I have heard the term “Jeweling” to enhance the gloss. How is that done?
Thanks for taking the time to submit this excellent question David!
The term “jeweling” is one of many that I’ve seen over years of surfing the detailing boards. Other terms I’ve seen used to describe this same technique are: burnishing, refining, mirroring, finishing, and of course my all time favorite, reflectus maximus!
At the end of the day, these terms are nothing more than catchy words that describe a final polishing step. Personally, I think a lot of the terms were invented as an attempt to make a detailer stand out above the rest, but regardless, it’s just another polishing step and “jeweling” seems to be one of the more commonly used terms these days.
As far as paint correction goes, jeweling is really considered an optional step as most customers would not be able to see the benefit, nor would they be willing to pay for it. When performed by me, it is almost always done on special interest cars for owners who can appreciate the extra effort, and simply want their cars to look their absolute best regardless of cost! This added step takes a lot of added time and patience, but the end result can definitely turn some heads!
Prior to jeweling the paint, you should have already completed all the necessary correction steps, leaving a finish that is swirl and defect-free. Jeweling simply nets that extra 1-3% gain in appearance you are seeking. This technique is most commonly performed by using a rotary polisher equipped with a zero cut pad, such as the LC black, blue, or crimson pads, and a very fine diminishing abrasive polish like Menzerna 106FA, or PO85RD. You will want to work the product similar to your typical diminishing abrasive polish while being sure to keep your work area to around 20″ x 20″. Start by spreading the polish evenly over your work area at 600-900 rpms. Then bump your speed up to 1500-1800 rpms, making overlapping passes while using firm and consistent pressure. Continue working the polish until it starts to become clear, then reduce pressure and make a few more passes at about 1200 rpms. Finally reduce your speed down to 900-1000 rpms and use only the weight of the machine for a few final passes. Now that your polishing is complete, wipe off excess polish oils with a clean, high-quality MF towel and enjoy your perfect shine!
On a side note, it takes years of practice to master the rotary polisher and even for some of the most experienced users it can be difficult to finish down hologram free. If you are inexperienced with a rotary, similar results can also be achieved with a DA polisher using the same zero cut pads and ultra fine polishes. Also keep in mind that all paints are different so it’s best to experiment with different tools, pads, and polishes to see what works best for your particular finish.
I hope this answers your question. If you or anyone else has any additional comments or questions please submit them in the comment box below.