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 Clay Bar your Car?

Clay Bar - A How To Guide

Specialising in Car Detailing , Project Detail Sydney & Melbourne will be covering a series of articles focussing on decontamination and in this post, we focus on the ubiquitous Clay Bar.

What a typical new clay bar kit looks like. Colours and variations between fine and course exist.

What a typical new clay bar kit looks like. Colours and variations between fine and course exist.

n a previous post, we discussed how it is important to decontaminate your car regularly in order to keep it looking it's best on conjunction with car washing. The post 'Decontamination - Why is it important?' can be found here

The clay bar looks like a piece of clay, Blu-tak or even plasticine. However, this small piece of mouldable material has become very important piece of car care product for maintaining a proper finish. Detailing Clay was invented in the body shops of Japan in the early 1990's. However, it wasn't until the early to mid 2000's did the rest of the world start realising what it was and just how important it would be. Nowadays, every detailer or even car wash should carry a variety of clay bars and even an assortment of other clay products.

In a nutshell, a Clay Bar is a piece of equipment that is designed to glide over the surface of your paintwork by hand. Used in conjunction with something that gives good lubrication, the clay bar removes physical contamination such as tar, light sap or fall out as it glides over the surface of the vehicle. This in turn leaves the paint smooth to the touch and no longer rough.

At Project Detail, a clay bar treatment is included with every level of detail. It is now the standard and no longer the exception to the rule to provide this treatment in order for the cars we work on to have a better finish. You can find out more about our detailing services here. 

When do I need to Clay my car?

Contamination stains the Clay Bar Brown as it is removed during the claying process.

In order to determine if you need to clay your car it is best to give you car a wash first. If you would a guide recommending how to perform a proper 2 bucket method wash check out our previous article by clicking here.

After washing the vehicle properly, if the vehicle still feels rough to the touch then more then likely there are signs of contamination on the paintwork that need to be removed. This can be done chemically with the right products or physically with a clay bar.  

How to Clay a car?

It is vital to lubricate the surface sufficiently while claying. You cannot over lubricate!

Equipment required:

  • 1 x Clay Bar (preferably fine grade)
  • Suitable Clay Lubricant in a spray bottle. Dedicated lube can be purchased or made.
  • Several clean microfibre towels

Beginning with a clean car and work one small section at a time on a single panel. It is important to begin working top to bottom, as any sediment or run off will drip downwards and not get onto any clean or finished panels.

Liberally spray the  lubricant over the section you were working on. Taking a small ping pong ball size of clay, kneed the clay into a patty shape. Then gently without applying pressure glide the clay bar back and forth in straight line motions of about 30cm's each stroke.
As you are claying, you should begin to notice the contamination being picked up and the clay will begin to slide smoother and any noise it was causing should stop.

It is important to not go into circular motions as any potential contamination picked up can scratch and leave swirl marks. As the lubricant begins to run away or dry, it is very important to keep 

Continue to work your way around the car. Project Detail recommends every quarter of the car, to rinse the vehicle. This will remove the lubricant and prevent water marks or the lubricant drying on the surface.
Once you have finished a panel, you will notice the clay bar changing colour as the contamiantion it removes stick onto the clay itself. This next step is very important, fold and kneed the clay until the contamination is folded in on itself. This will reveal a 'fresh' surface for the next panel and that the previous contamination does not scratch the paintwork.

Heavy contamination staining the clay. Kneed the clay in on itself to reveal a fresh surface.

Once the entire vehicle is done, rinse off the vehicle again and then proceed the dry the vehicle. Be sure to check out our article "How to dry your car" to make sure no further scratches are incurred.

Once the vehicle is dried, congratulations you car should mostly be contamination free! The paintwork will not only be smoother but for those with heavily contaminated vehicles, the paintwork will actually look brighter and show more colour as well as there is no contamination staining the surface.

We typically recommend the weekend warrior to clay their car once a month to once every 3 months in order to stay on top of the contamination. Removal of heavy contamination particularly on softer paints from certain makes can leaving marring, scratches of defects that will require paint correction to remove.

Quick Tips & Tricks

  • Please note that matte wraps or factory matte paint cannot be clayed successfully. 
  • Without suffcient lubricant, the clay will stick and scratch the surface
  • Once the clay begins to break apart or change colour entirely throw it away.
  • If you drop your clay onto the ground, throw it away. Due to its stickiness, it will pick up dirrt and gravel which will scratch the surface entirely.
  • You can clay any hard and smoother surface; metal, chrome or even glass!

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.

21 Stage Wash Method

Our Washing is Different

Project Detail believes in providing our customers with a special service, something they won't be able to wont be able to experience for their car at many other places. By using the best products from Europe, USA or Japan and modern techniques we can ensure that even our 'simple' wash will exceed the performance of washing at home, local car wash or even some mobile detailers.

We carry that same belief with car detailing in Sydney & Melbourne and aim to provide the best service possible.

Our washing process is no different and may seem excessive to some but it allows us the car to be cleaned to the highest degree in order to produce the best results in our paint correction or when applying our glass coating. 

A BMW M4 with 'Snow Foam' during our 21 stage wash process.

Our fundamental belief is that being careful enough, swirl marks can be avoided. Famous Detailer Paul Dalton once said there's 3 different of 'energy' to be utilised for easier and more effective washing: Thermal energy, Friction Energy and Chemical Energy. These come from our access to hot water washing up to 90 degrees celsius, the chemicals doing their job and finally the physical washing process itself.

Porsche 911 Wheels -  Before

Porsche 911 Wheels - During Iron Removal

Below is our 21 Stage washing process. Originally, it was never designed this way. We washed vehicles as thoroughly as possible and we realised it took a total of 21 stages for us to complete.

  1. Soak the exterior car in Citrus Pre-wash Solution. Gently begins to break down dirt, contamination and other debris on the car.
  2. Spray a suitable wheel cleaner such as a pH neutral Iron Fallout remover onto the wheels.
  3. Rinse Wheels with pressurised hot water.
  4. Shift Vehicle and soak other half of wheels in the same product, and repeat rinse.
  5. Spray product where necessary and use wheel woolies, wheel brushes and dedicated Wheel cleaning bucket to deep clean wheel barrels and brakes where possible, rinse with hot water.
  6. Spray Appropriate degreaser into Wheel arches, scrub and rinse to clean arches.
  7. Scrub and clean tyre to remove previous tyre product or silicone based products.
  8. Cover vehicle with thick pH neutral snow foam (consistency like shaving cream) and allow to dwell for 3-5 minutes depending on the level of debris.
  9. Rinse Snow Foam and Pre-Wash Solution off car with Pressurised Hot Water.
  10. Begin 2 bucket wash method with grit guards to separate sediment and debris removed from the vehicle. Vehicle is washed with fresh, microfibre wash mitts. We use a pH neutral and wax free shampoo and buckets filled with hot water.
  11. Buckets are emptied and fresh hot water is filled if the car is excessively dirty. Mitts can also be changed depending on the condition.
  12. Every Quarter of the car, the car is rinsed and kept wet not allowing the water to dry and stain the vehicle.
  13. Once vehicle is fully washed, we do a final rinse.
  14. Spray pH iron fallout remover onto painted surface to remove ferrous particles
  15. Spray tar remover to remove road tar and glue residue if present.
  16. Using a proper clay lubricant and a Japanese manufactured fine grade clay bar, carefully clay the surface to remove physical contamination.
  17. Rinse vehicle every quarter in order to prevent lubricant drying on the paintwork.
  18. Using a proper microfibre or waffle weave drying towel, vehicle is dried before the water dries.
  19. Pressurised air or a blower is used to remove water built up around mirrors and other crevices
  20. Check for dried water spots, using an appropriate water spots remover. Remove as necessary.
  21. Prepare vehicle for next step by wiping down with diluted Isopropyl solution to remove any remaining waxes, water marks or finger prints left on the surface.

Although the 21 stages seems like it would take all day, in fact it only takes 1-2 hours to complete. Even to the outsider spending 1-2 hours on a washing seems insane but with the calibre of cars and their devoted owners, it's a must to make sure the car is prepared for the paint correction, wax application or glass coating that comes afterwards.

By using a snow foam as thick like cream allows the dirt to break apart and rinsed away.

To find out more about Project Detail's services, please click here

If Project Detail can help with any washing queries or anything else, please click here to contact us.

Decontamination - Why is it important?

Paintwork Decontamination - A Professional Outlook 

A traditional clay bar being used to remove bonded contaminants on a E39 BMW 540i, as part of our 21-Stage Wash and Decontamination

A traditional clay bar being used to remove bonded contaminants on a E39 BMW 540i, as part of our 21-Stage Wash and Decontamination

We get a lot of customers that are concerned about their paint feeling rough, or texture very similar to a sandpaper. This usually happens with a combination of a car that hasn't been detailed for a long period of time and also lacking of any form of paint protection. It happens when a vehicle is being driven and being exposed to the harsh environment, dirt, road grime and also iron particles such as brake dust from not only your car but from other vehicles on the road too. Hence why paint protection (in any form) is important. You can refer to our blog post earlier: Should I consider paint protection for my car?

Over time, these contaminants gets bonded to your paint and hence why your paint will feel rough or sandpaper like and usually a normal routine car wash will not be able to remove these contaminants. 

Decontamination is part of our 21-Stage Wash because they are vital to good results. Every car and contaminants level is different from car to car and how often the owner decides to wash and wax it or get it detailed properly. We usually check how bad they are by feeling the paintwork with our bare hands and with a plastic bag to 'magnify' the feel of the paintwork.

Different levels of contaminants decides which method we shall use - ranging from fine grade to heavy grade. And if its mild like a brand new car, we usually use chemical decontamination and very fine grade if necessary. We do not advice to use a higher grade if its not necessary. 

A chemical decontamination being used to remove any iron fallout from day to day driving on a GC8 Subaru WRX.

A chemical decontamination being used to remove any iron fallout from day to day driving on a GC8 Subaru WRX.

Types of Chemical Decontamination

  • Iron Fallout remover such as CarPro's Iron X to remove iron fallout particles, also known as ferrous. 
  • Tar and Adhesive remover such as CarPro's Tar X to remove stubborn bug and tar spots from heavy country driving such as bug splatter, tree sap etc on the windshield, mirrors and front bar.

    Both of them works really well and if the car's contaminant is mild, usually a clay bar is not needed.

Physical Decontamination

  • Clay Bar - Traditional method of removing bonded contaminants, ranging from fine grade to heavy, depends on how much the paintwork needs. Sometimes a medium grade won't be able to remove contaminants completely. 
  • Clay mitt/towel/cloth - A revolutionary product that would able to remove contaminants in half of the time compared to traditional clay bars, we usually use a clay mitt/towel/cloth if a car is going through an intensive paint correction because if usually the clay mitt/towel/cloth is close to medium to heavy grade and they usually causes paintwork marring, especially on softer paints.
2016 BMW 340i

2016 BMW 340i

How can I stop contaminants or prevent them?

As bad as contaminants sounds, they are very normal but there are ways to prevent them from building up on your precious car's paintwork. 

Low cost solution: By regularly wash and waxing your car would be able to reduce contaminants from building up your car over time, and also make sure to check regularly for contaminants and use a clay bar treatment if necessary and these products are usually available widely at local auto store

Medium cost solution: Bringing to a reputable detailer on a fortnightly or monthly basis for a maintenance detail. A good reputable detailer knows if your car needs a light or heavy decontamination and they usually have high quality waxes or sealants in their arsenal. We do have maintenance detail packages for your car care needs. Be sure to get in touch with us if you need to get your car detailed regularly.

Medium to High Cost Solution: Permanent Paint Protection Coating, also known as ceramic/glass/quartz/nano coatings. A good coating does provide a long term protection permanent protection that doesn't wear off while washing, self-cleaning effects from their very hydrophobic nature and also its inability for particles to adhere to the surface, hence a extremely low chance of getting contaminants build up on your car's paintwork. If a coated car is regularly maintained properly, not only your car will look as good as it just has been detailed from Day 1, also your car will be contaminant free at all times! We offer permanent paint protection coatings for both brand new and used car. 

Feel free to contact us for any detailing questions or enquiries.