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      05-06-2020, 12:46 PM   #3
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Jmpascual's Avatar

Drives: G20 330i, G05 X5 40i
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Dover, Delaware

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Originally Posted by 130FeetDeep View Post
Originally Posted by Jmpascual View Post
So I recently had my car detailed. However, for the price I paid I feel like I could've done better buying all of the materials and doing it myself. Im pretty OCD and regularly wash my cars and do an occasional wax/sealant application, but never further than that. I just purchased a DA orbital and am looking into all of the appropriate products to achieve swirl-free (or close) paint. I also am looking into applying a ceramic coating.

I currently have a 19' carbon black X5 and 19' Portimao Blue 3 series. For the black trim around the windows and on the B pillars, do you guys just use a DA polisher to get the swirls out? I didn't want to damage the trim so I'm asking in advance.

Any other tips/tricks you guys use to get your cars to look as good as possible?
I actually just did my first ceramic coating on my X5. I am a long time car enthusiast and car show guy. Most of my nice cars were garage queens, so this was the first time I had a DD that was really my favorite vehicle. I have loved carnubas in the past, but the durability has been awful. I have never been a fan of synthetic sealants because they look very "plastic" but did achieve shine. Ceramics promise such long durability with depth that formerly we could only achieve with Carnuba. Anyway, after a lot of research, I decided to try CQuartz stuff. Their ceramic is no joke and it was really easy to apply. Some small tips would be get good lighting and be patient as you remove the product.

As far as removing swirls, the first part is to figure out how they got there. As someone who has detailed a long time, you find the washing or drying process is likely where you introduce the micro marring you are describing. You absolutely must have clean paint or high lubrication if you run anything across the paint that could scratch it. Go 2 bucket method for washing and be religious about it. Get really good microfiber towels to dry if you go that route. Best route is CRSpotless and leaf blower method which I use. No spots and no touching the paint to dry spotless. With a black vehicle like you have, especially BMW black, micro marring can make you lose your mind.

Lastly, removing micro marring is not a terribly complicated process since you have a DA polisher. Any light cutting or polishing pad with a light cut polish should work. I went the CQuartz route, so tried their Essence High Gloss since it has light cut and lays down a coat of ceramic (SiO2) and matched it with a white Lake Country pad. I had a few areas I needed more cut and went orange with slightly more cut polish then followed up with the white / Essence.

Overall, the process took a couple days. To be clear, the final product is more a result of your paint prep / polish work than anything else. Take your time and use good light. Pull the car out in the sun before applying ceramic so you can verify you got the micro marring. When applying the ceramic, crisscross as suggested. Make sure you wipe shortly after the flash occurs. If you take your time, the results are worth it. Mine looks stunning with durability I could have never achieved with carnubas.
Thanks for the tips! I definitely use the two bucket method and even foam gun the car and rinse before I actually wash with soap/wash mitt. As for my X5, it's fairly new so all of the swirls come from the dealership where they "detailed" my car before I took delivery. I'm definitely looking into some lights for detailing, and a good leaf blower to dry the car.

Do you just polish the shiny black B-Pillar trim the same way you'd do with the paint?