As with many other industries and lines of business, the detailing world typically makes small, incremental advances in technology as it evolves and adapts to meet the demands of the marketplace. Sometimes these small advances are simply to introduce a new product to the market (growth through new product introduction), and sometimes through product development we actually find ways to make an existing product better.
But every now and then however, major changes happen that completely change the way the game is played. Think of how the forward pass changed football…or how the internal combustion engine changed transportation, or how the computer changed, umm, everything!
With the exception of a few tools and products, detailing and paint correction has been a straightforward process for many years now. It’s pretty simple really…level the paint, make it glossy, and you’re good to go!
In factories, body shops, dealerships, and even some detailing outlets, the process was to hit the paint hard and fast with a heavy-cut wool pad and some compound, and then use another wool pad with some hand-glaze to finish with. Sure, the use of wool for both tasks left swirls and marring, but that’s what the glaze was for…to fill those in and create a nice, level surface!
Thanks to the detailing world’s new breakthrough technology, we can now properly finish down after compounding to where the surface is truly flat, smooth, and defect free! Compounding swirls, wool-induced defects, and hazy-finish will be a thing of the past. That car that just got out of the body shop, or through the detailing department at the pre-owned car lot will still look good after a couple of washes! Holograms will no longer exist, and future generation detailers and buffer operators will not even know what that term means!
I know…it all sounds too good to be true, right? How can we possibly have such a breakthrough in paint refinement technology that would allow us to to finish down a painted surface so fine that even after completely cleaning it with a solvent or Isopropyl Alcohol that we see nothing but pure, clean, and completely defect-free paint?
Before I become the first in the industry to announce this technology, let me show you an example of what I am talking about. These photos have not been manipulated other than to re-size and add a stylish border. This is proof positive that this technology finally exists!
In this photo, you will see that the black Corvette paint is badly swirled from years of improper washing, drying, and general care. You can see that it’s in bad shape…just like about every car you see in the sunshine.
Now take a look at this photo after the car has been finished with this revolutionary new technology. This is like the photos of Bigfoot or Nessie…you can’t argue with photographic evidence!
How can it be? What kind of products or techniques have been suddenly released to the market that can actually do this? I mean…taking a black car, performing heavy compounding, and then taking it a step further to where the finish is actually like new again? Without temporarily filling them with heavy glazes? You mean I can actually produce QUALITY work now? Please, please…tell us what it is!
OK then, I’m happy to be the very first person to announce this breakthrough technology. Perhaps it’s because of the sheer amount of detailing articles that I write, or because of the 50K plus blog followers per month, or maybe the industry felt that I have become the voice of the detailing industry…regardless of the reason(s), I am honored!
So this breakthrough new technology that will allow manufacturers, body shops, “speed detailers”, and auto dealerships to produce high quality work is…
Finishing Pads, Finishing Polishes, and Slow Arm Movement!
No longer do they need to “finish” their work with wool and glaze…no longer do they need to hide the defects with glaze…the new revolution is here!
We now have soft foam finishing pads that when combined with ultra-fine finishing polishes, produce a true finish that rivals, and sometimes exceeds the purity of fresh, untouched paint! And when you use controlled, slow arm movement with proper steps in buffer speed (900-1200-1500-1200-900), you’re sure to finish down completely hologram-free! This is AMAZING!!
So to the factories, you no longer have to deliver $450,000 exotics with paint that looks like this:
And to the pre-owned car dealership, you no longer have to sell cars that after a couple of washes look like this Ferrari 612:
Or to the body shops, you no longer have to “fix” cars like you did with this Porsche 911 Turbo:
This is a wonderful day in detailing history…one that will be remembered alongside some of the greatest technological breakthroughs of all time! Taking the time, using the proper techniques, and utilizing the latest finishing products to perform paint correction to truly restore the finish to its original condition or better…WOW!
OK, so those of you in the know realize that this article is filled with as much sarcasm and poor examples of humor as it gets! I’m just trying to get my point across…
So given the fact that finishing products and technologies have been out for quite some time now, why do we professional detailers continuously see this kind of work day in and day out? It comes from the factories, it comes from the body shops, it comes from the dealerships, and it comes from what I call “speed detailing” (those who claim to do a full correction and finish down a car in just a handful of hours). Do they not know? Do they not care? Do they simply want to spit out as much work as possible with no respect to quality? All you have to do is walk in to the places that produce this kind of work and you’ll see the same “detailing” setup…a huge, dirty wool pad or two, some old-school compound, and a bottle of glaze.
By contrast, walk into a reputable professional detailer’s shop to see what you’ll find. When you look at their selection of buffers, pads, and polishes you’d think they’re in the distribution business. They realize that every car and paint is different, which requires them to be prepared with whatever scenario they’re faced with. When they’re doing major paint correction, their goal is to produce the finest finish possible, and they’re going to work with different combinations of tools, pads, and polishes to ensure that they deliver just that.
Yes, my fellow professional detailers and I make a great living fixing the horrors produced in the examples above, however we would like to see more skill and pride out there in the business.
I would love to see this article get in the hands of the technicians performing this kind of work, but I know that it won’t happen. If they were continuing to do research on the internet to find the latest and greatest technologies and techniques, they wouldn’t be producing the kind of work they are now! These technologies and products have been out for a long time…this is nothing new (although I did have fun pumping it up like I was part of the select few who actually knew this!).
The moral of the story here is simple. Always continue to improve upon your own skills and knowledge regardless of what you do. If you’re in sales, learn how to be the best salesman you can. If you’re a computer technician, then always continue to learn more about the trade. If you’re head of research for the “Find Bigfoot Foundation”, then make sure you’re using the latest technology in oversized footprint impression molds! Never stop learning…
I hope you had as much fun as I did, and thank you as always for following along!