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Old 01-22-2010, 12:01 PM   #1
rboineau
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Default How to get fine scratches out of black paint?

Guys, not too long ago I bought a 4500-mile black coupe, babied by its original older owner (garaged, covered, driven only on nice days). The paint has quite a few fine, I mean very fine, scratches that I cannot get out with products and procedures that have worked for me on similar scratches on many cars over nearly 50 years. A cleaner wax, or mild polishing compound gently applied, does nothing, and if I get more aggressive with either technique or harsher compound I further scratch the area and make things worse. Seems like I can't win. Don't want to use a power buffer, I want to do this by hand. Any suggestions?
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:54 PM   #2
Shirl
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Leave it alone! No one will see fine scratches. The only way to get them out is with a buffer.. black is unforgiving!
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:08 PM   #3
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Since you do not want to use a buffer, try this, I've used it for almost 30 years. I believe 3M makes it( you would think I would know the manufacturer by now). It is called Imperial Hand Glaze, and it can be found at PepBoys. 26 bucks for a quart
Too bad they do not make Liquid Ebony anymore-that was worth it's weight in gold


Steve
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:26 PM   #4
Dennis Wilson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirl View Post
Leave it alone! No one will see fine scratches. The only way to get them out is with a buffer.. black is unforgiving!
I gave up after a year or so I just keep it as clean as possible & enjoy driving it!
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:41 PM   #5
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The clearcoat on the vette is exceptionally hard. Good and bad.
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:45 PM   #6
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My sons car had pretty heavy scratches when I bought it for him and my Camaro had fine ones that even detail shops couldn't get out. What I use is 3M Finesse-It II (part# 05928) for big scratches and 3M Perfect-It II Foam Polishing Pad Glaze - Dark (Part# 05996) for fine ones. They make a dark colored foam pad for dark cars that is waffled for this. I then wax it with Meguiars NXT Tech Wax 2.0 paste, this stuff is magic! The detail shop that couldn't get the fine scratches out now uses 3M after seeing my cars.
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:22 PM   #7
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Buffing is the easiest way to do. I like what a body shop recommeded to me. The Meguire system with multiple buffing pads and only one compound.

If the scratches are deep enough you have to start by wet block sanding with 2000 grit sandpaper and work your way up to 300 and then with the different buffing pads. After every pass you have to clean the dust or buffing compound off with wax and grease remover then keep rebuffing. If you don't clean in between steps, you cannot see where you still have scratches. Work under flourescent lights and you can see everything.

It's a very time consuming process of buffing, cleaning and rebuffing. You are going to be there a long time if you do it by hand. With a couple small spots on the nose of my car it still took me a couple of hours, but spend the money on a good dual action buffer or you can burn the paint.
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:25 PM   #8
Blue 92
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Buffer and

Click the image to open in full size.

You can do it by hand but your arm will fall off.
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:11 PM   #9
The Wrench
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I had my black C4 repainted, and the shop used 3M rubbing compound #39002 for the final buff. I have used it ever since with an orbital buffer to remove very fine swirl marks and bird deposits. It's truly amazing if used with an orbital and a foam pad.
Don't let the "rubbing compound" description fool you, this is very fine mild stuff.
I discovered that the orbital buffer is worlds better than trying to do it by hand. I can hand rub and area and see swirl marks that match my rubbing pattern. The orbital buffer just clears it right up.
That being said, I bought my last black car with that C4, and won't do it again, no matter how awesome they look.

DG
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:20 PM   #10
Patches
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I used a random orbital buffer on the wife's black coupe. Works wonders and is ultra safe.

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c5-g...love-hate.html
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:29 PM   #11
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My wife also has a black vette with a few light scratches and the below combo has worked very well on it.
Wolfgang swirl remover and use an orange buffing pad with a Flex 3401 buffer. That should take care of it. Then follow that with a white pad and Wolfgang Finishing Glaze, and then apply whatever wax or sealant you prefer. We've been using the Wolfgang Sealant, and then Zaino Z5, followed by Zaino Z2.

You can get the Wolfgang products at http://www.autogeek.net, and the zaino at www.zainobros.com. Be careful......both of these products are addictive as they make the car shine so much better that you'll keep wanting to put on more and more coats!!!
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve20 View Post
Since you do not want to use a buffer, try this, I've used it for almost 30 years. I believe 3M makes it( you would think I would know the manufacturer by now). It is called Imperial Hand Glaze, and it can be found at PepBoys. 26 bucks for a quart
Too bad they do not make Liquid Ebony anymore-that was worth it's weight in gold


Steve
Took the words right out of my mouth. I use to detail cars professionally for many years and after owning a black car for 2 years it is the only solution. Do not use a buffing wheel unless you really know what you're doing otherwise you could put swirl marks all over your car and start a new nightmare. First I would try by hand and then move on to a random orbital buffer.
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:41 PM   #13
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get youself a Porter Cable RO polisher can't be beat
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:24 AM   #14
Al Borman
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When I went offroading with my C4, I scratched the clearcoat on the front bumper as seen in the top picture below. I used Meguiars X2.0 and a 6 inch polisher to remove virtually all scratches. I was lucky in that all the scratches were only in the clearcoat and none of them reached the paint. Warning, If you use a polisher, which does NOT have a clutch to limit buffer rotation, be very carful when removing clearcoat or swirl scratches. The technique I use is to make several passes left and right, then up and down on the affected area( approx. 1ft X 1ft at a time). I then check to make sure there is no paint color on the polisher pad, and wipe off area to see if I need to make another pass. I repeat process until no swirls or scratches are visable(I use a flashlight to help me out). Remember, you do not want to go deeper and cut into the clearcoat, and you do not want to "burn" the clearcoat by leaving the polisher on one spot for more than 1 second. It is actually easy to do, you just need to be patient and take your time. It took me about an hour to buff out the entire front end clip on my C4(lower portion only).

Here is Before/After :
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Old 01-23-2010, 08:11 AM   #15
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:46 AM   #16
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Any Black car=Only take out when the sun goes down!
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:58 PM   #17
rboineau
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I appreciate you people taking the time to reply to my post. Funny--I have had several black cars in almost 50 years of driving, but this 'Vette's black paint seems to smudge and pick up/show fine scratches far worse than the others. Or maybe I'm getting more particular. Or maybe just old. Thanks again. Ralph Boineau in central South Carolina
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:59 PM   #18
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http://www.meguiarsdirect.com/movie.asp?item=MEG G12718&stream=RM_TW2

I don't use the buffer, just use the paste by hand. Amazing stuff!
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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