy and slick. The best kept secret in the detailing world would be applying natural wax on top of a polymer sealant for a extremely deep and glossy finish. 

Note - Many dealerships in Australia, that sell a form of paint protection is more then likely a Polymer Sealant.

PTFE/Teflon Sealant
PTFE based sealants works exactly like a Polymer sealant, but with a different kind of polymer. You'll find non-stick PTFE coating for pans and other cookware. It is very non-reactive, partly because of the strength of the carbon–fluorine bonds. Research shows that PTFE technology works excellent on car's paintwork and it fills or 'hide' paint imperfections well for those who are not going through an extensive paint correction but rather wants it to look good for a day or a pre-sale presentation to potential buyers. Although it generally won't last as long as polymer sealant, it provides a glossier finish as compared to polymer sealants and are generally more expensive compared to polymer sealants. 

Ceramic Quartz Coating

Superb & Stunning  -  Audi RS3 Coated with a Ceramic Quartz Coating.

Superb & Stunning  -  Audi RS3 Coated with a Ceramic Quartz Coating.

Ceramic quartz coating, or often referred as a nano coating, is a ground breaking improvement in the automotive industry, it has existed for many years with a recent spike in popularity and brands in the past few years. It uses Silicon Dioxide or SiO2 (aka Ceramic/Quartz/Liquid Glass) that cures into a hard glass that provides superior protection. It severely outperforms sealants in every single way. The 4 main advantage of a coating is: Gloss, Longevity, Physical Resistance and Hydrophobicity. A good coating applied properly by a detailer with appropriate prep work, it could last anywhere from 2 to 5 years and it eliminates the need to wax or polish your car again. Did we mention it has self-washing effects from the hydrophobicity in the coating. Even so, natural waxes finishes better than a coating due to its carnauba content. Although there are plenty of coatings to choose from, there are two types of coating: Consumer and Professional-only coating. 

Consumer Coating
Due to coating's complexity of application, we do advise car owner's to do extensive research about coatings and how to apply them, because once the coating is applied and cured, it can be only be removed via abrasion only. A consumer coating is a simplified and easier to apply version of a professional-only coating, targeted to weekend warriors and car enthusiast that are keen to apply a coating by themselves. A consumer coating usually have a lot less SiO2 content, more user-friendly, a lot easier to apply and usually a shorter lifespan as compared to professional-only coating.

Professional-Only Coating
Professional-only coating are usually coatings that are not available to purchase to the public and are exclusively available to selected detailers. Selected detailers usually have to attend a training session to properly learn how to apply the product professionally to prevent any errors and quality control. Each individual professional-only coating has its own unique way of preparation process to optimise the best results from each application and usually paint correction is needed to remove existing imperfections such as swirl marks and minor scratches. The main difference between a consumer version and a professional-only coating are mainly the SiO2 content and the solvent a coating carries. The higher the SiO2 content is, the more difficult it is to apply and precautions has to be taken into account. 

Pro Tip: SiO2 percentage has becoming a marketing hype in the industry. So if you see a consumer coating claiming to contain 80% or more SiO2 content in a single part and you feel that it's too good to be true? Then it probably is. A Professional-only coating usually contains anywhere from 75% to 85% SiO2 Content.

Menacing Mercedes Benz C63S Estate protected with a Ceramic Quartz Coating.

Menacing Mercedes Benz C63S Estate protected with a Ceramic Quartz Coating.

Porsche 911 (997) Carrera 4S in Black - Coated with a Ceramic Quartz Coating.

Conclusion

  • Wax (Natural or Synthetic) provides a deep, warmth finish, however it usually only last about 2-3 months. It is best suited for show cars on car events or those wanting the best shine. See our Swissvax Wax range for more information.
  • Sealants provides a better protection and longevity compared to wax, but it doesn't provide natural wax's warmth and deep finish. It is best suited for car owners that are looking for a affordable paint protection solution.
  • Ceramic Quartz Coating provides a superior protection and longevity compared to sealants and increased gloss levels close to waxes, cost of getting it professionally applied by a detailer will be higher due to extensive preparation required such as paint correction. This is best suited for daily cars, and car-lovers that wants the best value in the long run. 

If you would like to know more about the paint protection options Project Detail offers, click here.

We hope this article helped you on choosing the best paint protection option for your car. For any enquiries, feel free to contact Project Detail by clicking here.

Paint Correction Porsche 993 Carrera

Paint Correction Sydney Studio

1997 Porsche 911 (993) Carrera in Solid White, after paint correction and Ceramic Quartz Coating.

Project Detail prides was designed from the ground up as a premier Car Detailing Hub, with studios located in Sydney & Melbourne. One of our core focuses is classic vehicles that the owners see great value in restoring, preserving and maintaining. Paint Correction or aka 'cut and polish' is a major component of this, as it allows us to bring back cars and often preventing the need for respraying. In some cases, a major detail can actually increase the value of a car.

To find our more about Project Detail's Paint Correction services, click here.

A fantastic example of this is this 1997 Porsche 911 (993) Carrera in White. What makes this car special not only to the owner but in general is the fact it's a coupe (not a cabriolet or targa) and a manual transmission. This make's coveted by collectors and enthusiasts. With the 993 being at the twilight of the air-cooled engine's, it definitely is a vehicle you want looking it's best and storing away.

When the Porsche came to Project Detail, the car while stunning was looking very tired given it was nearly 20 years old. Upon inspection after our 21-stage wash and decontamination process, we saw that there were medium level swirl marks and fine scratches all over the body. Unfortunately, this meant that the body could not look as glossy as it should have and the paintwork looked quite faded. The only saving grace the owner had was the fact it was white in colour. If the had been Guard's Red, Midnight Blue or Black, the defects would show up very aggressively.

Initial Condition

After we had prepared the vehicle for paint correction by taping all the sensitive areas we began a long and arduous paint correction process for the Porsche. The paintwork being white, meant we could only see the swirl marks under the brightest of LED lights, making taking photos difficult.

We performed 2 stages of paint correction on the Carrera. The first stage to 'cut' away the scratches, swirl marks and oxidised paintwork leaving behind a levelled surface but dull and requiring further polishing. The second stage, uses much finer polishes and softer pads to burnish the paintwork to a glossy finish.

Looking through the photo's you can see the progress of the paintwork, from a dull and defect ridden condition to a smooth and glossy shine.

Paint Correction Finished

The Porsche 911 Carrera looked unbelievable once it was finished. Not only was the owner over the moon, he informed us months later that the value for his car had actually increased.
We were absolutely pleased, and what amazed us was just how glossy solid white was.

Paint Correction is a time consuming process, the detailer spends hours on end polishing the paintwork in order to achieve the best paintwork possible. Leaving a defect free, swirl free glossy finish.

To find our more how Project Detail can improve your vehicle or to simply enquire more, please contact us by clicking here.

How to apply a Wax or Sealant

Applying Waxes/Sealants

Waxes and Synthetic Sealants are two of the best and affordable ways to maintain your car's paintwork. It is recommended to wax your car every 2 months, however it may vary from the brand and also level of wax, how much you drive your car,how often do you wash it or how it's parked on a day to day basis.

To find out whether you prefer a wax or a sealant, check out our paint protection page for more information.

Project Detail are proud to be official Swissvax Applicator

Project Detail are proud to be official Swissvax Applicator

Preparation 

Preparation is the key to good results when comes to applying wax. Good preparation allows the wax to bond well with the paintwork, giving the best results and longevity. We recommend going through a 2-bucket wash method, and a decontamination process to ensure your paintwork is free of contaminants before applying wax.

Things you'll need: 
- 2-buckets with Grit Guard (Recommended) 
- pH Neutral Car Shampoo (or if you want a fresh layer, you can use a stronger shampoo)
- Clay Bar (Highly recommended) 
- Clay lubricant/Quick Detailer
- Wax of choice (Liquid or Paste)
- Foam applicator pads
- Masking Tape

Start by washing your car with the 2-bucket wash method earlier, followed by a clay bar treatment, ensuring the car is completely dry and parked under the shade. You can read our how-to guide on Clay Bar treatment by clicking here. 

Using the masking tape, mask any rubber and trims to prevent wax from going over those areas. Some materials and trims might be sensitive to waxes and it may cause damage to those areas. 

wax2

Applicator Foam Pads

- For a paste wax, "dip" the foam pad in the pot of wax. For a liquid wax, shake the bottle thoroughly and apply it on to the applicator pad.
- Start by applying it onto the car in forward and backward motion, working a small section at a time. We do not advise applying in a swirling motion. 
- Apply over the entire car, and wait for it to cure. After it has finished curing, the wax will haze. To check, run your fingers through the applied area and you should see the majority of the wax smudges off.
- Using a microfibre towel, wipe off the remaining wax to a shine. You might use up to 2-3 towels for the entire car. 

Pro tip: Applying sealant first, and then carnauba wax on top of sealant gives a amazing gloss and warmth. This will also prolong the lifespan of the product.

Curing Times

With all products, there is a set curing time that must be met. This allows the synthetic sealant or wax to bond to the surface. These times vary wildly depending on the product applied and the ingredients used.

For example, synthetic sealants typically can be wiped off either immediately or just after 5-10 minutes. Typically for waxes, especially quality paste waxes the curing time is much longer. Waxes like Swissvax Crystal Rock can take up to one hour to cure.

The best thing to do as we suggested earlier is a swipe test, if the swipe is clean and does not smudge that means the product has bonded and is ready for removal.

wax3

Hand Application 

Another option for applying waxes is solely by hand. By taking a small portion of waxes, rubbing and warming it through your hands. The wax is then able to be smoothed out allowing a better coverage and more even layer versus an application bad.

We do not recommend this method unless you are using a high quality carnauba wax otherwise cheaper solvents and other ingredients may be bad for your skin.

We hope this article helped you on how to apply a wax or a sealant. To find out more on how Project Detail can help you detail your vehicle check our other articles from our blog here or to ask us a question or if you have an enquiry be sure to click here.

How to remove Tree Sap from your Car?

Project Detail was designed to be a premier Car Detailing Hub , having Studio's in Sydney & Melbourne. While not suitable for all customers, we also love to provide advice for those who also love detailing their own vehicles. 

Tree Sap 101

Peugeot Hatchback covered in Tree Sap -  Before Shot

Certain areas in Sydney are particularly beautiful with a lot of trees and rich foliage. Particularly Sydney's North Shore, around Lane Cove and the northern beaches, the gum trees are indeed a nice change from the big city.

However, from a car detailers perspective, cars from these area's are notorious for being covered in tree sap. Sap can come in a few varieties depending which tree they originated from. For example, Pine trees tend to have a really sticky and semi clear residue. While certain Gum trees, will leave black spots from the leaves like the one in the photo.

The Peugeot's roof had years of tree sap built up.

The good news is that tree sap an organic material that can be removed. Like most things, the earlier the removal the easier. However, when tree sap has been left on a car for a prolonged period of time it can affect the paintwork, but bonding to the clear coat, leaving a physical mark or be extremely difficult to remove.

Effective ways to remove Tree Sap

Proper chemicals are used to break down the tree sap after the wash. 

Its extremely important to wash your car thoroughly so that the only debris left is contamination and tree sap on the vehicle. If you have access to industrial chemicals, you can spray an acidic wash solution over the vehicle carefully which would soften and dissolve the tree sap allowing some of it to be washed away.

However, a much safer method is purchasing and using a clay bar kit. Additionally, a good clay lubricant would aid in the removal of more contamination and save time.

We would recommend using a clay bar rather than relying on harsh chemicals as without proper experience damaging paintwork, rubber seals of plastic can easily happen.

Aftermath

The Peugeot's roof has water spots and stains from the tree sap that need buffing.

The Peugeot's roof has water spots and stains from the tree sap that need buffing.

After the tree sap has been removed, it is important to assess how the paintwork looks. If there are no major issues then your job is finished. But in the example of the silver Peugeot, the paintwork was full on pock marks and etching from the tree sap's long term effect.

This meant that the paintwork needed machine polishing in order to successfully achieve a great finish. The machine polishing levelled the paintwork, allowing a deeper removal of any remaining tree sap but also improving the gloss dramatically.

Peugeot Hatchback after tree sap removal and machine polishing.

After removing the tree sap successfully, we heavily recommend looking into some form of paint protection in order to allow easier removal of tree sap in the future. More about paint protection can be found by

If you have any further enquiries about tree sap or would like to organise a booking for your own vehicle, please contact us here.

Cleaning Car Fabric & Carpets

Fabrics can be found in cars and accessories such as seats and convertible roof and cleaning them would put most car owners a big question mark on their head. Here at Project Detail, we are going to show you some variations on how to clean, protect and maintain your upholstery.

Cleaning Process

It is important to note that before beginning that knowing about the material you are cleaning is vital. In particular, when we or any detailer begin, assessing whether the material is frayed, damaged or poor quality is important to prevent or reduce potential damage.

The initial process for cleaning any of fabric, involves using compressed air or a powerful blower if available. While not entirely necessary, it allows debris to be dislodged and sit on top of surfaces making the following steps much easier. This is followed by an initial but thorough vacuum. Once the majority of loose debris is removed, do not worry about any particles or debris that may fall as you move seats around or shift the interior, these will be removed in subsequent vacuuming.

Hot Water Extraction

Hot Water Extraction

Hot Water Extraction (aka steam cleaning)

While it may not be accessible for the weekend warrior,  using a hot water extraction method our best approach when comes to cleaning seats and carpets. For fabric convertible roofs, we generally use a different and more gentle approach that we will be mentioning later in this article. 

While the machine itself may be unattainable, utilising hot water in a bucket of fabric cleaner and the right techniques is still a good option. The hot water allows the dirt and debris to be broken down but heat energy and combined with friction or physical scrubbing will allow a much better clean then just with cold water.

Cleaning Fabric on a fabric convertible roof with a suitable brush

Cleaning Fabric on a fabric convertible roof with a suitable brush

Fabric/Carpet/Upholstery/All Purpose Cleaner 

This method would something we recommend especially for higher end vehicles and we would spend the extra time with more delicate methods. Work in a small sections at a time. 

Start by spraying cleaning solution into the fabric, followed by agitating the fabric with a brush in a circle motion. Use a microfibre cloth and "absorb" the cleaning solution. Inspect the results, if any dirt or stain still remains, repeat the process.

Optional - Use a bucket with hot water with diluted cleaning solution. Using a rag or a microfibre mitt/towel scrub the area sprayed with the hotwater. Allow the solution to deeply penetrate into the fabric. Use a wet/dry vacuum to suck a remove the hot water. This will imitate the hot water extractor and allow for a deeper clean.

Important note - be sure to check before applying any chemicals to areas like alcantara, suede or other delicate materials.

Fabric Protection

Fabric Protection at work on a Porsche Boxter Spyder soft top.

Fabric Protection at work on a Porsche Boxter Spyder soft top.

Fabric protection is an optional choice, considering they are expensive and applying correctly without without leaving stains on the surrounded plastics might be a challenge for some. 

Before any fabric protection application, the fabric might be completely dry and clean. Mask off any plastic or trims if necessary.

Prepare a damp towel with you at all times in case the fabric gets into any plastics and trims. Spray fabric coat onto the fabric, use damp towel to remove any overspray. Repeat for the rest of the fabric. Wind down the windows or open the door for the next few hours for it to dry and cure. 

Note - Once again, test a small area as some materials do not respond the same as others with protection products.

We hope this article helped you in cleaning your vehicle's fabrics. For any questions, feel free by clicking here.